Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta - 21 Sep 2013

The lush green hills are a treat to trek (as well as photogenic) in September, at the tail end of South-West monsoon. This was another of those trips hatched by employees itching for a weekend getaway. I suggested Rangaswamy Betta as I had been there before. And it turned out a good outing - just the starter to re-kindle trekking spree after almost 12 month hiatus.

On trek day, the seven of us (Krishna, Prakash, Yatin, Mohan, Varaprasad, Gaurav and yours truly ) convened at Silk board, the harsh lights of street-lamps and head-lamps still burning in predawn hours. I tagged along Krishna in his car while three of them had come on motorcycles.

Krishna zoomed away and we stopped by on Kanakapura road, cameras out in search of birds. They were few and hard to spot. After others caught up, we continued onwards. 

With help of maps and villagers, we reached the base few minutes past 8 AM. Kind hearted villagers at a house there let us park the vehicles, which is safer than parking in an open area very close to start of trek (about 10 minute walk from the house to that spot)


That walk turned out more suited to capture bird pics than our earlier attempt on highway. Plus a bonus picture of beautiful butterfly, hovering near the mud road.

Weather played nice - cloudy and cool. However, rusty on physical activity, I found the climb challenging. We took plenty of breaks. One of them was on a big rock for breakfast - biscuits, cakes, snacks, chocolates, bananas and Poha (courtesy Mohan)

As we neared the peak, it became even tougher. All said and done, even with numerous breaks and breakfast, we reached the top by 10:30 AM, about 2 hours from base. There is a temple at peak (one can get food as well) and water tank (much needed)

For about an hour, we roamed around the peak - it is a huge area and a road connectivity on the other side. It was too windy to stay put near the cliffs. Mohan showed  off his climbing skills :P We then hiked around trees - a few bird and flower snaps adding to memorable experience.

Around noon, we started our trek back - again took us about 2 hours. On our way to highway, we stopped by bakery for snacks and juice. By contrast to a cool morning at the hills, it was very hot there. And irritable evening traffic as we reached Bengaluru :-/

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