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The Fear That comes with Darkness : Skandagiri Trek | Part 2

Sunset at Skandagiri

Read Part 1 : At The Other End Of Fear : Skandagiri Trek


Part 2:

At Skandagiri Peak : @ 5pm

It was around 5 in the evening when I finally reached the top. I walked around the Shiva temple and Nandi statue at the top.

At the Top of Skandagiri
At the Top of Skandagiri
Side view of Temple @ Skandagiri
Side view of Temple @ Skandagiri
Nandi at Skandagiri
Nandi at Skandagiri

The view of the valley from the top of a mountain is always a pleasure to watch. Things were no different here too.

valley from Skandagiri top
valley from Skandagiri top
from the top of skandagiri
from the top of skandagiri

But Not all the views were that great.

Some patches on the
Some patches on the “green land”
The buildings made the patches
The buildings made the patches
The saddest scene of all
The saddest scene of all

But when you are helpless about something, all you have to do is to change your focus from that thing to something better. So I did the same.

Distant Mountain range
Distant Mountain range
The Mountain range on a closer look
The Mountain range on a closer look
At Skandagiri Peak : @ 6pm

The atmosphere was a bit cloudy. It looked like, it was going to rain. There was no trace of a red colored round sun anywhere.

Rays of hope
Rays of hope

But rays of hopes can appear all of a sudden from nowhere. The sky started getting infected with the red hues of the evening sun.

Nature applied Color Gradient on the sky
Nature applied Color Gradient on the sky
The red hues gave me the hope for seeing the sunset
The red hues gave me the hope to see the sunset

But still there was no signs of spotting the sun. Then, all of a sudden Sun made a quick appearance from behind the clouds.

Beginning of Sunset at Skandagiri
Beginning of Sunset at Skandagiri
Sunset at Skandagiri
Sunset at Skandagiri

I was happy that, even though it was cloudy, I was somehow able to see the sunset

At Skandagiri Peak : @ 7pm

The atmosphere started to change its hues. The sky had started reducing its brightness. As it started to get dark, I kept my backpack inside the safest place available and prepared the place to make it “stay-worthy”

And the only safe place at the top of the mountain was the Temple!

The Safe Temple
The Safe Temple

I picked up some dry grass, twigs, sticks, leaves and whatever I could find and kept it inside the stone temple, before the rains, just in case if I had to make some fire at night.

The Happiness from watching the sunset slowly drowned in the darkness and was replaced by a tinge of fear. Darkness has such super powers!

At Skandagiri Peak : @ 8pm

The wind started to blow stronger and colder than before. By that time even the last ray of reflected, refracted and diffracted light was hidden by darkness.

Did I tell you that I didn’t have a proper torch or a jacket with me?!

Anyway as I didn’t have a jacket that day, I have the advantage of having a benefit of doubt regarding my shivering. It could be either because of cold or fear. And I would go with cold.

But being alone in the darkness in a strange place can be a bit scary for a first timer. And I could see the nearest civilization at a far distance, shining bright like stars in the sky.

night view from skandagiri
night view from skandagiri

My excuses for the not so sharp pictures are as follows. Lack of light, Lack of tripod, Lack of jacket and so on.

Night Lights from the village
Night Lights from the village

But you get an idea, how the villages and town at a distance, look at night from the top of Skandagiri.

At Skandagiri Peak : @ 9pm

Then suddenly from one of those villages/towns some people started to celebrate some festival or something of that sort, with fire crackers. My camera was set for a long exposure shot and those explosions of celebrations added some colors in my photograph.

Long exposure at Skandagiri ( Shutter speed : 2
Long exposure at Skandagiri ( Shutter speed : 2″, f/4, ISO 6400 )
At Skandagiri Peak : @ 10pm

By this time, even the slightest movement of the branches of any trees could give me the images of wild animals. The sound of the strong wind, added the much needed frightening sound effects.

Those
Those “wild trees”
The night, lights and the mountain
The night, lights and the mountain
At Skandagiri Peak : @ 11pm

There was no light left to chase. The ISO of the camera was pushed to its limits. There was no possibility of capturing any more images. So I decided to go inside the temple and take shelter.

Lack of activities brought me back to my thoughts about darkness and the associated fearful thoughts. Fear started to come back.

To kill the darkness and in turn to kill the fear, I tried to make a bonfire. As the clouds hinted a rain any time soon, I made the fire inside the temple which soon resulted into filling the interiors with smoke. Thus making the fire turned out to be a bad idea.

I put out the fire and let the smoke to clear from inside the temple and then prepared my bed on the floor by laying down a few sheets of news paper I had brought with me.

Then started the struggle to sleep.

At Skandagiri Peak : @ Midnight

Even after an hour, I found myself closing my eyes, listening to some strange sounds and opening my eyes immediately, only to find out that it was just my imagination.

The long stick I kept near my side was still there. And I stayed there looking at the roof made by big granite slabs.

At Skandagiri Peak : @ 1am

Water droplets started getting sprayed inside the temple. The rain had started and the water was coming inside through the gaps between the slabs of the side wall.

I wish I had a blanket or a jacket. But all I could find was a plastic bag.

And I stayed there, inside the dilapidated temple all alone, shivering with cold, scared in the darkness and waiting for the morning light.

At Skandagiri Peak : @ After 2 am

At some point in time, I fell asleep for a short time.

And suddenly when I woke up, something was standing at the entrance of the temple.

(To be continued in Part 3 )

trablogger
Photographing the journeys to recreate the Travels to take you for a virtual Photo walk.
http://www.trablogger.com

36 thoughts on “The Fear That comes with Darkness : Skandagiri Trek | Part 2

  1. Jithin! Light and bivy sack, or one of those mylar emergency blankets…. what if you broke your ankle or it started raining buckets? Well, I may be judging by the weather here: people get lost in our Olympic Mountain National Park and can die of cold and wet and exposure: https://www.nps.gov/olym/index.htm. It can cool off at night and then if someone is in wet jeans and a t shirt and it only warms to 50 degrees F….Also a lifestraw or some sort of emergency water filter because our streams have giardia…..

  2. Read 3 and then 1 and 2. Totally engrossing reading… and a captive audience when you present such stunning photographs.
    I definitely need to get your book soon… . do you have photos in there too ??

      1. … I know you post them on your blog, and do calendars … was wonderng if you have you considered offering them to Tourist Board or doing post cards? Skandagiri pics alone are so fabulous.

  3. Oh my! what an adventure, even as frightening as it was becoming. These are the kind of times when our mettle is tested, and even as I might whimper, huddled in the corner of the temple, were I to survive, I’d come out stronger, more courageous.

    I must say, as I was looking at the pictures (which are spectacular) I was feeling envious of not having a place like that to visit. Then I remembered, that what you have always afforded me was a virtual journey where I could go in meditations, and visualization is very powerful given your amazing pictures.

    I saw this is part 2 (?) which means WordPress is again not delivering the mail. I’ll search for Part 1 here at your site.

    Can’t wait to see what happens; who or what it is standing there in the Temple with you! This is definitely an edge of my seat cliffhanger.

    1. Yes, once you can endure something and come out of it, that makes you stronger. You will at least know if the fear was real or not.
      Glad to know that these pictures help you to visualize the place better. But like i said before, do visit and experience it. The “cliffhanger” is going to come to an end soon 😉

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