Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mishap at Makalidurga

Don't get alarmed by the title, I just had a small accident on the trek :D. Unlike my previous trekking posts, I promise to stick to the main details ;)

It was Saturday, June the 12th of 2010, that 20 enthusiasts and two guides from BMC embarked to climb Makalidurga, around 70km from Bangalore. Four of them I knew from the trek to Madhugiri. A cloudy and windy day, most of us were prepared for rain (some like me wished for downpour :D). After an awesome ride via new airport road and beautiful country-side we reached the scarcely populated village of Makalidurga. We chattered away for most of the ride and my customary penchant for enjoying the window-view noted just the one odd - a resort named something like 'Ramanashree - California' Resort!


Makalidurga - 1350m
There is a railway track at the foothills with a station close-by. One could even take a passenger train to reach Makalidurga. Just before we started our ascent, a train passed by and I craved for another train to pass which could be seen from top of the hill. The hill has a large base covered with vegetation and surrounded all-round with other hills. With Sun playing hide and seek with clouds and the relatively easy climb, I enthusiastically clicked away pics of the greenery all around. But pretty soon, the heavy back-pack (rain-coat and umbrella to go with snacks & water bottles) and increasing difficulty in the climb meant I had to slow down and take frequent rest. Had a energy-packed peanut bar and enjoyed viewing the lake which had begun to show.

Large base with greenery and rocky top
Multiple pathways posed a problem initially. And despite the cool weather, perspiration slowed us considerably. Bare, big rocks showed up much to the dismay of first timers. I tried to assure them that this is relatively easier compared to the one I has 2 weeks back. The slope being not so steep, it was like walk in the park. The rocky climb ended with a flat surface and rest of the climb to the top was greener bushy path again. After a rest on the flat surface and taking copious snaps, we started for the final flourish to the summit. And lo! we heard the unmistakable chugging of the train at the foothills. Took videos and snaps and the sight is still etched in memory. :)


Flat rocky surface with a view of railway tracks below
Can you spot the 'Train'?
Suit yourself to name it :)
Willing myself to go on without stoppage, I reached the summit which held a broken fort. The summit was 1350m above sea level, but the climb had been much shorter than Madhugiri. You gotta see to believe the wonderful view of the surrounding landscape dotted with hills, lake and farmland. Tranquility of the surrounding would have been a blessing experience but for the constant honking of the vehicles below. It was around 12pm and too early to have lunch. So, 4-5 of us started to explore the summit. The fencing was tattered a bit, but still strong. There was light drizzle too :). I had initially thought it would be some 10-15min walk. Little did I know the breadth of the fort. It would be some acres! Not that I complained, the summit is pretty flat, and the walk was never tiring. Infact I felt very fresh! And looking back we could see the rain approaching :). A lifetime experience that. One of them had a binocular - we tried to make out the color of shirt worn by the two-wheeler riders :P. We walked along the circular fence with rain starting to get heavier. We tried to find a shady place to have lunch when we saw the temple. The veranda was open space and we couldn't have gone inside the temple to have lunch. So we searched again. Search because, as I said the summit must be in acres . Presently we saw a man-made arrangement of rocks with a small passage. A fellow trekker was already there having lunch and the protected place was too small to hold us all. As we ventured further, we saw the remaining lot perched under a big tree. Rain had ceased a bit, so we resigned to have lunch on the rocks. It was wet but we had no choice, had we? To our dismay, some of us had not got the spoons from the co-ordinators :D.


Much of the fort is just the fence
Lake view from the summit
A different Angle :)
Within few minutes, rain hit back as though angered by our presence. We ran to the rock arrangement, and this time we managed to fit ourselves :D. While we had lunch discussion moved to 'bats' and how it's excreta could be dangerous! All along, rain was incessant but not heavy. On the stone walls that extended beyond the passage, there was a small space like a window. We wondered it's purpose. A tree's branches reached the window and one of us noticed an empty, small bird-nest. It was so well constructed and looked so cute when placed on the palms. The rain had stopped and one of the co-ordinator came searching for us. We were to start our descent in a short-while.

We explored around the fence again from where we had left. At one point, tree's branches blocked about half the path of two-feet wall. I got scared a little, but did not show externally and mustering courage crossed it. It was easier than expected, but I was relieved nonetheless. What lay ahead was something of a surprise, but we should have anticipated it. We had circled a full 360 degrees of the fort! We had agreed to the co-ordinator of coming back to that big tree and climb down all together. Instead, we called them (after two-three tries) to inform our location and waited.

Seemed an eternity before the group arrived and we reached the flat rock base to rest. Rain droplets on the grass blade were beautiful to look at and so were the purple flowers growing between the rocks. As like the Madhugiri trek, there was a photographer amongst us, clicking away the beautiful scenery all around us. I wasn't far behind in clicking and then I caught the sight of a chameleon, all still, head raised on a medium sized rock. Calling the photographer to come ASAP, I hurried to the rock, sighting well its slippery surface. It wasn't the usual rock wet by the recent rain. It was kind of the rock one could spot near a waterfall. I do not remember well enough, but I must have tried to put my right foot to test how much grip I can get. Before one could blink - there I was down, having slipped as I made contact with the slippery rock. Well of course there was flat base below the rock, or I wouldn't have ventured. But as with most uncontrolled falls, my right leg twisted and I landed on it. Within moments, the fellow trekkers were besides me asking have I injured myself. I felt pain, but I was sure it wasn't fracture. I was more interested to the fate of my camera - a small tapering on the cosmetic surrounding the lens which wouldn't allow the lens set to shut properly. With a little push with fingers, I was able to close it properly. And only then did I remove my shoes to inspect the injury. Talk about caring for oneself :(

One had fast-relief, which I applied all around. Somehow managed to put on the socks and shoes back again. I realised that I would have to keep going without rest if I had to reach the foothill. The co-ordinator now came with his spray. This time around it was even more difficult removing the shoes. There was a small-apple sized swell big enough to cover the Calcaneus bone. After applying the spray, the co-ordinator rightly suggested to put on the shoe without the sock and tie the laces tightly. Even now I wonder how was I able to put my leg into the shoe!

Everyone had gathered by now on the flat rock and time for group-photo. After what seemed an eternity, it was taken and we started to move. Only for the photographer to discover that the settings were not right! So again we stood for the pose, myself seething with pain. As we started the descent again, they offered to carry the back-pack for me. But that being a non-issue, I politely refused. They offered bodily support too. While that was generous of them, I knew that they would feel very difficult to support my weight. Yes, although am very lean, the pressure we put for supporting the body is not easy to manage. I wasn't that bad in a position to be not able to walk. I could place my right foot and apply as much pressure needed to lift my left leg and move forward. But, it being a descent through the rocks, I resorted to crawling most of the way, using my hands to place on the side rocks for support. It was Madhugiri revisited, but for all the wrong reasons :D. Where necessary, I used the generous hand supports. One thing I realized later is, at no point did anyone talk about my carelessness. And am largely thankful to them for it.

Slowly and steadily I reached (or rather, crawled to) the large base of the hill, from which it was more of a walk than climbing down. The rain Gods seemed to have waited for me to reach this point, as the rain returned and this time, it was outright downpour. Cannot imagine if it had occurred right after I had slipped, or for that matter, if it had been a fracture. Gives me the creeps thinking about it.


Rain in the air :)
It was half an hour or so, that we walked through the streams guiding us to reach the cab. My wish for rain had been granted, but I paid a price for it :D. Although I had put on my raincoat and my back-pack water-proof, I was drenched and water had found its way through the tiny gaps of zipped fabric. As I entered the cab, they asked me how did I feel. And I replied, 'Great'.

Thus ended another unforgettable trekking experience, for all the good and bad reasons. What followed was my visit to doctor (aided by my room-mate and his friend), plastering and realizing how uncomfortable one would be even though the swell in itself wasn't that painful. And oh, by the way, I did honestly think I would be doing much shorter post before the keyboard led my fingers to...

PS: Last Friday, i.e. 25th June, myself and some of my company colleagues had gone to a school-kit distribution near Bypanahalli, organized by YFS (http://youthforseva.org/) . I experienced the 'Joy of Giving' :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Eagle luck

A tea-time casual talk with my colleagues on Eagles took me back to those days in school which are etched forever in memory. One led to the other and particularly the events of 4th standard stood out. The exact happenings are hard to recall 14 years on, hence I have attempted to weave out a story based on whatever I could.

*******************************************************************


Mithun had finished 3rd standard in the primary school and was thrilled to be going to the main branch. Big grounds & more sections meant more fun. His family too shifted their sweet shop near the school for his convenience. The very first day was eventful. Mithun saw fellow boys running hither-thither clad in khaki shorts, half-sleeve white shirt, black belt, navy tie with 'JMHS' printed slantingly in bold yellow at the bottom, black shoes with navy socks & knees looking white-washed. Of-course the dress code varied from 6th standard onwards, lets stick to 4th standard throughout the story. Running here and there, playing, shouting, I now wonder how the teachers bore the noise of us all which amounted no less than 2-3 thousand students or perhaps more. Reaching the class was a herculean task. One had to trod through the big auditorium surrounded by classes 7-12, then through open cemented veranda surrounded by classes 5-8 along with some of the kindergarten classes. Then came the canteen & toilets. The open space ended with hostel in center and paths to classes on the left and the big play-ground on the right. Backside of the hostel was a smaller open space with few trees & surrounded by more classes. The 4th standard classes started left of the hostel. 'A' and 'B' sections were to the left of the pathway leading to other sections behind the hostel. The pathway being roofed, the two classes felt like dungeon.

Mithun was just about to enter the class, when he was joined by his friend Ramanujam Iyer. They joined two boys in a four-seater bench. Deepak and Vikraman had been shuffled from other sections to 'B'. In a matter of seconds, the four became friends and got engrossed in exchanging pleasantries. And within minutes they vowed to be always together, like a gang. Vikraman became the undisputed leader after he showed the biggest nails and most dirt than the others. But that afternoon, Ramanuja left the gang. The gang had gone to the big playground for lunch under one of the many trees. Vikraman had brought an egg for lunch and Ramanujam being a Brahmin found it intolerable. But Mithun would not leave the gang saying he couldn't imagine leaving such wonderful company. In a spur of moment, Vikraman teased Ramanujam as 'Rama, the Brahma'. From that day, Brahma stuck as Ramanujam's nickname and he hardly ever spoke to Vikraman again. In course of time, Vikraman assigned nicknames for others too, notably for the gang: Deepak was christened Dubukku (as Deepak frequently called others 'stupid fellow' whenever he got angry :D), Mithun as Lalakada Halwa (as he brought sweets from his father's shop). And chose Vicks (after the Vicks product) for himself.

All three living near the school, the gang used to assemble about an hour before classes started and almost always first to reach the class, even before the hostel students. Dubukku and Vicks considered themselves lucky to have been shuffled to 'B' section. The rule was that all hindi students (which is only around 10-12 students) were assigned the 'B' section. Mithun would be pestered with questions on the hindi girls. All three would write their 'favorite' girl's name on back page of textbooks. Am here not gonna describe what they further used to discuss apart from writing the names :P. Vicks re-instated his leadership when one fine day he impressed the class-leader and topper hindi girl Nikita. I forgot how the trick was done, but using fingers, some kinda scratching brought blood on tongue without pain!. The trick spread like fire throughout the 4th standard including Nikita. As ill-luck would have it, a teacher found out and the entire 4th 'B' bore punishment. But that only increased Vicks' image.

Being a christian school, there used to mass every Friday. As entire school couldn't assemble in the church, there would be turns standard wise. And the rest would be in their classes listening through speakers, head bent-down in almost a sleeping posture on the benches. Many a student would sleep soundly. The unfortunates who got caught would get beatings in stick/wooden-scale or have to kneel down the entire day on the floor (or sand for the other sections) outside the class. Vicks got intrigued by the church. There were different statues along the walls with candles burning. The sight of crucified Jesus gave him an idea that again won him reputation as the leader. The idea was to make a cross on the left palm using molten wax. He explained it as a means to get God's grace by experiencing pain. However, they kept the idea within the gang to prevent others from sharing God's grace!

A favorite and most dangerous past time of the gang was to play Raja-Rani game while the teacher took class. To much surprise of everyone, they had never been caught yet. They limited the characters to four - Raja, Rani, Police and Thief. The fourth player was a dummy which was always kept for Brahma. If the 'police' thought that thief was the chit kept for Brahma, he would point it out showing three fingers as sign for the Nammam. In teacher's absence, they would blurt it out - Braaaahmaaaaaa in chorus with Raaamaaaa. Nikita always found it hard keeping the class quiet. She would cite Brahma as the ideal student who would read or do some exercise questions. Not that Brahma was lonely now, but very afraid of getting sticks. The gang would mock saying something was between the two or sing the then very popular song 'mukkala muqabla'. The entire class would laugh, sometimes leading to punishment from the teacher taking class in the neighboring 'A' section.

It was march and summer was already approaching. Mornings became a torture for the students. Most teachers would not allow fan during morning sessions and the morning interval was the sole solace. Especially the first period would be difficult as students would have been playing Masa-Masa (game where one having ball would hit the others) or cricket or just running. A new craze started among the students during lunch hour - to 'catch' the shadow of eagles. It was believed that eagles brought luck while the crows bad-luck. While most students tried it, our gang were adamant in not following others. They would say they have a more powerful source for luck and refused to follow the mob.

On the fateful March 14 - 1996, the gang were playing cricket and surprisingly, Brahma had joined the play. But not surprisingly, he was in the opponent team. It was last ball of the match with one to win and Vicks on strike. Brahma was fielding in the square leg region and saw Vicks eying the empty mid-wicket region. And so after Vicks had turned to face the bowler, Brahma moved to the short mid-wicket region and lo! the ball came straight to his hands. He spilled it, but picked the ball quickly and threw it at the non-strikers end. The ball bounced before going over the stone seeming to have hit it. Vicks was ruled run-out and match declared tie, but to this date, one cannot confirm if that ball hit the stone-stumps!

Brahma vented out his venom for Vicks, describing the run-out at every opportunity that morning. Vicks could bear no more during the interval and challenged that he knew better cricket than him. Brahma was in some flow that day, unusual to his quietness in the class. So he said, "Oh yeah, I bet that today WI will beat AUS in the semis of cricket WC" Vicks was also supporting WI but he had no choice than to accept the challenge and put money on AUS. They settled on betting all of 50p.

That afternoon, Vicks and his loyal followers went to the church and used the 'cross-with-molten-wax' for praying an AUS win. Brahma took to the eagles for his luck. He had a great time by 'catching' two eagle shadows and avoiding any of the many crows. Just when he started leaving for the classes, his eyes fell on a glittering object. He stooped down quickly to pick. When Brahma reached the class he looked too pleased. The gang though looked a bit uncomfortable, having applied more than usual wax for the cross. The cricket match was a day-night affair and the entire class were eager to know the result. Few others including the girls too started betting on the outcome using 'fake' currency notes.

As you might know, AUS prevailed in a low scoring encounter. The gang were ecstatic and were planning how to use it. They decided on 'thaen-mittaaye' (rose-colored honey-made sweet which then used to sell for 5p I think). Brahma came just at the stroke of first bell looking pleased as if he had conquered the world. The first hour was 'science' and it was a combined one for 'A' & 'B' held in the pathway outside the class. The gang, still savoring the win, played Raja-Rani. As usual, one chit was kept for Brahma. The teacher suddenly caught Dubukku looking down and not listening. She shouted and threw the wooden scale at him. Caught in a fear, Dubukku blurted out Brahma (Dubukku was the police and guessed that Brahma had the thief chit). She gave him a nice thrashing, asked him to kneel outside for the entire day and inquired who Brahma was. Ramanujam stood up and said that he did not do anything, shaking all over. The teacher scolded him nonetheless.

At he stroke of the morning interval, Brahma went straight to Vicks, gave him the 50p for the bet and congratulated him on his victory. The entire class were astounded. All the fun was lost anticipating a verbal duel. They got their answer that evening. While the gang were purchasing their 'thaen-mittaaye', our pleased kid Brahma took out the remaining Rs1.50 and got the envied eatery of them all - the 'coconut+groundnut' mixed ice-cream bar.

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PS: I know about the 'cross-with-molten-wax' as I was part of the gang!
PPS: It is a fictional story as I mentioned at the start.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Madhugiri Trekking Trip

It was only last August that I embarked on my first trekking trip to Antaragange. Seems long ago and no wonder am so pleased to have had another - Madhugiri on 29th May. And for that, I thank wholeheartedly to BMC (http://www.bmcindia.org/). Click on the images below for larger view.

I will try to keep the narration short, but my penchant for writing mundane details might prevent doing so. Let me begin with how to register for an event with BMC. My office being near to BMC office, I called them up and Krishna (guide for this trekking trip) obliged by collecting the fare at my office premises itself. Isn't that convenient? And then they sent a confirmation email.

Friday evening and I was really thrilled thinking about the trip. With much enthusiasm I brought snacks and water bottle, much needed for a trekking trip. Curbing my liking to read about the place, I took to dusting off the bag to carry the needful. And thankfully I recharged my camera batteries. I watched a movie and cooked too. Yes you read it right, I 'cooked' :).

I tried to sleep early as reporting was 6:45AM sharp at Domlur. But believe me, the excitement meant an intermittent sleep. I groaned each time I woke up to see that 5:10AM was still far-off. And when it finally was time to wake up, power-cut greeted me. That did not deter me getting ready by 6am. Had a cup of tea (to prevent headache) and reached Domlur by 6:25AM! I saw a buddy there, in jeans and t-shirt with a backpack. My guess was right that he (Rajendran) too was coming for the trek. And lo! I wasn't the only one coming all alone. Presently a group - an elderly man and woman with daughter, arrived there. They were joined by a foreign lady shortly. Rajendran observed that BMC must be very popular indeed.

Starting at 6AM

Right on 6:45AM (ok, 6:46 to be precise) the cab arrived. Krishna ticked-off the people assembled and to my surprise, the elderly couple were coming too! The next pick-up was at Lifestyle (7AM) and here we waited about 5 mins for others to arrive. I engaged myself observing the vehicles passing by and was amazed to see so many at this hour on a Saturday morning. At one point it looked to be all white - cars, jeeps and buses alike and immediately came a procession of varied colored ones! By this time the last of the 12 member party came. So that made 'unlucky' 13 including the guide Krishna, but I would say 14 to include the driver, who had a good part to play in our very pleasing experience.

Bangalore is really very big and traffic flow is tedious just about everywhere! After evading through the morning traffic, we reached 'New Agarwal Bhavan' on the Tumkur road around 8:10AM for breakfast and packing lunch. We bought water bottles and cold-drinks too. Soon we left the highway behind and villages started to show up. The narrow 2-lane road was good enough for a smooth ride. Like I always do, I was sitting near window seat and enjoying the view outside. Among various interesting things I saw, two stood out. Near a police-station in one of the villages, there were lot of trucks and vans and autos dumped for good covered largely with ivy. The other being a 'BSNL OFC' stone-mark surrounded by barren land.

Other vehicles passing was so infrequent, making me wonder where they got petrol/diesel from and however they coped with breakdowns! The roads started deteriorating and large number of hillocks became visible. Many of them had temple on the top. Or some scribblings in large white fonts. They were just too many of them that it seems by chance was this space available for road connectivity. Around 10:30AM we were nearing Madhugiri. I saw a very steep hill, higher than the surrounding ones and started taking pictures. I wondered if anyone can climb this one. Little did I know that it was the very hill we were headed too. And indeed, the climb was from the other side which is not so steep as the side I had seen.

Krishna assembled us in a circle and we introduced ourselves. Our elite party consisted of an ex-army, his wife (the elderly couple) and their daughter, a photographer (from the equipment he carried), a foreigner and other enthusiasts like me :P. We were to climb 3930 ft (perhaps lesser, as the height base from sea level is not known) which is more than Tirupathi and approx. half the height of Ooty.

And so, we started our ascent around 10:45AM. The fort entrance and wall-fencing were still in good shape. Initially it was all steps and easy to climb. On big rocks, small steps were carved out for convenience. The fort is centered near the base of the hill and circular towers few hundred feet above. A large flat surface below the towers was well fenced and a pool built which was completely dry. After these towers, it was all bare mountain with few resting places in between.

A bit scary for first-timers

Having fun ;)

The ascent was quite easy for most part except for the hot sun. Continuous breeze dried our sweat leaving crystallized salt on face and neck. We had to frequently rest, drink water and continue. About two-third of the hill upward comes the most dangerous climb. Iron poles were rooted along the path which were around knee level and not much of use. For inexperienced trekkers like me, one had to lean on the hot-rock with bare hands to feel a bit safe. The heavy back-pack made it worse. Thankfully they had built a fence near the steepest portion above to reach an entrance. I felt very very relieved to have make it. Taking a break there, the climb was resumed. Now it all seemed easier after the steep climb, but exhaustion meant more frequent stops. We did not mind sitting on the hot rock for it was nigh impossible to move on more than 2-5 min at a stretch. Ofcourse, there were large rocks here and there providing cool shade.

Very relieved to have climbed up the steep slope (fence and entrance can be seen)

After what seemed an eternity, the summit came in view. I say 'came' as I never felt like reaching the top. Ruined temple greeted us with scattered vegetation. Beyond the temple, one could go down to reach large rocks strewn on relatively flat surface. We chose a big rock providing shade all around to camp and have lunch. Grass, flowery plants and trees had somehow found their way to grow there. Whats more, we could see clear signs of goats having come there.

The veg-biryani from 'New Agarwal Bhavan' was very spicy but to our growling stomachs, it tasted sweet. After lunch, the ex-army gentleman shared his experiences in Infantry, 1971 war, snow-blindness, beauty of Ladakh, exported apples and so on. The foreign lady too enthusiastically shared hers. And to my surprise, the mobile signal strength was very good there!

Lunch time :) :)

Around 1:45PM, we started our descent. (But logically, we had to first climb to reach the summit again and begin the descent :P - to quote the ex-army gentlemen). The descent was faster compared to the climb, but one had to walk sideways for better grip. As in my first trekking trip, my legs started shivering, for reasons unknown. And the thighs too started paining. Somehow, I managed to climb down steadily, and sometimes running down small stretches. The steep slope I mentioned during the climb proved too tricky way-down. Mortal fear took control of me that despite good advice from the guide to do it easily, I did not turn my bodily-position. I was leaning on the rocks and nearly crawling along. The rocks were too hot by now. The forceful drag with palms resulted in two burn-like bubbles. Anyone watching me without knowing what went through my mind would have laughed relentlessly. I cannot describe what relief I felt on crossing that dangerous path. And to top it all, the ex-army gentleman just walked freely through the steep section! Of course he had 37 years of experience, but goes to show that perhaps it is only the fear that makes it very dangerous. The shivering and thigh pain increased and I took an extended rest. The rest of the climb was all about pushing myself to go. I kept the pace sedate and talking with the fellow trekkers helped a lot.

Not gonna forget in this lifetime (the ex-army gentleman is too happy to walk casually!)

Apparently, we had finished the trek well ahead. Replenishing with water and cool-drinks, we started around 3:45pm. Some wanted to have another trek, but most including me were not upto it. Here came the driver's role. Apparently he was a local guy and knew the surrounding area pretty well. He suggested to visit 'Sri Yoga lakshmi narasimha swamy' temple on a hill which could be reached via road. We reached there around 4:45pm. The temple closes by 5pm, so a guard placed at a diverging road halfway up the hill was going to stop us. But the driver got us through. The hill is populated with 'wild' monkeys. Lots of hills surround the place and this one had a provision for guest-house too. We had cucumber and tender-coconut and proceeded for the temple. Monkeys were on the lookout to snatch anything. They even 'attacked' the shoe stand near the temple. Some of them showed acrobatic skills hanging by the tail on trees, other monkeys or water taps. One intelligent monkey was peeling off a tender-coconut! And the skin which it tore were in other monkeys' mouth!

Atop the hill to visit the temple

Isn't it beautiful?

It started raining and the mist cover on the surrounding hills was a great sight. We hurried to the tempo, took a group photo with some missing and started our way back to Bangalore. But hold on, we were not done yet. There was another famous place 'Namada Chilume', around 2-3kms from the temple. Here again our driver got us permission to go through. It was light drizzle here and the climate too good with cool breeze. Apparently, during Rama's Vanvas, he visited the place and pierced a hole on a rock to get water. One story goes that Sita was thirsty and according to wiki, Rama needed it for his Thilak which is how the place got the name. Whatever be it, water continuously flows out of it throughout the year. Whats more, we saw for ourselves the water flow increasing when coins were devoted.

Perennial source of water - from a rock!

Finally, we started our way back to bangalore. Rain had picked up here too. Both the path we came for the temple and the one we took to Bangalore is surrounded by thick forest. Wild animals are supposed to be living there, but we did not cross any. After a while, I slept due to sheer exhaustion and when I woke up, we were on the Tumkur road jammed with traffic. It would be around 9pm when I reached home. Took a hot bath and slept peacefully.

What a day it was. Climbing more than a km tall hill, and two bonus visits to beautiful places among the hills with rain in the air.. oh inexplicable pleasure indeed. Antaragange was fun with friends, this was personal satisfaction. I am far-off from becoming a good-trekker, what with my legs giving way to fear. But it is one step forward in right direction. Both in the Antaragange trip and Madhugiri one, I had trouble while descending. And both times, it rained while coming back :D. All in all, another day added to unforgettable ones :)

PS: Some of the photos from Madhugiri posted here courtesy Rajendran :)

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