01 November 2006

Savandurga : Bike trip n Trek.

Nov 1st 2006, it was Suvarna Karnataka Rajayotsava day . Rohith had planned for Savandurga bike trip and scaling the peak. There were 6 ppl ( me, rohith, venkat, kiran, rahul and karthik) on board and 5 bikes (3 victors, 2 pulsars).

Our group of 6

Our meeting point was ring road - mysore road junction, where we were supposed to meet at 8 am. We left the place around 8.30 am and the trip was on. We decided to take route via Ramnagara since mysore road(SH 17) is in good condition. We reached Ramnagara around 9.45 am, from here Savandurga is 25 km. After tea break we continued our journey. The road from Ramanagara onwards is horrible and is under repair. At 11.00 am we reached Savandurga. After having darshan at Lakshmi Narsimha Temple and buying food items we started our ascent.

Route-2: 5 ppl in front of me.

To climb the peak there is one regular way 'route-1' (with arrow marks) and there is alternative one 'route-2' (70 degree steep) which is challenging. There was other 'group of 20' (G20) peple who had come to scale the peak, were taking the usual route-1. We for the purpose of challenge and thrill decided to take route-2 to climb. While climbing I was in last position. After taking 10 steps I took snaps of 5 ppl in front of me, after this when I tried to continue ascent my woodland shoes gave up, I lost the grip and slided downwards. I got scratches on my fingers and elbow. My jeans pant got stone washed. I lost confidence and retreated from route-2.

Roti and Karthik

After all this I decided to go by route-1 on which G20 were going. After ascending for 10 minutes I got a call from Rohith that they are also retreating from route-2. So I waited for them sitting on a rock. In the mean time I took snaps of scenic view of tributary of Cauvery(donno its name). After 15 minutes Rohith and Karthik came. Other three were continuing with route-2. After refreshment and photo session we continued our climb.

After climbing 20 minutes we reached a place where route-1 and route-2 crossed. There rahul, venkat and kiran were waiting for refreshments which we were carrying. Unfortunately for them the bananas which we were carrying had already turned into rasaina. For them something was better than nothing because route-2 had taken lot of their energy. From this peak is 10 minutes climb. On the way we had many photo sessions and even video sessions.

View of temple and parking lot from the peak

Finally we reached peak
at 1.40 pm. It was nice to see view of temple and parking lot from the peak. There were locals of Savandurga on the peak who where hoisting Karnataka flag and celebrating Suvarna Karnataka Rajyotsava by bursting crackers. As soon as they hoisted the flag a light drizzle started and eventually it turned into heavy rain. 3 ppl(me, venkat and kiran) took shelter next to Nandi idol. Other three and G20 went to towards the cave for shelter. The stay at the peak was amazing and eventful. The view was completly blocked by mist. Then the lighting struck three times. Thankfully we were staying under concrete structure otherwise who knows what might have happened?? .

Flag hoisting

Our shelter on the peak

After rain stopped we had photo session with Nandi idol and the flag post. Then we started our descent. The rocks had become slippery. I had a tough time, my woodland shoes was giving up many times. I used all 4 limbs to go down with 100% concentration. All of us decided to go down by route-1 as no one was in mood to take risk.

When we were about finish our descent a person climbing up said that one guy has had a fall and his dead body is lying adjacent to route on which we were descending. We went to see the dead body and discovered that he had a fall when descending from route-2. I feel people of his group tried to be too adventurous. Why they decided to climb down on a steep route that too after rains.

Dead Body

We decided to leave that group alone as they were doing the task of calling ambulance. After completing the descent at 4.00 pm we went to Laxmi Narsimha temple again for darshan(reasons are obvious). Then we started journey back to Bangalore. This time we decided to take Magadi Road route. On the way back we had Masala Dosa at some hotel (there were a few hotels in Magadi Road route, we managed to find a decent one). Finally at 7 pm we were back in Bangalore.

To conclude this trek cum bike trip had many memories of which some are disturbing. I learnt many stuffs from this expedition. So guys

  • For trek don't compromise on the shoes. Wear good quality shoes. Avoid woodland shoes because generally it would be of poor quality.
  • Don't try to be too adventurous. For real adventure better go with a professional.
  • Don't to go Savandurga even if there is a slightttt chance of rain. Climbing on wet rocks is damn tough.

I hope you are not disturbed by reading this post. Please post comments. If you don't have blogger id post anonymous comments.


  1. Shande ,
    I read your blog completely . Its scary one . I could imagine state of your mind when you got slipped . I too had same experience when I went to chitradurga and tried to climb a steep rock . I almost gave hope on that day. This blog has disturbed me lot.
    But if you see by optimistic perspective its realyy thrilling experience for you I guess.
    Be carefull next time .

    - Guru

  2. Feel like going to Savandurga soon, but not by Route 2. Also need to take all precautions like a good shoe, ensuring no rain, etc. Good company is essential for such treks.

  3. cool

    u seem to going great guns with going for trek every holiday at your disposal.

    nice to see the kannada flag hoisted by you on the hill top

    sirigannadam gelge
    sirigannadam baalge

  4. It is so easy to take life and our bodies for granted. We wake up everyday and expect to live on and on.

    I'm sorry you had such a scary climb but thanks for sharing the story with us all.

    Larry Lagarde
    Urging bicycling for recreation, commuting, health and a better future.

  5. Anonymous9:47 AM

    scary! i am not going by route-2 :)

  6. what a way to die man..
    I mean..chumma you are just having fun and decide to try something which others have not done(sensibly?)... might be for kicks though.. then suddenly your feet slip(blame it on shoe?) and here you are tumbling down a hill cursing all the way..
    "Why the Hell did i do that?!!"
    Shit.sends a chill down my spine.

  7. oh shucks.. thats too sad to hear the demise of that poor person... anyways, hopefully ur suggestions (which are very true) be helpful to other readers of your blog... I too agree that woodland shoes should be avoided.. this is not becoz they are of poor quality but becoz they have very poor grip when the surface is wet (especially wet rocks)....
    I prefer sandals for trekking which one can remove as and when one feels like ;)

  8. One small observation: The bike in first picture appears to be a caliber and not pulsar or victor as you mentioned.

    Have made a note of details you've mentioned. Have to explore this place once I'm back in Karnataka...

  9. hi srinidhi ... thanks for comments ... are u right, the bike in picture is calibre ... we took the snap at parking lot next to Narsimha Temple .. many bikes were parked there ... our bikes are not in the frame.

  10. wow scary experience....till date savandurga was my favourite climb...now i guess i am having second thoughts....

  11. Even I repent on my decision of buying woodland shoes for 2800 bucks. No they are damn good as far as look and comfort is concerned. But when u start trekking ( specially on wet rocks ) the trek gear turns into skating shoes. IMO 'kito' style sandals are best for most treks.

  12. Anonymous5:19 PM

    I tried going up by the difficult route. Went some distance and fount it to be too steep and dangerous. came back and climbed by the safer route marked by arrows.

    Do not try the difficult route unless u have proper safety harness, othe rock climbing equipments and expert guidance. Its too dangerous. Stick to the safer route, and keep alert. Good footwear is must, esp while descending. sandals is a big NO.

  13. every information in this post is true, it was quite dangerous in the rain indeed,
    but had a great time in trekking the place
    heres my account of the place http://livingismyright.blogspot.com/2011/09/savanadurga-fort-of-death-with.html

  14. Hmmm by reading all these posts really i feel like going to Savandurga. so i m planning to go this week end n i will share my experience after visiting to Savandurga

  15. This was my first trekking experience and while climbing down from the hills, the only thing that was going in my mind was: "This is the biggest mistake of my life!!". Thank god, I returned safe...!!

  16. This was my first trekking experience. While climbing I was really worried however just because I saw my friend climbing very easily, I took this risk. However on the mid way my friend suddenly gave-up and it was me, who had to support him. We both were terrified. Finally from Level1 we both decided by return back. While returning the only thing that was going in my mind was: "This is the biggest mistake of my life". Thank god, I returned safe!!.

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