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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kunti Betta....Oops No Bheemana Betta

Idea of going on a night trek is always exhilarating. It has it’s own adventures and charm involved. When the trek plan to Brahmagiri did not work, my colleagues settled in for a night trek to Kunti Betta, near Pandavpura town of Mandya district, Karnataka. On the 10th of Jan 2014, a Friday night, in four cars, 19 of us drove to Mandya at about 8:00 PM. We stopped for dinner at one of the dhabas on Mysore road, after which we drove non-stop till Mandya. I enjoyed the night drive for the first time. There was occasional racing between our cars that followed with loud cheers.

Few kilometres after Mandya, is a right deviation to Melkotte. The village route that took us to Pandavapura had a peacefulness in it's haunted appearance. It appeared as if we, with music playing in the car and with our talks were about to spoil the serenity of this place. After the town, there is a signboard that directs you right towards « Kunti Betta ». Ofcourse we got there only after one wrong right turn and an enquiry at the only house that seemed awake to send off a member of their family who had just passed away.

We parked our cars next to a residential school and walked up the steps to a temple. By the time we started the trek it was 1:00 AM. Two amongst our group had already trekked the place once and so we just decided to follow them. But once we were at the base of the hill, we realised that there is not route. The trail that circled the hill just disappeared and then we were on our own. It was fun though to discover our way up the hill. While finding the route, I stopped at a cave. It was beautiful but looked haunted; haunted by beasts and ghosts. 

The hill was filled with tall grasses that left back thorns in our body. After about an hour and a half long trek we reached the top. Well actually the highest point of the hill would be over the two gigantic rocks that stood tall from where we camped. Climbing that in daylight would be a challenge, hence to do the same during the night could have meant foolishness. So we settled beneath the rocks and relaxed. 

The night looked pretty from above- Tannur lake spread on one side, street lamps from the villages glittering and a few stars surrounding the moon that was getting close to full.

A few buns packed along the way turned handy. While some of us captured star trails, others chatted. One of our colleagues played a few melodies on his Mandolin. The music filled the air and our minds with a sweetness and blended so well with the environment that it made our presence seem belonged. 

                                   

With a short nap between 4:00 to 5:30 AM, I was up and ready to carry on with a fresh day without hindrance to drive. 

With clouds covering the sky, there was nothing much to stay back at the summit for. So after a few clicks we began our journey back; that happened in 45 minutes.




On our drive back, we stopped tat a local tea stall. While striking a conversation with the shopkeeper, I was exposed to the irony -  We had climbed Bhemmana betta instead of Kunti Betta. The route to Kunti betta is just in front of the kalyani  pond at the temple. The route to the summit of Kunit beta begins with a rock that is cut soft to resemble a slide (Jara Bandi). But knowing this truth was comforting as we now knew what hill we have climbed.

We stopped at Madur for breakfast. Madur vada  was definitely in the menu at Madur tiffins. By the time I returned home, it was 11.

One of the added advantages of a night out is that, you get to sleep soundly next day. And when you wake up after that peaceful sleep, the previous night seems like a beautiful dream.

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