Mountains have always given me a high. I realized this early on when I stood on top of a mountain after completing a trek as a young girl and wind blew chills around me. I feel my worries and myself melt away at the summit.
In a welcome bid to encourage trekking and developing local ecosystems, Karnataka Government started the initiative of MyEcotrip. The site features bird sanctuaries, jungle lodges and also seven select trails around Bangalore.
We went for the Malikadurga trek which we had to pay a small amount for booking the trip. Since this is a first one of kind initiative and run by the government we really didnt know what to expect. We reached quite early around 5 am at Malikadurga, the sun was still somewhere around Malaysia or probably on his way. The GPS map abruptly ended at a location at a dirt road confusing us quite a bit. But being the investigative souls we are we turned our car to the dirt road and drove into the darkness.
We reached the foot of the rocky hill and an old man, he guided us the spot where he said we could park our cars. The first faint rays of the sun were starting to come in and I could see the sky take on multiple hues as it was still undecided whether it is night or day. We laced up our shoes and started on the path, two forest officials looked at our tickets and flagged us through, they asked us to look for the white arrow marks.
The path up the mountain was well marked to our delight and made the trek so much more interesting and easy to do. We were one of the first to reach the trail and followed the rocky path up the mountain. Some places were sheer rock face which one had to climb using hands. As we went up the mountain we could also see the lake which is said to be shaped like South Africa, well I had other thoughts which I refrain from putting down on how it looked.
At the top of Malikadurga lies a fort which is now in ruins and a temple which the villagers go to worship. They also go to the temple to celebrate major festivals but otherwise, the temple is looked after but you will not find people around the temple. We also saw a tent propped up right at the top of the mountain and my was I jealous. Night trekking is being phased out in the area and the government is trying to regulate treks and trekking routes while giving back to the local economy and engaging the villagers around.
We walked around the wall of the fort and though it is in ruins it gives glimpses of what once was and that is definitely a thrill. There were many frangipani trees in full bloom in the fort and even a water tank built for the fort when it was inhabited.