Life at IIMB is not easy. There are hordes of submissions, quizzes and ppts to attend. You lose sight of things pretty quickly. But when you travel, everything balances out. With that thought in mind, Anveshan, mountaineering and adventure club of IIM Bangalore organized the first night trek of the session to Savandurga on July 24th. The trek saw enthusiastic participation from the student community as they packed their bags after a hectic mid-semester and geared up to scale Asia’s highest monolith. On popular demand, a second trek on July 28th was also organized for PGP1s busy with midterms on 24th. Ankur Naresh, PGP2 shared his experience with B heard team:
It was around 1:30am when we finally reached the base at Magadi reserve forest. After the customary introduction & briefing session, the climb uphill begun. A serpentine trail of white flashlight could be seen ascending up the hill which forced the hooting owls & chirping crickets to pause for a while and take notice! Meanwhile, the terrain got tougher, the incline became steep and the world below us started fading into the darkness of night. In between, we waded through tall shrubs and hopped over small streams of fresh water trickling downhill. The group stopped occasionally to restore their glucose balance and treat their eyes to the mesmerizing hues of the horizon lights. The meandering river cutting across the silent valley shone silver under the moonlight. Millions of stars could be seen twinkling in the sky… stars which somehow disappear in the neon glitz of the city.
The team reached the hallowed fortress at the top after two hours of intense climbing. But hey! when you move in a group, chatter continuously amidst cackles of laughter & help each other out, your body somehow fails to feel the fatigue. That’s the group spirit and bonhomie which these escapades strengthen. And it was amazing how together we were set to conquer un-scalable heights!
A late night bonfire followed in the meadows surrounded by forests & hillocks. The tall grasses and tree leaves swayed randomly to the tune of wind gusts as the sputtering flames of fire lit up the ambiance in comforting lights. Fire, since ages, has been the symbol of security and assurance. The entire group- huddled around the bonfire amidst the darkness of forests and howling winds- could feel the vibes of comfort and thrill.
The echoes of laughter and hum of voices subsided in a while as sleeping bags were pulled out & the B junta succumbed to a power nap.
At the crack of dawn, we reluctantly crawled out of our baggies and geared up to scale the Nandi peak. It was a short 20 minutes climb through some rocky caves and forested patch. And the first view from the top left us completely enthralled!
The city-line could be seen in the distant horizon. Below us, the lush green valley, the meandering Arkavathi river and the gentle knolls painted a charming scenery. The wind was blowing with its full might at the peak and the howling sound of it echoed around.
After imbibing the scenery and soaking ourselves in nature’s colors, the trek downhill begun at 6:30am. The lake near the top-fort, carved during the medieval times to supply water to the armored guards, stood like an emerald egg as it reflected the azure sky. We carefully crawled down the bald hill face of Savanadurga, all the while wondering how we were able to scale such heights in the darkness of the night.
The team finally hit the base at 7:30am. Obeisance were paid to the presiding deity of the temple at the foothills and we thanked him for the safe trek.
The early morning sun shone bright as our bus rattled through the Karnataka countryside. Children dressed in school uniform could be seen near the bus stops as a fresh new day begun. We stopped at near the Big Banyan tree (fourth largest in India) to relish the piping hot breakfast. With hot Thatte idly, Vadai, Poori bhaji and freshly brewed tea, the platter was simple yet amazingly delicious. We soon bid goodbye to the rustic charm of the rural landscape. After wading through the morning city traffic, we finally reached the campus at 11am. There was a smile on every face and a sense of satisfaction… Asia’s largest monolith had been conquered by B guys!