It was Friday the 13 Nov 2009 when my friend Lakshmi initiated a plan to skandagiri Trek. It was very short duration so we could not call all of our group, so we decided for a quick plan with limited numbers. Started to read reviews and came to know that it is the night trek and will be tremendous if it is a full moon day. Unfortunately 14 Nov was close to a new moon day (16 Nov was new moon day), so we could not even think of it. We decided to have an early morning trek, start here by 6:30 and return by evening. Lakshmi accepted to bring her car and our meeting point was decided as hebbal
At 6:30 am
Gowtham and me meet up at hebbal were on time, Lakshmi and Navya reached there at 6:45, we all got into car and headed towards Devanahalli. No one was visited before so no one knew the route exactly. I had taken print out of directions given by google and was freqently confusing about the route. All others were trusting local help than lifeless google server. We kept on asking people about the route. We finally reached by taking route, Hebbal->Devahalli->towards chickkaballapur, left deviation after a railway level crossing around 5-6 km before chikkaballapur. The deviation took us to village “Thinahalli” and then muddenahalli road to get into village “Kalavar”, yes skandagiri hills lies in village Kalavar, local peolple would usually identify it as Kalavar than skandagiri.
We reached base of hills. It was covered with mist and peak was not at all visible, we were so exited to start climbing and reach the peak before mist goes off. When we are about to park our vehicle, we heard the shocking news by one guy there. The news was that “TREKKING PROHIBITED FROM YESTERDAY”…… Hey how can this happen, no ways,,, Are we not climbing this exiting hills?? I had seen wikipeadia and it was updated on 9th Nov 2009 , which is so pretty latest but “Ban from yesterday??” how unlucky we are… Alternate feelings were there in the group like if it is prohibited why taking risk and others, let take risk and start climbing lets see what happens… Also he might be bluffing, we decided to talk to police and confirm it. We headed towards starting point in search of police. On the way other people also told it is prohibited and he would take us to a different route which is safer. We disagreed and continued to meet up police and know what the exact situation is. Two guys were coming back from the trek which gave us a ray of hope and asked them whether it is safe, they told we can go just half way but not allowed to go to peak. Finally reached starting point and everyone’s face became like this – 😦 by seeing the board “Prohibited area, No entry”. We asked someone there that where can we find police, he replied, police will be there only till 6am and if we want to climb he would guide us half way through. We decided not to take risk and headed back. Just came one furlong and stopped to have breakfast which Lakshmi managed to prepare early in the morning and bring it for us. Viewing hills and just imagining how it would have been if we were on the top now we had our breakfast. Started back again still in dilemma. A small mud road gave us the break for the day. We stopped and went inside the path, a man was doing something and I asked if we can go on trek in this way, he told there is a way and we can go. I called up all others, parked the car there itself and started marching, we thought that man is not knowing about prohibition.
Mist covered peak at 8:30
At 9:10 am
We decided to go for a very short distance and come back. We just wanted to have feel of trek at least. Navya was very scared and denying even to go for short distance, we somehow convinced her and started. We climbed for 20 mins and found some people were getting down. We asked them and came to know that we are allowed to trek after 6 am that is the reason they started trek at 6 am. Wow!! great, we can go till top, but still worried a bit, worry went off when see another 2 groups coming down. We understood why police goes back after 6 am, the guy there was just bluffing to act a guide and make some money by taking night prohibition as advantage. We were clear that we are going till the peak but we realized that we do not have anything except 2 small bottles of water. Luckily weather was cloudy and breakfast had give good energy to climb.
At 10:00 am
The peak is still covered with mist, a hope in our corners that there is a chance that mist still be there while we reach, we kept on seeing the mist covered peak and climbing, the scene around us was awesome, photography was banned by Lakshmi on our onward journey to save time and it was opened on return journey.
At 10:30 am
Mist went off :(, peak is clearly visible but the route was not, yeah we lost our way. But it was like okay we could manage to climb steps kind of support engraved on rocks. We reached one fort kind of thing which was one level. From there we could see the actual path and realized that we came through some other bit difficult path
At 11:00 am
Guess what?? Yesss you are right, we are on the peak,… Wow!! it was so exciting, weather was still cloudy but no mist. Scenes around us, weather, cool breeze made us forgot about the mist and cloud. What next – yes, its photography time.. Started to take artistic photographs, took few hundreds of photos. Gowtham experimented his photography ideas we being his test dummies. We started giving all kind of expressions, poses for photos, I went up on a small stone roof for posing to photos.
On the peak
Me over the roof at the peak
At 12:00 pm
It become even colder weather turned misty, I think the peak was not visible from the base and we could not see it as we are close, far way hills were covered with mist. We convinced ourselves that we are inside the mist and achieved what we dreamt.
Other hills covered with mist
At 12:15 pm
Its time to get back. Just missed the way a bit and finally reached the base at 2:15
While coming back
At 2:15 pm at the car
Gowtham: Everything went well. We would have missed this assuming it is banned. Great that we completed!!
Me: If the car is proper then we are done!!
We all had the left out breakfast, drank 2 bottles of water. Me and Gowtham waiting outside expecting car will be reversed and we will get in, but heard shocking news again by a voice inside the car… You already guessed it right – yes “Hey, its not starting, kanro”.. Oh no!! what happened, someone here did something to it, did anyone stole battery as it was unattended for more than 4 hours. Opened the bonnet to see battery there, one doubt is solved. We asked some two guys over there for any mechanics, they themselves came to see what has happened. He told by just seeing the batter that the battery has discharged completely and it is not charging because of the dust that came out of the battery and the connection to battery was lost. He asked us to pour water on it and remove the dust using a stick. He was a driver which helped us, very thanks to him. They also pushed and it ignited. Oh yes!! we did not take risk kill the engine till we reach a restaurant on the way. By this time battery was charged and was getting started. Had good lunch and drove back to Bangalore by 5:30…
Hey what are you waiting for?? We reached Bangalore and that is the end of this story yaar…