The Nandi hills range has views across the plains and ideal for hiking. Channagiri hill is densely covered with shrubs. The trek starts from a temple near Sultanpet and the track goes behind the hill and culminates at the hilltop taking wholly about 2 ½ hours.
At 56 Kms from Bengaluru, it is one of the five hills of the Nandi Hill ranges is one of the 5 major hillocks in the Nandi Ranges. The others are Nandi giri, Skanda giri, Deva giri, Dibba giri. The Nandi hills range has views across the plains and ideal for hiking.
Channagiri hill is densely covered with shrubs. A small temple and a stone water pool within a fort stands in ruins. Hardly used by trekkers, Channagiri is suitable for teams to enjoy nature at its best. Expect strong winds as you near the top. Adjacent Nandi Hills and Kalwarbeta are in full view from Channagiri.
The terrain is very diverse, rocky at some places & evergreen forest on the slopes. The forest of the hill acts as a substrate for cloud condensation and every morning the trees are covered in water. This allows for many moist forest species of plants and animals. The hills are very rich in birdlife making it a very popular location for birdwatchers and bird photographers. The evergreen forest patch on top of the hill being a favored wintering location for many migrant species of warblers, flycatchers and thrushes. The forest patch is also home for a relict population of the Nilgiri Woodpigeon. A breeding pair of Shaheen Falcon, the resident race of the Peregrine Falcon is also often seen here. The Malabar Whistling Thrush, Uropeltid snakes and Pill millipedes which are otherwise known only from the Western Ghats ranges are also found here. The hill slopes are the home of the Yellow-throated Bulbul, a species endemic to the hills of peninsular India.
A brief Write up from Aishwarya.
An ad-hoc trail, moon-lit sky, polka-dotted butterflies and much more ………
A Friday evening never began on a more exciting note before. I rushed home just to check the confirmed list of participants for the trek and to pack my back-pack with essentials. Soon, I found myself at the Food Street in VV Puram with many other fellow trekkers waiting to head out of Bangalore. They were warm, down-to-earth and easy to gel with. We were a group of 10 or more when we began on our drive to the destination. A couple of cars and a handful of bikes joined in, making it a whopping group of 26 eager trekkers. With a few delays and hiccups on our way, we finally reached a picturesque village called Sultanpet past midnight. Sultanpet is a hamlet located in Doddaballapur Taluk, located amidst few hillocks known for adventure trekking. Nandi hills, Brahma giri, Skanda giri, Dibba giri and Deva giri were all visible at a distance.
After reaching Sultanpet, we parked all our vehicles in Dr.Harish’s house and began to walk towards our much-awaited destination Channagiri Betta, which was just a few kilometers away. The sky was lit by the big, bright full-moon. Its luminosity swept me off my feet and bade goodbye to the sleep throbbing in the corner of my eye. It was the beginning of the trekJ. The village was fast asleep under the glorious sky, not wanting to disturb their deep slumber, we maintained silence and whispered among ourselves as we walked ahead.
It was past two in the night by the time we arrived at our destination. It was a steep hill with densely populated shrubs. After flashing a few LED torches in all directions, we decided to begin the trek uphill.
It was an ad-hoc trail, awaiting to unleash itself with each step. The plan was to reach the top in about 2-2½ hours to witness the night sky turn into dawn.
The trek began on an exciting note—the fact that it was a night trek on an unknown trail made it equally adventurous and challenging. The trail was covered with thorny bushes and the terrain was rugged with loose gravel. The torches and the moonlight helped us trek through it with caution. We did take a couple of short, quick five-minute breaks at various points, while we waited for the others to catch up. As we climbed up we could feel the drop in the temperatures. The breeze was cool and the view got better and better. There were Eucalyptus trees spreading their fragrance and giving us company from a distance. The peeping moon behind the trees made its way to the top, mesmerizing us with its majesty.
After nearly two hours of restless trekking we seemed to have conquered a certain height. Phew! Many of us decided to perch ourselves at that point, while a handful of others went in search of the trail ahead. We chatted and listened to music, a few indulged in the setting dawn and the tranquility of the surroundings.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have much luck with the trail ahead, so we decided to wait till the dawn set in. Meanwhile we collected a few dead shrubs and managed to light a campfire. It was a perfect treatment to the falling temperatures. We sat cozily around the burning twigs and introduced one another in a sequence. It was overwhelming for me to see a motley set of people from different backgrounds sharing a similar passion for trekking and to explore nature.
The chirruping of the birds, chilling breeze, the mist on top of the Nandi hills and the dew drops on the shrubs welcomed the much-awaited dawn. All the expert camera men were busy with their morning shoot, while a few finally discovered the way to the top. But, emmm…umm…to our surprise, we realized that we were exactly on the opposite side of the peak. With a few “Hmpfs” and “Grrrs” we trekked a few meters back and forth only to realize that we had one more uphill climb to do. But, it didn’t matter because the pandemonium finally came to an end. The destination was filled with mist covering the lush-green shrubs and trees and it offered a beautiful view. We desperately went ahead with the climb. The climb was steep with boulders on the path unlike the earlier trail. We trudged, we lugged and struggled and we finally reached our destination. Hurray!!!!
The altitude offered a spectacular view to die for. There were ruins of an old fort, on the top. I climbed the walls of the fort and took a stroll, the vast view from that point gave me a trippy and a hallucinating effect.
We all reached the destination one after the other and each one enjoyed it at their own pace. After reaching, many fell asleep with a sense of achievement and pride while, some walked around and explored the area more. The others who were awake made tea and Maggie to beat the exhaustion.
It wasn’t long before the sun reached its peak. The summer heat was beginning to catch up. We decided to head downhill and we began our descent at noon. The path was clearly marked and left little or no room for confusion. It was a few kilometers downhill and it took us a couple of hours before we all reached Sultanpet again. The trail downhill took us through vineyards and farmlands, reminding us of our roots. I was also delighted to encounter a variety of butterflies on the trek downhill—Polka-dotted, Common Castors, small and pale green, commonly spotted on city trails and not but not the least the dark Striped Tiger.
This was my first trek with BASC and it truly was an enjoyable experience. This shall definitely be part of my life journals as one of the most memorable treks that I have been on.
I used to be picky and rigid about the idea of trekking with an unfamiliar group. Trust me this is a water shed guys J. I thoroughly enjoyed and exhausted myself and I hope to play witness to many more.
I would like to thank and yell out three cheers to the organizer “Vinay” and to all my fellow trekkers for making this so special.
Write up from Priya:
Starting with the pre trek part i was very much excited when i got to kw tht im into the plan of trekking at last moment... from the time i left home i was wondering all bout the group im gong to meet and bit conscious about myself how dey are gong to accept me.... inspite of all the goose bumps on my body i pretty much felt tht i was the youngest and ppl did treat me well welcoming... i fwlt tht i kind off knew this group previously....\after the trek started i enjoyed every moment of nature since i had too much of adrenaline rush in me... i didn't care when i kin of got to kw tht v missed d trail... i just wanted to hv fun.... after tht awesome trek for which i can make my freds jealous of it was splendid... it was my first trek
with basc.. ND FIRST UNDER MOON LIGHT i had mesmerizing one... with ppl around me to take care and also with humor its was overall amazing... u guys rock and from now on i ll surely wud like to join u ppl...the best part of the trek was bonfire....ill remember this day of my life...After all d fun and adventure i wud like to thank my friend arun for bringing me here.. Bangalore ascenders for welcoming me and all the group members to treat me like one among their family and last but not the least vinay so called d organizer for being responsible and to make my weekend memorable.. Thanks alot to one and all...
Writeup from Arun Patil:
From very long time I had been hearing about BASC and the events they organize to trek/trips and all. Later when I heard from my friend telling registrations for Dhoodh sagar trek is open. I decided to register and so I did. On a boring Friday evening I got a mail from Vinay stating registrations for chennagiri hills/night trek. Immediately there was a glow in my face. Took my cell out and send a text to Anand(Andy) “Come online soon”. And there he was pinging me what happened. I told him about the trek and his reply was lets go. Even before thinking about asking my parents of going (which I have to always have to :/) I registered for this. Later heard andy telling I asked my mom and she said yes. I was like “ :-0 “ . Then the later part is bit boring which I don’t want to describe (fought and convinced parents :P)..
So Andy said I knw the organizer, there I was asking his facebook profile link, and I sent him a friend request with a message, im andys friend coming to the trip . Which I felt I should have done. Things u do when ur excited is not in our hands I know :P.
Saturday evening while I was getting the bike chain lubricated got a call from Priya , I realized I could have told her about the trek and asked her casually “u coming” then I came to know she is interested and I made a call to vinay , “ is it ok if I can bring a friend of mine, she wants to come “ . Vinay was a bit hesitant and was kind enough to say okay J (thanks bud for that yes). Later that night, my self and priya left home (apparently we are neighbours) and decided to meet andy near KR puram Bridge. As usual Priya never had dinner and said im damn hungry I want to have dinner. Okay we said and went to a hotel, priya and andy got introduced. There she was hogging chicken , which made me and andy mouth watering, sadly andy never takes non veg on sat and I just had my dinner before leaving home.
Then we were in front of cauvery theatre in no time (sorry I don’t have a watch n don’t keep track of time :P) . There came nagaraj in his bike (1/2 iron man ) and behind was dimple cheeked girl Gayatri .. Saw that nice smile on nagaraj face as soon as he removed his helmet. (Guys im not being gay here J) .andy greeted them and priya and myself were looking at each other face withand expression “even I knw no one”. Then greeted nagaraj and gayatri . Then came one of my fav cars Chevy BEAT, from which vinay got down. Recognizing him from facebook pic I greeted him. Then we all gathered near by Dr Harish car. Where I met raveendra, varun , vinay , and they started teasing about how could you give your bike to a girl and please check the indicators after coming if could have been broken.
Moved to Harish house to we parked our bike safe inside and boarded the xylo. This was the time wen started to free our self with each other whom we had recently met. We waited for the chevy beat to come and we met Kavitha and Ashwal cruising in bullet classic (wondering if it was 300 or 500cc). After parking the vehicles at a place. We all started to move with our leader in the front. My Dear dogs doing their duty by barking seeing a grp of people wandering their locality at night. Anyways just when we moved away from the village walking briskly, everyone noticed the beauty of the moon light striking the ground making us feel there is no use of the torch lights which we bought. Just as we started enjoying the walk under the moon light, the leaders were searching a path to start trekking.We halted at a place and waited for everyone to be under one group. All the small grps joined and the attendance was taken (mine was 14 th :P)and we moved on walking further. There was a place where vinay and others started exploring the trail. We stood watching them and helping them by throwing some torch light. It was too bushy n thorny (lol , dunno y lol after hearing the words :P bushy n thorny).I heard vinay saying at some point “I cant go further , I'm not wearing pants” I just giggled at myself. He had come in shorts and it was too thorny there. Ok so They then decided not to continue that route and we headed a little back to find another trail. Not sure if it was the right one, we all were very excited to start trekking.
There Started the actual trek with full energy racing between each other talking, making fun, breathing heavily…People got to know each other on the way introducing themselves , sharing water bottles, making way for others. So the feeling one family was picking up soon. There were a couple of places where we rested either waiting for others or waiting for the confirmation with people who were ahead of us, to knw if it was the right path. There were lot of thorns on the way, could see the bruises on the body. But all these were just adding to more fun and more sense of being adventurous. The steep was getting intense. There was a place when I heard from Vinay telling “The steep is close to 65% approx”. My dumb mathematical part of the brain woke up, thinking of what 65% would be on a protractor. After reaching a certain height, we could see Nandi hills opposite and we could see the city with lights. The body starting sensing cool breeze running in the air. Which eased our strain while we were resting on the steep side of the hill with very little grip to rest. The moon was almost began to disappear. The light was becoming dark. We realized we had to find a plce to camp. Few experienced trekkers went ahead in search of a place to halt, while we lazy ppl started to sleep listening to some nice music. (My best part of the trek) That moment which made us feel (atleast I felt so), hope life would be so cool with a sense of this relaxation forever. Just before my eyes about to shut. We were asked to leave and reach and that they have found a place to camp. So again the journey began for another 10 -15mins to reach the place best suited to put a camp fire.
We started feeling cold, the breeze was getting cooler. We started collecting woods/small wood logs/ sticks/thorns and collected them on one place. Camphor/notes :P/grass all were tried to start the fire. Then some one had got a nice sheets of printouts. Then the woods caught the fire and in no time the flames were rising high. All started warming up themselves sitting close to the fire. Then after sometime gazing the fire, we heard from the captain, “Lets have the introduction session”. Just like kids behave seeing the principal, all sat in a position around the fire waiting for their turn. First was priya followed by me and then followed by other ppl :P. We all introduced ourselves teasing/ragging and making fun. There was one kind person distributing jamoons after each ones introduction and he was Raveendra, and there was another voice which made others to give a clap after each introduction , and she was Pallavi .(Felt like an introduction of a characters in film). So this way the introduction session was about to end while we started to see some day light. And in no time the light was clear and the photographers started to catch some nice view of mountain with clouds acting like hats to the mountains. The scene was beautiful.
Then we decided to search for a way that could take us to the peak. The light was clear and after nice relaxation we were all set to start our trek to reach the destination. We started moving upwards again by taking lot of rests in between. I guess it was almost 7:45 when reached the peak where we saw a Anjenya temple (Hanuman temple) at the peak , with a small pond sort of think with stagnant water and a kalyani. Few people went in a hurry to just go and sleep, (I was one among them), just like our aim was to go to the peak and sleep. There were Photographers clicking some amazing pics and there was Hema trying to do some filmy stunts like flying the saree in the air and getting some pics J Sorry guys I really don’t know what happened after this coz I went into deep sleep. When I woke up I saw Nagraj sleeping on my stomach and some mixture all over my body. Then got up to see few ppl energetic as ever and few clicking pics and few preparing some snacks.
Then we had ppl preparing Maggie , and kavitha taking the role of chaiwala. Trust me that cup of tea was very refreshing in the morning after a tiery night. From here I was just dispersed not sure what people were doing. I saw Ashwal sleeping inside the temple, Priya running around like mad in hunger, Srini listening to songs on his broken i-pod, Anand taking pics, and so on, versatile Vinay searching for a place to go back down… After a lot of confusion to decide which place to take to reach to the bottom, we chose a route and thank god it was the right way. It was pleasing to see steps all the way
to the bottom of the hill. Many were wondering what would be the case while climbing down when it was so steep. And then began the journey downwards as the sun started showing his power on us. We finally made it to the ground in no time. We reached the village , and the farmer was letting water in a 4 inch pipe :-). where we almost took bath. And continued walking to reach the road. Then we all gathered on the car and on the way back we had coconut water felt refreshed and drove back home . Sorry to end this essay,write up so abruptly at the end as my keyboard started to feel the pain while I'm hitting those key hard J
Write up from Dr.Harish:
Thank You all for making this a memorable event to cherish. It was wonderful moonlight trek. I still cant believe that it happened....for I have been viewing this Channagiri hill for 37 years ( remember I told u that the place we parked our vehicles happens to be my maternal grandma's home & birthplace), also daily during my high schooldays @ Satya Sai High School in Muddenahalli. Every time I made an effort together a group among friends to trek this hill went unsuccessful.