I joined my colleagues who were trekking Shivagange on the night of April 1st. At around 10:45 PM, I picked Charan from his home and drove to Tumkur road and waited for the others to join, at Chandu Dhaba. The others had their dinner and then, 12 of us drove towards Shivagange.
A few kilometres before Dabaspet there is a left deviation to Shivagange which can be easily missed. If you miss it, you could always take the route through the Dabaspet town like the other car with us did. Google maps will guide you though.
However, this earlier deviation is very deserted and interesting than the other route. In the dark, it was very spooky and thrilling to drive on this road.
We reached the base at around 1AM and immediately started to climb. A dog accompanied us. After a while, it invited its friend too on the trek. "Hey come along", it must have told the other one. " I bet they have some goodies for us. Humans don't travel anywhere without food." It must have added. So they joined us and in many places led our way and guided us. I named them Moti and Koti.
The climb is not very easy. There are a few steep climbs. Steps are cut on the rock and railings are provided to hold on too, which can make the climb a little easier. I had been here earlier during the day but this was my first trek during the night. As we got up, the night sky appeared spectacular and an orange crescent moon rose into the sky, creating a magical view.
Photo Credit - Subashchandra Rai
We were at the summit by around 3:30 AM. There is a nandi statue on one end of the summit and a temple on the other. It was extremely windy on the top which was refreshing at the beginning to beat the hot Bangalore weather but got really unbearable after a while. So we looked for some shelter. Couple of us cramped into the small temple veranda and others picked open areas to relax. Having had a very tiring day, I took an undisturbed, two hour nap. At dawn, the cold became unbearable. We woke up around 6 AM, right on time to watch the sunrise. It is always a good feeling to be somewhere away from the usual, to watch the sunrise.
The cloud formation below the summit was also a wonderful sight to be viewed.
The return as usual was easy and quick.
Back at the base, at a local restaurant, we had several cups of tea and some hot and tasty thate idly. We returned back to Bangalore by 10:30 in the morning.
Couple of advantages of a night trek is that you get to see the lovely moon rise up the sky; away from the city lights, you can watch millions of star lit up the night sky; you could avoid the scorching hot sun and enjoy the cool breeze up at the summit or enjoy the sunrise and then come back home for the most peaceful sleep you have ever had. That last part is my favourite.