Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stamina and Will

The first climb - Anish, Gulli and I - we climbed less than half-way up in about 45 minutes under bright hot Sun. Mostly we took the wrong path even though two local boys were trying to guide us through the ideal route. We were tired, thirsty and getting hungry ...we decided to head back and go home.

Second climb, Gulli and I, must have taken at least 90 minutes with local boy guiding us the way up. At places we would deviate from the path assuming it would be shorter and ended up doing circus.

Third climb onwards we started understanding the path better. Our timing got better with every climb. By the fourth or fifth we would reach Basava Mantapa in 60 minutes. I would start the stop watch in my Timez Zulu Time and note the time every climb. The best we managed was 40 minutes - from the base to the Basava Mantapa - we could not do better than that.

During our climbs I would monitor progress with time.


Base to Point 1, gateway in the ruins of the fort wall - 10 minutes


Point 1 to Point 2, the turret - 20 minutes


Point 2 to Point 3, the guest house - 30 minutes -


Point 3 to The summit - Basava Mantapa - 40 minutes


With experience we had learnt few things not to do -
  • talk (I would talk as less as possible though Gulli would chatter on non-stop)
  • sit down (if we need rest, we would stop and remain standing but never sit down)
  • drink water (chances of catching sore throat is high)
  • hold things in our hands (always carried a back-pack)

My heart beat rate would shoot up pretty quickly and breathless in minutes but I learnt to push on ...sweat pouring out from my face and scalp too. The path between point 1 and point 3 is very steep. By the end of 20 minutes I would be drenched in sweat by t-shirt would be completely soaked! My heart pounding and my shoulders ache like crazy ...I would question myself; why did I have to come all the way for this? At times I would pluck a straw of wild grass and chew the tender end - it would give out a mild sweet flavor - I used to feel that boosted my energy.

Once we reached Point 3 it's as good as reaching the top ...from here it's more of walk then climb ...s stretch of level walk, a short climb downwards, a short climb up, walk over rocks, walk though rocks and then a short climb up and there you see the Basava sitting in the Mantapa looking towards the East. I would touch the Basava's feet, circle him three times and do namaskara.

Going back to my thoughts 'why do i take all this trouble'. Well, now i know that every bit of trouble I went though is worth the feeling I experienced here on the top ...the cold wind of fresh air, the sounds of the wind though the rocks and the scenes my eyes saw. My heart beat be back to normal and would not even realize it.

Descending was relatively less strenuous but the knees would start paining half-way down. Once during my solo climb, I came down in 15 minutes flat. At some parts I would leap from rock to rock ...my high ankle Reeboks protected my feet from the shock and supported my ankles. From the temple below, we would look back up at the Basava Mantapa and say our bye and hoping to come back as soon as possible.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Plan to visit

I got a thought that I should take Durga, my niece to Savandurga shortly. In fact her name is Durga because my brother Deepak and sister-in-law Sherry met at Savandurga for the first time. Durga would love to see the place she's named after. I'm not sure if we'll be able to climb the hill ...if it's raining it's too risky climbing with a 7 year old. Let's see if Mother Nature let's us climb Savandurga.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Overnight Stay Four

This was the Saturday Pink Floyd was performing in Bangalore. Kiran, one of Kiran's cousin and a friend of his cousin and of course I, reached well before sunset, gathered firewood and settled down in 'our' stone shelter. As the sky darkened, we could see city light glittering. From here we could see Magadi to our left, Bangalore straight ahead and Ramnagara to our right. I'm not sure if it was full moon day.

Around seven thirty, mist started blowing in and visibility was restricted to about 20-25 meters. We were sitting looking towards Bangalore and Kiran was talking about some ghosts and stuff.... "Sidda, look to your right there's really something coming towards us" When I looked I could see a figure coming towards us through the mist! As it came closer, I realized it was a man. Kiran was telling see if it's a ghost in the form of a man. I told him that to my knowledge ghosts prefer to take woman's form in white saree. Still Kiran was little scared, I'm not sure about the other two guys. The ghost turned out to be a man in early twenties, drunk and looking miserable. He came straight to us. I asked what he was doing here and if he had company and he replied back that his friends left him and went away. He asked if he could go down to the village but we told not to take risk climbing down in the darkness. The 'ghost' hung around close by.

Pink Floyd show, was being live on Vividh Bharati and my pocket radio was playing... the sound quality was not great but still we enjoyed it. We saw a sky-shot... pink and white sparkles and more blue-green, white-yellow. We thought this must at the rock show but the next day we found out that there was no such fire-show. We had dinner pretty early, pitched the tent (a mosquito net) and slept off early.

The 'ghost' woke up pretty early and took off at first light.

We went to the Basava Mantapa stayed there for sometime and then...

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Savandurga Flower is now Frangipani

Finally I found the name of this flower...


it's called Frangipani.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Dogs company

Somehow dogs at Savandurga seem to have a passion for climbing...

...when I went with Rajesh. We explored the smaller hill the evening before, stayed overnight in the temple below and morning we climbed.
This was one of the best scenes I saw on Savandurga. The clouds hung at this level for about 30 minutes or so. The dog sat there seriously watching the clouds.

These two gave us good company all the way up. They would stray away from us exploring the surroundings. For a moment it looked as though both would come down crashing when the puppy stopped to turn back and the big fellow bumped into the puppy's back.

...and finally had breakfast with us on the top. The little fellow was very hungry and would come back for more food.

This is on the Basava Hill, Kiran, Basu, Kiran, one of Kiran's engineering classmate and Rohin. My first climb after my injury to my left femur, I was extremely cautious during this climb.


...Basu and Rohin. This dog was a serious kind and he would never stray away from us.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Overnight stay Two

That's was my second camping trip on the top. For the others it was very the first time.
Dipi, Dad, Ravi Uncle, Kaalu, Ajay, Nagesh, Praveen and Shankar.

We had our of chapati and avarekalu palya sitting around a bonfire. The wood and fire was fun to watch, the breeze made the flame look as though a dragon was spitting fire. It was warm and we slept out in the open, it rained lightly for 10 minutes, bringing out the heat from inside the rock. Most of us did not sleep well after that.

Morning we went up to the Basava Mantapa and as the sun came up...

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Adventurous descent

That's the very time we reached the summit... Gulli and I. The picture was shot by our guide.


If you look behind us, the rock just plunges down, it's very steep. We went down that way, against our guide's advice, mostly on our hands, bottoms and feet... trying to get the maximum contact with the rock surface. It was a crazy thing we did. We were relieved to be back on somewhat level surface.

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jai Hind!!!

Sometime 1998...

Dad, Kaalu, Murali, Praveen and Nagesh busy having breakfast atop Savandurga. That was during Dad's second and last overnight stay on Savandurga. Four years later he passed away.

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