Location: - KaaLawara betta is very close to Bangalore, in the Nandi hills range - accessible through Chikkaballapur on the Bangalore - Pune Highway. Chikkaballapur is about 30 kms from Yelahanka in the north of the city.
The trek - The trek from the Omkara Jyoti Ashrama at the base to the top is apparently about one and a half hours - access from a road that goes by the side of the Ashrama, b/w the ashrama and a temple there.
Our blah - None of us had heard of KaaLawara. All we could find on the web was a one paragraph detail which didn't even mention where the hill was!! All we could gather was that this was in the Nandi hills range. But where in the range?? Next to Nandi?? Doddaballapur?? Chikballapur?? We had no idea!!! We headed off anyway - and that too for a night trek!!! :-)
An old man offered details that the place was near Chikballapur, but he seemed too senile to take his word for it!! Finally, a call to Vikas' friend who was from there sealed all doubts.
The evening offered us two magnificient sights - A moonrise like I hadn't seen in the recent past and a sunset that looked breath-taking!! Imagine a full moon on the horizon glowing as red as the sun on one side and this view on the other ---
Now u know what I am talking about!!! :-)
After dinner at Chikballapur, we headed off to KaaLawara, and the sight of the hill which we intended to climb looked rather imposing!! We dumped our bikes in the Ashrama and after hearing about the stupidity of smashing ones head on a rock just coz the head is strong, we managed to start our trek!!!
We were told to go around the hill and climb it coz the normal route would be too steep to mangage in the dark. Well, we didn't go around it enuf i guess!!!
Team - Bhatta, KP, Vikas, Murali, Paddy and myself.
Date - Jan 14, 2k6
So, moving on, where we ended up after a hour's climb was in the midst of dense shrub. Try as we might, we found no ways - through it, below it or above it!!! We resigned to our 'fate' and settled down on a huge rock for the night!!!
2 AM -- I woke up to an awesome view of a thick cloud descending the face of the hill. It was lit up by the moonlight and seemed perfectly orchestrated! My excited chattering woke the rest up and cameras clicked away to glory only to find a white streak in a black background :-)
4 AM -- Round two of sleep up and thats all I would get too!! It had become cold enough to warrant some effort on our side to gather some firewood and start a fire! :-) And that we did, the rest of pre-dawn spent around the fire.
And with this sight, daylight broke. We all ooh-ed and aah-ed at the colors that nature seems to create that no artist could do justice to and hoped our cameras might do some justice to them!!! The moon was all set to call it a night and creeped behind the hills ..........
And the Nandi hills range never looked as good for me :-). And so it was, a night well spent.