Mar 29, 2010


I read about Kalavarabetta, also known as Skandagiri, in a blog. The only picture on the post was impressive; the person in the picture was above thick white clouds. But I was skeptical about the real beauty of the hill since the place is close to Chikkballapur. We decided to take a chance. We left home around 5AM, had tea at Chikkballapur and drove through it's narrow streets and by 7AM we were at a temple close to the foot of the hill. I was surprised to see the number of bikes and cars parked. It seems most people visiting this place climb during the night and stay back till sunrise and then descend. The parking attendant said at least 150 people on the hill at the moment. One hell of a crowd!

Let me caution new visitors. Beware of local people here. All they do is rob people in the name of vehicle parking charges or guide you the way up the hill. A guide ripped us of Rs.200 to show us the path to the hill from the temple which was hardly a kilometer. These guys can beat any marketing guy in conning.

This is supposed to be a warning to visitors.

RS.500=00 WILL

Durga and me walked ahead for some distance and waited for Deepak and Gulli to catch up. Once they caught up, I moved ahead faster and climbed alone till the summit.

I passed by people descending. These guys had spent the night on the hill. Some careless youngster had injured his leg and was riding piggy ...I saw his ankle was swollen badly. The terrain is rough and slippery with little pebbles. Deepak said that Savandurga has spoiled us with it's smooth open surface.

That's Skandagiri's shadow stretching over few kilometers.

Mist closed in as I neared the summit.

A lonely Basavanna.

The summit is littered with plastic bottles, plates, cups and all kind of trash. One sad place this is. Somehow I ignored the mess and tried to look at the good things around. Few guys from Kalavara village have set up a fast food joint here. Menu is soft drinks, omelette and Maggi noodles. I bet half the mess out here is these guys work.

Of the three peaks, one on the extreme left is Nandi Hills.

I waited for almost 45 minutes for the trio before I headed back thinking if they gave up the climb midway. I had climbed down till the point where I shot the sun through the mist ...we were united and reached the summit. We had sandwiches and water.

It was getting warmer with every passing minute, decided it's time we head back.

Durga called this rock as an egg.

Half way down the hill we rested for a while in the cool shade of a rock which almost formed a cave. I washed my feet and felt good. From here I went down faster leaving the trio behind. At the base, near the painted rock, I stopped at a cucumber shop and waited for the trio. While I waited I chatted with owner, an old man who talked non-stop. I bought some cucumbers and had couple of them ...very refreshing under the hot sun.

One visit is enough to this place. I never ever want to set my foot here again.


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