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Hutri Durga Trek

It had been a while since I went on a trek from BTC. Almost 6 months in fact! My mind and body were craving for some adventure and fun! So I immediately registered for the Hutridurga trek, almost as soon as I got a mail from Sangamesh! 

On the day of the trek, I was a little unsure about the whole thing because this was my second trek from BTC and my first trek in a group with unknown guys and girls! There were only 5 other girls apart from me in our 20 member group. My first trek had been with WOW. I went to our meeting point with a little uncertainty and hoping that this trek would be just as awesome as my last trek.

My initial uncertainty reduced a tad when I saw that my sweet friend, Suchetha, from my last WOW trek was joining this trek as well! I was glad that I had some very good company.  Our start was scheduled for 7 am. Everyone gathered at the meeting point on time and we started at 7 on the dot!

Initially everyone in our group was silent. Some people were initiating small talk and getting to know our fellow trekkers and I was chatting away with Suchetha as we had a lot to discuss after our last meeting! I guess another reason for the silence was that many people were also still a little sleepy as all of us had to wake up pretty early to get ready as we had an early start!

We travelled for a while and then stopped at a small eat-out at Chikkagollarahatti, on the outskirts of Bangalore. It was supposed to be good. It was a very small place which served only idlis and dosas. We reluctantly went in and ordered our breakfasts and were pleasantly surprised when the idlis and dosas turned out to be pretty good and very affordable as well!

After a hearty breakfast and some hot piping tea, we continued on our journey towards our destination. Sangamesh and Chenna, our organisers decided to wake up our sleeping group with a game of Dumb Charades. Everyone was excited at the idea and we got into the game head on and had a lot of fun, as we were all fuelled up after our breakfast! With each group giving the other, difficult movies names to enact and people pulling pranks on each other! 
At Hospet circle, Sangamesh and Chenna stopped over to get our lunch packed. We again started on our final lap of the journey and reached the foothills of the hills.

Hutridurga is a hill with a lot of rocky terrain. There are ruins of an empty fortification, about 500 years old which was built by Kempegowda, the founder of Bangalore. He is known to have constructed 9 forts or Durgas in and around Bangalore. Hutridurga is one among those, rising to about 3708 feet above sea level.  It is a seven tiered fort. The hill has eight gateways from the foot to the summit in addition to several outer gates. On the summit known as Sankarakumbhi is situated a small Shankareshvara temple with a spring called Dodda or big spring in front of it. From the summit, we get an extensive view of the surrounding landscape dotted by a large number of tanks and hills. Hutridurga derives its name from Hutri, a village situated about 3 km from the foot of the hill. The village immediately at the foot of the hill is known as Santhepet and that situated on the first elevation as Hutridurga.
We reached the foothill of the hill and as we were planning to start climbing, out came the cameras! We surely had quite a handful of photographers in our group that day! Each armed with a Dslr! Sanju was thoughtful about getting a tripod which immediately impressed all of us and became the center of attraction!

We gathered around and Sanju took a lot of pictures with his camera on his tripod. Then it was Chenna’s turn to take pictures. He was followed by the others with cameras and phones! Finally, after a nearly never-ending photo session which lasted for about 20 minutes, we started ascending the hill. We crossed the first gateway into the fort which made me feel kind of nostalgic! Making me think of all the people who had lived in the fort and the soldiers who had maybe given up their lives in the process of saving the fort during attack!  
We stopped for a second photo session after passing through the second gateway! Looked like there were more photographers in our group than trekkers! :P We continued on our ascent on steep rock with steps carved out in between, finally reaching the top of the hill around 12.30 pm. There is an old temple with part of the structure long lost. This provided us some shelter from the sun high above our heads. It was time for some refreshments and we had candies, fruits and biscuits. And another photo session!

Sangamesh told us that it was Channa’s birthday and they had bought a small cup-cake as a substitute for a regular cake! How thoughtful and clever! Matches substituted for candles! We celebrated Channa’s birthday on top of the hill with a cool pleasant breeze blowing almost as if the wind were wishing him too!
We later had another photo session and climbed down a little bit to go further explore the sides of the hill and other hillocks surrounding it. We found ruins of other gateways scattered around the hill. We had yet another photo session at a beautiful spot near the top. As the photo session got over, our stomachs started rumbling from hunger! We decided to go back near the temple to have lunch in the cool shade of the temple remains.

We started retracing our steps back to the temple. We reached a cool spot below an over-hanging rock on the way and decided to rest for a while. We couldn’t control our hunger and decided to eat some snacks as an interim relief! Renuka and Savithri brought out some oranges and sweet lime and Ankit passed out some kit-kats among the group. Someone wished that there was a knife to cut the fruits and out came my Swiss knife. The guy peeling the oranges, pretended to be scared seeing me with my knife and said that I would be the first person to be offered the cut fruits!! :P
We sat there for a short while, relaxed and then continued our way back to the temple. We reached the ruins atop the hill after a short while. Everyone got out their lunch parcels hurriedly as we were famished and extremely hungry after all our explorations. We had a hearty lunch to our stomach’s content and in total peace and I must say one of the very few treks without any interruptions from our long lost genetic relatives – monkeys!

The atmosphere was peaceful and serene, with good weather, not too hot, not too cold and a perfect breeze. Dreamingly… the kind of environment which would be perfect for a couple to spend some time together in each other’s company! ;) We lounged around for a while, got some well-earned rest! Later, Sangamesh and Chenna thought that we would all doze off in bliss if left to ourselves and decided to jazz up our group with more games!

Brijesh came up with a very interesting game called Killer, where a group of people are named killers secretly and they wink at the people who look at them, in turn ‘killing’ them. Those people should say out loud that they are ‘killed’. The person who says aloud the name of the killer is ousted, putting the killer out of the game too! As the game started, someone thought that I was the killer! Oh boy! I might have had a knife but I surely wasn’t the killer!! :P We played that game for a short while and people were still pretty confused as to who was the ‘killer’ and who was the ‘killed’. A killer even tried to kill another killer in the confusion, not knowing that that guy was a killer too!!

We finally decided to play another game and we came up with Antakshari with a twist! Where-in each group has to come up with names of movies starting with the last letter of the last movie mentioned! As the game got heated up, the other team started coming up with names of movies that ended with the syllable ‘Na’ and as time went by, our list with movies starting with ‘Na’ almost reached an end! Vaishali and Neha were the best in our group, always instantly coming up with a counter name and we did give a tough competition to the other group! I would like to be fair to our group and say that both of us reached a tie!! :P
We finally decided that it’s time to leave and started our descent down the hill. Sangamesh and Channa had also planned a small trip to a dam nearby, which was about 18 kms away from Magadi. We climbed down pretty fast and reached the foothill and our waiting TT. Only to find that our driver had dozed off into a deep slumber! The people who first reached tried to rouse him by calling his name, then tapping on the door, tapping his hand and even pulling his hand! But he just wouldn’t wake up no matter what we did and it was getting late!! Someone was finally triumphant in waking him up! I’m not sure who it was but a real big thanks to whoever it was, you are our hero!!

As we started on our journey back home, a sweet lady from the village stopped our TT and gave us three yummy raw mangoes fresh from her garden for us to relish! We initially thought we had to pay her for it but then realized that it was a gift! This selfless act made me whole-heartedly appreciate the magnanimity of these people who live in rural areas and villages whom,  we urbanized people, say are backward and innocent! So much so for people living in this Urban world!

As we carried on with our journey, it was time for my Swiss-knife to be put into some productive use for a change other than threatening ‘innocent’ people! So I got out my much loved Swiss knife and Sudhir and Channa cut the delicious mangoes into small pieces for everyone to enjoy.

We arrived at the dam but got to know that access for the dam and the backwaters were closed for visitors. Though a little dejected, we carried on with our journey towards Bangalore. We continued our game of Dumb Charades again, this time around also including guessing the names of famous personalities as well, along with names of movies! It was fun!!! I ended up being given the act of enacting Mayawati!! I think I have to thank whoever came up with that idea, for not having made me enact Rahul Gandhi!!! :P :P

We travelled for quite some time and then stopped at the Big Banyan tree for some refreshing sugarcane juice while Suchetha, Ankit and I had some hot tea and coffee with Aloo Bhujia to go with! We then gathered below the Big Banyan tree for a feed-back session. Looked like everyone was happy with the trek, even the first timers.
We got back into the TT. By now, our group had turned into a silent lot, tired from the trek and also mostly from all the posing for all the photographers in our group!!  Some people dozed off and caught up on their afternoon siestas.
We got back to Bangalore around 6.30 pm. Perfect planning and execution. Our trek went well without a hitch, exactly according to schedule. We returned with some lovely memories and me with my precious Swiss knife so that I could threaten more ‘innocent’ people on future treks! :P

I’m looking forward to more exciting treks from BTC!! I’m sure each trek will be always better than the last!

Thanks everyone! The organizers Sangamesh and Channa for being such excellent organizers without whom we wouldn’t have had such a lovely time and my fellow trekkers Suchetha, Renuka, Savithri, Vaishali, Neha, Ankit, Brajesh, Vaibhav, Ashutosh, Mandar, Sudhir, Sanju, Anna, Ganeshan, Aiyyan, Pekun and Amruth for your lovely company! Hope to meet you all on similar treks in the future!

Cheers !!! 

Written By        : Shubha Ashok
Organized By    : Sangamesh I
Date of event    : 8th June 2014
Members Count : 20
Place                : Magadi
Pictures            : BTC FB Page

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