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Twin Adventure: Siddarabetta Cave exploration and Channarayana Durga climb

Twin Adventure: Siddarabetta Cave exploration and Channarayana Durga climb

Siddarabetta – a dream destination!

     Well..more than a 'trekker', I had always connected more to the tag of a 'Wanderer' ;) for simple reasons – very few dream destinations, a handful of target peaks – rest, just go wherever Life takes you  and – get Surprised! Siddarabetta though, was one of my dream destinations mainly for two reasons: 1. Heard a lot about the history and ambience of the place. 2. Cave exploration.

     Got a chance to co-organize this trek with Master Oogway aka Abhishek :P With the amount of facts we had with us (heard from many sources that cave exploration was stopped sometime back here), we still decided to go ahead with the plan; and see if we came up with something new ;) :P. And so opened the event, shortlisted candidates, packed our bags on the D-day and started our journey in the TT…in heavy rains on Sunday morning….

The Introduction round with no names:

     Yes. We really did this ;) The regular tu-tu-main-main between Abhiyum naanum started from the beginning of the journey itself :P He wanted to play Dumb Charades, but I wanted to have an Intro round first! Well, we then decided not to disappoint each other and came up with an'Introduction via Dumb Charades' game ;). So the deal was – each participant had to enact the name of another participant in the group [surprisingly, none had noticed anybody else's name out of the shortlist e-mail ;)]. With all the right spirits, the game – with this twist – turned so exciting, that nobody introduced themselves during the  idli-vada break (in the middle of the game), and eagerly waited for the game to be resumed post tiffin :P Try it – and you will find out how much power your Nomenclature has ;) (right from mythological characters, to planets, to chemicals, movies, and some totally weird names you wouldn't have imagined you can link with!). 

     Nilavalagaan – took away the icing, thanks to the game, everyone remembered his name too well throughout the day :P

Dumb Charades 

Dumb Charades :P

Audience trying to guess who :P

     So after this totally out-of-the-box Introduction round, we moved to the regular Dumb Charades. A proper mix of people from all parts of India ensured that movie names were brutally murdered and then enacted! [I never saw the name 'Zubeida' from the 'Shuu…su..zooo.??  Ta …da??' angle before, thanks to Tamil's form of script, the movie-name turned out to be a hilarious word] The ice-breaking session was successfully accomplished in the TT, and we reached the base of Siddarabetta.

Cave exploration:

     At the parking lot, Abhi & I came across this elderly person who, must say,was a blessing-in-disguise. He not only gave us directions to the start of the trek, but also confirmed that cave-exploration was allowed; and advised us on the rates to be negotiated with the guide. With this bunch of useful information, we reached the peak, hired a Guide and started out for exploring the 1km long cave J

     Everyone was super excited with this bit [me too – this being my second cave exploration in the last 15 days :P], and with all sorts of jokes, we headed inside the cave in a queue. Someone from our queue gave a hilarious start by commenting 'pls don't faarrr***, we are bending behind u'; well, and then keeping with the ambience of the place, we immediately hushed to silence; and entered the beautiful gallery of rocks!

1/4th of the cave is just a walk inside the gallery. Right at the entrance you will find an Eeshwara temple, and a priest pouring cold water on people [you need a token to take this holy bath]. Few guys took a complete bath with those 3 mugs of cold water, well, I chose to get it poured only on my head:P. We reached a point where another Shivalinga stood [apparently it is naturally formed 'shivalinga'] and a small water outlet nearby [drink this water – and you will really feel its amrith!']

End of 1/4th of the cave

Start of the Actual work-out :P Cross this challenging slab!

     The actual work-out started after crossing this part of the cave. We faced an inclined slab of rock, that had to be covered tactfully. Thanks to Abhi, Guru, Miten and the guide – who ensured that all of us crossed this slab successfully. The way after crossing this slab was a total criss-cross of narrow lanes [some vertically narrow, some horizontally :P], and we had to do all sorts of twisting, bending, jumping rocks and the monkey-jazz – which was thrilling and fun :D The ambience inside the cave was truly mesmerizing - you could feel real great vibes around! In the mid-way we found a grapevine [the guide told some technical word for this tree in kannada] that's ages old. Took few pics mid-way and then successfully completed our 1km of Cave exploration – a thrill of the event!

Somewhere in the middle of the cave

somehwere inside - 2 :P

The Bonus trek - Channarayana Durga:

     All thrilled, happy, and hungry after completing the cave-exploration – we starting chalking out plans on 'what next'. It was just 1.00pm, and we had time till the evening in our hands. So we decided to have our lunch inside the TT, and do another trek – to Channarayana Durga (a half an hour journey from Siddarabetta) [thanks to Abhi's time calculations!].

Hurrr…hurrr…aage badho:

Channarayana Durga Ascend – though a smaller peak, this is a little challenging due to its steepness. The initial stretch got little tiring for many due to the sun; but eventually the afternoon turned a bit gloomy – and with Abhi's hurrr..hurrr..and the kicks of motivations that the team gave each other  – everyone managed to reach the top of the Fort :D The last stretch of the peak is truly a beauty. Abhi then took us to a viewpoint on the top of the Fort. To reach this you have to climb the steps built on the wall, with creepers as the hand support – this was thrilling as well!

Channarayana Durga - view from Base
Last stretch of Chanarayana Durga fort

The View point

Channarayana Durga Descend [swap of organizers-participants :P]

     Post a small photo-session and the 'Awesome' feeling; we started descending down the peak. We reached half-way through and rested at an 'open space' [ Master Oogway's all-time favourite spot of any hill - an 'open space' :P]. Some of us (including both Abhi & I) were so engrossed in watching the sky here, that we did not realize that most of the participants had already moved ahead of us :D Looking at the progress, both of us sweeped the group for a while; and watched the rest of them leading us and doing it so well :D Well, it really felt proud to see the whole group making such progress through the day – considering there were a good number of first-timers as well! ;) :P
Reached the base – all wearied down, thrilled and happy with the twin adventure – we called it a day and headed towards our TT.

Return journey:

     Took a session of feedback, visited some memories from the morning Dumb-charades-Introduction, gave tips to the first-timers and then a round of cheer to the whole team! Post this, we rested on our seats – not feeling strangers any more - and waited for our respective stops to bid a good-bye to one another with a promise of meeting sometime, at some other trek J

     Well, this trek was an amazing booster – being the 2nd cave exploration within span of 15 days, plus, a twin adventure on a single day :P

Thanks to Abhi (Master Oogway, truly :P) and the whole group for being an awesome sport. Kudos to all the first-timers who took all of our motivation very sportively and completed the whole adventure! Hats off..

And finally, signing off, confessing that the term – 'Bonus trek' is not my original…plagiarized from Chaitanya [a fellow BTC Organizer..:P]


Written By     : Swathi
Organized By : Swathi & Abhishek
Date of event: 2nd Nov, 2014
Place             : Dabbaspet
Pictures        : BTC FB Page
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