Saturday, 18 April 2009

Siddarbetta and Blackbuck Sanctuary

Krishna took the initiative of planning for one day trek during the long Good Friday weekend. After looking at some options we finally agreed on Siddarbetta. Since it was just 4 of us we decided to take one car. Again it was Krishna who was getting the car (Balli ka bakara). Anyways he claims to love driving so I don’t think he minded.

We started at 6:30 from my place. The car that Krishan was driving was given by the TATA service centre since his car was under repair. It showed signs of over use. We had bald tyres.

The journey was smooth. We stopped at KAMAT on Tumukur for breakfast only to realise that we had missed the deviation that we had to take. Once we hit the state highway the bird watchers stopped every now and then to take pictures. The drive was beautiful, everywhere we looked we found trees that were in bloom.

We reached Siddarbetta by 10:30am. I was disappointed to see steps made all the way up. As it was Sunday there was lot of people visiting the temple at the peak. Our ascent was slow. Krishna was impatient with the pace we maintained. I was cursing my laziness to do exercise.

When we reached the top we hired the Bhel Puri seller to take us to the caves. Our first stop was of course the shrine. Just in front of the idol there is a water source which according to locals doesn’t dry up. We filled our bottle with this water and started with our cave exploration. There were some interesting

sights here like the grave of a saint, living quarters of another saint and wild grape veins formations. After crawling and doing duck walk for about an hour we reached where we stated. We walked around for some more time and started our descent.

Our next programme was to have lunch at Madugiri (a slightly bigger village) and proceed to Maidanahalli (Black Buck Sanctuary).

About 4 kms from Madugiri we had a flat tire. The spare tyre had its metal showing. We decided to use it, and proceed till Madhugiri. Fixing the tyre took us nearly 2 hours by then it was 5:30. We decided to take a chance and visit the sanctuary.

There are no proper directions or boards to this place. We stopped every 5 kms to ask directions. Finally we managed to find the mud road that lead to the Sanctuary.

As we drove we started spotting the animals. They were very gracefully and pretty. The place is poorly guarded and maintained. But this is a place that I would classify as a must visit.

We headed to Bangalore at 7:00 pm. At that time little did we know what was instored for us. We asked for directions at a village and that guy directed us to the longest route to Bangalore. The road took us all the way to Dodbellapur and back. The roads were bad and never ending. The only good bit about taking this road was that Krishna spotted a Leopard. And just as we entered Bangalore we had a flat tyre again. Since we had used the spare one already we were in a fix. We deciced to drop the car at a friend's place and head home. It was 1:30 am by the time i slept. Over all a tiring but good trip

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