Friday, September 7, 2012

Trek to Horagina Betta - 8 Oct, 2011

As has become my customary, I did a short one-day trek after the exhilarating trek to western ghats (Kodachadri). For the fourth time running. Kiran was the guide from BMC. Horagina Betta is near the famous Nandi hills in Chickballapur. The trek's starting point was halfway on the Nandhi hills road. The group size was around 20-25, two of them I knew from previous treks.

Starting the trek - off Nandi hills road
Tough initial climb

After the usual prep talk from Kiran, we started our climb at around 9:20AM, with Sun playing hide and seek in humid conditions. Wild grass and bushes, some tall as us, some thorny, greeted us unwillingly. No wonder we were the first batch of BMC on this trail. One hour into the trek and we were already sweating, a bit exhausted and stopped under the shade of a large rock. We could see the peak intermittently, taunting us. From an angle, it looked like an elephant sleeping on its belly, its four legs stretched and a tree growing taller than others on the back for the tail. After 15 minutes of rest for refreshments and snaps and some trek-gossip, we renewed our quest in arid conditions.

Elephant, no?

Scenery to our right

The bushes grew wilder and as we gained altitude, we spotted Nandi hills with its mobile towers to our left. To our right, were small hills and lakes and villages surrounded by greenery all around. And within twenty minutes, we took the next break, this time overlooking a cliff to the right. By Kiran's estimate, we were half-way to the top. After that, the breaks became more frequent, what with steep climb and humidity in arid conditions.

Still a long way to go

Frequent rest en-route

Finally, after two-and-a-half-hours of climb, we reached the peak to our collective relief. However, we continued beyond the peak to the other side to find a good spot for lunch. We went past a temple that is visited frequently by villagers nearby. This temple can be seen from peak of Nandi hills too. I remember myself spotting it on my earlier visit to Nandi hills and wondering at that time if the climb was difficult. Well, I had my answer.

Hills all around - Nandi hills on the right

Not finding a good shady place, we trekked back and finally settled under trees growing around the edges. After lunch, it was a long session of snaps with cliffs and around. Some took to sleeping under the trees. After about an hour of relaxation, we started our decent.

Some wild insects on the way back

Unlike the tough terrain we got on our climb, the descent on the other side (facing Nandi hills) was easier with well defined path, perhaps from the frequent visit to the temple through this route. However, at one spot, the wild bushes were a nuisance, several meters tall and thickly populated making our passage difficult. After that, it was a normal climb down on rocky surface and sparse forest. Within one-and-half-hour we reached the base and joined the Nandi hills highway. We waited under a tamarind tree while the tempos came to pick us up. All in all, yet another good trek with BMC.

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