After a long break, I was all set to attend one another mountain’s or should I say a monolithic rock’s call? Yes, this time it was a one-day trek to Savandurga, 60km from Bangalore. Four of us joined together for this one-day fun activity. Well was it just fun?
7 AM was the time that we are supposed to meet and we made it by 7:30AM, which is very good on a Saturday morning. S got his car and we drove through the new four lane Mysore road to reach Magadi road. The drive was spectacular with good roads and the green scenery around for certain distance. And of course the lively chatting added flavor to this. One of the topics that was scrutinized is about a group that lost its way in Savandurga and it seems they spent a whole night in-between two rocks. Well, we(being avid trekkers) just discarded the topic as if it would never happen to us. Infact we went to the extent of saying that the group may have got lost intentionally :-).That was the wave of confidence in the air. Stopping for a quick breakfast, we continued our journey and reached the foot of the rock. Said a big “no” to the guides around who were offering to take us to the top of the hill. That was just another bout of our confidence!
Initial few steps were a bit steep, the stone was very slippery and few of us had a bit difficult time in doing the ascent. The shoes were blamed for the same, as they could not provide the grip that was needed to trek on a wet stone. With helping hands around, we crossed that stretch. Slow and steady we did the trek, climbed, jumped over the rocks and followed the arrow marks that were leading to the summit. The weather was perfect for the trek and many other groups also accompanied us that day.
Few breaks, photo sessions, views of the panorama, mandaps and small water pools added excitement. Finally we were on the top. Strong winds were swooshing us and this welcome was more than the relief of jus reaching the top.
There was a basava(Nandi) on the top of the hill. We reached the top from the backside of the basava. And we were surprised to realize that we covered this ordeal of climbing up within 2 hours..amazing..we are definitely good trekkers!! So it was decided that we stay much longer than planned at the top. It was time for snacks, juice and a nap.
The next few moments I don’t know what happened, as I was lost in the beauty of the winds that can be felt more than seen – the winds had so much power and the nudge from it was really enchanting. Reluctantly we started the descent down and with the surety that in 1.5 hour we would be in the car heading Bangalore. We estimated 1.5 hour cos the descent is easy than the ascent! The time was 3:30 PM.
I was personally sad thinking that the day trek is coming to an end so fast. Disguising that with a smile, I joined the others in getting down. Suddenly we were stopped by a huge rock that came as an obstacle. To cross that we need to do a steep jump or take a round about route. Three of us preferred to take the round about way, and H could do the steep climb inspite of a sprain in his leg. We (three of us) were confidently getting down and ensured that we followed the arrow marks that were going down. Strangely the path was very different from the one that took us to the top. We did not bother about that until the last arrow mark that had a note in kannada saying (Ganesha Idol). We were stunned to see that we have reached a big Ganesha Idol in an open area. Happy about the darshan of Ganesha-which was uncalled for, we realized that the arrows were not leading us down. It looked like a dead end. By then one of us saw the basava on the top and it was facing us directly..which means we have started from the back of basava and instead of reaching down , we came all the way to the front. We quickly put our thinking caps of what to do next. It was around 5:00 PM by then. We decided to call H – one lucky member of the team who decided not to come with us earlier, to ask about this place and the route back from here. We never thought the need of getting in touch with a person would become so disgusting when the phone connections are feeble. We could only manage the exchange of “hi(s) ” and “hello(s)”. After sending him a message, we discussed about our next course of action. One way is to retrace all the way to top and start the descent again in the right direction. Or just wait there, somehow get a guide with the help of H and come down. We gave ourselves a half hour time to get in touch with H, which failed miserably and we just had the option of going to the top again. Actually we had some tough stunts to do while reaching this place - somehow managed them thinking “we were anyways going down”. Now the idea of “action retake” of all these stunts gave an uncomfortable feeling. Another thought that was haunting us was our discussion about anyone getting lost in such a simple monolithic rock….we were just experiencing it !!
We started our way back up and slowly reached the mandap a few feet before the basava and tried to get in touch with H-by then we had shared a few messages. It seemed that H had reached the mandap a half hour ago to meet us there and the plan was to get down together. But he went down thinking it wud be too late for him to get any help if he had stayed further. It was becoming dark by then. We waited at the Mandap discussing whether we shld do the trek in the dark. We din succeed when there was light and the optimism of trek down without help just faded out. We also bounced the idea of staying in the mandap all night incase no help comes our way. Meanwhile we got a message from H, saying two guides are on their way with hand lights and water to rescue us..yes..RESCUE us J. We were waiting and got excited by any moving light in the tracks down. We forgot about food, water and our tiredness. Finally we saw the lights and the guides helped us back down. The guides said that such a rescue was nothing new for them and also advised that staying up whole night was not a good idea as there are some wild animals in the arena. It was one of the fast descents that I have ever done. It was steep-but as the light was not enough, we were just keeping foot after foot to reach down. We made it in half a hour!!
It was a glad reunion at the bottom of the hill..similar to “happily ever after” climax scenes in the movies. Thanks to H for the rescue mission! We did give some tips to the same guides whom we neglected when we started the trek. We headed to Bangalore after that and almost dozed of with the fancies and whims of the trek - except for S, who was driving the car smoothly as if nothing happened…after all the wonderful drama!!