This was the 2nd time I was going on a BMC organized trip.
Firstly it would be prudent to explain the reasons for choosing BMC.
There are at least 2 solid reasons for choosing bmc over a personal trip
- You don't have the numbers.The first time we went for a BMC trip it was just my friend Amar and me. Its difficult to organize a personal trip if its just 2 of us even worse if its 3. The mode of transport(bikes vs car) being the biggest problem. This time it was the simple fact of not being sure of how many might actually be turning up for the trip. we decided the number only a day before the actual trip.
You don't have the time to organize
This is the biggest problem. The most common request from all my friends is - abe kuch organize kar na(dude organize something).
- Night TreksNight Treks are inherently a bit risky and for security it is always a good idea to go in a big group.
Other than these there is always the fact that you get to meet new people and also BMC in this case is pretty well organized.
Rangaswamy Betta Night Trek
It was 5 of us who finally registered for the trip - Night trek to Rangaswamy Betta. This was my first Night Trek.
As it was supposed to be a night trek, we finished our dinner and got into the BMC bus. There were two tempo travelers which were almost full . The onward journey was quite uneventful and I had almost dozed off, when I realized that we have reached. It did seem like a short trip. We reached the base of the hill by 12.
It was pitch dark and there was no moon around . we realized later that it wasn't a new moon night but certainly close to a new moon night. So with no help form the celestial bodies, relying only on our torch lights we started the trek .
The temperature was quite cold but a minute into the trek and we were warm enough to forget that. We had taken a good amount of water and some chocolates and energy bars.
The guide told us that the elevation was of 60 degrees , it certainly didn't seem a difficult trek to me. There wasn't much of a view at night but at one point we could see some city (we later learnt that it was kanakpura) with lots of lights. It looked beautiful. We didn't take a camera good enough to take a picture of that.
The guide told us that the elevation would be 70 now and another km was left. Some of my friends were tired . The 70 degree elevation did prove to be a bit challenging so much so that reaching the top did feel like an achievement and a relief.
The hill is more like a plateau with a flat top almost the size of a playground and there is a temple built around a rock that acts as a roof.
Now we started feeling cold and I opened my bag to take out my jacket only to find that there was no jacket. I had managed to drop it in the cab. So I was left at the mercy of the winds.We started a campfire with the dry plants and logs. It was indeed a tasking job to keep bringing more of them to not let the campfire die. the fire was nice and warm and the only reason i didn't freeze to death.
There were various games that were played ranging from mafia to dumb charades and then most of us slept. I was awake the whole night as sleeping would have meant being frozen.
There was some movement at around 5 and i noticed that some kids came out of the temple and started their own fire.
We started talking to the kids who knew only Kannada (and Marathi too). We ended up singing and dancing with the kids and we also gave them chocolates. Turns out that they have a school in the temple.
They told us that the other side of the temple had a better view and indeed the hills covered in cloud did offer a good view.
Then came the eagerly awaited sunrise . It was pleasant to see a sunrise after a long time.
We left right after the sunrise. The kids started shouting bye bye when we were leaving.
The return journy was faster and we stopped for breakfast on the way. I slept the whole day after that.
Here are some other travelogues that I had read before going for this trip
If you have visited Rangaswamy Betta or want to visit do comment about it.