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A date with the wild: Ramdevra Betta Trek

A long weekend, two lazy cozy monsoon days already pre-decided, the last one Independence day, don’t you think it’s perfect for a short and sweet trek on the outskirts of a city close to Bangalore? Thus going with the thought process, I registered myself for the one day Ramdevara betta trek next to a sleepy little town near Tumakuru. This was my first trek with BTC although I trekked before( with various other groups) and was returning back from a hiatus. Needless to say I was pretty pumped up. The final confirmation mail was pleasant surprise as there were 34 people on the shortlist for the trek and something the most of us hadn’t signed up for(more on that later).Yes! You read that right there were 34 participants.
We met at pre ordained point of Majestic, where majority of the people had boarded, one from Malleshwaram and the rest 8 from Yeshwantpur. Our journey then began at 745 am with funny railway announcements from one of our comrades and make believe pushing of the train seats as if to push the train!! Then we signed the BTC indemnity bond as is the rule. Then introductions!!! This had to be the most unique as of all the intros as the majority of treks I had been were filled with IT folks. Here we had IT folks, Students, a professional animator and photographer, architect and what not. A brilliant eclectic mix and pot pourri of people! I thought to myself, this is gonna be guaranteed fun.
The train wound its way towards the rocky and scenic beauty of Tumkur country side. The green grasslands flanked my Majestic boulder-esque mountains was a treat for the eyes, coupled with cool breeze, a weather simply beckoning us to trek. After getting down at the destination and walking for about 10 minutes we see a huge playground packed with kids for Independance Day celebrations. It had started drizzling by then. After continuing down the path for about 15  minutes we can see a huge Banyan tree with the roots tempting us all to hang. There was  a lovely lake beside the tree dotted with Hyacinths, lotuses and Lillies.
Veera was our Lead with Ankit as our mid and Srikanth and Naveen as our sweepers. The initial part of the route is pretty easy with a cement road which leads to a deviation along the mud road to the left. We encountered some steep climbs along the way,coupled with frequent breaks…. aaand wait for it, out comes the Moosambi!! We guys gobbled it up with relish. An impromptu extended-intro session for the new joiners was entertaining to say the least.
Some more such breaks on the way to the top were filled with chocolate break, the cool disco song break and kurmure breaks! Before we knew it we had already reached the summit. A short climb but lovely view of the surroundings. There is a small lake. Adjacent to it is a huge boulder where one can get a panoramic view of the neighboring countryside. We can spot Devarayadurga Temple top and Siddaganaga, its more popular cousin from here. After a brief photo session, we settled down to hoist the Indian flag and take pics along the steep grassland here.
Then Lunch time at 12 00!!! I believe the whole point of one day treks is the lunch apart from the natural beauty, of course. There was almost of kinda buffet atmosphere here. With food ranging from Puris, Idlis, Rave Idlis, Bhakarwadi, Pulioggare, Poha, Upma…slurp lipsmacking and filling to the core. And then came the fruits that vanished faster than they were cut..!! This is easily the most luxurious meals I’ve had in any of the treks.
Just when all were thinking about whiling away the time with Antakshari and singing sessions, here comes the twist; Veera showed us a boulder directly opposite the fort like entrance of the grassland and challenged us to find a way up the monolith's peak. We sportingly took up this challenge and most of made it to the top, by crawling under boulders, scratching ourselves due to the numerous thorns and a tricky rocky gap where we had to navigate with some huge skill and guts. This was the most exciting part of the trek.
After a photo session on top we decided it was time to leave the boulder by……a tree!!! Yeah, each one of us got down a tree 15 feet in height to the ground from other part of the boulder! Woah, that was one crazy experience.
The decent was pretty uneventful, with the usual sliding down along the mountain and casual banter. With the hot sun blazing on our backs, we had to make a dash for it. We reached the Banyan tree point at 350 pm. Looking at the very inviting Banyan tree with low hanging roots, we all started swinging around and climbing it like a band of Monkeys!! Most our ours DPs (and matrimonial pics!) was made here I believe.
Then after crossing the school ground we made it to the Sugarcane juice guy. Nothing tastes better than a refreshing cool ganne ka juice after an adventurous trek. We made our way to the railway platform and enjoyed the windy and rainy weather along with feedback session. Here it was revealed how, along with the trek, some of us had also volunteered to take up the cleanup along the hill route. We definitely need more such people in all of our treks. Oh yes ,we had a surprise here as well, hot hot bhajjis bought by Srikanth and the gang! We gobbled them up like only we can and then boarded the Bangalore train at 630 pm. 
Crowded was an understatement as the train was bursting at it seams, since it was a long weekend with people returning back to Bangalore. We reached Bangalore at 820 and thus the trek came to an end with each of us departing to our homes for a ‘work from home’ Tuesdays: P and a heart filled with glee. Trekking with BTC opens you up like anything as you get to meet a variety of people along the way. As sure as death, BTC has found itself a regular participant in me from here on; I hope I have convinced you all to be participants too!

Written By      : Saurab Rao
Photo Credits : Ashish, Naveen, Saroj, Satish, Saurab, Shrinivas
Organized By  : Veera, Srikanth Ankit
Date of event  : 15th August, 2016
Place               : Tumakuru
Members         : 32
Pictures          : BTC FB Page

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