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.
The view of the valley from the top of a mountain is always a pleasure to watch. Things were no different here too.
But Not all the views were that great.
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.
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.
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.
But still there was no signs of spotting the sun. Then, all of a sudden Sun made a quick appearance from behind the clouds.
I was happy that, even though it was cloudy, I was somehow able to see the sunset
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!
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!
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.
My excuses for the not so sharp pictures are as follows. Lack of light, Lack of tripod, Lack of jacket and so on.
But you get an idea, how the villages and town at a distance, look at night from the top of Skandagiri.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
If you missed Read Part 1 : At The Other End Of Fear : Skandagiri Trek