Skandagiri is 73km from Bangalore. Located at an altitude of 1750 mts, its a beautiful location for moderate trekking. This is essentially a night trek, but we decided to trek in the morning as girls were accompanying us. The trekking day started off with me searching for ATM at 4:30 AM. I then picked up Manish and Uttaran. Arun and Kiran were right on time. So the only people who were late at the start point(EGL) were Ozzy and Prerna.There can never be a trek without at least one person getting late. We never thought getting out of the city would be a problem, but it turns out Uttaran (Our Navigator) has not done his “classwork”. We were roaming around the city to find the exit to Bellary road. Finally, we were out and cruising along the highway. Reached Chikbalapur at 7:30 AM, and soon found our way to basecamp of Skandagiri. We parked our cars at basecamp, and found a guide for the trek. Although a guide is not needed for the morning trek, we decided to hire him nonetheless. We started the climb around 8:00AM, and it took us 3 hours to reach the top. We had few first timers with us, so we had to stop at regular intervals for them. Irrespective of the stops we made it to the top in good time. On the way we saw all the 6 circular fort walls as stated in the wiki .
There were supposed to be two unexplored caves which are python infected. We didn’t get a chance to see them, but if i ever go there again, thats something i want to see. Prerna was struggling, as the climb was steep. Apart from a few statements like “You guys carry on, ill be here. Pick me up when you come down”, “I don’t think i can make it” she mustered enough energy to reach the top. Energy bars must have done the trick 🙂 . Ozzy was not doing any better either, he conveniently declared the trek as Fitness Awareness Session. While Arun and Uttaran, our official photographers were busy shooting pics, we were enjoying the scenic beauty form the hill. We could see mist and lush green trees all around us. Manish showed us a beautiful spot to rest and nap for a while but we ignored it at that moment.
That was a big mistake because, on the way down we could not get to that spot as it was already occupied by “shrill voiced” college girls. We finally managed to conquer the hill only to find no shade at the top. There was nothing there except a small temple.
The place was dirty, and filled with plastic papers and bottles. Alas! the beauty of the place was spoilt by irresponsible city idiots. It was scorching hot and no place for us to hide. After searching around a bit we settled down in a place and started our regular chitchats. The topic of discussion was none other than our Sunflower boy. We seriously need to find better topic to discuss. We had some food, so we got busy munching them. Prerna had made some rolls which were delicious and in matter of minutes it was over. It was very clear why this place is meant for night trek. There are no tress or rocks on top for shade. So by 12:30 PM, we decided to climbdown and stop at a place for lunch, which never happened. Climbing down was also a little tough as it was steep. So much so that everyone there managed to come up with a theory of why goats can climb down comfortably than humans. Since Prerna was the one leading the pack and was pretty comfortable than she was when climbing up, Arun nicknamed her “The Goat”. Ozzy and Manish were falling behind and the reason being few “Natural Beauties” ;-).
We reached the basecamp by 2:30 PM. It was blistering hot. On our way to Bangalore we decided to stop at a road side Dhaba for lunch. We found one soon after a sudden downpour. It was rather strange to see the weather change so suddenly. Nonetheless, it was awesome driving in the rain and with our CJ (car jockey) Arun playing superb rock number i had no complain.
We had a long lunch session discussing topics from liquor to linux and finally reached Bangalore at 5:30 PM. It was a fun trek and iam looking forward for more. And before i forget, kudos to Kiran for dirtying her “Orbit White Shoes”.