Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stonage to Shivgange

Just imagine on a glorious Sunday morning Khalid arrives in Bangalore weary from his Rajdhani journey. I hug him and receive him and he checks in and talks about checking out or I mean cancelling his ticket to Delhi. We have a quick breakfast Chicken sukka and wholesome wheat bread and rush to Cant Railway station after dropping my wife at the bank enroute.

We spend 20 minutes on the token system to cancell the ticket and drive back Home for Khalid to fresh up and be ready for some action. Sridhar anna arrives on his swift and we exchange notes on various facets of our life..........including certain celebrities of MS............Jammy boy, Tanna di, Shalu_Dayani, Faire, Sonika, Fenil, Jasmine, Nishant, Paulose etc etc.........Come on guys we had to kill some time, waiting for Mazhar and Azam to arrive. Finally after nearly 2 hours we guide them on GPS mode to our residence vide cell conversation looking out from our balcony. It was real guide them till the security gate.

Now we had to plan our trip for the day so that we are totally engaged and what a way to begin the trip with refuelling our bellies and diesel tank of Innova. We had the chicken curry and few slices of bread................along with cutting chai and grapes to chew. I packed some Taj wheat halwa, Sprite and little savouries for the trip. Eroute we checked out STONA 2010 exhibition at the BIEC on Tumkur road. Azam bhai was busy collecting data on various options for his construction project. We were having a gala time snapping up all the hues of stonage. Majority of the vendors on display were from Granite industry and cutting tools. We were astonished at the semi clad females who manning the stall to invite the customers into their stall. I used to only ask them only two questions do you have an office in blore, and what is the price per square of their wares. Don t read between the lines........guys..........We had a ride in the golf vehicle, and tried to emulate Tiger woods lifestyle..............oh my gosh we are spilling some beans virtual world.

After a number of photo ops at the exhibition we were sufficient cooled by the air-conditioned enviorns, which left us hungry. We decided to have Veg in the noon, and Azam knew a joint which was a semi-dhaba. We quickly gulped rotis and fried rice and omlet and proceeded to our heritage trek to Shivgange hills.

Shivgange towers over 1350 meters strectching over 4 kms from the ground level parking bay. My previous two experiences of climbing were during summer months which leaves one sapped and zapped for breath. The steps on the hillock is quite steep, so one should be well prepared with sufficient glucose and salt to replenish lost energy. I did not want Mazhar, Khalid and Azam to be put off. Sridhar aborted the ascent due to health concerns. He waited for return at Innova listening to stories dished out by the villagers.

Historical Preview :
Shivgange was popular from the Hoysala period with Veerabhadra temple, Shiva temple and many other temples in honour of Hindu gods. This place became popular because of Queen Shantala's suicide from the hilltop. The fabled tale is covered by me in the Bellagavi post. Do check out in Malnad Musings

The first major landmark point on the hillock is a monolithic granite Nandi on a deteour. We skipped two temples Veerabhadra and an ancient ruined temple. We proceed towards Olakallu theerta meaning grinding stone underground spring. Well despite being a regular climber, i was heaving breathlessly and so were Azam and Mazhar. But they quickly recovered with a dosage of Sprite.

Khalid was enjoying the trek, and on hindsight i found them really enjoying the cooling breeze enviorns in the evening. It was soothing dicussions about a member which kept them going with great fervour. In between we shot of pictures in various background with Sridhar's camera. We were warned by caretakers not to carry plastic carrybags for the fear of monkey menace. Naturally they act as predators on the prasad and eatables. Cant blame these monkeys some homosapien have taught them how to snatch eatables, if one does not offer them gracefully. Better to carry some bananas and feed them i suppose or else one has to carry a bamboo stick to scare them. We carried the packet of Halwa, Kitchen knife, Tissue paper, Mineral water and salt for keeping us company.

Enroute i acted as Mineral water vendor, Dacoit with a knife waylaying pilgrims, Seeking blessings from a saint after committing sins galore, all were lapped up in good humour. Khalid wanted to try his luck on drawing water from the spring. He failed once, but never gave because he was guided by another lady with regard to techinique. Behold the miraculous spring water hit his fingers and he leaped in joy since he tasted the Nectar of Life. It is fabled people who are able to fetch and drink this holy water will be blessed.