Here is complete trekking guide to the KabbalaDurga trek from Bangalore:
Kabbal Durga Distance from Bangalore: 80 Kms
Kabbal Durga trek Difficulty level: Medium
Kabbal Durga Trek distance: 3 km
Kabbal Durga Trek time: 1-2 hours
Here is the Google Map for the Kabbala Durga GPS trail
Here is the Kabbala Durga trek starting point on Google Maps.
The ruined Fort
We started from Bangalore around 09.30 pm and reached at foot-hill around 11.30. It was completely dark and silent. There were three yellow street lights over the hill along the way. After having everyone’s introduction we in a group of 10 moved ahead. The night was moonless with a cool breeze and endless silence being interrupted by the distant sounds coming from fields.
We turned on our lights and started walking like a clump of fireflies moving silently under the star-studded dark night. The sound of each step was audible and we were moving aligned like some spooks. After crossing the rugged path till the foothill, we commenced ascending up. Distant far yellow vapor lights along the route were visible, cuing us about the likely course we had to walk along.
The ice broke and chitchatting began. Rugged plain paths were almost over after half an hour stroll with torch lights. We could see small distant scintillating lights piercing the night, coming from distant villages under star-studded night while we walked aligned.
The route from the foothill was almost rocky with thorny shrubs and bushes to a lesser extent which was unlikely in a south Indian trek. The rocks were mostly solid granite and had a steep gradient of about 40 degrees and sometimes increased up to 60 degrees on the way. The stroll which began amid cool breeze with slow pace had turned into a steamy up-rise. It was really baffling then to carry a backpack with torch-light in one hand while maintaining balance on a slippery path under a dark night.
People were painting hellishly; legs were shaking readily; even at midnight, we were sweating intemperately. We had to change our moving style a lot of times. Sometimes leaning forward; sometimes squatting lazily and pushing ourselves; sometimes holding a helping hand and pulling ourselves up but we were united in a herd. Smokers beware! One chain smoker shared his hiking experience somewhat like this:
“I feel high palpitation at the core of my heart. Breathing is nearly impossible. Sweating is unbelievable at this time in the night. I feel like my chest has bulged out and legs are going out of steps”.
It was not him, it were almost everyone, who were having more or less same go through
Initially, we were in a hurry to reach the top fast so that we could enjoy more later after realizing the darkness and the steepness, we decided to slow down and give time to it. When another steeper rock was standing tall in front of us, we helplessly looked at each others’ face and eyes decided that we sit for some time and get re-energized.
Time ran just like that. Everyone was tired and looking at each other waiting for who was going to start first. Someone had to stand up. Thanks to the tourism department that they put iron support bar and had carved steps into rocks which helped us a lot while hiking.
Each of the yellow lights was our temporary haven. We moved like an IP packet halting at each destination on our way and again commencing a novel journey. We kept walking trying to figure out each dismal structure lying around and trying to see some moving life in them. After tenacious toil, we were at the top and every light distant or dealer was visible to us. We moved all around the top and while the valleys around the hill were deep dark but small towns at distance were twinkling and smiling.
It was time to take some rest there and quench thirst under the cool night. It was very windy out there. Some wrapped a sleeping bag around them. We were sitting like sharpshooters under the black night. We settled to bring dry branches, grasses, and twigs.
We took torches and headed forward to find something for the campfire. After tripping around and carrying loads of firewood to campfire site and we began camp-firing.
It was really tough to light a matchstick in windy weather at the top. Somehow, we managed to spark the fire. The warmth of the fire was cozy and quixotic. We sat around; sang rhymes and songs. It was almost 2.30 in the foggy morning with least visibility. People started dispersing away. In the end, I and Swamy were left. He too fell asleep. I tried to keep fire burning because I was feeling insomniac.
Around 4 in the morning, Swamy accidently got up and we again ventured in the fog to find more firewood. The fire was hollering again in the fog, fighting with cold and giving us warmth. When I slept beside the fire, I don’t remember. Next morning, when I got up, people were busy taking the photographs around. We could not see sunrise due to hazy weather. We strolled around and kept wondering about the unusual things around.
Stone mounted to hold prayers for years; unmounted only when wish is fulfilled
After having group photos and venturing around the hill top, we decided to descend down before sunburned us up. It did not take more than one and half hour to come down to our vehicle. We got inside the vehicle and moved on to our direction where this journey began, to Bangalore. I fell asleep shortly and when I got up, I was at my room.
On our way back
What to carry?
- Light backpack
- Sufficient water
- Sleeping Bag
- Good walking shoe with nice grip
- Extra cash
- Energy bars and Glucose
Our Second Kabbal Durga Trek Experience:
26th October was supposed to fall in places but things went awry turning into a unique offbeat night out experience. So, it was planned that birthday would be celebrated on top of the hill. And, to add more excitement to that too, on a night trek.
25th October 2013, 22:00:
– Where is the bus? – The only question that was on everyone’s mind.
The bus was supposed to be there at our college gate by 22:00. By far, there were no signs of the bus. Call the driver.
– “Sir, five minutes, I am on the way”
Ten minutes over. Call again.
– “Sir, in the traffic; police checking sir; sir, ten minutes sir, ten minutes”- well, this is how India works.
After fifteen minutes, we called to the travel booking center from where we booked the bus.
– “Sir, I called the driver just now, seems he has gone for vehicle’s head-light repair. He would be there shortly”
And a series of five minutes kicked in looking not in a mood to get over shortly.
23:00 pm: The bus arrives
The bus had arrived and we were safely in. On the way, we had to pick up some more guys, waiting for us for last an hour in the mad traffic of Bangalore (Frustration could very well be deciphered out from Pratik bhaiya’s messages).
And our journey begins.
26 October 2013: 00:00: Roadside birthday bumps
The devil clock ticked 00:00 while we were still on the bus. So what to do? Get the Birthday boy down and lets kick start the day with birthday kicks.
Heavy trekking shoes thumping onto my poor butts and Blanky taking the cover of butt like a German soldier :). Nonetheless, it was odd but unique and memorable experience for a lifetime. What others might not even think of doing, we had done that up.
Turn on the GPS:
After kanaka Pura, we did not know the route and the taste grew bitter when driver too did not know the route.
Well, done! GPS guys, you saved our life and especially Pradyot. GPS was turned on and we were happily following the GPS. Sometimes, a turn would be missed out and we had to take a U-turn to catch the road or the GPS would re-route itself.
01:00 AM: Where to go? Nowhere…
We were struck in a village. Thousands of ideas hit our mind like we were on a business plan brainstorming meeting. Although the GPS was showing us a route but in reality, if a route did exist, is still mystical to me.
Dogs were barking at us as if we were aliens and had just landed with our alien special saucer with an alien suit on. We stopped there with believing that something miraculously would save us. And, it happened. Of course, being the organizer, I felt little bad but thanks to a sudden vacant taxi crossing by which appeared almost sudden. That was unexpected but we found a route and we were riding on our hopes again.
01:30 AM: Here comes the kabbala village.
We reached the kabbala village. The dark hill was standing huge in front of our eyes but we did not know where the trail begin from.
Now what to do for the trail? We would see. Common gears and stuff were distributed. Meanwhile, we were another time lucky to find an old man and got the idea of the route from him. But The confusion persisted.
02:00 AM: Exploration begins, we on our own
We marched aligned like guerrilla soldiers on night patrol. flashes full on. Heavy boots crunching over twigs, shrubs, and boulders.
– Target: At sight
– Route to attack: On the move
And the mother nature bestowed us with thick bushes, wet fields, rocky beds and broken fort walls. Every trail was a source of infinite hope.
I had been to the same place almost a year ago but things were changed making it more difficult to figure out the existence of the trail with a spatial reference. For some time, I felt like were on the trail (Which was true as I realized that in morning.) but We again had lost the original trail thinking that it must be a water stream and we moved along an undefined trail.
Almost 8-10 torches walking in a row, half moon looking at us from the sky and for whom it was the first-night trek turned out to be the first night out cum exploration. We were walking along the peripherals of the hill base through tall bushes and high rocks. Sometimes, climbing on the rocks was too difficult.
Proper paths so there was a little bit of frustration and over-tiredness. Managing a group of people with different pace and different level of comforts really became tougher. you can not see beyond ten feet of light, while the person at the front might disperse away and those following you do not want to loose you.
02:45 lost trail found but at an elevation of 60 degrees 30 feet away.
I was lucky that somehow while flashing my torch around, I saw an iron bar hooked inside the rocks. So that people climbing along the steep elevation do not slip off. However, though the trail was just 30 feet away, standing at an elevation of 60 degrees, it was not less than 300 feet away. It became really tougher for the people to walk on the steep Igneous rocks with loose foothold and grip.
Surely, it was a walk for life. If you lose your concentration or hand grip or you place your feet wrongly, next time you would find yourself almost 50 feet down.
Believe me, it took us more than half an hour for 18 of us to cross that steep rock ridge. But we were lucky that none got hurt and everyone was safe and brave in reaching to the trail.
Lesson I learned: Mental strength, self-belief, and motivation are more important than skills and physical endurance sometimes.
Every time, someone gets stuck we had to reach out to them, make them comfortable in the middle of the climb. Make them believe that we were almost there and flashing the torch at the iron grids helped a lot of people in getting to the trail. Maybe, it infuses some kind of satisfaction inside the mind of people that yeah we are almost there. Hope, Jatin you would agree with me.
03:30 AM: Cake cutting, Finally
Almost an hour of intense exploration through the tall grasses and thick bushes had demanded a gallon of mental as well as physical strength from us and almost everyone felt tired.
Another lesson I learned: Walking along improper trail might sometimes be much tiring.
– “Let’s not take the cake any igher. It might already have gotten defaced. Lets cut it here.”
Cake was cut and the tiredness looming over our face was vanished into thin air.
How I felt?
It was truly an awesome experience being with best buddies on the Earth. At that moment of time, I was happier than anybody else in the world. The moon showering us with cool moon light, the cold breeze bathing us at 3000 feet; the water sipping out of the rocks; we in a bunch of almost 20 guys were on top of the world celebrating. I took me years to actualize this dream down after getting into the world of trekking for years.
For the first few minutes, I was the king; I was the prince there among the friends; I was the sun sitting under the moon. I was the lone lion of the forest.
04:30 AM: Who wanna go to the top?
A few were up for the up. Motivations were Pundir bhaiya and Krishna for going to the top. Leaving behind the group was not what I wanted. Group was divided into two now. Since some wanted to take rest as morning sleep was already hitting upon us under the cool breeze and above cold rock.
A few wanted to go to the top since they thought that they did not know when they would come back to the hill again and that too on a night trek. That was a logical explanation. So we proceeded to the top and in half an hour we were at the top now.
05:00 AM: At the top
Of course, being at the top is always a well desired desire. You got to see the closer moon, colder wind and a 360-degree view of the silent village, serene lake and the darker area around. We explored the temples around sat on the top for some time. Had dark photography.
06:00 AM: Sun shows his face
The moment had come. This was the final touch the artist sun would give to our statute of trekking. Everyone was gathered facing east. There were blue mist hanging in the air as far as till the horizon. There were a few small hills around. they too were bathed in blue.
Mist and fog were closer to the ground so no villages were seen but a few yellow lights from streets were seen. Slowly the sun came out. Soft, orange and through the clouds. And the shutters clicked. That sun was captured many times inside the cameras.
The lakes were bleeding red under the red sun and granites were reflecting orange sun rays from them. The water sipping from rocks which looked dark and black last night was colored orange and every leaf, every yellow rocks, everything just shined as if sun has blew in a life inside them . It was time to get down.
08:00 AM: Time to get back
Everyone was settled inside the bus. Tired and leaning full over the seat. As the bus moves and breezes fall in through the open windows within no time, every one was fast asleep. We halted for a tea-break at the Harohalli on the way, as well, but everyone was too lazy to come out.
10:00 AM: Back to Bangalore
We arrived back in Bangalore with loads of memories, new night experiences full of exploration, fatigue, vertigo and tiredness. By afternoon, everyone must be fast asleep holding tight to their bed.