Makalidurga Trekking with Bangalore Hikers

Trekking to Makalidurga with Bangalore Hikers / New Year Celebration 2015

New year celebration 2015, cake cutting

Diwali is known for the Festival of Lights.
Holi is known for the Festival of colors.
Pongal is known for the Festival of Harvest.
And if you say, New-year is for the Festival of Resolutions then I am sorry you are in Retro's. New Year is the festival of Drinks (not Nandini Milk), DJ and Night Party.
Ahan… Don't give an atrocious look. That's what people in metros say. And for people like me who don't like to go for party and drinks they suggested an extraordinary option. i.e. Sit at home and sleep.

Sarcastic!!!

Then there came an Email from Bangalore Hikers - "New Year Celebration - Night Trek to Makalidurga. Let's welcome the rising sun of new year from hill top". It sounded very exhilarating and I registered the next moment!!!

Makalidurga trekking group photo

ROFL. If you think so, then the answer is "No". My laziness encouraged me to register later. (Filling that Membership ID seemed to be a huge task). My amnesia did an exceptional job and I remembered about the event only when I received the follow up e-mail "Thanks to overwhelming response. Registration is closed".

Awful!!

After few days, I checked whether any dropouts are there and my luck, there was and I am in for the Trek!!!
But there came another twist. Train was at 5:45pm from Majestic. Getting leave or permission to leave early from office was impossible, but somehow I managed to get permission at 4:30pm and planned to catch a train from Yelahanka. My team mate booked a cab and it was on time. There was less traffic and I reached Yelahanka Railway station at 4:45pm and my train was at 6:20pm. Even the hikers boarding the 5:45pm train from Majestic might have not reached. It was a very dry area with only countable people in the railway station and was damn boring to sit alone.
Then there came bunch of guys with loads of luggage. They saw their train number in the display. The platform number was not displayed yet. But their eyes glued the symbol "A" which was meant for Arrival/Departure and a guy (seems he was the leader) said, Platform "A" and he guided others. This is platform "A", and this is platform "B". Our train will halt here and waited over there.

WTH?!

After many such funny incidents, I got a call from Santosh to buy cool drinks. I was double excited since going out of the railway station and buying it would be a good time pass. I went to the shop and saw a big queue. Everybody was busy in buying the cake and it took so much time to enter the shop and get the shopkeepers attention. It was 6:10pm and I was nervous whether I might miss the train.
"Anna, Anna, please fast Anna, Train Train, I miss Anna" after repeated begging he gave finally and it was 3 bottles altogether 7.5 liters. I felt like lifting a barbell and hard to take it back to Railway station.

Bangalore to Makalidurga train journey Bangalore to Makalidurga train journey

The train arrived and Santosh waved his hand to get in. As soon I got in, there were 'guess-who-I-am' games. I terribly failed. Pulling off each other's leg started rapidly and in a fraction of second everybody got comfortable. But I got close only with 2 hikers. One is with Sumithra, since she had DSLR camera :-P and the other one... Who carries the CAKE!!! We wanted to ban Santosh for forgetting his torch, but somehow we forgave him.

Group photo at Makalidurga railway station

As soon as we got down in the station, one hiker went missing. Later we found that, he went to take selfie with the Makaliduraga station board. Later, we went to tea shop and had tea in a very big cup and waited for Shree, who missed his train just by 30 seconds. He saw the train taking off slowly and tried to catch the train like the Bollywood hero's. But the people stopped him, thinking that he is going to kill himself by jumping into a train. After purchasing Maggi, water bottles, we kicked off our journey.
Some adventurous hiker suggested doing railway trekking, but we dropped the plan since it was dark and would be risky. But trust me, that high way road seemed to be risky. Since it was a new year eve, people were drunk and driving crazy and making noise. Imagine 5 guys came in a single bike to buy a cake.

Makalidurga night trekking Makalidurga night trekking, posing for photograph

We maintained pin-drop silence while crossing the village thinking the villagers may stop us from doing night trek, but the dogs barked and revealed us. 8:45pm we started from the base and reached the top by 10:15pm. The trail was straight forward and we were able to find the route easily even in that dark. The mountain was full of dried Cymbopogon and it was swaying rhythmically to the tune of wind breeze. I felt it was better than the music played in DJ. It was pretty difficult trek with huge steps. I was bit disappointed because when I surfed about Makalidurga it was mentioned it's a granite hillock. But I could not find a Single Granite stone. I met Bhavisha and heard of lot interesting information from her. She explained about the 30 day Basic Mountaineering Course(BMC) offered in Nehru Institute Of​​ Mountaineering and the places she explored till date.

Death by chocolate, new year cake Cake cutting group photo
Get on the dance floor... sorry Hill Top :-P
Abhi toh party suru hui hai :-P Party abhi baki hai :-P

Sharp at 12:00am midnight we cut the Death by Chocolate cake, Death by Vanilla cake (the name we gave to Vanilla cake) on top of the temple and welcomed new year with full of positive energy. After dance and chit-chats Surya suggested to play Mafia, but on hearing the description of the game we all felt our head spinning and dropped the idea.

Camp fire on Makalidurga hill top
Camp fire on Makalidurga hill top Camp fire Makalidurga hill top

Later it was followed by Antakshari and we slept inside the temple

Preparing morning tea

Next day, when I woke up, tea was ready. Everybody was busy clicking themselves and Ram got busy in washing the tea utensils. We got shortfall of water and hence used Coke to wash it. Abbbaa, the stain, rust, tarnish got removed and it shined like a sun. "Let's welcome the rising sun of new year from hill top". I did not see any sun rising as it was cloudy. May be the organizer must have mentioned this shining utensils!!!

Group photo - Makalidurga hill top
View from Makalidurga hill top Hikers descended Maklidurga

We started descending down and in 30 minutes, we reached the base and halted to take a group picture.
We heard the sound of trains whistling off in the distance while trying to take groupie (let me assume, if picture of yourself is Selfie, then picture of group is Groupie). Still, we all were engrossed in gropie and Santosh placed his costly camera on the railway track and set the self-timer with the delay of 10 seconds. By the time, the 2nd Sense Vision detected the arrival of train, our sixth sense did not click to get off from the track. Train were getting closer, the countdown of the camera began, 3, 2, 1 Click we all rushed out of track to save our life. But Santosh rushed to protect his camera. We waited for the bus grinding all the snacks and departed.
This trek was an excellent one to kick of the new year.

"The best thing in life are the people who love, The places you've seen and the memories you've made along the way"

Thank you each one of you for making this event a memorable one.

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Author: Deepika Muthusamy
Event date: 31st Dec, 2014
Place: Makalidurga
No. of hikers: 19 (14 M, 05 F)
Event Organizer: Santosh Kumar Gupta
Photos of the event: New Year Celebration Night Trek to Malakidurga: 31st Dec, 2014
Photo Courtesy: Santosh Kumar Gupta
Author's blog link: http://deepikamuthusamy.blogspot.in/2015/01/makkalidurga-trekking-with-bangalore.html