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

Temple and Nandi statue at the top

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 1350Β 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.

Train to Skandagiri
Train to Skandagiri

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.

Through the village to Skandagiri
Through the village to Skandagiri

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.

temple at the base of skandagiri
temple at the base of skandagiri

The Trekking Begins :

Google maps again showed that the peak was 3km away from the base which was equivalent to another hour of hiking.

first view of skandagiri from the base
first view of skandagiri from the base

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.

Marking on the rocks
There were similar Marking on the rocks

There wasn’t anyone around. It was 2 in the afternoon.Β  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.

Trails of Skandagiri
Trails of Skandagiri

After quite a bit of walking I started to see a part of the fortress.

First sighting of fort wall of skandagiri
First sighting of fort wall of skandagiri

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.

The shortcut which turned out to be long cut
The shortcut which turned out to be long cut

I crossed the first wall and headed towards the second. For some time, I was able to find a new path.

Difficult path ahead
Difficult path ahead

But after going a bit too far, there was no proper way that leads to anywhere.

No way ahead
No way ahead

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)

Someone was here. There is a way somewhere here
Someone was here. There is a way somewhere here

Yes, Somehow I found a way to go up which was hidden by the thick plants.

Hidden Trails
Hidden Trails

After that point, there wasn’t much difficulty in findingΒ  a way till the top.

The way Up
The way Up

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.

Somewhere on the way to Skandagiri peak
Somewhere on the way to Skandagiri peak

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.

Taking a rest somewhere on the way
Taking a rest somewhere on the way

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.

Temple and Nandi statue at the top
Temple and Nandi statue at the top

And I stayed there at the top.. What happened Next in the 2nd part.

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39 thoughts on “At The Other End Of Fear : Skandagiri Trek | Part 1

  1. Hi Jithu ji(:… you know I got updates on yer blogs and it was tempting me to read it…. and I came and how nice to read this…your a true traveller you know… unconcerned of the usual ilife(: …ur not one like gets this view or perspective on anything, ur pretty open and cool…. and that’s so free and positive, ur independent…. of society impressions, fear, almost free flowing and such people are nice to everyone you know, so I think(: …. there is lot to learn from you on how to free oneself from madness… what u did id pretty unusaly but well you did it unconcerned….online ur very attrative with those smileys and open sense of humour…offline its ur independence u know…u do what u like, not much bother about antthing…and believe me we need friends who just listen to ur ramblings sometimes and not react, u possibly are one of them…u make us feel cool if we are crazy…chalo… awesome trek dude…who would have thought afternoon trek can be fun(: ha…only you can do that dear…ha i guess we nature lovers, travel aspirants will always never get bored of each other(:

    1. Oh.. you are back with long comments from another name πŸ˜‰
      Thank you for saying all those sweet, kind things. Glad you enjoyed the after noon trek. πŸ™‚

  2. Having found and read the beginning, my question is how do you choose where to go? Are you looking for something in particular. What draws you to set out on a particular journey? You are a Jack Kerouac kind of guy. It’s quite amazing to me, yet, I know I’ve had my own adventures, though they feel almost haphazard.

    I love the photographs! I love the idea of having a place to yourself; being that explorer who just goes where the road takes you. Of course, I know you had this place in mind, but you really didn’t know what you’d find.

    Can’t wait to read part three! πŸ™‚

    1. You dont choose a destination. The destination chooses you πŸ˜‰
      Well on a serious note, friend’s recommendations, internet articles, the distance, the budget are some of the other factors. And I dont look for anything in particular, mostly.
      yes, I think I will like Jack Kerouac. I have only watched the movie “into the wild” and it has a great influence on me. So i believe I will like his other stories as well.
      Yes, going to some place without an expectations and get surprised by what it has to offer is a nice way to travel. Thank you for reading. The next part will be up soon πŸ™‚

    1. Hey dude. Good to see you again. I tried to access your blog Threads long back, but there isnt anything. It is still the same. Are you posting somewhere else?

      Well, no i wasnt scared when I lost the way, because i still could find my way back to the base if nothing worked out. But scared during the later part of the trek. You need to check out the next parts to know it πŸ˜‰

      1. πŸ˜€ It’s been a long time..I know. You see, first it were the Boards, and then class 11th (which came as a real shock) *sigh*
        um..well, it’s still the same. I’ll leave a link if you don’t mind. You really need to catch up but! πŸ˜€
        https://threadsandties.wordpress.com/
        Oh and I read the second part!! THAT CLIFFHANGER THOUGH! Can’t wait for the next part!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

        1. Yea, the last thing i remember was that you are busy with your board exams. Anyway why is 11th a shock?! πŸ˜‰
          Oh..ok. I am still following your blog. But I guess you need to update your gravatar profile.
          Thanks for reading the 2nd part. 3rd and last part will be up soon πŸ™‚

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