An Offbeat Trek

I was looking for some offbeat treks around Bangalore, when I came across a video on this hill. The trek looked extremely risky but also interesting. But the vlogger had not mentioned anything about how to get there. Ever since I had seen this video, I have been wanting to go there. 

I drove to Hoskote early in the morning and picked up Girish, a trekker friend of mine. I had sent Girish the video of the trek and asked if he was okay to do this challenging trek. He had agreed but had without really going through the entire video to know how challenging and scary it was. In the video you can see people crossing boulders with a chain attached to the rock and climbing some scary ladders held on to huge rocks. 

Anyways, when I go to the village and enquired about the trail leading up to the hill. They directed me to the next village. When I reached there and checked with the villagers, they encouraged us to climb the hill and reach the cave temple. Some villagers warned us that we must go there with complete devotion and if not, honey bees would attack us.

I understand that the place is sacred to the villagers. Therefore, no vlogers before me have given extra details about the place. Villagers are not very welcoming of the trekkers. They do not want to commercialise it. Therefore, I refrain from giving any details about how to get there. Find your way and speak to the villagers and make your way up the hill if you want. 

When we reached there, the hill was hidden behind the clouds. As the clouds retraced, we got some spectacular view of the hill. The clear blue sky behind, brightened the setup. 

There is a fairly decent path that leads up to the base of the hill. Within an hour, we reached a huge boulder. Here, there are a few chains attached, without which the climb can be difficult. Despite the chains being there, the climb was really scary. But, we made it. A slip would have sent us down the hill. If you make it to this point, do ensure to hold the chain tightly. 

After climbing the rock with the help of the chains, we entered a forest-like area. Girish was a bit scared by now. He worried about our return. The path ahead was not very clear either. I asked him to stay back as I chose to continue on the trail through the bushes. I followed a narrow path that looked like a trail and made my way up.

After about 20 minutes of crawling and struggling through the bushes, I finally reached the other end of the forest. The trail led me to the fort entrance. I went up and directed Girish to follow me. The summit is flat and has a lot of surface area. Tat the summit, you will find a pond, an ancient structure, Jagananatha temple and the fort walls in ruin. I tried to look for the cave with has the Shiva linga, but could not find anything. 

We relaxed there for a bit and returned back. Descending that  boulder with the chain was definitely more scarier than the way up as we could now see the depth and the visualise the consequence of a fall. But, we only fear the unknown. So, having had the experience of using the chain to climb, we put our faith in the posts holding the chain and descended. 

Back in the village, we spoke to a few villagers about the Shiva cave temple. They told us that we had to take a left deviation midway along the hill. When we told them that we had reached the summit, they seemed surprised. Many among them haven’t tried it either. 

By the main road, we stopped at a restaurant for lunch. The owner of the place told us that he and other villagers had recently fixed those chains. He told us that when the rains are delayed, some villagers climb up to the summit and offer prayers to Jaganatha swamy. The villagers believe that the lord listens to the prayer and grants their wish almost immediately. He recollected how last time, it had rained as they were descending. 

Hoping to return back someday and do the trek to the cave, we drove back to Bangalore. But this hill is simply the most beautiful one around Bangalore, that I have climbed. There is something very interesting about it. I wish to return here soon. 




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