The trek does not seem to last for an hour but behind the first there was a surprise of bigger betta (Hill in Kannada) and that was Rangaswamy betta. A thick forest full of shurbs; 70 Kms south of Bangalore city; Haven of elephants and thick plantations; A rock temple dedicated to lord Ranganathaswamy at the summit; If you ask me honestly then its an easy trek but thick and prickly shrubs add more adventure to it.
So we began. It was pleasing to see short green trees always accompanying us. A thing which you can say as funny, kept on scaring me was the elephant dung. I have heard a lot about the friendliness as well as hostility of an elephant.
We had conquered the smaller hill in the beginning and took our first break after half an hour. It was first time for two of my German friends. May they don’t have these kinds of tropical forests full of shrubs and thorns in cold Germany. I have always seen tall trees in the Hollywood movies too.
Another ironic part of the trek was a guy returned recently from the US. The funnier part of his, say it ignorance or imbecility was he was trying to imitate the US lifestyle in India and came up with two pet dogs for the trek.
I wonder, either he was totally not aware of the kind of rugged trek that happen around in India or his life till then revolved around shopping malls, bars etc. He used to always talk about the trek in the US but as far as I know, trek in the US are guided ones. By guided ones I mean there are always enough helps around provided by the responsible department to make you feel comfortable through out the journey. You just don’t venture out in the jungle on your own and start blaming your failure on someone else.
Nature as seen from middle of the trek
Another incident which used to make me laugh always was him treating his dogs the way they are treated and shown in the movies. A short pet which was supposed to always travel in the car and nature had not provided that the long enough legs to jump across boulders, rocks or logs was a thing of worry for us.
But kudos to that dog which finally made the trek on his short legs. Having fun around and listening to Indian, US and German stories had filled up zest in the air. Suddenly, Swamy (My friend and the guide) said he had lost the way. And, I think that guy with dogs was waiting for this moment and all the frustration, expectations, anger that were filled inside him, crossed the threshold and he burst out.
– “What the hell…..” – “I knew…….” – “We should not have….” – “I was given wrong information about…”
I decided not to listen to him rather help Swamy. Since, we were not following the conventional or regular trek used by the trekkers. It was more of an exploration cum trekking stuff. So, on non-conventional routes. Steeps grew more steep.Thorns grew more thorny. There were no sign where we were then but the peak was in our sight. The thickness of the shrubs grew thicker.
So, Swamy decided to explore and find the way out and finally he found and we followed him. After 20 minutes we realized that we reached at the top of the hill but we emerged almost on other far end of the hill (Since I and Swamy had decided to explore and trek with the inception of the trek, everyone thought that we followed the regular route)
So, taking the non-regular path was surely a fun which gave us more time to explore the virgin forest and finally letting us emerge from the different point. Aah! we were on the top now.
At the opposite peak to the Rangaswamy Betta where we emerged
Had sweated full shirt; Successfully we had climbed an unknown route; Felt heat on a cloudy day; Heard to a lot of US stories; Always with a hope that the poor short legged dog completes its journey too; Sometimes feeling pity over that jerk of always accusing the trek trying to cover him not coming prepared
In a nutshell, the short trek of was filled with madness, joy, hope, accusation, fun, exploration and more adventure. We walked for another one kilometer to reach at the temple.
It was surprising to see farming at the hill top. The air was high on the hill top. Seeing kanakpura district villages and town with bird’s eyes view. Though sitting on the edge of the cliff was scary and always had fair chances of slipping off but still our hopes were high on the shrubs just below our feet.
There is a temple dedicated to lord Ranganathaswamy at the hill top. While trekking down, we followed the conventional route, followed mostly by the near by villagers and regular trekkers. It did not take us more than half an hour to come down running. I was happier for that small dog which run almost along with me. Finally trek came to an end.
For some of us, It was an exploration. For some of us, It was first trekking of life on to foreign land. For some of us, It was a romantic journey. But for one of us, It was a journey full of accusations and out of expectations trek.
Details of Bilakal Rangaswamy Betta: Trek Length: 4-5 Kms Type: Moderate Altitude: Around 3780 feet At the top: A temple, Ancient pond and 360 Degree view of the area around The trek starts at Thokasandra, almost 10-12 Kms from kanakapura. The trail is clear and is frequently used by the villagers to go to the temple.
This trek requires permission now.
BY road to the Peak