My knees hurting, the legs shivering and finding it hard to balance them selves on a tiny space of the monstrous mountain. Its 7 o’clock on a Sunday morning, the Sun is out and bright and I stand at least a thousand meters above the ground level, on this very tiny, step like carved space of this mountain.
Quite an unusual Sunday morning I must say where most of world would have preferred staying inside their quilts or sipping a hot cup of coffee. But here I was, on the Kabbala Durga hillock, 70 Kms away from the Bangalore city, with a group of 30. More than that, I was with four of the amazing folks I have ever met in my life. You know what, its not that grumpy when you are made to wake up 6 am on a Sunday morning, in shivering conditions, when people whom you love to be with are around you.
I look at the downwards from this very tiny space, where the foot is currently resting. The mountain below is steep one and to add to the adventure, there`s absolutely no support whatsoever apart from the mountain itself. One wrong foot placement by a fraction of second or by a couple of centimeters, and you would find yourself in a position where your senses wouldn’t work. Well, it wasn’t very surprising why the heart beats were on a roll.
I move my glance upwards where I find a friend of mine helping the other in trekking down the mountain with another friend, standing some meters below me, constantly advising on the same. I find myself with a smirk on my face and this question pops up in my head, “What’s life without friends?”
So it all began on Saturday night around 11 PM with Bangalore Mountaineering Club (BMC) and a group of 30+. We were driven to the Kabbala Durga hill through Kanakapura and it was about 1 AM when we started trekking the mountain. And yes, how can I forget to mention the ever lively Punjabi chap we encountered in the bus, on our way to the hills. The bloke sang loudly and boy oh boy, wasn’t it lively. I wonder being “lively” is genetically inherited among Punjabis. Be it whatever, I personally love and adore this characteristic of theirs.
The trekking towards the hill didn’t require professorial skills but it wasn’t a cake walk either. There were moments when we needed to be more careful of our foot placement. As I mentioned earlier, there were instances where apart from the mountain itself, there was nothing for support. The mountain being a steep one, one does require good energy and stamina. The trekking stretch ranged from 1.5 Kms to 2 Kms and took us one and half hours to get to the top of the hill. So I would definitely recommend carrying energy drinks and some chocolates if you are planning for such a trek.
Considering it is the month of January, the climate on top of the hill wasn’t surprising at all. It was shivering cold and the best part was only yet to arrive. Thanks to the folks at BMC who helped us all with a camp fire that kept everybody warm for quite some time.
There`s a Durga temple on top of the hill after which the hill has been named. It draws a large number of devotees, from small kids to people in their late fifties and above.
It was 6 AM when we woke up and after a brief photo session, it was time to trek down the hill. It was also one of the rare occasions when my eyes were wide open to witness a Sun rise. You know, for a guy who loves to sleep and is also very lazy at the same time, this is like a “once in a lifetime opportunity”. And yes, it was one those moments where one could witness the Sun and the Moon in the same frame.
Trekking down the hill had more fun, more fear and dare I say, more excitement elements to it. Because that’s when you realize how high you have climbed and the difficulty involved in getting down. It took us less than an hour in trekking down and every moment of that hour, we valued our lives a little more, we valued our foot moment a little more and we valued our friends a little more. Yes, there were “be extra careful” and “move on your bum” moments. Yes, we knew our legs would be on a toss the next day, but in the end, it was all worth the effort. Overall, it was just a 12 – 14 hours of experience but there was so much to learn and cherish about. Perhaps, that’s the nature of life.