Photo Trek to Chitradurga ( Jogimatti, Chandravalli Caves)

[March 1,2 – 2014]

(PC: Ram Roop, Ashutosh)


                        On the last day of February, my spirits were on a new high! Not that I hadn’t gone trekking before…but because it was my first time with BAsc. This trek offered a break from the monotonous routine and sure enough, it came as a breath of fresh air for many of my friends too.

Once at the railway station our SPOC, Shreyas got us all assembled ,we boarded the train and off we went.I was kind of nervous noticing that I was the youngest member and everyone there was employed. But there was no reason to be, as I would soon realize. The morning saw us set foot in Chitradurga. Our organizer Mudassar Sir put us together for a round of Intros. We then had a group photo and IT WAS ON!!!

We met Ranganath Sir, the local organizer who took us to our accommodation directly overlooking the fort, after our hungry stomachs gobbled up hot breakfast. The accommodation was comfortable and we soon freshened up. Exploring the fort was the plan for the morning and we soon left for the “Yelu Suttina Kote” with our gear.

The fort built entirely of stones beckoned us.We soon found ourselves at the top of a sort of plateau that offered all of us a quick peek into the first layer of fort and the temples. The guys with professional cameras hopped on at the opportunity-Devansh ,Jawahar ,Ram ,Ashutosh ,Premnath , Mudassar ,Ranga , Arvind ..wait a minute…What was I thinking??  It was a photo trek after all and there were some great cameras at work there.

The rocks were treacherous , slopes slippery but nothing short of a natural calamity could stop us.We made our way up the top of peak.The peak housed what was an ancient “Watch Tower”,the place where king placed his sentries on watch. This site was shadowed by a huge boulder that could easily be mistaken for an airship in the dark. Before we knew some of the crew were already on top savoring the view. Tripods were put to task,taking panoramic shots,some posed while others captured.

Our descent back into the main area of the fort was over by 1:00 and great heavens,there was an eatery and we were treated by spoonfuls of Pulav , Curd Rice and Glasses of Buttermilk. Adding to this ,there was a film shoot in progress based on the story of “Koti Raj”,the famous climber and we had some fun. Dutta had memorized  few lines and man! we had some LAUGHS. The lunch worked a little too good. We were feeling lazy even to move but Ranga and Mudassar put us back on track.

Exploring the fort,watching temples,and the towers was mesmerizing. Taking the rocky path,following the age old impressions cut on those rocks we “ASCENDED”. It was a climb that tested our grit and soon our adrenaline levels were pumped up. Once atop.we tool shelter under what we guessed might have been the ‘Lunch Retire’ of soldiers back then.Snacks were shared,tiredness relieved and people were back to clicking photos. Some of us got our pics taken and it was a running joke that Surabhi was always having selfies taken. The journey down was even more challenging, for we took the “path less traveled ” and had some adventure.

The wait for OBAVVANA KINDI was finally over. Everytime I thought of Chitradurga,that scene from the movie “Nagarahavu” would rush through my eyes and yes looking in there got us excited. Next up was SUNSET PHOTOGRAPHY and we slowly made our way up to reach the spot that offered the best view. We got there early and explored around. Usha and Ranga found a way up the cluster of those sinister boulders and we were all thankful.

Soon the sun came down announcing his leave for the day and some memorable pictures were taken not just by cameras but by the very best optical machines in the world-OUR EYES!!!

The way back was LEGENDARY! for we had an amazing and unexpected “Night Trek” as the sun was down and it was dark soon. All of us made our way down the hilly terrain and torches were finally put to use! After what was a memorable trek for 2-3 hours we were back at KSTDC, Mayura hotel. Soon we dined and retired to bed as we had to leave by 4:30 a.m the following morning, so as to catch the Sunrise at JOGIMATTI PEAK.

The trek to the peak of Jogimatti will forever be etched in our memories for 2 reasons:-
01. It was longer than we expected it to be,so it was easily the longest of the treks there.
02. Since it was really long, we missed the sunrise But as they say
“JOURNEY IS THE REWARD”,we enjoyed climbing those snaking paths.

Our hungry stomachs gobbled up all the biscuits and cakes we had brought while others went on to take some pictures of the valley below and the glittering peaks. We had a great view from the tower and Arvind as we were noticing was having power naps at ever pit stop we made. We then made our way down the same path. Premnath, Shreyas and Arvind had taken to playfully trouble me and it was that talk,those conversations and the comforting smiles that made the way down bearable.

The ZOO(mini-zoo actually) of Jogimatti was perhaps our last stop before lunch.It was amazing except that we were worn out and so were the poor animals in the searing sun.

Then we were back at the hotel dorm , checked ourselves out and were on prowl for a good lunch. Ranga took us to a local “Khanavali” and we had the “Meal Of The Trek”.The food was good and Ashutosh had taken a liking to it and was asking for more “Chapatis and Shenga Pudi”.

However the heavy lunch came at a cost.We had to make our way to Adumalleshwara Caves via fort and we had our entire luggage to carry.The sun was no kinder. Me and Kamal regretted packing two bags.. The way up was made easy by occasional rests and talks. The route we took slowly went up the fort and then dropped all the way down the hills.

THE TERRAIN WAS TOUGH BUT WE WERE TOUGHER!! 

In absence of Ranga , Dutta took the lead and navigated us. Soon we were resting in the plains and Ram was sort of fascinated by the skull of some herbivore he found.

The last and perhaps the most exciting part was finally there – CHANDRAVALLI CAVES. All the weariness, disappeared the moment we went inside the caves. The guide very beautifully described the purpose of the cave and its history. The caves nearly 80 ft. under the ground were extensively beautiful.Later we explored the surroundings and the iconic ‘Garudanagalinga Bande’ and had some ice candies. We savored in the view and with that the trek was officially over. Of course we still had to make it back to to railway station but all in good time.

Just 2 days,but the fun we had ,we really bonded and felt like a complete team. Thanks to our organizers Mudassar Sir and Ranga Sir. And a great many cheers to the entire team for this trek was lively and successful because of you.

May we meet again and have more of such awesome time…
Looking forward to another trek soon….

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