Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Well after a very long break, I had to motivate myself to write this bloglet. This was mainly because; my system crashed at least a minimum of 8 times in one single week which resulted in me developing a complex Phobia towards computers. Thanks to my innovative methods of installing Linux. It’s tough to write a bloglet, ok. I mean it’s not like you open the browser go to the post page and start typing away. It requires a setting, a particular mood, some soft music if you will, and a lot of inspiration.

Well back to the task in hand. I’m writing this because I had been to a Place called madhugiri near Tumkur. It was a monolith rock which I climbed successfully last weekend i.e. on 18th of Dec, 2005. Later I learnt that I had scaled Asia’s biggest monolith, a whooping 3930 Feet as measured from the foot of hill. More info on the monolith and its history is here.

It wasn’t the best trek of my life. But it was pretty cool. For at least a day after coming back I found myself getting lost every once in a while in some different universe, slightly unlike this one we currently reside in.

Almost all the time that I was on the rock climbing, everything was like a full length movie running in my head. So why don’t I write this the way I saw it for those 16 Hrs. And just like all movies have characters, we’ll begin with the cast and crew.

So here goes in order of appearance:

1.Om Kumar alias GBK (George Bush Kumar) who picked me up from my place and dropped me back. A networking expert who strongly believes that cell phone is an extended part of his Ears or rather his body itself. I seldom see him without his cell phone.

2.Ashvin Bharadwaj alias Sha Bharadwaj the rock himself. He was our guide, navigator, driver and the planner of this entire expedition. He could easily relate to a WRC driver profile. U should have seen him overtaking Election Party vehicles in a bumpy track with his Maruthi Van. I am sure there’s a lot more to this man than the 3.5 sentences I wrote.

3.Prashanth he is one person who over utilized his vital organ meant for communication. Mr. On the move who was first to ascent and descent from the mountain. Either you would see him talking or climbing.

4.Praveen alias Chicki Silent. Doesn’t talk much. That’s mostly what I remember of him. ok he does speak, but only when spoken to. Otherwise, a man involved in his own world. He was very much beauty conscious who often used to apply sun screen lotion to prevent sunburns. Way to go Chicki, we are chanting in chorus “ KADLEKAYI BELASI, CHIKKI ULISI “

We started our journey as planned minus half an hour or so. I particularly enjoyed the journey as I met new people and made new friends. Thou the journey was tiresome it was worth every effort as the rock climbing was awesome. Here goes our journey details as sorted out by Ashvin.

Dec 18:

04:40 AM: The alarm starts blaring (Groan) I drag myself out & go down for a cup of coffee. 05:25 AM: Omkumar & Chandan drop in & thankfully I am ready 05:50 AM: Final checking of the packing & running through of the plan 06:20 AM: We start off from home! 06:45 AM: We arrive at Nammoora Hotel to pack lunch.& gravy for break fast. 06:55 AM: I ask Praveen to come to ISKCON rather than Prashant's house (more modifications to the plan) 07:00 AM: We pick up Prashant from Fourth Block 07:30 AM: We pick up Praveen from ISKCON. 08:50 AM: We stop to shoot pictures of the beautiful Toll Gate on Tumkur Road 09:15 AM: We stop to shoot pictures near the bridge off Tumkur road on the service road 09:30 AM: We stop for breakfast a few KMs outside Nelamangala 10:30 AM: More pictures near the 803 KM Pune Milestone 11:00 AM: We take a right deviation on Tumkur road & start on the poor state highway leading to Devarayanadurga, Goravanahalli & Madhugiri 11:20 AM: More pictures on the highway (don’t we get tired??) ;-) 11:40 AM: Finally we arrive at the base camp of Madhugiri!!! 11:45 AM: After picking up what is absolutely essential for the trek up, we shoot more pictures & start the trek

Once again I found myself wondering what makes me do these trek things. I mean you if you’ve seen me in person, you’ll know that God didn’t have treks in mind when he made me. It was more like television, beds and movies and a generally well fed existence he was thinking about while putting things together. But then once in a while God likes to test the limits of things he makes. So off I went to the trek.

The best part of climbing was it was multi stage climb with a ruined fort around the premises. The most thrilling part of the climb is a steep section just below the top where small ledges have been carved to serve as foot holds. As a matter of fact Praveen slipped here and was dangling trying to get his foot hold. We had to go back to rescue him. We were surprised by the vastness of the Madhugiri. Though the hill appeared scalable the moment you climbed what you thought was peak revealed the hidden part of hill. We climbed across ruins of forts and old temples. We came across what we thought was a place meant to store ammunition and weapons.

Finally after four hours of exhilarating climb we reached the peak. The View was absolutely stunning. We also explored ruined fort on the top. A local boy was explaining about the possibilities of spotting Bear but unfortunately we did not spot any. Once on the mountains themselves, with nothing but mountains all around you, you would for a moment feel all your strained muscles relaxed and you feel you are on top of the world.

Hmmm now the sad part, all good things have to come to an end, after taking rest for some time we started our descent. It took around an hour and an half to climb down. We had our lunch in the evening and headed back towards Bangalore.

Getting there:

Drive on NH 4 till Dobbspet. Then take the road on the right to Koratagere and proceed further for 18 km. Several buses ply from the city. Food and Water: Available in Madhugiri town. To be carried to the hill top. Accommodation: A few moderate hotels in the town. Suggestion: Take a guide, if necessary. Make sure to leave the surroundings clean.


Praveen said...

Awesome!! My aunt is from a village near madhugiri and infact we had been there for the wedding of my uncle with her! and yeah! I did climb the monolith! Words indeed fall short of explaining the awe and joy that one feels on top of it! But I always thought the largest monolith in Asia was Savandurga (which I had trekked too when in Vijaya High School). Anyways.. its a joy to be cherished for a lifetime!

Praveen said...

And yeah.. Happy New year!

Vidya Srinivasan said...

we were trying to look up for data about madhugiri and came across your blog - laughed a lot - especially "Kadalekai belesi chikki ulisi"....
felt good to read your blog.
we are going there tomorrow.

smitha said...

i have climbed madhugiri betta 3 times... it had an antiquated charm about it..good to know that there are many like me ...there is one more place called siddirbetta.. many be it will prove interesting

Anonymous said...

Oh! what a hill it is, we just climbed it yesterday, I felt as if I have achived some thing in life, really the toughest trekking one will ever have, but still it is worth taking all the pain once you come down.

Anonymous said...

Yes Indeed. We climbed Yesterday on 22 July. Its my hometown. Its the vibrations of history which makes me to climb this huge monolith and i dont get tired.

Sagar T U said...

Madhugiri is my home town too... climbed the hill along with my brother last week.. the experience was stupendous.. will post some pics in my blog.. Well, it feels good to see more people liking the place..!

Hai Baji said...
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