Written by : Trablogger

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

Published on : October 14, 2015 
Filed Under : , Tagged as :

Last Updated on July 26, 2018 by Trablogger

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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.

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.  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 finding  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.

Written by : Trablogger
Trablogger aka Jithin is an Indian travel blogger who is obsessed with leading a travel life. When he is not traveling, photographing, writing or blogging, you can see him thinking about sustaining this travel life or helping someone to travel more.
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