Sunday, May 12, 2013

Night trek to Narayanagiri - March 23, 2012

As has been my inclination often in the past, I ended up following a western ghats trek with a short trek soon after. This time, there was a marked difference - two of my colleagues had joined me. Along with two other friends of a colleague, it made five for the group - a rare luxury for me.

The tempo journey was made pleasant by numerous Hindi olden-goldies songs. By midnight, we were at the base of the hill - one among the many in Ramanagaram, where Sholay was shot. Night treks definitely seems popular with Bangaloreans. There were about 25 that night. One of my favourite coordinator from BMC - Satya was to be one of our guide. Like my last night trek, I didn't opt for the sleeping bag again :D

Our little group - before starting to climb

The trek in whole was about 70 minutes only including numerous small breaks. But for most part, it was steep climb. The initial part especially was made more difficult with muddy path littered with small stones making it skiddy. But when we reached the top, we wanted to be climbing more. Such is the mysterious workings of our body.

Atop the hill

We scouted around the peak (with a temple in between - by which the peak gets its name) for a suitable place to sleep. Mostly, it was dry, long, dead grass on one side. The rocky surface was very uneven on the other sides. By then, everyone had reached the peak and preparations were underway to light a campfire. So we dumped our bags to one corner and joined the others.

Camp fire (forgive my shooting skills)

By 1:30AM in the morning, the camp fire was well lit. Large dry grass and broken tree branches were collected from all corners. Camping spirit had gotten to all of us, shedding our everyday shell we put on for sake of society. Like in movies, we circled around the fire with music from phones and our own screams. When most of the fuel had been burnt, we resorted to Anthakshari. And when most had had enough for the night and went to sleep, a small group huddled close to the fire, re-kindling it with leftovers and further scouting. We kept up the Anthakshiri as well, adding regional movie and folk songs as well. We scoured the deepest memories to keep it going, even if it was just a broken line, sometimes not even a proper starting with allocated letter.

So cozy - alas I missed :(

By the time the last embers were put out with water (a good practice after camp fire) and our little group settled to sleep, it was well past 4:30AM. I regretted not bringing sleeping bag, despite having to pass only about an hour. The thermocoat helped bear the cold a bit, slept fitfully for a while on the hard rocks. Around 6AM, we were awake again, our bags packed for departure. We took some photos in the early dawn until sunrise. And then, we had fun in capturing the red glowing ball from various angles. 

Unveiling the red ball

Climbing down took us about 40 minutes. We went to a lake nearby, which was green to a large extent with lotus. We spent sometime there trying to capture flock of birds circling the lake as well as playing skipping stones. Returning back, we saw lots of Mango trees, which is what Ramnagaram is famous for - after bring known for Sholay perhaps.

Near the lotus lake

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