I'd almost forgotten about the fifth overnight stay on Savandurga until I stumbled on the pictures which brought the memories of the outing.
December 8, 2007
I'd been on a visit to Bangalore. As usual Deepak, Gulveer and I met up which somehow resulted in planning a trip to our beloved hill- Savandurga. For a change we decided on night camping on the hill. We left Bangalore after lunch. We took Bangalore-Magadi-Savandurga road instead of Bangalore-Dodda Alada Mara-Savandurga. The latter is much more scenic but the former is quicker. We stopped for a short break when the monolith appeared on the horizon, as if it was welcoming us. This stretch of the road was flanked by paddy fields, crop almost ready for harvest.
We went into the "battada gadde" to take a closer look at the plants. Rajesh poses for a picture of himself with Batta and Savandurga. The green-yellow shade is a treat to the eyes. A month ago the field would have been thoroughly wet and the plants greener.
We reached Savandurga by 4-30. Parked our car at Veerabhadreshwara Devastana, had a word with the priest about our plan to stay at the top. It's always good that locals knew of our stay. This is one of the few surviving ancient temples still in the original condition. The architecture is Vijayanagara. These temples were built by Palyegar rulers who were vassals of Vijayanagara empire.
Each one of us had a backpack loaded with mats, blankets, jerkins, food, soft-drinks and water. Climbing with load is usually slower than bare climbing. I think we reached the top around 5-30 pm, started collecting dry wood for fire. As usual we set camp at the guard house, the only closed shelter on this hill. Dusk sky was a lovely combination of blues, greys, gold and a touch of pink.
Sunset can be seen from Nandi Mantapa i.e. the summit but not from the guard house which are about half kilometer apart. This view is more towards westerly direction where as the previous picture is towards south.
The eight pillared shelter is a stone's throw from our camp i.e. the guard house. The shelter is slightly elevated and gives a good view of the eastern and southern surroundings. The columns are also Vijayanagara style. This is the most basic version pillar, the more advanced are seen in taller shelters and temples.
Its been ten years since my last visit to Savandurga. I hope the monolith, the fort walls, Nandi Mantapa, Hanuman idol, guard house, ponds are well preserved; and the trees and plants are thriving. Also hoping to see the Nandi Mantapa again.