Distance: (90+10) x 2 = 200 kms
1)Bangalore > Ramnagar > Chenpatna > Left Turn > Kabbalu.
2)Banglaore > Kanakpura > Sathanur > Right Turn > Kabbalu.
Participants: Manu > Sp.
Bikes: GS > Pulsar.
Previous Visit: Chamundi Hills & Balmuri Falls.
Before I start writing this article, I’m really happy that I’m still alive , this was the trip which almost took me away and left me with great memories to look back .I might have taken the wrong route but sure was a tough one and tested all my will to stay alive.
Okay a few days before 26th I came to know that Kabbalu was not only a dam but a hill which could be trekked. So the plan was trek the hill, then cool down in the waters. After a lot of discussion it was only Manohar & me who were ready to hit the road next day. So Crashed early without having the slightest clue what was instored for the next 15 hours.
TIME: 22:00 hrs
RIDE I : ( Bangalore to Kabbalu)
Morning 04:00hrs I was up & ready, just before leaving my house Alexi ( my pet ) was pulling me back into the house, all these signs made sense after 6-7 hours ha-ha!!! 6:30 am Manu arrived at my place and we left towards Chenpatna via Mysore road(SH-17) . We Chose SH-17 over Kanakpura road because it was still dark and there was a lot of Fog we didn’t want to experience a death ride again like that of Ride to BR hills .
SH-17 a good 4-lane road offered no problems for us .Though it was still foggy we witnessed a great sunrise, we cruised through Bidadi & Ramnagar to reach Chenpatna. A left deviation through this town would lead to the town of kabbalu.
RIDE II: (Chenpatna – Kabbalu)
From Chenpatna Kabbalu is about 20-25kms, it comes before Sathanur. And the roads were pretty good, both the sides thick trees, forest kind of roads. It was a real nice riding through this stretch. Finally after a good 15-20 mins ride we got the glimpse of the hill “Kabbalu”. On top we could see a small white dot – tat was top of the hill, which also marked the end point of the trek.
Kabblau is pretty high when altitude comes into the picture. Other hills include:
Nandi hills - 4851 feet
BR hills - 5091 feet
Skandagiri - 4430 feet
Savandurga - 4022 feet
Kabbalu -4000-5000 feet.
Now that was the stats … looked challenging.
We entered the town of kabbalu parked our bikes near the temple (for safety)& walked about 1.5- 2kms then about 500 meters to reach the foot of the hill.
TIME : 08:00hrs.
TREK I: (Going gets tough with additional Load on my back)
We started to trek up the hill, we didn’t know the proper route so started climbing where ever we could find a path. We met two aged people who were trying to climb as well. They requested me to carry their 2-litre bottle and pooja items for them to the top as I was carrying a bag. This made the trek even more challenging a 2 liter bottle & other items added a lot of weight on my shoulder and I was carrying my helmet too.
The terrain changed to something similar to that of Savandurga , pure rocky terrain , it started to become difficultbut fun. The steepness was maddening & the load on my back resulted in me losing lot of energy... And every time I lifted me hand my bag was pulling me back. It was only the beginning of what was in stored for me that day .
MANU STAYS BACK:
About 20-30 minutes of the trek, Manu felt uneasy & said he was giving up this trek. I thought a good 15-20 mins break would set him back on track, but he was pretty serious. And he’s that kind of person who is always ready for challenges.So I was put in a dilemma:
1)Whether to continue & deliver the goods to the top or
2)stay back and take him to safety.
The first option was associated with a lot of risks anything could happen and there was only person to blame “myself”. And also I wasn’t sure where I was heading... but it would also mean breaking a promise to the aged persons who had trusted me..So I asked Manu about the decision to make… he gave me a “thumbs up” … so I took a promise tat he would find shade or go back to the town and find food and shade.
So I continued further in search of the temple on top, along with other old ruined buildings hoping that the terrain would become less steeper.
TREK II: (Test of WILL v/s Facing Death)
After manu’s exit on the trek, it became that much harder for me to climb. The terrain became worse 70-80 degree inclined rock, not to forget the scorching heat of the sun on my head.
The rays of the sun falling directly over my head made me feel Dizzy at times, but one slip would END it all ha-ha!!! (Damn those moments). Every 10-15 steps I took uphill I sat down thinking the madness I had got myself into. Looking back down at the insanely steep terrain made me a little worried about climbing back down.
As it was an odd season to visit, the place was totally burnt out, which didn’t help to keep my spirits up. It looked like a burnt fort awaiting my arrival ha-ha!!! (Yeah I was hallucinating)
TREK III: (Last Test off will)
The temperature kept rising, was feeling dizzy somewhere on top of the mountain with no people around, crazy situation it was. Well the white spot which marked the end of the trek was totally out of my mind, I just wanted to stand on flat ground. And the most annoying part was I had a full 2litre heavy bottle but couldn’t open it as I thought it was kept for some sacred ritual on top.
Thought the steepness would reduce as I went further up , but unfortunately the steepness became insane , at certain places it was one shot one go , else slip to death kind of situations. Scary moments but worth living those. This stretch is something I’ll remember for a long time. Check out snaps of the inclination and the surroundings Ha-ha!! They showed no mercy.
Finally after a lot of balancing, I found myself at the bottom of a few uneven half broken rock foot steps which I thought would lead to the temple on top. And finally something went correct for me that day ha-ha!!!
There’s lot much to say about this stretch , the thoughts that ran into my mind… but it was all part of the experience , It’s very hard to express the fear I felt of not returning home , people i would miss etc . So anyway I was on the top of the world after reaching the top: D
Once I reached the top I was shocked to see the entire top burnt , but the cool breeze was blowing on my face , Whew that was a relief !! I wasn’t sure whether I took the right route but can assure u I took the hard one ha-ha!!
At the top I explored a little, found old abandoned buildings, and then spotted the first of the temples. Here the Nandi originates from the rock itself. But the main destination was still not to be found. The breeze was so strong standing became a tough task.
I put the pooja items inside the temple and found my bag had tore...Well that was a bummer, added to that my shoe lace also gave up… had to tie knots and manage. It was one of those days where everything went wrong and being on top of some cliff hanging on by a thread made things worse. I found a brick and wrote my name on top of some stone knew it wouldn’t remain forever but yea I was proud of myself ha-ha!! I had this scary feeling only once before during the Epic Skandagiri Trip.
Finally after 30minutes found the Gopura, which was seen as a small dot from the road which was far far away like a small streak.Sat in front of the temple looking at the town of kabbalu with heavy thoughts running through my mind. It was so windy I was scared to go the edge of the cliff. After 15-20 minutes at the main destination I wore back my shoes with modifications to my lace tying and decided to head back.
TREK IV: (Climb Down)
As I started to climb down I met a few more people who were just about to reach the top and believe me they were begging for water, so gave off the bottle of water to them and continued.
The climb down was a scary one, as every step required more balance and grip and yea I’m scared ofheights too ha-ha!!! Then I sat down and climbing down cautiously keeping my hand on the burning hot rock surface. Bruises started showing up but had to continue as I didn’t have much of a choice. Ankles & knees were literally shivering .crying out in pain.
After 60 minutes of trekking and yea running down the hill reached the place where me and Manu had split off earlier, but as I couldn’t find him realized that he would be in the town. Finally found a better route and ran down even though knees & ankles were shattered, completed the last 10% of the hill in no time and reached the road which would lead to the town. Then I took one final look at the maddening & Scary trek I had been for the past 4-5 hours.
As I reached of kabbalu people were staring at me as if they has seen a ghost. The shock on my face still prevailed. I was totally in sweat limping across the town with bruises on my hands. I reached the place where we had parked our bikes but Manu was no where to be seen and the wait began…
The sun was up & directly above my head but leaving that place meant that manu wouldn’t spot me so bought two coconuts and sat on my bike keeping the heat down. After 80-90 minutes off dizzy wait manu showed up whew it was about time. When enquired about his health he said he was okay and was ready to head back.
RIDE III: (Kabbalu – Dhaba – Kanva)
The ride back was a steady one… again riding through the forestkind off road was fun. We stopped for a few moments and we decided to go to Kanva .But before that our tummy’s were crying for food… it was only the previous day we had eaten so headed further to reach SH-17.
20kms form the chenpatna we reached the kanva Dhaba and had a good meal and headed towards kanva.
Seeing the waters of this magnificent place was a huge relief. Parked our bikes and took a dip into the water. Knees ankles wrists hands everything cooled down.. Felt great. After 30 minutes in the chilly waters of kanva we came out of the water and had a good nap on the banks. After that we decided to head back to Bangalore.
RIDE IV: (Kanva-Bangalore)
Well the last 60kms were left and it was just formality completing this stretch. The lunch & the dip in Kanva was really refreshingand we did this stretch in about an hour to reach Bangalore and we headed home.
I would like to end this article by saying the following
“this was one of my hardest treks till date, considering the season & the risks I took. I might have not taken the right route but defiantly took the tougher one and came out alive ,one slip would have finished it all & I wasn’t sure I would be returning back home that day but yeah \m/ here I am alive and kicking ha-ha!! “
PS: And yeah don't be scared to visit the place after reading this , the trek is pretty simple if u take the right route.
Until next time Ciao \m/ (Scroll up and see the snaps of this maddening route i took)
28) Kabbalu trek ( Kabbaldurga) + Kanva : ( 26/1/11)