After a long time, we friends planned for an outing on last weekend. We have a lot of places around Bangalore. There were alot of suggestions. After some discussions we selected this place - SavanDurga. Savandurga is a hill 33 km west of Bangalore (Karnataka, India) off the Magadi road, in India. The hill is famous for a temple and is also believed to be among the largest monolith hills in the world. Once we selected the place, we prepared for the trek. We planned to start by 10:30PM, 26th Feb, 2010. As usual the planning started with 5 or 6 people, finally there were only three of them. The team was Praveen, Subhash and myself(Anoop Kumar).
Everything was prepared and we were ready for the trek. The cameras were all set with full battery charge, the tripod, water, energy bars, jackets, caps etc. But then came a schedule change due to my last minute conferance call. The call did not took much time but it took some of my time which I kept for packing. Once I packed my stuffs after the call, I had my quick dinner which I wished later that I was not supposed to take that.(I'll explain that later) Due to the last minute call the journey started by 11:00 PM from Praveens house. We started riding on Praveens Royal Enfield. There are so many routes to reach SavanDurga from HAL, Bangalore. We took the route that passed through Nice road and Magadi road. One of the other route is through mysore road and via big banyan tree. From HAL we went to BTM to meet Subhash who is the third member of the team. He was there on his Pulsar waiting for hardly one hour.
By then the time was around 11:30PM and ride through Bannerghatta road and somewhere near to Gottigere we joined the Nice road. Nice road, it is actually a nice road, evenif we had to pay toll charges for our motorcycles. The road was awesome, also it was very well maintained. This road connects all major roads in Bangalore, it is closed and do not have openings to each and every small roads in Bangalore. Then we reached Magadi road, which was also awesome. Eventhough it had curves m I enjoyed the ride over Magadi road. On this road we ride around 30KMs and the road meets the SH3 road where we need to take a left and travell on SH3 for around 12KM to reach SavanDurga. This road was quite difficult ride. Finally, we reached SavanDurga by 1:30AM.
When we reached there , we found no one around the temple. We parked our vehicle and turn around to see a lot of dogs around us. I was worried and afraid about the dogs. Then only Subhash explained that the dogs help the trekkers to find there way towards the tip of the mountain. Everyone who treks on SavanDurga will be lead by a pack of dogs. Initially, I did not believed but within some time I started believing the fact. The dogs were waiting for us on the way to start the trek. It was unbelievable about how they took care each among us. There was a short way between two shops, where the dogs were waiting for us to start. Through the short way the dogs lead us to the starting point of the trek. The mountain looks like it was easily accessible, but actually it was not. Atleast for me it was not that easy.
There are two facts which I studied by this trekking. Never ever go for trekking without having good sleep on the previous day. And other one is that we should take good food on the days before trekking. Due to some of my work, I haven't done both of these and I suffered a lot. We started the trekking and after few minutes, I lost all my energy and I started vomitting. But within 10-15 minutes, I recovered and we resumed our trekking.
It was a full moon day and we don't actually need a flashlight. On the mountain we have arrow markings with white paint. Follow the markings which shows the easiest way to reach the top of the mountain. There will be three levels, you will see a watch tower at first, then you will be seeing a wall on the way. And then there will be a "Mantapa". a building made of large pieces of rock. Once you reach there you could see a small temple on the top most point of the mountain. Few areas were very steep, but the other areas were easy to climb. Do not climb continuously, take enough time in between to rest according to your energy level. While we were resting, the dogs were waiting beside us to resume the trekking.
By around 3:30AM/, we reached on the top of the mountain. It was a very nice experiance. You can spots of light which comes from different places in Bangalore.The rattling sound of wind, the chilling atmosphere, the vast sky with a big white spot on it, all together it was mind blowing , relaxing and good weekend refreshment from the city life. I wish if I could live at a place like this. As we reached early, we had to wait for the sunrise. We planned to sleep in one of the mantapas. It was really warm inside. As we started sleeping the dogs were taking rest around us. But actually they were guarding us. If anything moves outside other than the wind, they will start barking and all will go out to check the source of the sound. Around 6:00AM we woke and slept outside on the rock for sometime. We need to feel the chillness of the mountain.
Around 6:30AM, we started seeing the sun. Now we started to setup pur cameras. We all had different tastes in photography. As Subhash and Praveen was more experianced than me, they were trying out different shots. And I was studying lot of techiniques from them. After that Praveen went for bird watching. Subhash abd I was taking some sunrise shots, and also we tried to take some silhouette's. Early morning was very nice to watch from there. We could see the Manchanabele reservoirs and different shapes of mountains, There were birds, clouds, a temple far below, trees, rock formations, all together it was a feast for our eyes and also to our cameras.
We had our breakfast on the top of the mountain and by 8:00 AM, we started climbing down from the mountain. Now also the dogs were following us. By now I had overcome my fear towards the dogs. Early morning, I had seen one of the dog sleeping beside our legs enjoying the warmth of one day boss. That was quite a scene. As it was easy to climb down, we were taking different portrait shots of ourselves. We reached down by 9:00AM. While climbing down, we saw a group who were stuck in between the rocks. They might have ignored the arrow markings. So if someone is interested in the future to trek on SavanDurga, please follow the arrow points or else take help from the local people. Once we reached down the mountain, it was so hot that we forgot all the chillness we felt overnight
We left SavanDurga by 9:30AM. We took the other way which I specified earlier, which passes through Manchanabele dam and big banyan tree. I preferred the magadi road because this one was totally destroyed in some places, till we reach big banyan tree. From here the roads were good and we reached Mysore road and then reached to Kengeri. From this spot, Subhash took the Nice road to reach his home easily. And Praveen and I , ride in middle of bangalore traffic on a saturday morning. Different type of honks, hot atmosphere and signals on the way. I closed my eyes and remembered my last night at SavanDurga mountain. Its just a dream if you live in Bangalore. So I opened my eyes and admitted that I need to get used with Bangalore, not SavanDurga.
We reached home by 12:30PM. We both had a great lunch at Hydrebadi Biriyani, HAL.Now both of us were totally tired. I went to my room and had a nice sleep for next 10HRS. Eventhough there was some health problems and body ache, overall the trekking was great for me. I have enjoyed a lot.