Friday 15 February 2013

The hill where you can get lost

Trekking and Weekend Getaways

This is one Hill where you can quickly get lost. However, the forests are not that dense and it is easy to get back on trail. A few decades ago, this hill was known for the preponderance of bears but not any longer.
The bears are far and few in numbers and during your trek it is quiet possible that you will not come across a single human being let alone a bear.
Though it is just three kilometers from Kanakapura, neither the locals nor anyone would even be able to pronounce the name of the hill and, therefore, do not be surprised if many people are ignorant of its location.
This is the Bananthimari Betta, three kms from Kanakapura on the Kanakapura-Ramanagar road. The hill is almost exactly located between Konanadoddi and Kutnahalli.
The hill was earlier known a Karadi betta. It is 75 kms from Bangalore. Though it is a small hill and is close to Kanakapura, it is not all that well known. There is a temple of Bananthimari at the foothills. The name Bannanthimari means a mother nursing her baby.
The climb is not steep and the vegetation is not all that thick. However, with hardly any human presence here, you are liable to get lost. Villagers and even locals come up the temple and they have rarely gone beyond this point.
If you have come in your vehicle, you can park near the temple and ready yourself for a trek. As you start ascending other peaks around come into view like the Hills or Ramanagar and Kanakapura- Ramadevara Betta, Kabbaldurga and on a clear day even Savandurga.
The best way to reach the hill is to travel upto Kanakapura and then proceed towards Kuthnahalli which is three kms away. When you reach Kuthanalli, you can see the outlines of a small temple beneath a hill. This is the Bananthimari temple where small animals are sacrificed even today.
(There are several routes to the hill-one from Bangalore-Kanakapura-Ramanagar side, another from Kanakapura-Mysore side and the third from the temple itself.)
Many locals and people from nearby villages visit the temple and sacrifice lamb, goat or chicken. The cooked fare is served bear the temple itself. The temple is popular locally as the priest goes into a trance and advises devotees about their problems and suggests solutions.  
There are no known trails to the hill. Mark you own path.  Carry plenty of water and food.  A word of caution though. The hills has many steep points, huge boulder and thorns which come in the way of reaching the top. The best way is to take the trail from the temple.
If you are game for adventure and even getting lost-know what it means-try out the unexplored faces of the hill. This hill is a modern day puzzle. It is neither too far nor too near Bangalore. Though it is near Kanakapura, not many seems to have heard about it. The hill looks easily accessible. But once you start climbing, you realize, it is not an easy climb. The peak is large and almost as big as a football field.
Moreover, animal sacrifices still continue so close to Bangalore and how. All this and more if you decided on a day’s trek.
By the way, how about getting lost so close to civilization and then carry this tale to your family and friends. Head for Karadi Betta.       

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