Friends, here we are, all set to take you to a mystical journey to this beautiful place – Makalidurga.
Trust me; we had no plans what so ever to go out over the weekend. It all started on a Friday evening, Dev called me from the office around 10:30 PM and said “I am so frustrated because I did not take my car today and missed my company transport as well”. Friends, this is really a stupid reason to plan a trip. Well, who cares!!! we did.
Without wasting a minute, immediately I scheduled a call with all the stake holders (Gallis) and proposed this trip. Place was not decided at this point in time. All the boys were just waiting for a reason to get-together and this time the reason was Dev. So, the plan was to assemble at Dev’s by 5:30 AM and leave at 6:00 AM sharp. All agreed.
Dev and I agreed to meet up at Sipin’s to plan the whole thing. I packed my bags and started around 11:30 PM Friday, while Dev was on his way from the office. O yes, you will know about Galli members when we all meet in the morning. I am sure you already know Dev, Bobby and I, don’t you? If not you should read this post: adventures_of_gallis-a-day-at-skandagiri
Alright – Dev, Akshay and myself reached Sipins around 12:30 AM, Freezing and hungry we decided to go to Kamanahalli Empire for some hot Grill chicken, Gheera rice “hehehehe” I will get to that later.
So, we had heard about this place Makalidurga, knowing about the place and the history we finalized the destination.
Sipin – AKA kirik Sipi is the corner stone of Galli boys, never back down attitude and positive all the time.
We call him Kirik is because He tries to show off that he can scare people and in turn laughs out loud 😀 While in Empire we asked for finger bowl and nothing happened for next few minutes. Dev Aki and I were talking about the trip. Loud scream “aaAAAAYyyy” was heard, for a minute we actually forgot what we were talking about. Whole empire was pin drop silent and we look at Sipi’s face turned red and anger, I thought his BP in not less than 150 and assumed “Somebody Gonna Get-a-Hurt Real Bad”. With his serious cute face, in Slow motion he looks at us and all he does….. Burst out laughing. O man I can never forget the moment.
Akshay – Aki is the youngest Galli member while Ajay is the oldest of all 😀 . Full of energy and passion for rock music makes him a perfect Galli. Perfect Karaoke partner and a person with can do attitude.
All four of us reached Dev’s at 2:00 AM Saturday. Sent a message to Ajay, Bobby and Rashin to be ready by 5:30 and we all crashed. Kirik was supposed to wake us up at 5:00 AM but I ended up waking him and others at 8:15 AM 😛
Galli boys religiously follow this – We plan, agree and make sure never stick to the plan. And we proved it again. Hurry burry we got ready and My Aunt, Dev/Rashin’s mum prepared nice Akki roti, Idly, vadi chutney. Ajay and bobby also came by 9:00 AM, all had Kings Breakfast and were ready to start our exiting day. Dev in the other hand, searching for his tripod emptied half of his wardrobe lol.
Rashin – AKA PT master/Army Major/Hitler etc etc.. of Gallis. In Gallis, discipline is out of question but our PT master does it all the time. Eg: That morning just because the wardrobe was not in good shape, our PT master screwed Devs happiness Hahahaha… till the wardrobe was back in shape.
I call him savior is because he is anytime ready to rescue Galli boys no matter what the situation.
Last but not the least Ajay – AKA Play-ya, he is Gallis Tiger!! Any place, party to trek, chit chat to work, He will make it matter. Ajay can turn things around. Galli’s crown jewel.
Now that you know Galli gang, I am sure you can imagine how this trip can be.
Something about Makalidurga:
I assume the place was named Makali-Durga because of the fort on top of the hillock. 2 hours drive from Bangalore city, Karnataka, India – place is approximately 65 kms. This is a must visit place in Bangalore. Surrounded by Palm trees, lemon grass, boulders and thorn bushes makes it a perfect place for trekking. Ok, enough of theory it’s time for some adventure.
Scene 1: (09:30 – 10:15)
Started our expedition around 9:30 AM from Yelahanka. Before the drive as usual, Dev – our photographer started clicking group pictures. Group photo cannot be a group photo without Dev so we called a person passing by to take our group photo and this is the one.
Scene 2 (10:20 AM – 11:00 AM)
Somewhere before Doddaballapur we parked for 20 minutes break. Ploughed land on road side was look marvelous, as though someone carved the land and created a design. Not wasting a minute started taking photos. For some time we almost forgot our destination is Maklidurga and not Doddaballapur. As long as Bobby is around all we do is laugh out loud (lol) He is ever smiling.
Scene 3 (11:00 – 11:30)
Anyways asking for directions and looking for signboard we finally reached Makalidurga main road, next to the railway station. Stopped nearby shop we picked up lots of Junk food (Congress kadalebeeja AKA spicy peanut, batani, Cream biscuit, Marie biscuit, local chocolate biscuit, coconut biscuit, 5×2 ltr water bottle, Bindu soda)
We spent almost 2 hours talking to the locals and visiting nearby restaurants asking about the place and exploring. Some locals believe Fort was occupied by Tipu from a local King. Well, the time was almost 01:30 PM and we were little exhausted. Resting and sipping team voice from behind us said “Maga, I think we should camp overnight” Guess who?? Our Bobby it was. Initially pretending as though we never heard him, we all started thinking about it seriously.
Before I could finish my tea, stood up and said “chuck it boyzzzz, lets camp overnight”. Immediately Bobby and Aki.. Rushed to the nearby town to buy medical kit while Rashin, Ajay, Kirik, Dev and myself packed food for the rest of the day from a small hotel attached to the tea stall. O yes, Dev usually carries small T4 tent and 2 hiking chair he has every time we go out on adventure. No wonder why he is our CEO, Galli boys and Bobby our CFO, Galli boys.
Scene 4 (2:00 PM approx.)
Planning to start our trek, eying at this majestic hillock our energy was pumped up 200% more. So, we first parked our vehicle on Makalidurga base. Speaking to a shepherd we decided it was best to park our vehicle at the railway station which is about 3 Kms from the hillock. Reaching the railway station we geared up to start our Makalidurga trek. We spoke to the station master and requested if it was OK if we parked our vehicle overnight for which he agreed.
Scene 5 (02: 20 PM)
We started our trek with a group photo. Spectacular view from the railway station, we could not wait to reach the hill base. Considering one of the oldest railway station, 3 Kms railway trek was awesome!! Something I had never experienced before. Random pics while on the move, we took it slow and reached Makalidurga temple which is on the foot of the hillock.
We were drained and hungry, old couple who take care of the temple invited us to have lunch as the trek would be very exhausting. After face wash with cold water. It was a perfect time for lunch. Old lady (I call her Ajji) offered us Ragi balls and rice with Veg kurma. Sipi, Dev and I wanted to try Ragi while others started with Rice and tomato bath that we had parceled. The Food was just Awesome!!!!!! My mouth is watering thinking of it slrup……..
Happy and satisfied we gave 150 rupees to Ajji and told her we would return next day morning. Taking directions how to reach the fort we moved on. Awesome landscape.!!!
Note: We are told there are 2 ways to get to the hill top, route 1 is supposed to be easy and the other obviously difficult. Who on earth knew which was easy and difficult. We just assumed and took the first right turn. Gallis showing direction 😛
First half was peaceful.. Cracking jokes, singing songs we reached our first resting point. We had trekked for around 1.5 Kms already. Huge lake down below and hill range on a far of distance and cool wind blowing, Nature could not offer anything better. It was out of the world feeling.
Expecting more from this place, we continued our trek until we reached this huge Granite structure. Like someone said “life is a puzzle” looking at this structure we were puzzled. Puzzled because we were not sure how to climb and where to start. Lol
Bobby was like “Maga, I think we should go back and come prepared may be next time”. Rashin n Ajay did not stop pulling bobby’s leg lol.. till Aki climbed one portion and helped me climb the rock.
Aki and I pulled all others but Sipi, who was trying to climb the rock from a wrong direction. He was climbing the rock which is almost vertical.. He was insane!! Guess what? He made it eventually. One wrong move, Sipi would have been 100 feet down. Crazy bugger 😀 Don’t believe me? Check these pics..
After some struggle we reached a point where we could see the fort. It was beautiful. Akshay , Rashin and Bobby moved on but Dev, Sipi Ajay and myself stayed behind just gazing at the ruins. I must admit, such moment cannot be captured, we should only feel and enjoy. And that’s exactly what we did.
Finally, we reached the hill top around 5:00 PM. Soon after, something strange happened. Dev, who was with us all the time starting acting like a King. He got his Chair ready, claimed he was some unknown King and started assigning work to everyone. O yes Ajay was made Birbal and me Tenali raman and others his subjects. King started assigning task:
4 people to assemble the tent and 1 person to gather firewood. Typical Indian management technique, It was not late before his people started forsaking the King and he had no option but to come and help us set up the tent and all went out gathering wood.
We were not prepared for overnight stay hence we did not carry knife/torch/ or warm cloths. Gathering firewood was a challenge without proper tool to cut. It is when Akshay reminded us of Flintstones from the Stone Age. All of us went in different directions and gathered as many wood/dry sticks/ dry grass and everything we could to make sure we had more and enough for the night.
Remember why I call Rashin our Savior? He is always ahead of us when it comes to safety and security. Rashin and Akshay found this huge wood log, approximately 6ft long which served us well till the morning. All said and done we were all set to light the bonfire.
So did we start our evening with some “moves like Jagger” to “Michael Jackson moon walk”
We lit the fire and ended our dance with “walk like an egyptian”.
Around 8: 30 PM all us were exhausted sitting around the bonfire we spoke about our past and experience, Fun and adventures. Ajay was best at everything. Akshay being new to our group, it was his turn to share 1 sad experience. He tried and tried for almost one and a half hour, every sentence Our King had to interrupt and make his point. Finally, tired laughing and screaming all of started with our mini Dinner around 10: 00 PM.
Barbecued Bun and Akki rotti was the delicacy that night. And ya about the sad story Akshay was supposed to share.. He never could complete 50% of it. I don’t even remember what he was trying to say, With limited food, it was time for Karaoke night. Started with “Man who sold the world” to “nothing else matters”, “Carnival of rust” to “IRIS” WoW it was wonderful
After all the fun, we decided to rest taking turn watching the night. Bobby, Akshay, Rashin, Dev crashed and it was Sipin, Ajay and I guarding the night. I could hardly keep my eyes open. Smoke hitting our eyes it was crazy. 3: 45 AM we were out of firewood, So it was time for Sipin to show off his Kirik thing. Lol…!!!!!!! He made sure everybody was awake and went out to fetch wood, except for Dev. Dev came up with some lame excuse for not going.. maybe he was still thinking he was a King.
The only thing I remember of that night is Bobby. He was shit scared to go out in the night hahahaha..I can’t believe he was holding Akshay’s hand and chanting some mantras…On return all he could bring was 2 dry sticks.
Talking about bobby for next 30 minutes or so all of us rested till the morning and ditched out KING. It was his turn to take care of things. Woke up fresh in the morning, severe body pain and feeling hungry all we wanted to do is climb down and have some good breakfast.
We cleaned the place, gathered all the garbage and plastics and put out the bonfire. Climbing down was painful but exciting at the same time. Feeling of achieving something all were ready to go back home spend the day with the family and start the week fresh.
Friends, this trek is not easy. It is one hell of a trek and very exhausting. I don’t recommend this rout if you are going with you family specially women in the group. Whatever it is, one of the best treks in a long time. You must absolutely plan if you are a person who is into doing crazy things. Totally forgot. While coming back on the railway track, I wanted to make this trip memorable. Saw the train coming, gathered 7 coins. 1, 2 and 5 rupees placed it on the track and collected the souvenir from Makalidurga.
All got 1 each.
Things to carry
- 2 litres of water bottle per person
- snacks like Sandwich/Chocolates/Bread/butter/Jam etc
- Warm clothing – Jacket, sweater etc.
- Torch light with extra suitable battries
- Swiss knife
- Sun Glass (Optional)
- First aid kit
- Footwear (Sports ware/hiking shoes)
- Garbage covers
- Camera (Optional)
- Alcohol is strictly a don’t
- Do not litter the trekking path with garbage or plastic items. Any garbage please carry it till you climb down the hill and dispose it in a dustbin
Bangalore–> Doddaballapura –> Makalidurga (on Gowribidanur road)
Train name: Guntur Passenger
@ Yashwanthpur: Departure: 8.15 AM
@ Makalidurga: Departure: 3.30 PM