Bandajje Arbi - Jan 24-26, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009
"Three days" said Christopher Columbus to his crew during his voyage to discover India. He further continued "Give me three days and I will find you a new world".

72 gracious hours, 11 indomitable trekkers, 3 magnificent locations, 1 team spirit - we can and we will

"Three Days, give us three days and we will discover a new world every day" challenged the indomitable eleven members of the Chennai Trekking Club Bangalore chapter when they began their three day long Trek venture to the pristine Western Ghats over the R Day weekend.

Finally the Friday evening was there. There was a sparkle in every trekkers face and the fervor and vigor couldn't conceal the tiredness after a long tiring week at workplace. The journey had much to offer. No deadlines to meet, only new path lines to discover; No campus, only camp fire, No BlackBerry to crank, only berries to crunch; No Lap top bags to carry, only sleeping bags.

The objective of the trip was very clear - to conquer two forts and the rising point of a waterfall which falls in the Western Ghats range of Karnataka. We joined NH 48 in a hours time braving the traffic, incomplete road construction work and the city traffic. The excitement couldn't deter despite we were forced to listen to a hot Kollywood number song 'Kakinada Kaja Kaja'. Those who were in sleep were assuming it was a nightmare and those awake were searching for cotton plugs.

After a sumptuous breakfast in Kukkavu, we marched towards base point of our first mission – Discover Bandaje – The Rise and the Fall. The Government school children Kukkavu greeted us with their naive smiles much before we knew we had a six hour ascent awaiting our way. We climbed the forest between the whistling woods, chirping birds and crunching the dry dead leaves. We finally braved the toughest part of the journey when we had to climb two hills in a grassland area right under the thirsty hot sun. It never looked like nature was happy to welcome us but nothing could stop us from discovering beauty for that day and the next two days. All of us had a nice time dipping, getting snapped and watch that merciless sun setting behind the mountains.

The evening was crafted beautifully for a campfire night. Hot Noodles and soup coupled with discussing craziest moments of the day de-stressed us and we were all set to sleep on top of the world. The inky black sky was congenial enough to display all the twinkling stars with pride.

Next day we woke up early to witness the great sun and pray for solace. We finished our breakfast and headed towards Rayana Ballala Durga fort. Located atop a hill, the fort that was built centuries ago is now in ruins. The journey was extremely pleasant with the serenity flaunting in all directions with strong winds flirting to make our ascent comfortable. The serenity around couldn't resist the photographers to click around with so many options. Later we discovered our own path to descent down through a rough terrain to reach the estate house which was our picking point. From

On our way to Jamalabad, we stopped over at a small food joint in Kottige Hara to gobble Neer Dosa, a local dish which is eaten in abundance in this region. 120 dosas made way to all our appetites that evening without making us think twice about it. We later called it a day at the foothill of Jamalabad fort where we camped up besides the Nethravathi river for yet another peaceful night.

Next day, we woke up early before the sunrise to conquer the last of our third destination – Jamalabad fort. A bit different from the earlier one, this spot is quite famous and well known and we have to climb roughly 800-1000 steps to reach the fort. Though the journey was tricky, we managed to climb within two hours. As we completed our breakfast we were fully charged to descent down and celebrate our accomplishment of conquering all the three locations without any hassles and incidents. As we climbed down, Nethravathi river was spreading her arms to welcome us and take the final dip before we returned to Bangalore.

They say "To believe it, one should see it". A visit to these places is once a lifetime visit for us. The descriptions and the photographs will keep one guessing. A trek teaches you a lot of things along with teamwork and strength. We came, we saw, we conquered not only the forts and places, but also peace, endurance, patience, perseverance and of course FUN. So much for our despise, while returning we played the the song 'Kakinaada, Kaaja Kaaja' twice, recorded and boogied along.

Today, as we post this blog, we are all separated and back to our world, caught in the web of routine work and activities. But these three days will bring smiles to all our faces whenever we reminisce about this great trek venture. We look forward to relive these moments with newer destinations, spirits and cherish them in our memorabilia.

Written by: Ajit

Organized by: Ramakri

Participants: Ajit Pai, Anala, Azad, Claudy Rayan, Esh Nachappa, Prashant D, Rajesh KR, Ramki, Ravi, Senthil K, Vinod Hari

Image Galleries:
Prashant, Claudy
Claudy_People, Ravikant_1
Ravikant_2, Ravikant_3
Ramki, Esh



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