Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Makali Durga (Karnataka) - For splendid views

Makali Durga from a distance

Laziness is a disease; which pierce her tentacles deep in to victim's life. Once we fell in to her moh-maya, its difficult to come out. Over past couple of months; most of my weekends were gone just like that - sleeping, eating snacks, binge watching movies, series and sleeping!!! again!!! No trips were planned or executed.
As some wise man told, a wanderer's mind never stay at ease at the same place for long. Slowly I started reading blogs and exploring maps to find out the next place to go. One website came across during that search was Karnataka EcoTourism -> This has information about places to go, ideal time to visit and fees!! Many of these places has an entry fee. Not sure why government is collecting the money. Other than some arrow marks painted in the hills, there are hardly any services from their end. This is a recent phenomenon; previously hiking these hills were free. I booked two slots for Makali Durga (for me and Divya). 
On the designated day, we woke up early in the morning; fired up the Thunderbird and left home. There was hardly much traffic during the wee hours. After a while, we crossed Doddaballapura and continued on to Makali Durga. For this trek, many consider 'Makali Durga Railway station' as starting point; we opted the foothill as starting point. After parking the bike, we crossed the railway track and reached the entrance. Couple of people were standing there to collect/verify the ticket.  


There were hardly much people along the route. Looks like this trail is not that popular among people. We kept on walking. After a while the trail split in to two - one goes straight and other one to the right. Straight one takes a longer path and reach very close to Gundamagere Lake; from there path take slight deviation and goes to the top of the hill from other end. We took the one which goes to the right and followed the arrow marks. 
Makali Durga trek is not difficult; in many places its more of walking than trekking. Trekking route is narrow and devoid of steps. After reaching some height; we looked towards the route we covered so far. Views of the hills in the opposite side were amazing. Further upward, from another view point, one can see the Gundamagere lake at the bottom. This lake don't have any shape and water was muddy. After spending sometime here - looking at the lake and near by areas - we continue our journey to the top. 
We need to reach the top quickly before sun moves further to the west. All these small hills are good for trekking either in the early morning or evening only. Day time is definitely not a good idea!!!
We continued our walk after talking couple more breaks here and there. Vegetation was mostly consist of small trees and shrubs; there were hadly any animals or evern birds. Finally we reached the top. There were couple of groups sitting there; most of them were concentrated in and around a structure that is believed to be a granary during the era of kings. Other were sitting at some other corner playing music from portable speakers. 

Gundamagere lake - A view from the hill
We walked from one end to the other end; and finally came back and sat on a fort wall area from where one can get the uninterrupted view of lake and lands beyond that. Time passed quickly; mercury started rising sharply and we started our return journey. At the bottom while crossing the railway track, I looked at the granite hilltop one last time. 


During the heydays of Vijayanagar Empire this hillock was part of their vast empire. Later it came under the rule of Nayaks etc. Father of Chhatrapati Shivaji, Shahaji Bhosle, also controlled the fort when Dodaballapur are was under him in the 1600s.

1, From MG Road Metro station Makali Durga is some 57-60km to reacht he stating point. 
2, There are two stories for the name as per websites. According to one legend, "Makalidurga is named after a woody climber called “Makali Beru” or Makali Root, the juice of which is used to prepare a health drink. Some medicines also include juice because it purifies the blood". According to second legend, "… Makaliraya used the fort as his granary during the late 1800’s and that is how Makalidurga got its name".

Divya looking towards the distant lands

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