Place: Madhugiri Fort, KarnatakaDistance: 100 * 2 = 200 km
Trek Lenght: 4 hours ascend
Trek difficulty: Moderate to difficult
Ideal for: Friends
Transportation: Mini bus
Crew: Me and 25 other colleagues
It's been 5 months since my last trek to Hulukaddi betta. I have covered most of best trekking places around Bangalore in my blog but Madhugiri was the missing one. I had done Madhugiri trek back in 2013, neither I had proper photos nor I could remember much things to write a post. So I decided to recreate the memories and post it for you guys. Since it's far, riding bike for such long distance, trekking and riding back would be hectic (we did it last time ;). There's a trekking group at my office, I posted an event and invited everyone, response was huge and head count reached up to 24. With big group comes bigger responsibilities, Naresh helped me a lot in arranging the transportation and refreshments.
Since it's far, we decided to leave at 5 am to avoid heat during the trek. It should take 2 to 2.5 hours to reach depending on the breaks.
|Best of the Beast: Turret at Madhugiri fort|
Saturday morning: Naresh along with 20 others started from office, me and 2 more guys joined them at Gurguntepalya at 6 am. Most of us were sleepy, pulled over at Koratgeri for breakfast. Another half an hour of drive took us to Madhugiri.
|Energetic at the start of the trek|
|The out most wall of the fort, there are govt offices inside this now|
|You can park your vehicle safely at this point|
|This is the starting point of the trekking, there is a temple to the left (yellow wall)|
The trek: We started trek at 8.30 am, climate was pleasant which should make the trek a good experience. The trek route is quite simple, but the trail is very long. Let me divide this stretch into 4 parts.
|This is the exact feeling you will get while trekking Madhugiri|
First stretch - The first stretch has several steps to carry you on your way. These are fairly easy to climb and will take you through a series of beautifully carved stone corridors, leading you to a relatively large tank and an outpost. The wind welcomes you at this spot, from where you can see a huge hillock, a preview of the trek ahead of you. While everyone was busy exploring trails at Madhugiri, I was experimenting with manual mode on my SLR. I was enjoying taking pictures as the rocks covered with the lush green made photos look gorgeous.
|You can expect more beautiful photos now on. Like my page, I post there regularly|
|Photos know no fear :P|
|Beautiful walls of the fort which is giving fort a spectacular look|
|Nicely placed stone slabs as stairs at the beginning of the trek, seems easy but wait for the next stretch|
|The path goes in zigzac fashion, you can see the doors at regular intervals|
|Lush green guarded by the rocks makes it perfect place to take a pic|
|Guys were bored with straight stairs so they spread to find their own trail :P don't try this!!|
|Mantaps are there at regular intervals to crash in and take rest. It will be your savior if trekking on a sunny day|
|No words to explain this art. I love this structure which is so perfect even after it has been ruined over year|
|Presenting you the best part of the trek. A pond, a big turret and green grass everywhere|
|The biggest turret of the fort, its view is even more spectacular as you go up|
Second stretch: The flat ground I described above is starting of the second stretch. From here the slope is little more inclined. The steps are now carved inside the rock, you get railings for support. After 20 minutes of trek you will finally reach the toughest part of the trek.
|One might think that's the peak, but wait you have a long way still|
|From this point there are no stair cases, but there are grooves and supporting railings|
|The view of the surrounding becomes more and more beautiful with every step|
|The guys who wanted to find their own trail at the beginning of the trek were tired to follow the simple st :P|
|The turret looks even more beautiful when you go up.|
|Observe the outer wall of the fort, I could spend my entire day just sitting there and enjoying the view|
|A panoramic view of Madhugiri town and surrounding hills|
Third stretch: The third stretch is the most talked about, perceived as dangerous by many but in reality, anybody who makes up their mind can successfully conquer this stretch. The inclination is close to 60 - 70 degree, requiring trekkers to get down on all fours and crawl their way forward. It is strenuous and very challenging. On account of this stretch, sturdy footwear is a must on your trek of Madhugiri Fort. There are grooves in the rock, offering support to crawling climbers, last time I visited this place there was supporting railings which is no more there making it more scary to cross. It's not difficult but scary, I saw other group of boys who returned from this point. Even 6 guys from our group decided to stop here as they were afraid of heights. I appreciate girls in our group who crossed the stretch without any fear. After this stretch there are no supporting railings or grooves in the rock. At some places the rock is steep where we had to knee down and crawl. During rainy season it could be really difficult to cross this stretch.
|Here comes the toughest part of the stretch, the supporting railings is broken, only grooves in the rock is there for the support|
|I am not really sure what NBF means but it points towards the peak, so just follow it.|
|The stupendous view makes you forget all the pain you took to trek this stretch|
|There are neither supporting railings nor grooves in the rocks from the third stretch|
|There are neither supporting railings nor grooves in the rocks|
|Just trying different composition, bear with me for a while|
|Who said guy with a DLSR can never get a good pic of himself ;) thanks struggling photographer for clicking this nice pic of me|
|If you think thats the peak then again you are wrong :P its still a long way to the peak.|
|Isn't that's scary and beautiful at the same time?|
|I always feel like conquering all the hills I could see.|
The peak: After a lot of breaks we finally reached the peak at 10.50 am. Another team from my office were already waiting at the peak. At the top of the hill are several ancient structures that you can explore as well as the Gopalkrishna Temple. A one story stone structure with a tiny hole to let in only a single ray of light, it fascinates all who encounter it. The thick dome shaped stone granaries that were built to store perishables still remain, and even saved the lives of Freedom Fighters.
|Finally. This wall marks the peak.|
|Yepppy finally we are at the peak. The girl beside me had almost gave up, I struggled so hard to keep her going :)|
|The jail at the peak.|
|Conquered another mighty peak \../|
|Nanu kannadiga: |
PS (non kannadiga readers): please try to learn bit of Kannada we feel very happy :)
|Pose like a pro|
|Stupendous view of the surrounding valley on the other side of the hill|
Descend: We did photo session for another hour and started descending. Unlike at many places where descend is quick and easy the scene is different at madhugiri. Though you will not spend much energy to descend, it's bit tough as steep stretches are difficult to descend than ascend. It took nearly an hour to reach the base of the hill.
|Getting down is scarier than ascending|
|No camera, no mobile, no money, no tension - just enjoy the nature|
|The toughest part of the trek is more scary while descending|
|Those are the guys from our group who decided to stay back. One bold step would have made their day.|
By the way I forgot to introduce you to my new Canon DSLR. I got pretty good shots and much longer battery life. So you can expect quality photos in my future posts.
Conclusion: It was one hell of a trek I must say. Because of cold climate we didn't feel much tired but if you start your trek late especially in summer you will suffer really bad. It's a pretty long stretch putting yourself through tough test.
Thanks Naresh and all my other friends who made this trek possible :)
1. There is clean washroom at the Madhugiri bus stand which is just at the starting point of the trek.
2. Carry water and food as you will not find anything atop. There are no monkeys so you can pack your breakfast or lunch and have it.
3. Make sure you leave no garbage behind not even wrapper of candy you ate.
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