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Trek to Horagina Betta

Horagina betta is a hillock alongside the famous Nandi hills, seldom explored. "Horagina Betta" in kannada translates to "the outside hillock", referring to its proximity to the Nandi. 
On Saturday, the 28th of June 2014, 21 of us under the banner of Bangalore Trekking Club [BTC], set afoot to explore this peak.

Hear our story unfolding...
We were asked by our organisers to be present at Majestic, the starting point, by 7am.
Btw, let me tell you how enrolling for a trek with BTC is very difficult in the sense that registrations close within 1-2 hours of their opening. I got lucky this time, after many tries in the past.

So we started at 7am from Majestic onboard a bus to Chikkaballapur (a small village ~60 km from Bangalore). 
We got off the bus near Chikkaballapur at 9am. The starting point for the trek which was Karahalli cross was much ahead. We were restless to see a lot of trucks and other vehicles pass by with no signs of a bus or an auto. Meanwhile, two small hotels attracted our hungry stomachs to them.
We hogged on taTTe idlis (idlis shaped like a plate), lemon rice and tamarind rice. 

We reached Karahalli cross by 10 by another bus and started for the base of our trekking expedition before which we had one formal round of introductions. Among the batch of 21 people, there were many doing their 10+th trek with BTC. Quite impressive! 

We began the first stretch of our trek and this was an exploratory one with no visible trails. 
Our organisers led us to the base in the next one hour. I liked how we always stayed together in a group and waited frequently for everyone to catch up.
Continuing this way for another 2.5 hours, with a lot of stops, lot of fun-talks, lot of teasing-Mr-Abhi-sessions (that's our dearest organiser btw), admiring-scenic-spots and photographs, we made it to the temple at the peak by 12:30pm. 
Overlooking Nandi Hills
In Bangalore and most of Karnataka, you'll find a small temple or at least an idol on every hilltop. Another reason why a lot of devotees trek these peaks however strenuous it be.
This peak hosted Lord Shaneshwara. (Shanivaara = Saturday, is named after this God) and we were there on a Saturday. (considered auspicious by some)
A little farther ahead was the vast area looking down onto the villages and the surrounding peaks. Breathtaking views! One of the prettiest sights was a smaller adjacent peak covered completely in shadows by the clouds hanging above it while its surroundings were brightly lit by the sun. 
Spot the play of shadows
We sat there admiring mother nature for a while. Many profile pictures were in the making. Some group pictures too. 
A panoramic view from the peak-top
We re-energised ourselves with some packed food at 1pm. Even the most boring food feels heavenly after a rigorous trek in the sun. We ate our packed ghee rice with sambar and relaxed for a while. 
Then comes the not-so-pleasing-climbing-down. It's just too difficult leaving behind a place with stunning views, cloudy skies, and a drape of refreshing winds.
But we were to catch a train to head back and we started trekking down by 1:30pm. The path was very rocky and knees-in-pain and a long doze of sleep was guaranteed for later. 
Oh wait, it also did rain just enough to send our spirits soaring higher than ever. An icing on an already delicious cake. Even harder to get away from this place now. :)

But there was much in store to console us. We spotted a black plum (jamun) tree and relished the fruits all 
along our way back.  
We finally came down by 3pm to the place we had started from. Exhausted, we all savoured cold drinks. Trust me, the feeling is similar to having spotted water in a desert.
Just about half a day and we all were now "the group". It's surprising how people on a trek get along more easily than anywhere else. 

We reached Nandi railway station, bought our tickets and sat down waiting for our train, looking back into this amazing experience.
Everyone seemed to be really satisfied and happy with the trek.
Kudos to our organisers Abhi and Sushma. They took care of all the necessary things making it a relaxing and refreshing experience that I would cherish for a long time to come. 

We reached Bangalore by 6:30pm when we all had to part, each of us taking back new memories along. 

All in all, I loved my first trekking experience with BTC. Looking forward to many more. :)

(BTC is a non-profit organisation simply run by volunteers to encourage budding trekkers to explore and long-timers to engage in some wild exploration and I think they're doing a great job.)

Climbing is akin to love, it's hard to explain; we endure pain for the joy that comes with discovering ourselves and the planet - Cory Richards

Written By        : Sneha Koti
Organized By    : Sushma & Abhishek
Date of event    : 28th June 2014
Members Count : 21 (12M, 9F)
Place                : Nandi
Pictures            : BTC FB Page
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