The rock was huge and was steep. Dory, Infinitics and Arv had somehow climbed that rock. (I still wonder how they had managed to do that) JJ, AJ and I were stuck behind. It was difficult for us to climb from the middle, the way the other 3 did so we were climbing from the edge taking support of the bushes and trying to find some foothold and handhold. The edge was covered with the slippery mud and the bushes were thorny. Behind me were JJ and AJ. Suddenly I reached a point where there was nothing to hold, no foothold and handhold, no support at all, just the slippery mud and it was then I lost balance and began to fall from that rock.
Last 2 months have been very tiring for me. Almost everyday I had been spending 12 hours in office and even wasting my weekends in office. I was tired and I badly needed a break. So finally we (Infinitics, Dory, AJ, JJ, Arv and I) planned a short trip to Skandagiri. We all assembled at Infinitics place and finally started at around 2.30AM. None of us knew the way and we got lost. We used all the resources possible like stopping truck drivers, waking up people asleep and asking for directions, calling one of our friends at 4 in morning, using GPS and Google. The wind was blowing so fast that our bikes wobbled. I had never experienced such thing in my life- a bike wobbling because of fast blowing wind. Finally we reached Skandagiri. A guide stopped us and said that its 8kms trek and demanded 250 bucks to show us the directions. We said 100, the deal couldn’t be settled and we went ahead on our own. Actually none of us liked the idea of guide, we had never taken any guides help in any of our trips and didn't want in this one also.
We parked our bikes and started climbing up the hill. We thought we had chosen the correct path but we were wrong. We had to walk around the hill, go to the other side to get on the track. (We figured this out later) It was still dark and the visibility was poor. Initially it was very easy to climb, but later it became very difficult for us to climb. We had to cross through bushes and thorns, and still we were not sure if we were on the correct track. We started having a feeling that we had taken the wrong track but still we decided to go on with that. We just kept on climbing up, crossing the thorns and the bushes, finding the footholds and handholds on the rocks. Then we reached to this spot. It was that huge rock where I lost control and began to fall. My whole life flashed in front of my eyes.
I was aware that JJ and AJ were behind me. While sliding down, I tried reducing my speed a bit by my right foot and hand. I twisted my ankle while doing so. Suddenly I felt a jerk and realized that I had stopped sliding down. I saw JJ holding my hand which had prevented me from falling down. I looked at JJ and then at AJ who was standing below and the first thing I said to AJ was “I don’t think I would have died if I would have fallen down” to which he replied “No you wouldn’t and also I was standing here.”
Well after that it became impossible for us to go ahead that way because there was no support. We tried searching for some other way up. Infinitics came down to help us. At the extreme end we saw a bunch of thorns and bushes covering the entire area, it was dark. We had no other option so we had to go through that thorny bushes.
There were two other incidences where the climbing was almost vertical and going back was not an option since it was not at all possible to climb down the way we had climbed up and our only hope to go down was to go up and find some proper way down. So we had to climb up. Infinitics, Dory and Arv had to pull us (JJ, AJ and I) up; somehow we managed to climb up. We kept on climbing up with the hope to find some proper and safe way down the hill.
After climbing a little more we found that there were less thorny bushes and steep rocks and thus the climbing became a little simpler. I was feeling very brave that none other than us would have ever dared to cross this way. We started making fun of guides and thought of giving them double the amount they demanded and asking them to show us the way we came from. After climbing a little more I faintly heard girls giggling, climbing a little more I could hear them screaming and shouting. A sudden disappointment ran into my nerves; I thought we were not the only brave hearts to cross this; there were others also (girls!!!!) who had crossed this. But it lasted only for a while when we reached the spot and saw a proper way which can lead us back. We had finally figured out a proper way to go down. All the pain vanished in a second and we got fresh energy and we climbed the rest of the hill on that path only.
Reached the peak; it’s difficult to write in words the feeling you get when you are actually standing in between clouds and the wind is blowing so hard that you are scared to stand without any support, fearing that the wind might blow you away. Finally staying there for an hour or so we decided to return. We stopped in a CCD on the way back home, reached home around 3pm and went to sleep only to get up the next day around 6 morning.
It was one hell of a trip, the best one I could recall so far. After this trip and from the experiences I have gained from the previous ones, I reached a conclusion that if there is a hill that is open for tourists, there has to a proper way to climb up.
So now let’s look at our status:
Nandi Hills: Conquered
Next on our check list is DD hills.
Enclosed below are some some pics of Nandi Hills and Skandagiri.
the view from nandi hills.
there was an airtel tower. Infinitics, Dory and Arv climbed that tower and AJ, Abhinav and I satyed behind. This pic was taken by Arv from the top of that tower.
the roads are so smooth. driving here in itself is a wonderful experience.
that's me driving with Arv as pillion. i hate him for not letting me ride on the way down the hill.
the view from skandagiri.
on our way back.
we came down from there.
the averege size of the thorns that which we had to pass through in order to conquer this hill.
Aj's photographic skill + his 8MP cellphone = an awesome pic.
while coming back Aj's cell fell on road. this pic was taken to test if the camera of his cell was still in working condition.