Makalidurga is a hill fort situated near the village of the same name. It is 60 km north of Bangalore. Makalidurga Fort stands at the top of a huge granite hillock, huddled up amidst the chains of hills.Me,Shashank,Shwetha,Sandeep,Swaroopa,Sangamesh and Umesh decided to go for this one as a preparatory trek before the great Himalayan trek.
I took off from my place by 6 a.m, picked up Umesh near Manyata Tech park and met up with the group near esteem mall by 6.45 a.m. Sandeep and Swaroopa decided to meet us somewhere midway since they were at Davangere at a relative’s home. The idea was to start the trek 8 a.m since trekking under the Hot sun is extremely strenuous. But…things did not turn out the way we expected. We stopped for breakfast at a small town midway , had some hot pulao, Idli Sambar and started chatting. It was almost another 45 mins by the time Sandeep and Swaroopa showed up and we pushed off from restaurant by 8.45 a.m towards makalidurga. In 30 mins or so, we reached the railway station near makalidurga where we parked our vehicles. Any Maps/Navigaton app should easily point the right path to reach the station with ease.
We had read that it is a walk of almost of 2 kms on the railway track (starting from the railway station i.e). The walk itself wasn’t a problem, the sweltering heat of the almost overhead sun at 10 a.m was. But we did not have a choice of course. So we got on to the railway track and started walking.
The makalidurga hill was visible from quite a distance and the sky was clear. The road next to the railway track was under construction during our visit and was infact quite dusty.
We kept track of the railway posts and took a diversion at a point where there is a small temple. We had read that this was the base camp for the trek up. It took us some time to cross the freshly constructed barricades on sides of the road but we did and we were off.
In term of gradient of incline and overall difficult , the makalidurga trek is a “medium”. However there is almost no place to rest on the way up, as in under the shade. Trekking up the under the sun is quite draining and each one of us finished nearly 1.5 litres of water each on the way up. We took about 6-7 breaks and we reached the top in about 2.5 hours or so. On the way up, a lake shaped like the south american continent is visible many kilometers away.
The summit of makalidurga is an old fort. We reached the top by 12.30 p.m or so and had our lunch. Bread,butter,Jam,some fruits and fruit juice it was. There is a temple at the summit and a lot of people in fact made the climb to the top. We stayed the top over about an hour or so.
The climb down was relatively easier of course and it took about an hour only. Another half hour of walk from the base to railway station and we were finally done with the exhausting trek. Phew !