I have always dreamt of going to a fantasy world, and returning in time to the normal world. Usually dreams are the only way to do that, but leaving that to the probability of how well my day went previously makes it tough even for fantasy dreams. So I was researching, if I could get off from Bangalore at 10 pm, drive to some place within a 75 kilometre radius, and then get home by 10 am to live the usual routine life. Such a place existed. Welcome to MakaliDurga.
WikiPedia says the following about this little village.
Makalidurga is a hill fort situated near the village of the same name. It is 60 km north of Bangalore and 10 km after Doddaballapura on the way to gauribidanur. The fort at the summit has an old temple of Shiva with Nandi and in legend Markandeya Rishi performed penance here.
Makalidurga Fort stands at the top of a huge granite hillock, huddled up amidst the chains of hills, formed like a valley close to Ghati Subramanya, a well-known pilgrimage center. It has a fort on top, at the height of 1,117mts.
It has become one of the trekking destination for adventurers. Many people go for night trek to this place
Our trip started from Hebbal, and we took the road to Makalidurga, after a stop at a CCD in between. The hills were no where in sight. We only saw the expanded Bangalore city, until Yelahanka and then all of a sudden civilisation ended. We saw pitch dark roads, and no 2G signals, which meant Google Maps on a dying iPhone would not show us where we were. We trusted our gut and took a road to go a little further, when we hit civilisation in the form of a railway crossing at Dodaballapur.
By the time, we hit the next railway crossing, there was no civilization around. It was just us, the three of us. A goods train passed our way to relieve us from the loneliness of spending time by the railway track.
We decided to wait for some day light to go up on the trek, since none of us had done research to go on the trail to the fort. We went back to a house near the railway station and slept on the floor, and kept an alarm to be woken up 4 hours later. We woke up, and took the car and parked it on a open grassland, near the railway track, and decided we would trek from there. A couple of other cars present, indicated that maybe we had spotted the right place to begin the trek.
More coming- Read Part 2 of ‘Conquering Makalidurga’