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Treknic to Lepakshi, Gandikota, Belum Caves-5,6 Jan 2019

Treknic to Lepakshi, Gandikota, Belum Caves

I was waiting to start the year with the taste of adventure and wouldn't have expected anything better than visiting most awaited 'Gandikota' to start by. I was eager to join any event by BTC (6th Anniversary of Bangalore Trekking Club) during the first weekend of the year, and here was the notification pop on my screen for the Treknic to Lepakshi, Gandikota, Belum Caves without much ado registered for the event of 2 days.
It was planned to leave Bengaluru on 4th January night from Majestic at 10.30PM there was a TT waiting for us, as most of us knew each other we add a small twist to our icebreaking intro session each person has to introduce along with enacting their favourite movie and others would be having a privilege of shooting any kind of questions for the person who is introducing. In between on our way we stopped at a Dhaba for Tea at 12:15 AM and by now our intro session was almost at the ending later on we couldn't control our eyelids slipped to sleep around 1:10AM.
We reached the place 'Yaganti' which is 334KM from Bengaluru, we reached the cave temple around 4:30AM and got freshen up, the cave temple reminded me 'Yana' but it was different in its own way. These cave temples are said to be built somewhere earlier than the 15th century and have a mythological background where Rishi Agasthya did meditation in one of the caves for which Lord Shiva and Parvathi was happy to bless him with their auspicious sight. It is the only place where you can find Shiva and Parvathi in a single stone and they also say Lord Srinivasa first stepped here before Tirupathi. And you can find growing big bull statue, it is believed that one day the bull will be coming into life which signifies the end of the world. After knowing the history of the temple and meeting varieties of monkeys it was the time to have breakfast and tea at nearby outlets. It was time for our next destination.

Our next stop was the Belum Caves the largest and the longest caves open to public in India subcontinent, the caves were indeed steamy good well maintained, the overall pathway is about 3KM walk, you will be able to see the different curves of limestone in a structured form, we carried our torches on our way to the cave, for few places in the cave for exploration purpose it helped us and it is also suggested to carry water bottles as you will not find any drinking water outlets inside the cave. While going inside the cave you have to bend and even crawl sometimes which is indeed an experience itself. The deepest point in the cave to which the staircase is not well in its shape, by chance even a miss of a single step can cost you to be injured. Considering it we stepped down cautiously here, in order to witness the deepest point of 151ft from the ground level called 'Pathalganga'. It was similar to the pond as most of the other side is closely covered with rock and hardly visible due to darkness. Overall Belum caves was a steamy good experience. It was 2:15 PM and our tummies were growling, found Andhra mess outside the gates and the food was proper Andhra meals which filled our tummies with satisfaction.

Our next stop was at the awaited 'Gandikota', the entrance of Gandikota is covered by the fort walls and we found our one more tea stop at the entrance, after having tea we went to Gorge which is next to the fort walls called as 'Great Canyon of India'. It took us time to realize Gorge is the sunrise point we managed to explore the sunset point. We hopped on the temple blocks to get a better sight of the sunset, I feel sunset are always mesmerizing irrespective of the places you visit and as expected I was not disappointed we witnessed splendid sunset. Just add on to our stories few of us opted to go by night walk under the clustered stars and few of them opted TT to 'Haritha Resort' which is initiated by Andhra tourism where you can find the basic needs food, accommodation, and restrooms. We got to freshen up and had yummy Andhra food, meanwhile few boys stayed back at Gorge to set up our tents which we bought based on rent for the same purpose. Finally, it was the time to camp by the cliff edges gazing at stars enjoying the cold winter breeze and to top it all bonfire with music had fun and slept around 11:30 PM.

By hard efforts some how we all managed to wake up around 4 AM as we had to remove our tents and everyone was eager to watch the sunrise, I was pretty much highly excited as I was witnessing sunrise for the first time. We reached the Vantage point at 5:30 AM it seemed like never end wait as we were able to see the horizon but Mr.Sun denied to show up till 6:40 AM, it all worth the wait to see the orange horizon reflecting on the Penna river and the best part is to watch the slow process of  'Peeka boo' of Mr.Sun.

After clicking pictures we had steamy Idly along with tea, and few descended for 'kayaking' whereas few enjoyed other being jokers. For Kayaking we had to do a short trek of 25 mins, it's like wall painting into existence got an opportunity to experience the scenic by being a part of it.

Later on we left 'The Great Canyon' and proceeded towards 'Lepakshi', it takes 3 and half hour to Lepakshi from Gandikota. On the way we stopped near Kadhri to have proper Andhra meals. We reached Lthe epakshi Temple at 4:10 PM. As we entered the temple the legendary floating pillar welcomed us with the curiosity, where the pillar base used to float but somewhere centuries ago due to foreign explorers moved the pillars which resulted in the disturbance of whole structure of the temple. After visiting the temple it was our way back to Bengaluru.

We reached Bengaluru around 8:00 PM, it was the time to disperse by greeting each other a heartfull good bye with the hopes of meeting next time.

My learning : It's not only the start even the endings can be beautiful in life. (inspired by sunrise and sunset)

Written by             : Radhika
Organized by         : Bharti Karma
Date of event        : 5-6Jan,2019
Pictures                : FB Page
Place                      : Lepakshi, Gandikota, Belum Caves

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