Even though I love to write my experience in Kannada this time I am writing it in English, since I organized this trek and some Non-Kannadigas were part of it.
About Nijagal Betta:“Nijagal Betta” which is situated in Bangalore -Tumkur Highway(NH-4) near to Dabaspet. Foot steps are there so it is very easy to climb. We Can reach the peak in 1 to 1½ hours.
Ruins have their own charm and historical importance and Nijagal Betta is one of those which is a proof of ruined Kingdom. It is with full of ruined caves, forts and temples.
A mid-seventeenth century fort, build by Chikkadevaraya Wadiyar, adorns this hillock. Here in Nijagal Betta, it’s believed that a war was fought between Hyder Ali and Peshwa Madhav Rao.
In Durgastamaana (kannada novel by T.R.Subbarao famous as ತ.ರ.ಸು) there is a mention about Nijgal fort like how strong the fort was and how Chitradurga Paalegaara Madakari Nayaka who supported Hyder Ali acquired Nijgal Fort
My Experience:Contrary to the invite letter, I can no more call it a “Moon Light Night Trek” as dear MOON was hiding behind clouds. Inspite of the last moment intimation happy that 15 ASCENDers (1 drop & 1 on-spot addition) ventured out for this Night Trek (or Treknic in Jinu’s language) gathered at our meeting point i.e. Govardhan theater at 9.30 Pm and started from there around 10Pm. Around 11.10Pm, we reached CCD(Cafe Coffee Day) situated around 55 kms away from Bangalore on Bangalore-Tumkur highway(NH-4). And treating CCD as our parking lot, we headed towards Nijgal Betta. Our first break for the night was around 12 midnight, when we had covered more than half the distance and had the self-introduction session and a bit of ragging.
Here are the peeps who entertained us with their talent:
- Abhinaya- Sung like Usha Uttup
- Viswanath Banakar – Told “A for Apple” for the alphabets (He told many wrong words which is not part of LKG syllabus. For e.g.. C for Camera!, which makes me suspect whether he really passed LKG or scrapped thru with the help of fake marks card!!)
- Anuj Agarwal – mimicked Jinu John( Treknic Specialist)
- Ashwin – Acted like a Handloom Weaver
- Jagadeesh & Sayeesha – Briefed us about the Social cause they are part of.
After that bit of fun, we started trekking again and reached the destination by 1:30am. Our efforts to start camp fire were not successful, we lost our patience and dropped the idea. As it started raining, we took shelter under a huge rock. And there, just 4-5 of us started singing Kannada songs, only to realize, slowly everyone had joined us along which turned out to be an unforgettable moment of my life. Vishwa’s efforts to shift to Hindi songs were failed by Jagadeesh (who love tapanguchi songs) who sung songs like “ee nimbe hanninanta hudugi” and Sayeesha who sung “Bidde Bidde bath roomalli” (I don’t know why he fell down in Bath Room, that too in this age!!! ... he is just one month elder than Shruthi)
We headed to Kyatsandra(Towards Tumkur) to have our Breakfast in Pavithra Idly Hotel, which is famous in Karnataka for Tatte Idly (Plate Idly). After finishing our Breakfast and final settlement of trip expenses (which turned out to be only 75Rs. per head, excluding petrol) we headed back B’lore and reached Yaswanthpur by 10:30am.
Behind the Screen (As an organizer):As Saturday was a full moon day, I didn’t want to miss out the joy of moon light trekking and was discussing the same with one of my friend on Sat morning. On an impulse, I sent a SMS to some of my BASC friends, to check would-they join, if I organize one for the night.The 4 positive replies which I got within 15 minutes, made me call Mudassar (BASC pillar) and ask for a permission to organize the trek. He was surprised and expressed his doubt that people may not join on late intimation (as it was already 10:30am). I convinced him by giving details of the replies I’d got and got the “Go Ahead” signal from him.
It was my first experience as an organizer. I am in BASC since 2010 and attended so many treks, had supported organizers many times. But as an Independent organizer, I was a bit nervous initially and later after meeting everyone at the meeting point my heart beat became to normal!!
In the invitation mail I’d mentioned that “Full Moon will give you a warm welcome”, but unfortunately we couldn’t see the Moon and Harsh was pulling my leg by repeatedly asking “where is the MOON?”
Special Thanks to:Mudassar – For his support and motivation to organize.Chandrakala Venkatesh- For Proof Reading of this Blog.
Write Up from Harsh:This was my first trek with BASC. I recently become member of BASC and since then I was very eager to get started. I feel very lucky to have trekked with all the 15 people who came to Nijgal Betta. Everyone was so amiable that it felt like they had been friends for ages.
Trekking in Nijgal Betta with ASCENDER'S was a wonderful experience. It had everything as mentioned ruined fort, ruined temple, foggy morning, chilly nights except for the MOON. We were promised "a warm welcome from smiley full moon". Pallavi you have to fulfill your promise, you owe us everyone, as an organizer, one more trek with full moon :)
Going uphill in the night was relatively easy. I honestly did not expected working lamppost in the mountain during night trekking. The Intro cum ragging session at the peak was informative and funny. The Trio - Santosh, Ram Kumar and Pallavi has entertained us a lot with their "nightingale" voice throughout the night. Some music experts in there advised me that I have “base” in my voice which was the reason I was “successfully & perfectly” giving background music. Jagadeesh and Shruti wouldn’t let poor little green snake sleep. Everyone was having a good time.
Night was chilly, windy and rainy. While I wanted to sleep I couldn't because of cold and lack of warm cloths. (Lesson learned - Bring sleeping bag in the night trekking.)
I don’t know if Hyder Ali fought war up there or not but we had to fight with monkeys to get our food back in the morning.Descending in the morning was little tricky due to slippery rock due to rain. Morning breakfast return - I thoroughly enjoyed the massive idly.
To finish it off I would like to say that it is the people who make the trekking special and unforgettable. The place Nijgal betta has lot to offer and perfect for night trekking.
Cheers to the organizer Pallavi and all who helped her to make the trekking possible.
I hope to meet all of you very soon. I am still waiting for the photographs!!
ThanksWrite Up from Shruti Revankar:It was really a wonderful and memorable trek to Nijagala Betta. After long time got to spend my time in something worthwhile in midst of nature away from the pollution, traffic, noise and crowd.
Though in the beginning felt a bit left out as I was meeting the entire team for the first time but later it was completely different. The team was really friendly and did not realize that I was meeting them all for the first time. Got an opportunity to meet many sweet and interesting people.
Even though we missed the moonlight and sunrise the view was amazing one. Enjoyed wonderful night view of the city with glittering lights all over. Spending the night beneath the huge rocks was an exciting experience. Rain added extra beauty to the nature, sky covered with cloud, green pushkarani (pond) beneath the hill and fog covered everywhere made my day. Experienced a new look of Sunday morning as most of my Sundays start late in the morning when sun is already on top of my head.
Totally it was a fascinating experience and realized how a day spent in the midst of nature can work wonders and add more energy into one’s life.
Thanks to Pallavi for organizing a good trek ……at the right time……to the right place.Thanks to Ashwin for saving my life by donating your sleeping bag…...And thanks to the whole team for making the trek humorous and cheerful. Awaiting for some more treks like this ……………. !!!
Lots of Smile:)
Write Up from Raveendra:My bike was under repair so registered as a pillion and Sayeesha, Ramanna and Jinu n myself were assigned the job of sweeping by the organizer.Oh god there was so much of littering we couldn't able to sweep properly (Just hate those people who litter places),we reached the top by around 12.00PM then started the ragging ritual of Pallavi I dont think she will spare anybody. (Hey i will not be joining for your next trek if you rag me n my fellow ascenders next time.... just kidding) after raging the singing marathon started with all maestros on board it was super fun listening to multi lingual songs.The up beat numbers did not let me sleep even though people thought that i was snoring. Shruthi was busy clicking on her SLR, Santhu (Minor in the group) was no better than SPB in his singing, and there were also female voices which I couldn't able to recognize as i was half slept. Thanks to Ramanna and Jinu for waking me up and only to realize that they have carried me out along with my sleeping bag and dropped on the drizzling rocks.
I couldn't able to withstand the temptation of eating outside as I had not eaten for past 2 months (Recovering from Typhoid :) ). The idllis were so awesome we had our stomach full and started our journey back to Bangalore.
Once again thanks for Pallavi for organizing the trek and Sayeesha and other drivers for safe motoring.
Keep trekking .........
Needful Information:Place: Nijagal, Tumkur Dist. Karnataka.Distance: 55 KM from Bangalore.Nearest Town: Dabaspet.How to Travel : Own Vehicles/ Private Bus (will stop at CCD on Request)Route: Bangalore-Tumkur Highway(NH-4) – Dabaspet CCD(Café Coffee Day) – Park your Vehicle there n start trekking – move little bit say .2 KM towards Tumkur – Take left – pass under a tunnel below railway track – Leads to Nijgal Betta.
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Written by: Pallavi Ranganath
Event organized by: Pallavi Ranganath
Image Galleries: Jinu