After my Trek to Narasimaparvatha , Trekking has appealed me more. Filtered down Savandurga before two months as it comes under one day trek list in Bangalore. As usual, planned with 10 members and all our plans got postponed and only 4 of us made it the D day.
Savandurga is Asia’s largest monolith at 1226 m above. It is going to be rocky climb and not a forest trek as I had gone earlier. We need good shoes. Not to be afraid of any animals but be afraid of the police as some newspaper reported that Savandurga was off the chart for trekking.
I did all the master plan for the trek. I stuck with the same route as KoTrEsH’s Blog suggests. Mysore Road->Big Banyan ->Manchanabele Dam -> Savandurga. This route will give us Big Banyan and Manchanabele which are good photo spots rather than plain monotonous Tumkur highway.
Initially we planned to start by 5.00 AM. But As far as I read in the blogs, people have started from Bangalore after having a early breakfast. I did not tell this to any one as I know these guys will make it late any how (master mind idea 1) . As expected we hit the outer ring road at 6.15 AM which is just 2 KM from our home.
Saturday got in my bike and was nagging me every time I raised the acceleration “my head set is flying. Go Slow”. He had a overhead headset citing that he will fight the the cold outside with it. Darn! Kappai is a license less guy; he was determined to raid the Avenger sticking Stick at his back.
Marked the route in google maps for big banyan tree and started from Hebbal. Via mysore road before the right for the Rajarajeshwari Engineering College we had a stop for Tea. Saturday kept asking me for a Tea from the time we started. But I said we will drink in nice hotel, these cycle teas will not be nice here. Thank fully the Tea, coffee and the kesari bath was mouthwatering complementing to the cold outside.
Took the Ramohalli Cross Bus Stop turn to Dodda Alada Mara and the ride continues. Big banyan stopping was a wonderful experience. I thought it will be very big tree as we see in Lalbag or in dense forest / hill stations, But the place was filled with lot of small trees which were part or one single tree. Astonishing as it looks, the main trunk is no more and the tree had covered over three acre of land. [Poekmon reference] Kappai missed an Ivysaur pertaining not to use a Ultra Ball.
From there we took the route to Manchanabele dam. The view from the road was awestruck. This path was not the usual flat road that we rode till now. It gave us the feeling of ghats. As a Novice rider this was enough for me to get that feel of nice ups and downs with all the curves it had. Had a good nice view of the dam and we took the route to Savandurga.
This is the place where it all turned up. There was a sign board saying Savandurga 13 kms. It is the horrible road of the trip and costed us a Puncture in Avenger. Hornet escaped taking the punch in the rear wheel as it was tube less tyre. Google maps showed a longer route going further not taking this signboard of 13 kms. Might have tried that but we thought this rough road will end in few meters. Sadly it extended all the 8-9 kilometers till we reached the Magadi main road.
On the way we had our first glimpse of Savandurga. Stopped there again to capture some beautiful frames.
From Magadi highway while entering Savandurga stood a big arch which welcomed us with a rusty Karnataka tourism sign board. A kilometer inside we paid an entry ticket for our bikes. With just 20Rs per bike we entered the state reserve forest, the path to Savandurga. This path was the fantastic path till now. The 4km From the Arch to the Actual Hill give you all the excitement you want for the trip.
Yes, I know that the previous path from Bigbanyan towrds Manchanebele was also good. But previously it was all about the route and feel of the bike ride, this was all about the scenic view of the Savandurga. My Adrenalin started to pump up from here. We will be at the top of the Monolith in few hours.
Reaching the base, it was crowded with lot of vehicles. Some news articles quoted Savandurga is off limits.But doesn’t seem so because they took ticket for entry.
We started our climb by 10.15. My plan was to start climbing by at-least 8.00. Considering the stops we took and the time we started, two hours delay is trivial. By the time we climbed mere 50 meters I thought it could be a serious threat to my life. The slope was so mush inclined that we couldn’t stand gripping the ground; we can almost go sliding if we take our hands off the rock. There came our saviors who were descending, “Bro, you can’t climb like that, come this way”. Inside me said, “Dude, that’s for kids, I am here for adventure and thrill”. Outside I said “I still need to live longer than today. Get down, go to the easier route”. I still managed to climb another 10 meters and I am done. I went down all the way to find the correct starting point.
Savandurga trek trial can be divided into 4 parts. You climb to the highest point (horizon) you can see and there you see another highest point (horizon) where you have to climb. You need to cross 4 horizons. Throughout the way there are electrical poles which are the trail route we need to follow. First is the initial climb, after this we saw the fort wall for the next climb. Initial climbing will be easy provided you are on the right and easy path.
At the end of this climb you can take plenty of rest. There were people selling juice for 30rs You will get these juice at the peak also.
The climb from here to the fort wall is bit tricky, we need to catch the carvings in the rock and climb in four legs. The view from the fort wall gives you a good view of Manchanabele. Fort wall is a nice place to click photos. There will be ample shade here. The climb continues.
From fort wall during the climb we found lot of huge crescent carvings in the rock. Not sure what they are. These giant holes had water filled in with algae grown. It was a good spot for taking pictures with your reflection in water.
After this stretch we are almost done climbing. From here you can see the Nandhi temple. We walked on the flat surface crawling some narrow gap between the rocks and reached the Nandhi temple.
View from here is the best. The karigudda can be seen and it looks terrifying. We can see the temple and a pond from where we started climbing.Resting here for 10 mins and admiring the bird’s eye view for 20 mins, after a total of 30 mins we started to descend.
Descend will not take your breath like ascend. Yet, your toes will start to feel pain for the fact that your toe keeps hitting the front part of the shoe. The pain will be more and requires lot of patience. Your whole sole will come out if you are wearing a slipper. Imagine all these buildups and exaggeration for a guy like me sitting before PC for hours inside a carpet flooring cubicle. We saw a lady walking on bare foot. Though we are descending on the same path there were some places where we had to look for arrows for easier path. We never dared to experiment again. Since we started early morning, stomach was also kicking inside.
Reaching the base we found the Puncture in Avenger. There is a puncture shop by the entrance arch of Savandurga. Kapil rode it till there and got it repaired. We paid 100 rs. We suspected that the ‘not to be called road’ road ought to be the reason for the puncture. So decided to take the highway. I have already executed my plan and visited both the Big banyan and Manchanabele. I don’t care which route we take for the return. So we took the road to magadi. I wanted to go further and take the Tumkur highway; unfortunately we took the magadi bangalore road.
With all our energy dried out the dry two lane state highway was still draining my energy. There were lot of small holes on the road which tested my patience. Managed to skim through a few but drove over a lot. Entered Bangalore by 4.00 the sweet time to commute inside the city 🙂 Finally we had our food at 5.00 near Jalahalli cross Metro. Reached home at 6.30.
A trip which was planned from 5.00 am to 2.00 pm turned to be 6.30 am to 6.30 pm a twelve hour trip with only one masal dosa for the day.