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Trek to Shivagange Hills

Imagine waking up for a trip where you know nothing about your co-travelers and only a little bit about your destination. What drives you to wake up at 6 o’clock on a Sunday morning? It is hard to imagine. However, after observing for a few weeks the activities of Bangalore Trekking Club (aka BTC), I had mustered some courage and confidence. By 7 AM on 11th October, we had assembled at Majestic Bus station, all set for a trek to Shivagange. We were 18 people, an unfair mix of a minority of veterans and a majority of first-timers. The excitement of the first-timers concealed their lack of experience, though. We took a bus to Dobbaspet, around 50 km from the city. The breeze on the way hinted at the good time that was to follow.

We reached Dobbaspet at around 8.30 and had fresh idli for breakfast. We got our lunch packed at the same place. Stomachs full, we were energized to take on the mighty mountains. An auto-ride took us to the foot of the hill that we were to conquer. After a round of introduction, at around 9.30, we were all set for the trek. A flight of stairs in the beginning drained us of some energy but also warmed us up for the longer journey. A temple here, a temple there- we were assured of breaks on our way as the more believers amongst us were curious to see what’s inside while the lesser believers caught their breath and took a moment of silence to appreciate the caves, the primitiveness of rock architecture and the magnificence of nature.

Parts of the trek were easy, and some others were exhausting. Monkeys made sure our trek was slowed down at regular intervals. Imagine trying to climb a steep rise while monkeys stare at you, almost ready to pounce upon you. Brave souls saw the less brave ones past the attack of Bajrang dal. Throughout the trek, we remained a group, looking out for one another, ensuring no one is left behind. A couple of refreshing nimboo-paani breaks and a bunch of group pictures reinvigorated us every time we felt low. A monkey stealing lunch from one of us happened to offer a comic laughter in a tiring climb- so we made no effort to shoo him off. We reached the top before the estimated time. We had earned for us extra time to rest, click pictures, chat up or just stare at the vast expanse of blue and green far away from us. We spent time posing for pictures- solo as well as with the group. The view from the top was exhilarating. The rock statue of Nandi is an amazing sculpture that keeps reminding of the talent and expertise of our forefathers. Having spent enough time looking at the distant villages and towns from the top, we decided that it was time we started our onward journey.

The descent was much less tiring but the incessant brake we had to apply on our knees to keep us from falling was taxing. The weather had been pleasant all throughout the trek- the compassionate Sun keeping his beams low for the sake of the many first-timers. We reached a temple midway where we decided to break for lunch. At that very moment, it started to rain. But we had bought ourselves some time. We ate packed lemon-rice. With a packet of Lays, a sweet or a cake being passed around by fellow group members, it felt like a nice picnic lunch. Even after we had our lunch, it was raining, albeit with lesser vigor. Some raincoats came out, some umbrellas bloomed. Others thought the rain wasn’t that bad. We set out. Rain faded away very soon. We kept descending, with a nimboo pani break and a group photo break in between. Rain had rendered the path extremely slippery and the descent turned out to be more dangerous than we had expected. Nevertheless, everyone managed to complete the trek unhurt, and more importantly happy. The camaraderie of the group was visible at every step- whether it was meeting resistance from the monkey gang, extending a helping hand during a slippery descent or sharing biscuits to cakes to what not!

The group was elated to have reached the foot of the hill well ahead of time. The victorious group got a much-deserved completion photo clicked. We took bumpy auto-rides to the small railway station of Dobbaspet. We had a feedback session- clearly everyone was happy and the trek had turned out to be as expected, if not better. But we still had about half-an-hour to go before the train would arrive. We spent the time playing dumb-charades. The honking train signaled the end of our fun. We rushed in to grab seats. Looking out of the train through the window, I thought- it was worth waking up early on a Sunday morning!


While reading one of the travel blogs came across an interesting travel quote "To Travel is to take a journey into yourself".  When I read this quote i repeated this over and over in my head and introspected.  Why do we travel,for business, fun, leisure, to meet people or what is it? Of course, each one of us have a different agenda to travel.  I like to travel because that's what gets me going in understanding the culture, people, cuisine, nature and many more things.  Also i realized that we have been so busy with our lives that these moments of travel could refresh, create new memories and mostly energize us.
That was the thought that I had when I registered with BTC. I stumbled upon the Shivagange trek which was scheduled for 11th Oct.  Initially i was so excited because I would be doing trekking first time in India and after so long.  But then can i do it, was my next thought? 
However, with one part of my mind saying I can and the other I cannot, the usual dilemma, I decided to take a plunge and enjoy mother nature.

We started from Majestic around 7 am with 18 of us.  7 am and the traffic was at its fullest at the Majestic bus stand. Soon I met up with the group and organizers.  We took a bus and passed through various places and it was nice to breadth the fresh morning air.  All of us reached around 9.15 to Dobbaspet where we treated ourselves to some yum thatte idly and vada and steaming hot coffee / tea.  We packed some food for our lunch and then took shared auto to go to Shivagange.  The place when we landed was beautiful.  Shivangange is approximately about 54 - 56 kms from Bangalore.  The mountain depicts a "Linga" and houses Lord Shiva as the main deity.  You will also have a host of monkeys to give you company :)

Our second round of introduction along with our hobbies were exchanged and around 10 am we started it.  Quite a few stops here and there and a visit to the temple was taken en-route. It was hot while we started and we kind of replished ourselves with lots of fresh nimbu juice, water and biscuits.  The monkeys were sure keeping us company and were very efficient in opening one of our trekkers bag and emptying his lunch.  
Around 12.30 we reached the top and were elated to see the view.  The scene was breathtaking with the feel of clouds meeting the mountains.. We all decided to pose for camera and indulge ourselves in selfies, portraits and group photos... 
We started to ascend back and spotted a place to have our lunch and the moment we finished it started raining. However, the rain was a pleasant change with the nice fresh nature welcoming us.  We did not hesitate to stop to take pictures and my group took some wonderful pictures of the nature around us.  

Our arrival down was close to 4 and we proceeded to the railway station to take a train to reach Bangalore. We spent a memorable team to get to know each other, and also breath in some fresh air, with a good break from the routine that we all had every day. Thanks to Kumar and Channa wonderful organizers who made this trip memorable. Not to miss the wonderful team who supported well.

Written By         : Sandeep Biswas and Uma Pandey
Organized By     : Kumar K & Channabasappa Nad
Date of event    : 11th Oct, 2015
Members Count : 19
Place                 : Dabaspete
Pics Link            : BTC FB Page

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