Makalidurga Trek in Cloudy Weather and Cool Breeze

Makalidurga trekking, group photo

A Cloudy day was awaiting us for small day hiking at a beautiful place called Makalidurga. We started our journey from Bangalore Cantonment Railway Station, though I joined my fellow hikers at Baiyappanahalli, 2 station after the starting point at around 8:00 AM. We were small group of 12 colourful vivid people. After joining them I sat along few of them, even though meeting these 12 people for the first time, the conversation started like we were old friends since long time. Few in the group were regular trekker, probably 2 of them first timers. Mouli and her Husband Bishwajeet just had been to Leh-Ladakh. The conversation started with their experience of such a wonderful trip, then there was Ashwani, who had gone there last year, a true biker. There description of experience they had was mesmerizing, felt like one should today itself go there. The chats went on and the destination arrived Makalidurga (9:45 AM).

Railway trekking, Makalidurga Makalidurga trekking trail

We all got down, had a small formal introductory session by organizer (Santosh). We had two wonderful photographers in the group with their DSLR and kit. Sandy and Karthik took a group pic and we were off for the journey. Initial 1-2 Kms walk through the train tracks reminded me of walk for Dudhsagar Waterfall. Nevertheless I had found a colleague who was Marathi and from Mumbai. In city like Bangalore finding a Marathi person that too from Mumbai haha!. After some usual talks along the tracks we reached the bottom of the hill. A small Road was leading to the base. There was a small temple at the base with a small pond. Place was not much crowded. Saw some people along the way, they must have done overnight trek here. As we all gathered around Santosh (organizer) showed us the way, giving out his formal set of instructions. And we all started in midst of Cloudy Weather and Cool Breeze.

Makalidurga Hill Makalidurga trekking trail

The trail was not difficult one, not many steep climbs nor slippery surface. As we started we had very few stops. The organizer was doing up and down climbs to find the perfect and easy way to go up the hill. We had two girls in the group, but they managed to do well while climbing. We felt weather was on our side. Clouds had completely covered the sky, there was no sign of rains for the time being, but while climbing, we could see it was raining places far away from us. So rain was inevitable we knew. But nevertheless we continued our climb, had a small break along the way, some turned out to be photography sessions. The cool Sandy and Karthik were cool enough taking snaps along the way. Taking Portrait pics of fellow hikers to give them the new profile picture for social media. With this selfie, photography and chat session we marched ahead and after almost one hour fifteen minutes we were there.

Makalidurga trekking trail Makalidurga trekking trail
Jumping photo, Makalidurga Lake near Makalidurga hill

The Fort Makalidurga was ruined fort, it had a nice wall surrounding it, it seemed a nice place to set up a tent if one wished to do overnight stay here. Fort was not empty we found some people on the top, probably they had come earlier than us, saw some locals quite a few in numbers. There was small Lord Shiva temple. After settling in at one of the spot, we explored around. All of us came near to the Shiva temple. Now it was time for lunch, everyone opened there Pandora’s Box. From usual biscuits till curd rice everything was there. Especially Home Made Curd Rice by Mouli was superb. Everyone shared what they had brought, few of us had fruits, after the lunch few of us went inside the temple. Now it was time for some rest, organizer took us near a pond, we all sat down relaxing in shed. We had to pass time in way or other, Santosh (organizer) suggested we should play some games, we all agreed and argued about what to play. After some fierce suggestion everyone agreed to play Food #Antakshari.

First view of Makalidurga fort Makalidurga fort

Makalidurga group photo View from Makalidurga top

I have never even heard of that game. It’s basically the same Antakshari instead of songs we replace the same with anything that can be eaten (actually it is supposed to be cuisine but we went overboard with whatever that can be eaten). And so it began 30-40 minutes of madness. Form simple cuisine like Gulab Jamun to Nagaland ki Chai, everything was there, in two different groups everyone was giving their creative thought process a run for money. It was though led by Harshad Shastri with his creative answers, it left us with laughing riot, everyone laughed so hard we stopped the game because people could just not take it any more of it. Harshad, Bishwajeet and Ashwani had a good fight in food Antakshari and it was decided it will continue further while going down the hill.

Group photo on Makalidurga peak Selfie at Makalidurga

After such wonderful time we all rose to move ahead in our journey back, we saw a large cloud approaching towards us, Rain seems imminent now, we decided to move quickly. Not everyone was carrying umbrella or Windcheater. Rain catches us, initially it was like few drops light rain, we climbed down certain distance, and suddenly it started pouring heavily, Santosh(Organizer) asked us to wait in shed, we waited there for half an hour in between shed and rocks, it was time to resume the unfinished game of Food Antakshari. In midst of this heavy raining it felt so awesome competing in the game. It was like weather was on our side during the whole time. Due to this uncalled rain brake we fell behind our schedule of return journey, Return journey was planned to be completed via KSRTC bus. We reached the bottom of hill safely, had group pic again, and continued out journey towards road highway.

Downpour view from Makalidurga Descending from Makalidurga after rain

While going we saw the hills back it was now partially covered with clouds, Nature seemed best at its location. We continued reached highway and waited for bus, few of the buses came, but none stopped for us. A local guy we found asked to walk some 500 meters and go to a bus stop in village. Everyone’s condition by that time was coldish and shivery. Everyone was drenched in the rains and it was windy. All of us were imagining of where to find a perfect cup of Chai and snacks. And we didn’t had to wait longer to find our wish come true, we found a nice place to eat and have tea. Everyone got a freshened up a bit had food and tea. At around 5:30 a bus came, it was inter–city connecting bus, we boarded it. In that crowded bus we all where reflecting on the wonderful time spent. Everyone was tired dying to go home and take hot water shower. After some time we got dropped off at Doddaballapura stop where we found bus connecting us to Bangalore city. We all boarded it, and all of us got a place to sit. It was such a relief a non-crowded bus, we took our places, some people hooked on to their smartphone immediately, some preferred to take a nap, few of them started chatting or exchanging numbers. And thus was the trek concluded a wonderful time spent with wonderful hikers.

Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; you have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.
- Cindy Ross

P.S - Sorry if I Missed out on mentioning any other co-hikers name in the blog.

Written by: Swajit Gade
Event date: 19th July, 2015
Place: Makalidurga, Doddaballapura, Karnataka
No. of hikers: 12 (10 M, 2 F)
Event Organizer: Santosh Kumar Gupta
Photos of the event: Makalidurga Day Hiking: 19 July, 2015
Photo Courtesy: Kartik, Mouli, Santosh