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Night Trek to MakaliDurga

Makalidurg is a hill fort situated at the village by the same name. It is 60km from Bangalore and 10 km after Doddaballapura. The fort at the summit has an old temple of Shiva with Nandi and it is believed that Markandeya Rishi performed penance here.

Makalidurg located around 60 km from Bangalore near Doddaballapur offers various options to visitors like bird watching, Trekking, Rappelling and allied activities. Makali Durga (fort) stands atop a huge granite hillock, huddled up amidst the chains of mountains, formed like a valley closer to Ghati Subramanya, a well-known pilgrimage center. It has a fort on top, at the height of 1,117mts. There is a temple of lord Shiva.
Many of us get excited with word ‘Night Trek’, so it the same feeling with me as well where we beat the heat. Abhishek had set the meeting spot as Majestic railway station and time as 05:45 PM. I had packed my bags and started from home at 03:30 PM. To me the trek started from 03:30 PM, walking in hot sun to the kadugodi bus station. Got into a moving bus at 03:45PM. It was Saturday evening and there was a lot of traffic in every signal. The worst were Kundalahalli gate, Marathahalli, HAL, Corporation and Mysore bank. I know these are the major bottlenecks. Reached station around 05:40PM. Met my 1st Trek mate (Alok Tiwari) at entrance of Foot Bridge to platforms. He said he heard me talking over phone about Makalidurg trek, hence got introduced to me at the entrance. Also it was his 1st trek in his life and was excited about it. We met other trek mates at platform 8, where almost everyone was present with Abhishek. We were waiting for the last person at the spot i.e., Mr.Kaushik(The photographer). After quick handshakes boarded the train and 0615 PM and waited for the ancient train to start as usual with Indian punctuality. It was very exiting journey because after almost 15 years I am a train passenger. We had another 2 trek mates joined at Yelahanka station. We had a round of introduction and started dumb charades which ended with our train journey at 0830PM. The best ones were “deuce bigalow male gigolo” and “Fukrey”. Ahishek had literally contrived the other team with his tough movie names. 
Our photographers took their cannons to give us some motivation with a photo at start of trek with the station nameboard. Then we started walking on the railway track towards the base of the hill. We had couple of trains which passed us over 1 hr. walk which made us go off the railway track. Then we took a left towards the foot of the hill where we came across a small village where we had been given a warm welcome with barking sounds of dogs. Then we started our trek up towards the peak, being near to a full moon day, we have not seen signs of moon all the way. It was ptich dark and had to rely on our torches. Abhishek was checking on each of us if we need a break, but our team was very active and had taken very minimal breaks.

After crossing the tough path at 1030PM we all rested on the big rock. Where many of our friends went missing for the nature calls. Then at 11PM we saw a big red ball coming out of 2 mountains. To our surprise it was the moon, again there were few Kodak moments over there and then started through the grasses to reach the peak of the hill. The wind was cold enough to set the tiredness to end. Then we found a perfect place to rest where we can have camp fire.  The potluck started with cup noodles, Prathyusha’s Mango rice, and Guru’s sprouts and ended with Ashutosh’s Masala dosa. After we had few talks varying different topics and jokes. Many jokes were in local language where we had a translator as well to help. After all the talks, jokes of raincoat we headed to sleep at 1 AM.

Next day morning at 0545 AM, I was the 1st person to wake up and followed by others. Not wasting much time everyone started to watch the sunrise, which was the best part of the Makalidurg trek. It was time where everyone got their best pics of the trek. Soon after the trek we started our descend journey. 
During that Shailesh (who had short term memory) shared his experience on Himalaya trek. Also side by side we had a photo rani around us who did not miss any opportunity to get a click. I really appreciate Guru’s and Kaushik’s patience to take all the pics. We all the mixed experience reached the foot at 8 AM and Guru gave a farewell to trek with best pictures which I am sure will go as cover photos on FB.
Then as a traditional way near the village Abhishek started to take feedback on the trek, however disturbed by few monkeys we started our walk to the station on the railway tracks. We missed our train by 5 mins and then after quick breakfast with bread, chocolate and fruits we started towards the highway to catch a bus to Bangalore. After good waiting time we boarded a KSRTC bus to Bangalore where many of us did not get seat and few used the footboard to rest. All of us slept in the bus (I believe) and reached Majestic at 11 AM. There we settled our accounts with a big thank you note to Abhishek for organizing the event. Later after exchanging contact details we dispersed to our respective platforms to catch buses to our destinations.

Written By        : Rajeev Jagatap
Organized By    : Abhishek Biradar
Date of event    : 19th Apr, 2014
Members Count : 11
Place                : Makalidurga
Pictures            : BTC FB Page
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