Makalidurga Trek (Makli)
I left home at 7:30am and went to majestic to catch the tempo traveller which was coming from Marathalli after picking others up. Makalidurga is a hill of 1350mtrs above sea level which is located after Dhoddaballapura. It is about 15kms from Ghati Subramanya, 5kms from dhoddaballapur and around 30kms from Nandi Hills. We started to our destination at 8:00am. Stopped for breakfast in a hotel on the new aiport road just after hebbal. Had idly and vada as usual and left the hotel at 9:00am. It was late, nonetheless we were on the way. I should have told this in the beginning but here goes - we were 7 people - Me, Sagarika, Suresh, Vanati, Arul, Deepak and Atma.
After packing lunch at Doddballapur, and searching for the place for a while we reached the railway track/crossing. After a short briefing, we started the trek. The first adventure was crawling through the small tunnel that ran below the railway track. After that we started ascending. This was a new place to all of us and we didn't take the normal route to the top. We had to make our own way up. Cutting down plants using just stick and making our way up. The grass there is very dry, tall and thorny. Going this way and coming out without a scratch or a poke is just impossible. It took a long time to ascend as we had to decide which direction to take and which could eventually get us up to the top.
Some simple climbing, backtracking, taking decisions of direction to be taken and moving up, we reached a place where we had to ask others to rest for a while till we figured out which direction to take. Oh, I forgot about the awsome spectacle of the train that passed by. It looks like a toy train moving along the toy track. I remembered hot weels.. Sagarika, Suresh and I took different directions to check for a way up. Sagarika and me hit the mountain face.
It was about 5-8 stories high. Not completely vertical but it was about 75 degrees. To climb this one should have done some rockclimbing. Sagarika climbed a little and I too did. After some discussions we decided not to risk climbing it. We didn't have rope or any other equipment and once we started ascending, it looked diffcult to get down. There were a lot of hand and foot holds though. Since there were others and Deepak and Aatma hadn't done any rock climbing before, it was wise not to go ahead. So we decided to turn back and head down. :((No peak... no peak.. no peak.. Well, when we go on a trek we have to work as a team. So that's a very good lesson for everyone to learn. Again to come down, we could take the same way we came up or just decend down. Like I said this wasn't the route that normal folks take and so there was no path as such. We stopped for lunch at about 1:30pm. After lunch (lemon rice and pulav), we started decending down. Reached the base at 3:30pm. Debriefing took place. Of course how can I forget pulling out about a 100 thorns frm my leg. :P. Since there was still time we decided to go to Nandi Hills. Reached nandi hills at 4:30pm. After spending some time there, we started on the journey back home. I reached home at 8:30pm.For the first time, it's taken me a week and more to write this down. :( . Anyway here it is. BTW, i forgot to mention when we were enquiring the route to take to Malkidurga, there is a lake there where the others took some time off and cooled thier legs (this is before the commencement of the trek)..Information about the place:Makalidurga is situated 5kms from Doddaballapur town. There is a lake facing the mountain and the railway track runs/meanders at the foothills of the mountain.Directions: Bangalore > Yelehanka town signal > Doddaballapur road > Doddaballapur > Towards Ghati subramanya > The road forks. there take a left (right goes to ghati) > Makaliduraga is the mountain on the left hand side.
Ask the folks there for "makli" and not makalidurga.
Best time to visit: Cooler days. It's very hot in summer
Activities: Rock climbing, Rappeling, trekking.
Routes: As many as you want to make. If you are a rock climber and have climbing rope and other equipment, you can take the route that we took and scale the last part using your rock climbing skills.
There is a route with marked arrows which all the folks take if you dont' want to adventure/risk a lot.
Distance from Bangalore - around 65kms.
From Makalidurga - Nandi hills - 30kms
Ghati subramanya - 15kms
Doddaballapur - 5kms.