23 May 2015
Bananthimari betta is one of the hillocks near Kanakapura. We
had climbed nearby Bilikal Rangaswamy betta and Kabbal durga before and hence
we decided to knock of another hill. Little did we expect to return back with
|View from the top (Almost!!)|
I and Krishna started in the morning to hit Kanakapura at
breakfast time. Vasu hotel, a good but small hotel was our breakfast place. After
a good breakfast, we continued our journey on village roads to reach
Bananthimari Temple. The last stretch of the road was not good for car and we
parked bit away from the Temple. The hills nearby looked small and we felt that
our job was a simple affair though the destination hill was not visible from
A group had arrived at the Temple before us. With big
utensils they had come to prepare lunch and eat at the Temple. As we started
our climb, they asked us to come back by noon for lunch!! Interesting!!
It was a gentle walk and in few minutes we reached a small
pond. A tortoise resting on a rock attracted our attention. By the time I could
change my lens, it had jumped into water. Krishna was luckier than me.
A short distance after the pond, the path split into two. We
knew that the hill we planned to climb was on our left side. Hence we took that
deviation even though it was going down. The path directly entered into the
valley covered with forest. It was dense though it did not possess the grandeur
of rain forests!!
|A tree with flowers on the way|
After walking for half an hour, we saw the hill for the
first time. It was a monolith and in no way we could climb from that side. We
walked for little more distance hoping to find a way though the rock wall. By
then we were convinced that we had missed the path. The hill was simply not
climbable from that side. So, we retraced our path to reach the pond.
|We cannot climb from this way!!|
With the help of GPS, we found a possible way to climb the
hill from the other side. But very soon we hit the steep boulders and had to
come back. That was not looking good.
|View of the village and lake from the route|
When technology does not work, locals help. This time it was
in the form of a herdsman. He sympathized at our plight and felt bad that we
were walking for two hours without results. “There is a path, even cows go
there” was his words. “If I go to Bengaluru, I will lose my way. You city guys
are experiencing it in village!!” he told with a glee on his face. It certainly
did not look like a compliment!!
|An anthill in the forest|
Anyway, he showed us
the deviation we had to take. Well, there was no deviation but we just had to
get into the shrub forests at a particular point. The herdsman gave a general
indication of the route we need to follow and asked us to shout in case of any
help. We could not understand how he can guide us standing at the base. Anyway,
we walked in the direction he showed.
But the day was not ours. We knew that our defeat was
certain. Considering a “quick and clean” climb we had come with just one water
bottle. We emptied it as we started our climb on the new path. The scorching
heat with humidity was already taking toll on us. We were sweating profusely
and we knew that we cannot continue at this situation for long. We decided to
stretch as much as possible without being foolish.
|So near, yet so far|
We finally reached a place where we could see the top of the
hill. We still were at least 30 minute away from it and the walk was on rocks. We
were already tired with dehydration and decided to get down.
We bid adieu to Bananthimari betta by saying “We will be
back”. In our adventure we had found out some more good places nearby where we
can spend an entire day. Next time we come we will be better prepared.
How to reach this place?
There are two routes to climb the hill. One is on Kanakapura
Ramanagara road. Other is near the village Kuthagondanahalli. We choose the
later route. To reach the place, go towards Sathanaur road from Kanakapura. At
the outskirts of Kanakapura, after a lake (or remains of the lake!!), take the
road going towards right. Drive for 5-6 km. Take right turn at the arch. The
road ends at Bananthimari Temple which is the starting point of the trek. There
are no asphalted roads after the deviation from arch.
Labels: Bananthimari Betta, Kanakpura, near Bengaluru, rock, Temples, trek