Tuesday, January 3, 2006

The B R Hills Trek

Trek Name: The B R Hills Trek
Peak: M M Hills, B R Hills
Dates: Some time in Mar-2001
Participants: Daiju(Koilu), Dennis(Deeku), Dinkar(Dinkan), Kannan(Chetti), Sangeeth(Aliyan), Sanjeev(Khoj), Sreepad(Pad), Suresh(Warri), Sushen
Photos: Analog Days. Nothing Digital. Will scan and upload some. Watch this space.
Route to Base:
Bangalore => B R Hills
Trek Route:
Road => Forest => Forest => Forest => Some Peak
Trek Map:
Altitude Profile:
Bunch of Useless Facts:

This happened sometime in March 2001. Nobody remembers the exact date. Who would, when the trip itself was planned on a Friday night at 11:00 pm.

It happened like this. After the Kemmannagundi Trip, we had not gone anywhere for a long time. On a particularly hot Friday night, Khoj and I decided to call the other trekking enthusiasts and go for a small trek somewhere. Nobody had mobile phones back then. The only mode of communication was to go and meet the guy personally atop our trusty two-wheelers.

Thus Khoj and I started on my Hero Honda Splendour. We went straight to Aliyan's house in Murugeshpalya to muster up people. Aliyan, Warri, Chetti, Deeku etc. were engrossed in a movie. Our intent forgotten, we too started watching the movie.

Once the movie was over, I explained the reason for our sudden appearance etc. Chetti jumped at the idea. I suggested calling a van and leaving then and there. Chetti and Warri pushed off to Chetti's office to browse for a suitable place. We went back to our Koramangala house to get Pad.
After collecting Pad we went straight to Chetti's house. We were surprised to find, the normally lazy, Dinkan and Koilu there. By then Warri and Chetti had found a place (Shivanasamudra, M M Hills, B R Hills) and had telephoned a Tours and Travels company (which he found in the net) and had arranged for a Tempo Traveller. This was our first association with Prerana Tours and Travels, Jayanagar (Phone: 91-80-2664 2223).

Soon Aliyan and Deeku arrived and we started by 4:00 am Saturday morning. When we told the driver the destinations, he was reluctant to go to B R Hills, saying that the road was bad. He took us straight to Prerana Tours and Travels office. The proprietor, Mr. Sudhindra was all apologies and arranged another vehicle. The driver was Mr. Ramesh, a real nice and cooperative chap.

Thus finally we were on our way by 6:30 am on Saturday. We had lost some 9 hours as well as a lot of sleep.

The first stop was at Shivanasamudra. The Cauvery was at her best that day. At first, we went to the hydel power station located a few hundred feet below. Initially the people there were reluctant to let us in. But Ramesh, talked for us and we got into the lift to descend towards the power station.

We saw many Francis Turbines running with a huge roar. Well, it was almost like the way, our teacher Prof. Ramaraju had explained in his Hydraulic Machines class, way back in 1996.

After getting back to the van we went to see the twin waterfalls, Barachukki and Gaganachukki. The descend to the base of the waterfalls was quite tiresome. Chetti and Deeku managed to get close to the waterfalls and had a nice bath. We sat in a rock nearby and meditated in silence.

The climb back up, as expected was strenuous. Thankfully, there was tender coconut water (Ilaneer) available on top. We drank our fill.

The next stop was M M Hills or Male Mahadeswara Hills. The abode of the great God Siva. But except for the temple there wasn't anything to see there. We had tea in a tea-stall by the side and asked the shopkeeper for things to see around. He explained that it is better not to venture into the jungle as the dreaded sandalwood smuggler Veerappan was sighted in these jungles a few days ago.

We did not need any more persuasion. We started straight-away for B R Hills. It was already dark and a few kilometres later we stopped near a stream to have a camp fire. The season being dry, without much effort we were able to get a fire going. In the mean-time many of us went into the bushes and unloaded. We washed ourselves and set about enjoying the fire.

We took rooms in a hotel in Chamarajanagar. Being the district headquarters, Chamarajanagar was a decent town. Ramesh was our translator everywhere. Also he insisted that he be allowed to sleep in the van. We agreed.

The next day morning we set out for B R Hills (Biligiri Rangana Betta or Biligiri Rangana Hills). Here too there was a temple right at the top of the hill. Ramesh took us directly to the temple. We wandered around the temple for some time. There was a sheer drop at one side of the temple compound. From there Chetti sighted another hill which was almost as high as the one on which we were standing. Reluctantly we agreed to go down to the base of that hill and trek.

Ramesh must have been bewildered to see us getting off on the roadside and amble off into the jungle. He promised to meet us at the same spot a few hours later.

We crossed a small farmhouse and entered thick jungle. The going was really difficult. At times we had to stoop and walk for almost 100 metres. Well, all this trouble came to a naught as we promptly entered a well-tarred road. We could as well have asked Ramesh to drop us here.

Exhausted, we decided to eat the bread and jam we had brought with us. Thus rejuvenated, we crossed the road and started climbing again.

After many sightings of tiger turd (Aliyan, the walking encyclopaedia, told us so. God knows how he figured that out) and enlightened quotes from Deeku (like "This whole forest seems to be an area" ) and continuous whinings from Dinkan and Koilu, we finally reached the summit. Exhausted most of us fell asleep.

By 5:00 in the evening we started our trek back down. Lazy Dinkan did not want to move. It was after much persuasion that he got up and got going.

We lost our way somewhere in the middle and ended up a few kilometres away from our starting place. Seeing a tea shop, we decided to have tea before walking down to the van. Thankfully, not seeing us at the starting spot, Ramesh came further down the road and met us at the tea shop. After many stops at different roadside dhabas we finally reached Bangalore, early Monday morning.

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