Have you ever scared of being all alone in a strange place you have never been to? Your answer maybe Yes or No.
How did it feel like to be scared and helpless in a remote place all alone? I never had such an experience, until I did the Skandagiri Trek all alone.
Skandagiri : is a mountain 70km away from Bangalore having a mountain fortress at the top of it. The peak is at an altitude of about 1350 meters.
Before the Journey Begins :
While going through many of the internet articles on this place, it was mentioned in many places that, night trek was banned, villagers were rude, police would take the trekkers under custody and so on. Even before actually starting the trek itself, it had become a scary activity to undertake. The fear created by these thoughts pulled me away from the idea of going there for a trekking.
But somehow I convinced myself that all those fearful thoughts are imaginary and decided to do it anyway.
The Journey Begins :
As I am always on the look out for a shoestring budget trip, I found a train from Bangalore to Chik Ballapur. It will cost you only 20/- from Bangalore till Chik Ballapur.
The train was supposed to start from Bangalore city Junction at 08:30 hours but it was late. And the train which was supposed to reach Chik Ballapur around 11, reached there only around 12.
From the railway station, I walked to the town and had my Bruch from nearby decent restaurant.
From Chik Ballapur Town to the base :
I asked a couple of people how to go to Skandagiri in broken Kannada, but I didn't get any proper replies. So I decided to rely completely on Google Maps as usual.
Maps showed me that the base is 5km away from the town which is an hour of walking. So around 13:00 hours I started walking towards the base of Skandagiri following the maps. And I walked through the village road enjoying the view minus the harsh sunlight.
Around 14:00 hours, I reached the base of the hill. I found the temple mentioned in other blog posts which confirmed that I didn't take any wrong turn anywhere.
The Trekking Begins :
Google maps again showed that the peak was 3km away from the base which was equivalent to another hour of hiking.
There was a bit of confusion to find the trails when I started the trekking as Google maps didn't show my exact location on the map. But as there was no other way to follow, I just followed the path and at last found a few arrow marks on the rocks indicating the start of the trekking trail.
There wasn't anyone around. It was 2 in the afternoon. The sun was shining brightly with its full potential. There was only a slight breeze to give some consolation. But sooner some clouds came for help and things were a bit better.
The Trail :
The trekking trail was marked pretty well. So there wasn't much difficulty following it. I even switched off Google maps once I started the trekking.
After quite a bit of walking I started to see a part of the fortress.
It wasn't even close to an hour. So I thought I trekked quite fast. But as I reached that part of the fortress, I could see another such fortress a bit above that level. In fact they were a series of fort walls, one after the another at different levels.
There are no Shortcuts in Life, in Trekking Too! :
When I saw the fort walls, I thought of taking shortcuts. As the least distance between the two fort walls was the straight line between them, I decided to walk towards the walls, keeping it in sight.
I crossed the first wall and headed towards the second. For some time, I was able to find a new path.
But after going a bit too far, there was no proper way that leads to anywhere.
I walked left and right, looking for a way that went up. But there was nothing except thick forest.
Happiness Is.. :
Sometimes happiness is finding a plastic waste thrown away by someone (even though it is a sad scene)
Yes, Somehow I found a way to go up which was hidden by the thick plants.
After that point, there wasn't much difficulty in finding a way till the top.
After conquering the series of six fort walls, at last I reached abandoned, dilapidated temple at the top.
It was around 4 or 5 in the evening, by the time I reached the top after getting lost and finding the way again to the top.
At the Peak :
There I sat alone looking at the beautiful valley down below. And the entire mountain was for me. No one else was there.
I walked around the place. There was this Shiva temple and a statue of Nandi and the ruins of the fort here and there at the top.
And I stayed there at the top.. What happened Next in the 2nd part.