Sunday, 12 April 2009

Madhugiri Trek

Route to MadhugiriStarting Point: Bangalore
Destination: Madhugiri Fort
Date: 11th April '09
Distance: 250kms (Both ways)
Route: Bangalore - Dobbaspet - Koratagere - Madhugiri
Conveyance: Bike
Approx Cost: Rs.200 per head
Trek Pics: Madhugiri Trek

Madhugiri is a smallish town situated 100kms north of Bangalore in a geography dotted with numerous hillocks.Madhugiri Fort On the hill closest to the heart of the city sits this ancient fort constructed in the year 1601. Madhugiri betta has long been believed to be Asia's biggest monolith. Plan cleverly and you could also do any of Siddarabetta, Devarayana Durga or Chennarayanadurga as well.

The Plan
If its a weekend escape from Bangalore that you're looking at then to make the most of Madhugiri, drive there in your car or even better, your bike in the evening and embark on a night trek. I'm very particular about the night trek plans because the journey from Bangalore takes you almost 3 hours. So even if you leave early on a Saturday morning, by the time you hit the top it'll be high noon and the sun will bake the cookies out of you. Its far from fun and plain silly.


Madhugiri at nightInstead enjoy a leisurely night trek and wake up to a feast of a sunrise. And when you're at it be sure your plans are in sync Chandamama's itinerary else things could get slightly ugly. With ample moonlight the trek is a breeze; quite literally so. Without the sun threatening overhead, there's absolutely no rush to escape the agonizing heat. We took it real slow and completed our trek in 3 hours.

Getting there
The truth is that the 125km onward and return bike journey is what kills you back and legs. Even so, if you start in the evening from Bangalore, the ride gets pleasant once you leave the city - with the sun simmering down and the landscape slowly turning into a mix of fields and bushland with an occasional village or town accentuating human habitation. A full tank and a bunch of like minded fellow riders is all you need to enjoy the roads.
Take NH 4 (Tumkur Road) out of Bangalore and just ride on until you're at the Dobbaspet. The road having been constructed on a BOT basis is par excellence. Once at Dobbaspet take the road to the left of the flyover. This route will take you to Madhugiri via Koratagere. The sign overhead preceding the flyover is slightly misleading. The flyover will take you to Tumkur. Going to Madhugiri via Tumkur is longer by a good 10kms atleast. Dobbaspet is around 50kms from Bangalore. Its your gateway to the countryside and the ambiance thereafter is more vivid. You wouldn't want to ride at over 40kmph here. There are ample road signs all along.

The trek
Climbing MadhugiriThe fort is right next to the bus stand. There's a hotel there where you can help yourself to some food of extremely questionable hygiene. I highly recommend that you close you eyes or simply look away when the waiter brings water to your table.
The trek to the top takes less than 2 hours if its a night trek and maybe two and a half in broad daylight. Wear your favourite trekking shoes. A shoe offering good grip which you can count on, means you work is half done. The path is entirely rocky. In case your shoes are sloppy it'll make life that much more difficult for you.

The backsideThere nothing much to explore there. A lot of the natural historical beauty has been destroyed either by gross restoration work using mortar followed by a generous dash of whitewash or my hooligans lacking even an iota of civic sense. Everything apart from that is nice and beautiful. Once at the top may want to sleep on the roof of the building on the west side (back) of the main structure. But mind you, since the place is very breezy it will get chilly later in the night.

What to carry
You need not carry anything much actually. Just a little food, some water and a sleeping bag or a couple of blankets for the night will suffice.Sunrise as seen from the top of Madhugiri betta And of course torches if its a night trek. Your cams obviously go into your backpack without saying. Be sure to fill you fuel tanks when leaving B'lore. There are ample stations all along the way; but it leaves you with one less thing to worry about.
All said and done, plan what suits you best and get there and enjoy. Just keep one thing in mind - To leave the place just the way it was when you got there, and if possible better.

If there's anything else you want to know from me, just drop me a comment. A mail will do just as well. Cheers!


Dha said...

Version 2 of the article can be found here (same place, different day, almost different group):


vk said...

Thanks a lot for your cross link ;)

I guess your readers will really appreciate it if you gave them "useful links" on your Madhugiri post :P

Dha said...

better yet..
you are welcome to make a very similar comment on my post too.

Logik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Logik said...

Nice info post dude.. Thnx.
It was an amazing trek. I loved the coffee at that restaurant though. Chef's "handiwork" maybe...

Hashish said...

Was holy lord TB not there ?

VK said...

Ever since he injured his knee, he's decided to serve the world solely through his intellectual contributions.

Anonymous said...

Detailed route plan helped a lot. Enjoyed the trek without any confusion. Thanks a lot! Will keep visiting. Ciao :)

VK said...

Glad I could be of help. You guys too did a night trek?

Shwetha said...

Nope. .v had a day trek. . was not extremely sunny. . btw blogger doesnt ve a notify comments option for OpenId submisson :( Just hpnd to read ur blog after a long time thru google reader. . thanks to it. .

VK said...

I guess that's because OpenId doesn't have your email id? Really not sure it works.. Use your gmail id instead. Instant notification and gratification! :D