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Trek to Shivagange Hills: Veera Ka Rasta

Veera believes in displacement. Why to go around if we can find a straight way. If we are at point A at the base and we have to reach at point B at the top, climb straight. Slope, trail, bushes and shrubs, thorns, and others, you can assume, become irrelevant. However, his strategy serves as icing on the cake for trekkers. 
Rarely do we find an empty compartment in a train and if it is a passenger train chances become rarer. Unknowingly, to grab one of those rarer chances BTC had planned a trek to Shivagange, famous for a Shiva temple on the top of the hill. Dobbspet is the nearest railway station to Shivagange; train takes around an hour to reach from Bangalore city railway station.

Once all had boarded the train, a few joined us at Yesvanthpur, we started our introduction session. But the crowd and the hawkers had some other plans. Because of their constant interruptions we decided to postpone our introduction.

“Is this the railway station? Do we have to get down here?” The station name as well as the platform not in sight, a few of us were skeptical about whether the train had reached the destination or it had stopped somewhere. The confusion was resolved when those who had visited the place before alighted.

That’s the yellow board! The platform itself has a story to tell. Huge trees around, grassy surface, it is a small station where people appear only when a train is scheduled to arrive.
Under the shade of a tree on the platform we had had our introduction session along with group photographs. 
This was followed by hiring three autos to our destination. In the meantime, when we were waiting for the third auto to arrive, I tried to feed biscuits to a dog who was playing with its puppy. It refused to eat the biscuits laid on the ground; I had to feed it with my hands. Attitude!
“Are we going to trek here? There are so many people. Look, a group has come in a tempo traveller?” Many among our group were asking questions and others had a question mark on their face (may be someone then decided, wait and watch). I was clicking photographs when someone tapped on my shoulders. “Oh! You appeared again”. Anyways, you skipped your introduction this time too. (In fact you do this deliberately, please teach me this technique. Look, I am pleading publicly) At the start of our trek, there were steps and we were climbing along with the crowd. Instead of a trek, it seemed to a shrine visit. As we were climbing those steps, we were nearing the show time of that someone.

“Where is he? He has gone to search for a trail.” Finally, the time had arrived for the show. “Come guys, follow me this way.” We were suddenly among the bushes and thorns. We had to keep waving our hands to pass through those long wild grasses. All those questions were answered by Veera. Our group was trekking on a new path and apart from boulders, thorns, bushes, and repeat; there was no one.
We reached the Shiva temple or we could say in the kingdom of monkeys. Naming it “the kingdom of monkeys” is logically appropriate. The final ascent to the peak was all about climbing narrow stone-steps in a file. With increase in height, the number of monkeys increase too. Left, right and on the railings, everywhere there were monkeys. You would even find them on somebody’s shoulder or hand or on some body part.
Eventually we reached on the peak. It was crowded with monkeys and humans. The activities of monkeys are so closely related with humans. They proved it there itself. We were all sitting together when a monkey moved into our group like a boss. It took one of the bags lying on the ground. When the owner tried to scare the monkey, it held the owner’s sleeves and stared into his eyes as if threatening,” What?”. It unzipped the bag, took one toffee and went back. Another monkey took a bottle out of a bag, opened the cap, drank water, threw the bottle and went.
There were a few tuck shops selling bhajjis, butter milk and fruits. I was wondering that why were the monkeys not snatching their food. May be there have signed some business memorandum. Every evening the shop owners should give them 2 bhajjis, 2 glasses of butter milk each and they would not disturb their customers as long as they were under the blue roof. If they come out, we would not be responsible for any snatching! I could say so because we ate bhajjis there and we were not snatched of our food.

After taking group photographs and roaming around, it was time to climb down. Somewhere in the middle of descend we had had our lunch. With thirty-five people in the group, there was surplus provision for all of us. In fact, a few us started feeling sleepy.

It took us an hour or so to reach the base from where we took autos to the railway station. We reached station well in time. After a long time, I saw the brown rectangular railway ticket. I still have my ticket.
With an hour in hand we had had enough time for a detailed feedback session. This feedback session turned out to be a punishment for those who are used to giving one-word feedback. I had to stand again and give a detailed introduction. Finally, train arrived and we were on our way back to Bengaluru.

Written By      : Ishan Deep
Photo Credits : Amol, Byju, Ishan, Nimmy
Organized By  : PavanVeeraAnkit
Date of event  : 7th August, 2016
Place               : Shivagange Hill
Members         : 35
Pictures          : BTC FB Page

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