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One day Trek to Shivgange - July 23rd, 2017

And when he shall call there will be no turning back...
So, burn me with desires, so I can know thy peace...
And fill me with richness, so I know it was never enough...
Give me dreams that I can keep chasing relentlessly...
And when all is done, I’ll come to chase thee in the wild...
Broken, marred and empty, I’ll call thee...
Speak you might not, yet help me listen thee...
Free me of myself, cause that is what I was longing
And in the quietness of thought I shall finally find thee...

This very calling pulled a group of 21 trekkers to a terrain of height of 804.8 meters. Trust me ‘Shivagange’ has a capacity to scare explorers and make you wonder what the hell were you thinking!

We started our journey from Bangalore City Railway Station (SBC) at 7:00am to ‘Dabaspet’ an approx. 72kms from the main city. Welcomed by unknown faces, trying to be courteous. Being the best at behavior! Wait till everyone starts showing their true colors!!
We boarded the train and our intro session started... Our group truly reflected India. People from different states still working like a well-oiled machine. We had lovers, bachelors looking for one! , photographer, students and in between all the professionals .And on this journey of Shiv temple we found our beloved Radha. Pulling each other's leg on one's names we reached Dabaspet.
From there we took an auto ride to reach the base of the mountain. The eyes so filled with views of the concrete jungles, looked at the greenery in amazement. Trying to fill the chalice with as much peace as possible.

Finally, we reached our basepoint. There in the wide open was standing our nemesis, almost chuckling! The majestic Shivagange. The place is sacred and is believed to get its name because of its similarity to shivalinga. A spring nearby is believed to be Ganga and hence known as Dakshina Kashi (Kashi of the South). Climbing a few stairs we encountered Gangadhareshwara temple. People believe that ghee turns into butter when offered to the God. The place was also a house to Kempgowada's treasury way back.

Subsequently we had two choices to reach the top. We started our journey with the less trodden path! Avoiding the steps and heading for the rocky terrain married to green, thorny bushes. On reaching a rocky patch the Spider man inside us came out and all of us managed to pass on all fours! With one step at a time making our way to the top, posing in midst not forgetting about the social life we need to maintain on Facebook! We reached a huge rock which the boys climbed quiet efficiently and pulled the girls up with literally one hand. Exploring our ways up, bending down to escape thorny bushes ….Alas we survived!
We reached around half way up and had a taste of God's own sweet nectar … lemon juice with pickled mango. The only respite we had in a long time!!!Only to realize that we had some 200 steps yet to climb. From here the climb for the main hill started. Here were welcomed by the guards! Monkeys. No one dared to take their food out. They ensured, you had less burden up by carefully taking food from the passerby’s. The climb up was a bit tiring. The steps were small so we had to be really careful.

Subsequently we reached the giant Nandi statue which was crowded by devotees whispering their wishes in his ear, hoping for them to come true.

We reached the top of the hill around 1:15pm .I was glad I skipped my morning sleep! The view from the top was spectacular. Whilst the cloud and sun were playing hide and seek, the wind made sure that none of us had a good hair day for the pictures to be clicked. Some of us found solace in enjoying the scenery whilst others payed homage to Shiva.

After about an hour and half we started our descend. This time taking the steps. Half way down we reached ‘Olakala Teertha’. The common folklore says if you can reach the water in the deep pit you've got good karma in your baggage.
And so our trek completed successfully when all of us were down in one piece! Our super cute organizer Shilpa and mischievous Dinesh alongside with a Co-trekker Naveen were always there for the rescue. After some refreshments we headed back for the train and headed for Bangalore. A Sunday well spent came to an end.
In all the place had the capacity to full-fill both spiritual seekers and adventure enthusiasts. Coming to these places helps to quite ones thoughts that spring due to the hum - drum of life...Only to realize the insignificance of our troubles , inhibitions ,doubts, anxiety and life itself...The ultimate thing that shall matter for anyone in this whole wide world is our actions. We realized this as we climbed up the hill. We were blessing the souls who had built the railing up alongside the steep slope .Unknown faces who helped us complete our journey.
The only regret you shall have is to head back to the monotony of Mon- Fri.
But as the saying goes in the words of Robert Frost:
The woods are lovely dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep....
Miles to go before I sleep...

Written By     : Shruti Gupta
Date of event : 23rd July, 2017
Place              : Dabaspet
Pictures          : BTC FB Page

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