Sunday, 1 September 2013

Shivagange Trek -- A start to many more

Our Ladakh trip had given us ample memories & proud moments to cherish for a lifetime. Having maneuvered the toughest of roads, it was a huge boost in confidence. However, we had consecutively lost enough body weight to put us into the fit category after a number of years. This was the happiest loss without doubt & I wanted to make the most out of it.

After 3 weeks of rest, I was longing to get out & explore a new place close to Bangalore. After a few internet searches, narrowed down on Shivagange as this would involve some physical activity & the weather was pleasant for a day out.

Distance: 60 kms, one way
Difficulty Level: Easy
Duration: 3-4hrs
The Gang: Jram,Putti,Sinda, Sunny & me
Vehicle: Ford Figo – Diesel

The plan was to leave Bangalore by 5:00 AM, start the trek by 7 & get back home by 1 PM. But, you know how it is on a Sunday; we were delayed by an hour & thus reached Shivagange by 8:00 AM. 

Found shade under a big tree & settled to break our fast. A couple of mins to assemble the veggies on the bread & there we were gorging on huge, yet scrumptious sandwiches.

It was 8:40 AM, when we started our trek from the base of the Shivgange hill which is also the entry to the famous Girigangadhareshwara & Honnadevi Temple. 

The initial climb consisted of about 200 stairs & is easy with a covered roof. The trek until the “oLkallu Theertha” temple was pretty easy as most of the path is well covered with asbestos sheets & there are small shops serving up anything from buttermilk, candies, mangoes, water & what not.

A few shots, along the way:

With an hour into the trek & it almost seemed too easy as we had only about 40% left. By 10:00 AM, we reached the small Ganesha Temple with big Shiva,Parvathi idol next to it. By now, Sind & Putti were tired and decided to take some rest at the small shop. Thus, after a short break,the three of us started the final ascend which looked quite tricky.

The steep steps did exhaust us much faster, but we were at it with determination & in 20 minutes made it to the top. 

A couple of steps before the Girigangadhareshwara temple there is a big Nandi on top of a huge boulder. 

The sun was very cooperative & didn't cause much trouble.The breeze at the top was a added bonus with not much crowd.

The fantastic view from the top was worth the effort and after a few minutes we headed down to join the other two at the foot hills.

The Temple atop Shivagange
On our way back, we visited the Olakallu theertha temple, which is inside a small cave. We were keen on following the popular custom of reaching for the holy water inside a small hole. With many pilgrims unsuccessful, the pressure was high as we waited for our turn with our spine bent inside the cave. To our luck, both Sunny & I managed to touch the water & also get some out of the hole. With the sun now blazing upon us , we swiftly trekked down the hill.

All through the trek , we were accompanied by monkeys & they attacked anyone with eatables.Hence it is a good idea to trek the hills without any edible stuff in your hands. In an hour, we descended from the top & were feeling happy at the achievement. Although we took 4 hours to complete the trek, I’m pretty confident it is achievable in 3 hours and would love to give it a second shot!

The Magnificent Shivagange from a distance
After a mediocre lunch at one of the hotels, we headed out of Shivgange by 1:15 PM and made it home in an hour. Thus, an advise on b’fast/ lunch options while on a trek to Shivagange. It’s a good idea to pack some b’fast if you plan to start the trek before 8 AM as we didn't find any notable hotels near the hill. If you are happy with a late start, then Kamath Upachar on the Tumkur road highway just before Dabbaspet is a good option.

Got half a day to spare? Get your trekking shoes on and head to Shivagange. I’m sure you will love it, like we did.

Happy Travelling!!!


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