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Bare foot trekking by a group of senior citizens…..shivagange hills…..India

IMG_20160620_093146.jpgI can safely say that my short one day trip from Bangalore to Shivagange, Karnataka, India has been one of my best decisions. How come? I was successful in coordinating the mindset of my four senior citizen friends about the adventure, mystery and legends associated with the chosen spot of visit. After my conversation with my friends I could convince  them  individually that Shivagange hills does not speak  about the legendary story of a rock becoming an astounding architectural wonder of history pages but it’s a phenomenon of feeling. With positive vibes we all set out our journey to Shivagange yesterday morning 7 am from Bangalore, India. The weather was fine and moderate to start our road journey and reached our destination by 8.45 am. The drive was nice and the surrounding scenery was clothed with greenery scenting a fresh feeling.

After some 60 km of easy drive away from Bangalore to Shivagange we reached the bottom of the huge rocky hill which is 1368 meters high houses many ancient shrines and religious spots. The cave temples believed to have been constructed years back has been there dedicated to lord Shiva of Hindu religious faith. Round trip return distance to the summit of this rocky hill may take around 4.5 kilometers or so from the foot of the hill where Gangadhareshwara temple dedicated to lord Shiva built by Hoysala kings of 16th century.

An interesting belief about this temple is that if an abhishekam (Hindu religious function in temple shrines) is performed to lord Shiva housed in this temple shrine with ghee, the ghee turns to butter beyond reasons of science and religious faiths and beliefs. It is said that the ghee that turns to butter has medicinal powers and can cure many ailments. This butter is distributed to all who attend prayers at that point of time inside the temple. Our team bought the abishekam ticket by paying the requisite fee of Rs.300 from the temple authorities and sat piously in front of the deity to get the experience of the ghee turning into butter wonder. The wonder took place at the stroke of 10 o clock in the morning. We all got mesmerised by the act of god or science? We don’t know how to take our eyes away from that wonder struck moment.

photo by stockresearch52

WP_20160620_012 (1)shops selling flowers at the entrance of the Gangadhareshwara temple

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Temple view

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Our barefoot trekking brigade

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Our team  is awaitng with curiousity to watch the wonder of ghee turning into butter

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trekking path filled with  uneven bouldersIMG_20160620_110237.jpg

barefoot trekkers…..warming up session …….not posing…WP_20160620_027

Rusted railings… at the top of the hill for a short stretch of distance

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Negotiating the way out at the cave temple

(For additional information click(Voice in Kannada language),sources: TV9 Special: “OM”: ‘Shivaganga Kshetra’ – Full  , Miracle happening from past 1600 years, Shivaganga Hills).

 After having good darshan of lord Gangadhareshwara we set out for trekking on our bare foot. I (a senior citizen by age) along with four of my friends ageing above sixty three years old took a decisive decision to climb to the summit on barefoot; I know that, this would make most of the people grimace in pain. Our team held a firm conviction that no shoes make our steps stronger and surer. In fact we five enjoyed, in discovering the comfort quotient of our decision while making our steps to the hill-top.

While on barefoot trekking many noticed us with utmost surprise how come we do like that and other trekkers helped us at points in extending a firm helping hand enable us to negotiate the rocky path? We all surprised to see around us only sea of youngsters aging between 20 to 25 years old with trekking gears etc. Some of them were like us on barefoot we could notice. In fact we five looked like stars to them and they gazed us with wonders. After the point of Olakala Teertha where the trek becomes too steep three of my friends said they had difficulties in proceeding further trekking. I said ok and with other friend continued the steep trek path. After two hours of hard trekking wading the paths of hard steep rocky terrain filled with huge boulders on bare foot reached the summit of the hill with full of joy on our face. (I would as a word of caution advise after Olakala Teertha, the trek becomes steep and so the climb is not advisable for children below ten and elderly people) The entire journey turn on barefoot took us five hours and one has to experience the joy of barefoot trekking it is beyond description in words. We two after successfully completing the full  trekking stretch  joined with our friends who were awaiting anxiously at  the bottom of the hill after having good and tasty  lunch served(free of cost) at the dining hall of the temple. Then we all said good-bye to the princely hill-top and reached our home by 7pm on the same day at Bangalore.Un like the unraveled history and mystery of legends of Shivagange hills and Hindu shrines our barefoot trekking experience opened a new phase of energy and joy within ourselves.

From our experience we could suggest that authorities should put proper railings to hold and boards displaying information on distance etc is missing. Monkey menace is too much while you march to the top of the hill. There is a need for more rest rooms, drinking water facilities and emergency medical assistance on the trekking path. Now only few locals sell drinking water etc to the trekkers on your way to the top and therefore one should take enough water and light food packets with them (escaping you food packets and cell phones, camera etc from monkeys’ eyes) Best time to visit the hill is during winter season only. Avoid rainy and summer times. Bus/train service is available from Bangalore to Dobbaspet and the nearest available international airport is Bangalore.  The town is located some 60kms away from Bangalore on the way to Tumkur. I would suggest to anyone for convenience to take a vehicle from Bangalore to Dobbaspet where Shivagange is located.

(For my blog readers I have shared some pictures in this post)