The Ramanagaram Moonlight Trek2/08/2009 08:15:00 AM
The Night trek started as sort of joke in our first trekking event in Mid December 2008. and its been a month, when we gave a serious thought doing a night trek in moonlight, which was kind of obvious but could come with lots of waiting as well. waiting for the full moon night apparently which being tomorrow, a weekdays, saturday seemed like a perfect night.
the day was all set so far, but the place, the plan was to start saturday night right after dinner, and come back morning before breakfast. which left us with some 10 hours time to reach the place, trek, have some time at the peak till sunrise and head back home soon after. there are quite a few places around bangalore, amongs the popular one offcourse being Antargange, Skandagiri or kalwarhalli Betta, or rather kalwar Betta. Well, with in my knowledge of the local language Kannada, betta is kind of stone mountains 7-800 or more meters of height? tell me if i am wrong. Antargange, famous for cave exploration, is in district kolar, on a little diversion of NH-4 from Bangalore direct. and Skandagiri is near nandi hills around 70-80 kms from Bangalore. which I understand is more of a moonlit night favs and yes offcourse the good sunrise spot.
All we decided was antargange moon light cave exploration, till the last minutem we understood that we wont get the forest dept permission to trek in night, what more bizzare could be that we dint get skandagiri either. as determined as we were, we finally got the permissions for ramanagaram, and saturday morning neeraj finally announced in BMC mail-group of the event. i had a few known folks accompanying me, and it turned out be bunch of some 18 people who were heading for a trek, midnight.
Ramanagaram is not less famous for rock-climbing than its for the bollywood all time favorite movie "shole" which was released some 30+ years back. though nothing really left over as we had seen on screen always. now how it good it could be for trekking, I was still curious yet
we started around 10 pm on bikes and a qualis, and reached the spot close to 11. A quick intro session, which I pretty much missed, we picked up our sleeping bags headed towards the forest. (few of us still being curious ofexcited at the same time. why we needed sleeping bags, since we had no plan of sleep-over for sure)
A walk- without-torch as I call it was, in not so think bamboo forest, quite a pleasure, the Moon even 48 hours before its d-night, was all lit and shining high. for me it was another memorable experience after seeing milky white snow-mountain bathed in moon light driving to Tahoe. this in-contrary was the mix of green and red, indeed the light green forest and red rocks with a pinch of pink. we sort of made the round of the proposed rock we were heading to through the forest and reached a small village which not many houses, and no men out but some cattle half asleep. so figured there was direct road to the main could take us right back from where we started.
with a condition, if my mobile network was reading the correct cell, the area is called basvarulu or something sounding similar. we were going up the hills, there werent' exactly forest much left over. soon we reached a temple, through the tiring steps, with no other option, and there those crafted stairs on the rocks, with the railings to hold, certainly scaring hell out of us, on first look but thankfully not that tough and we reached the peak pretty easily. the whole trek lasted for some half plus two hours, and what was there, the small city lit on the the right, and tiny rocky hills on the otherside of it. soon people figured out sleeping was a good idea, though 2 of us (vani & me) sat on every corner stopped socked in enough moonlight and looked around in the fair moon light. 2-3 hours on top was pretty good time, and neither of us felt a need of sleeping really, came down a time tried finding some leaks and guages between the rocks, trekked a little on another rock plateform, and went back on top again. it had turned out that camp fire was not nearly an option, even after the permission and so the bonding with people and some fun was missing though, and even more while we noticed another group of folks (a number of a finger count), just arrived, started on bon-firing, guitaring, and mouth-organing (boozing as well which we found out inthe morning), though only the camp fire was much needy and impressive from what all they did. and we sort of satisfied ourself with the little air/smell of fire coming to us from all that other side of the hill, while we sang and talked in slow and fast forward modes all the sad songs those we could remember that time around and watching moon, turning yellow than red-orange and fading soon leaving us awake in nothing but dark.
Morning I should say not very impressive, since we had been to clouds aleady, so not much of sunrise and we headed downwards, only seeing the sun in its all around shape and glowing when reaching the temple. some nice shots and little warmth of the rays, had our road-side much wanted tea, back on mad-bangalorean roads and the peaceful home soon only waiting for another full moon night and a short trek close by.