Night trek to Huthridurga, camping and sunrise from the peak
Date: 31 Dec 2013 – 1 Jan 2014 (Night Trek)
Distance: ~2 km one way (<1.5miles)
Path: Huthri -> Govt. School -> Brick huts -> Huthridurga entrance -> Huthridurga peak
(For the first time, I’m writing a treklog the day I trekked J )
It’s that time of year yet again. Second year in succession, I decided to hike/trek on the 1st of January marking the New Year. Thanks to Yashu for putting me in touch with BASC (Bangalore ASCenders) members – Suresh and his friends; I was able to join them for this very short and easy but a beautiful trek to Huthridurga. Huthridurga is located in the Kunigal taluk just off Magadi Road (Towards Kunigal). It’s a huge monolith with numerous boulders all around its vicinity. The fort and the Shiva temple at the top are the prominent to-visit points here. If not for this trek, I had decided to go bouldering to Turahalli today. I am very lucky to have been able to for this hike. And of course a huge thanks to Suresh, Sriharsha and Harsha, Aashish , Rahul and Nagendra who let me tag along with them.
I met up with the group at Sirsi circle (Mysore road) at 9:45pm on the eve of New Year from where we drove towards Magadi village. We were a battalion of two bikes (ridden by Rahul and Harsha) and a car (Suresh). The initial plan was to trek up to the peak before the grand wave of time crossed over to 00:00 01-01-2014 but we were delayed and wished each other a happy new year very close to Magadi village. We reached the start point in Huthri at 1:45am (01-01-2014) and began our hike right after that. Technically this became my first hike in 2014.
The trek began with a simple walk through plush green fields, not that I could see the green color fields distinctively with a flashlight but it was there. We crossed a village with a couple of houses. In spite of being discrete and silent, the dogs started barking at us which I’m sure would have woken a lot of people there. We moved as quickly as we could and got into the forest area. At a point, the bright lights from the nearby villages faded away, magically bringing into focus the beautiful night sky. Being a new moon day, there was no moon light in the sky. To our luck, there wasn’t a spec of cloud which made it all the more spectacular. Being back in India after a while, I was able to spot the a few constellations. The big dipper and the pole star in particular stood out clearly and spontaneously the night sky was familiar to me. We took a quick break before heading up to the peak.
The trail to the top goes through 7 archways/doors (dwarakas) and the climb is occasionally steep but is helped by the numerous steps carved out of rock. One might have to take extra precautions during a wet day. We reached the top at 2:15am. It was very windy up there and was getting quite cold. We spoke for a while and I decided to retire at 3:15am. It was getting cold and oddly I struggled to sleep in my sleeping bag rated to 15 deg C. I had to wear 2 layers to stay warm. I presume the temperatures dropped well below 10 degrees C (lower 40’s). Finally sleeping flat on the ground facing the heavens above, I went to sleep like a tired child who was being cradled.
I was woken up by my alarm at 6:20am which I had set to make sure I catch the sunrise at 6:48am. Nagendra was already up and was trying to get others up. There was so much mist around that I thought I’d not be able to see any part of the sun rise that day other than the vibrant colors of the morning sun outlining the mist and the clouds. Again call it luck, the sun rose from behind the clouds peeping out its vibrant face. The first rays of the sun lit up the temple making it look ethereal. A few minutes later the sun was up and it was beginning to warm the atmosphere. We clicked a few pictures and were on our way down to our vehicles. We started the descent at 7:30am and reached the base at 9:15am. The extended time for descent is accounted for by the numerous pit stops we took to snap pictures and admire the beauty that was presented to us. I was again lucky to get a breakfast dish (Rava Idly) at a restaurant we stopped for breakfast. Guess why, it was the last one. I reached home at 11:35pm and after a good soothing hot shower, I am writing this treklog. Thanks again to the entire group and specifically Suresh for allowing me to hike Huthridurga. New Year->New Friends. I’ve started this year on a lucky note. Lts hope I get lucky in winning all those permits (Half Dome, Grand Canyon, Mt. Shasta…) and in every other aspect this year. Is Rainier possible this year? Is it too much to ask for? Lets wait and see what this year brings.
Picasaweb album link: here
<Yet to come>