8 September 2013
Hills near Bengaluru are mostly dry and rocky. Bilikal
Rangaswamy Betta is an exception where the ‘feel’ of forest can be felt. Two
paths that lead to the top of the hill are quite different in nature both in
terms of route conditions and quality of people (More on it in the last
section) using it. The first path is a Jeep track that starts from Kanakapura
and does not excite trekkers. The other route is a proper trekking trail.
I, Subbu, Krishna and Girish started from Bengaluru one
morning. Bengaluru-Kanakapura stretch has dearth of good restaurants and hence
we had our breakfast at Adiga’s hotel before NICE road intersection. The
diversion to the trekking trail is at the village of Harohalli. A left turn here
took us to the village of Dodda Maralawadi and little further was the village
where the trail to the hill starts.
Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta is clearly visible from the
village. Pachyderms visit the area sometimes and it is better to check with
locals about their movement before proceeding further. Luckily for us the coast
was clear and we wasted no time to start walking. Only sore point being the
village kids who were pestering us for money. It is a nuisance in the villages
near Bengaluru. We did not yield to their pressures but hoped that they would
not puncture the car tyres in revenge!!
A forest department board warning people on entering the
forest welcomed us. Their wording was not very clear and no forest officials
were there to help us!! We continued our trek.
|Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta from the village|
In spite of rains resulting in lot of undergrowth and green
cover, the path was clear. The overcast
conditions made the walk easier though the route continuously climbed up. A
village dog had decided to join us and always leapt forward. The behaviour of
the dogs is strange to understand. In many treks, I have seen the dogs
following or leading us. May be it is in their genes to wander in the wild and
wait for an opportunity!! My two cents to dog theory!!
|Dog that accompanied us during the trek|
We stopped at two places. The first time was to enjoy the
scenery of the surroundings. At one point we found that Girish was lagging
behind. So, we waited for him to join.
|The first pit stop|
The forests had signs of some wild life. The elephant dung was
old but faeces of some animals were found at many places. A wild boar or some
animal had slept flattening the grasses in the process.
After about 1.5 hours of walk, we reached the top where the
trekking path joined the main road from Kanakapura. A small pond situated
adjacent to the cliff. The place provided some good views with clouds playing
hide and seek.
|View from the top|
In the beginning of this post I mentioned about quality of
people coming to the place. The Jeep track enables less adventurous people to
venture into this area. They come in bikes with huge number of ‘bottles’ to
create ruckus. None of them look cultured or decent. It was a pain to see such lousy people during
Fortunately, the area was wide and we could venture far away
from the unruly people. We spent a long time just gazing at the scenery,
talking about lot of stuff and sleeping!! In the meantime, Girish went to a
Temple on the other side of the hill. He did not seem to be happy.
It was time to return and we wanted to have a look at the
Temple on the other side. Girish refused to come and little later the reason
was known. The drunkards had occupied the Temple. Bone pieces and bottles were
lying everywhere. The people seemed to be in a different world. We fled the
place before they started harassing us. They are more dangerous than hundred
wild elephants!! Last time I found such creepy people was in Anashi when a
relative of a forest official got drunk and puked all over the guest house. He
had made sound of a jackal entire night!!
Getting down was a simple affair. And a little surprise
awaited us when we returned back. We had parked our car in front of a house
(with their permission) in the village. Now they demanded us to pay 200 rupees
as parking charge!! It seemed to be more expensive than opulent Mallya’s mall!!
Finally, we settled for 50 rupees which anyway we were planning to give as
|Temple on the top|
Labels: near Bengaluru, trek