A ride of a lifetime - Skandagiri

The most memorable night out of my life till date. I can remember every second of it as though it was yesterday. The plan was: A gang of 4, two bikes, Skandagiri night trek. We were to depart at around 10.30pm and so Pramod and I went to other friend's house. Even though I’d advised him not to tell that we are going on bikes, He informed in his place that we are going in a bike. The consequence was very bad. His dad dint allow him. The other guy also dropped out. Only two were left now Pramod and Anil, that’s me.
 Had a fight with our friends but that dint stop us from canceling the trip, we went ahead, departed at 11pm.Only two of us Pramod and me set off on my bike not knowing what was in store for us. We fed the bike, bought some snacks and off to the NH7 without even knowing where exactly this place was located. The ride was scary, we realized how weak our bike's headlight was, as well as it importance. We couldn’t see farther than 10m which made us go slowly. Both of us had the same thought "Should we return home?” But then we had left and we wanted to enjoy the night, the darkness, the stars, and the chilling wind which was deviating my bike, the empty roads and the silence. Above all we wanted to show our frnds that they did miss something. Slowly and steadily we drove through some 30 km. The usually flooded roads had a deserted look, the half moon was the only bright thing we could see, it looked as if it was smiling at us, one or two tea shops were open and a few drunkards all in their own world at night. So different from the busy city life, there were many lorries and other vehicles passing us but very rare though. Soon we came across an intersection, where the left turn leads us to Nandi hills. We took a left turn and the adventure began.

It was a straight road with long trees on either side, absolutely no human trace. Looked like it was newly laid. A few km in we heard strange noises, and then at a point we stopped just to feel the darkness. With great courage we turned back, what we saw was ‘WOW’. I call it the complete darkness. I turned off the bike engine also. This silence was scary. There was sense of fear creeping into us; we took the first few photos of the night. Without even daring to look back again we continued our journey. 

Finding the place was extremely difficult. We took some wrong routes, came to the road that leads to Nandi hills, we moved on hoping someone would tell us the way ahead. After some tensed moments we found light at the end of tunnel, it was a tea shop. The shopkeeper was our savior; we drank tea; he told us the route. There were few guys who had come in a car; they joined us in the hunt for this place. We were supposed to night trek and see the sun rise in the morning. Both the bike and car moved as directed by the shopkeeper in search of the illusive hill. As per the shopkeeper’s map we had to take right after an arch; we jus moved straight completely missing the right. I noticed a board saying Melkote-8km, and the moment I saw it, I knew we were in the wrong route. Soon we came across a building and stopped at the barking of the dogs, then a bulb started glowing from a house behind the dogs. A tall man came out, and then disappeared into his house within moments. He appeared again after sometime holding a RIFLE in his hand. We were shocked and did not know what to do. So, I started shouting ‘Skandagiri, Skandagiri’, he quietly held the rifle down and told us the route. The guys who had come in the car left to Bangalore because they lost hope. But Pramod and I carried on hoping to reach the place. We took a random turn and noticed torch lights from a hill. I knew that we were on the right track. 


 
Finally, reached the hill at 2am and were amazed to see some 25 bikes and around 10 cars. I was surprised to see so many people there. Pramod paid some money for entrance while I was parking the bike and headed off to climb the hill. We did not opt for a guide. It was so thrilling, the sky was clear and filled with thousands of stars. Pramod and I joined a group of students who had opted for a guide and just kept on following them. Our fear was now overshadowed by the thrill and adventure in front of us. With a torch and mobile phone's light we went ahead, the only thing visible was the path and everything else was doomed in darkness. We could see light at a distance and a few people shouting, taking regular stops and talking about anything and everything we climbed the hill. The climb was around 8km; it took us around 2hrs. After all efforts we conquered Skandagiri  at around 5am.

                                            



 

I saw so many people already on the top and sleeping in tents. I have no idea how low the temperature was, it made me shiver, we were so tired that we held on to our bags and dozed off feeling relieved that we had achieved our goal. We woke up at 6am; it was so cold that I felt we were in Ooty. I don’t know what all we tried to keep ourselves warm. I was amazed to see around 200 people on top of the hill. All of us were waiting for the sun to rise. The wait was too long and unsuccessful. The sun was playing hide and seek among the clouds. The heavy fog made it even more difficult to sight the sun. At around 7.30 we could catch a glimpse of the sun. Finally our mission Skandagiri was accomplished. It was nature's beauty at its best; the wide landscape; the sun; the beautiful people around us, it was like in heaven in a freezer. We relaxed for a while; took some pics and headed downwards. 

Climbing down was not that strenuous. While getting we saw the path we had climbed up and wondered how the hell we climbed up. We reached the base of the hill in 1.5hrs; washed our faces and then drank tender coconut water. It provided us with the much needed energy; then headed towards Bangalore. I was so sleepy and tired that I slept for a few seconds while driving. Pramod rode for a few km and finally reached home at 11.30am. Our adventure was finally over.
Can’t forget this for all my life; you should experience these things you can’t feel just by reading. Hope someday you do experience it; go for it guys Skandagiri and the adventure awaits you!!!!!!!!



There are two routes for this place.
1. Go on NH7, take left that leads to Nandi hills, at almost end of the road take and right. Then take one more left where you have to find an arch at the entrance of a road. Take that road and take the first right. (the road appears to be narrow)
2. Go on NH7 until you reach a circle near Chikballapur. Towards your left you can notice a statue of Sir M. Visweshwariah. Take the left there and go straight. You’ll find the place there. 
Some tips to people who are planning to visit this place:
1.  Make sure your vehicle is filled with fuel
2.  Pack some eatables, loads of water, warm clothing(its very cold), a torch with full battery, camera, suitable footwear.

Labels: ,