Saturday, April 30, 2011

Skandagiri - A hot and trashy hike

As prep up for the Everest Base Camp trek we went on an early morning hike to Skandagiri. Skandagiri is around 70km from Bangalore and is one of the hill forts of Nandi Hills. You can read the wiki on it – it has accurate info for someone who wants to hike it. Quick take – nice hike, slightly hard, will take you 1-2 hours to do it, nice remnants of a temple and fort built by Tipu Sultan on top, you can buy some food and water on the top. Supposedly there is a huge 'mela' up there on weekend nights, especially on a full moon night.

Personal takes:
  1. It was hot and the two weeks of lazing around on the beaches of Goa showed J. It is a not a very hard hike but I kinda got why most people do it at night these days. The sun kills you.
  2. You have to pay for parking. As I hear if you don't you will have to pay for car paint or worse car repairs (supposedly done by the disgruntled parking guy)
  3. It is one of the trashiest hikes I have been on. There was more trash there than I expected. Somehow you think that people that like to hike like nature, thus care about it. This seems to be a very wrong assumption. Also, biodegradable does not mean it is ok to throw it on a trail. Banana peels, nut shells, paper bags – though not as bad as plastic bags and bottles- still take time to degrade and in the meantime degrade the trails people walk on.
  4. If you have not been hiking before go with someone – don't show up with no water on a hot day and think that climbing the 'hill' with your friends is a good idea. We met a group on our way down. The girls were swearing at the guys and I was sure there was going to be more swearing as they had no drinks with them. Bad idea. Bad bad idea. Luckily some enterprising villagers sells water and bread-omelet on the top but still hiking in summer with no water. Ouch.
View from the top
As always getting to the summit and looking down from the top was breath taking. But the best part on this hike was getting to know most of the folks I'd be going to the base came with. The company was great and really made me feel comfortable about the upcoming trip. Someday soon though I might have to partner with folks to get some of the trash down and most of all stop people from throwing rubbish there.

A lone Nandi left near the temple

View from the bottom of the hill.
It is steeper than it looks.
There is a fire burning near this cave. Set off on purpose by
a villager


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