Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Maribetta (Bananthi Mari Betta)

A unique pattern i have observed in trekking is the fact that majority of them seem to be from IT or other technical domains. This observation is from the blogs i have read (which could be only because only IT guys are into blogs !!) but also from the groups we have met while trekking at different places. Considering that probably less than 1% Indians work in technical field, it is fairly surprising to encounter so many guys and girls from tech field while trekking.

So maribetta was different trek in the sense it was biggest group among the treks we had done till then, included girls for first time and included some who just wanted to know what this craze called trekking was all about :) . We were planning on a bike trip for a long time and to combine it with trekking is the most ideal way to spend a day !! Due to diversity of the gang interested this time, we decided to search for a smaller trek and after going through numerous blogs, we finalized upon mari betta.

Mari Betta is a small mountain near kanakapura that has a durga temple at the peak(hence the name) . The peak is not that high compared to other popular trekking spots around bangalore but the way to the top is fairly thorny and confusing at places. Datta who was supposed to come till previous day fell ill and had to cancel at last moment and as a result srikanth had to ride alone (which he was extremely happy with - please ask him why) on his fairly new discover. So it was 11 of us - me, akshaya, bharath, harini, keerthy, keerthana, kiran, padmini, pavan, sharath and srikanth on 6 bikes !!. Lots of new guys with only 4 of us having trekked often before.

New Characters:

Lots of them this time(Not sure if i even have good close up pics of them ..so my antici
patory apologies to them)

Keerthana: VTU gold medallist in 2007 ( I should get a treat for that !!) and part of our gang from first sem. Extremely level-headed and practical except when she is with her boyfriend(who later became her husband - I guess treat cancelled). Has lots of varied interests.

Padmini: Another old(!!) member of our group. Her favorite hobby is just to pester others about what they did interesting recently(what and all can a person
do ??) . A decent trekker though she hasn't done it often. Easy going and very good listener.

Bharath Raj (aka BD
): Gadget guru with lots of free T-shirts(courtesy his brother and dad). Surprisingly good trekker. Can talk for hours about nothing, so a good company on trips :) - whenever he decided to make an appearance that is.

Sharath(aka sherry): Impersonates everyone from Raj Kumar to our HOD. Crazy about and extremely good at cricket. Purchases mobiles as often i as buy shirts(or may be even more frequently)..and finally hates trekking like anything :) (He came to this trek just to be with someone mentioned above ;))

Kiran: His looks totally belies his enthusiasm for physical activities. Even his first bad experience at this smaller trek didnt deter him from trekking KP later. Hardly loses temper and extremely good at making people sleep by his real-life stories (unintentional of course).

Harini: Has an extremely annoying but interesting habit of changing rapidly and totally shocking rest of us. Loves trekking and is very good at it. Easily matches most of the guys in her stamina levels. Was initially hyper-sensitive and later became hyper-active(She claims she is mature now :) )

Akshaya: Another person who probably dislikes thought of trekking :) . Avid blogger and a radical.

Uff..coming to actual trek now.

The Trek:

Date: Jan 26, 2007 (yep republic day)

Time: 7 am

Everyone except srikanth assembled at keerthy's house(which more or less is our standard assembling spot). Everyone turned up on time except me and we left around 7.30 after i got couple of uncomplimentary looks for new hair style(it was bad ..) . Srikanth joined us at konankunte cross.

The kanakapura road is fairly decent stretch and was fairly pleasant to ride the bikes. The highlight of the bike ride was Harini's really unnatural pillion position(tilting 30 degrees to the right while the bike was going straight !!) and yet managing not to fall in the entire trip. Wish we could have taken pics of that. We reached Kanakapura in an hour and had breakfast. Maribetta was supposed to be only 4-5 km from kanakapura road. But when asked people around, hardly anyone seemed to have heard of it and got lots of confusing responses. Finally one of them mentioned that it is popular more as Banantha Mari and not as maribetta. After that it wasn't that difficult to find the starting point. There are few houses before it and we parked our vehicles in one of the houses.

9.30 am.

Started trek. Initially there is large stretch of mud road from where we can get a view of 2 mountains with a valley in between. We started towards the valley from the right side. After climbing for few minutes we reached what looked like a dead end with a very steep mountain wall in front us. Keerthy went ahead
with finding a way up the mountain with total disregard as to how others will climb it even if he could manage it. After climbing few feet and forcing us to take a pic of his dare-devilry, he literally slid downwards without much traction from the mountain. Me and Pavan also wanted to pose for pics so climbed few feet as well. Eventually we figured out that this was wrong way and came down.

11 am.

Same position as we were before and now we started moving towards the left mountain that appears smaller. I climbed one small stretch and reached the peak and again came back down due to
lack of further route. Temperature was fairly high already and the newcomers ' enthusiasm was dropping at exponential rate. We found few school kids who had holiday due to republic day who were going to the durga temple at peak. They helped us with the route and we were ideally supposed to go through the valley and not through the mountain at all !!. From the position we were, it took some deviation to reach the valley with the path filled with thorny bushes and some steep rocks and constant climbing as well as going down. Few of them especially padmini and kiran got major treatment from the thorns.

The kids were confident however and so we followed them. After 30 odd minutes of pu
shing Kiran and Akshaya (courtesy keerthy :) ) , they weren't willing to come up further. Added with this Sharath's acrophobia, they decided they had enough. Though padmini and keerthana were still in condition to continue with trekking, they decided to assist the rest in going down than coming up. So we split up into 2 groups - Sharath, Keerthana, Padmini, Akshaya and Kiran going down and rest of us following the kids up. ( The guys going down had their own share of adventures including getting frightened out of their skin by a snake and getting scraped by thorns all around).

1.30 pm

After about an hour of moderate trekking in hot sun, we reached the durga temple. After contemplating whether to continue trek further to the higher peak(the taller mountain on the right side) , we opted out of the option due to time constraints and the fact few of friends were waiting down. So just had the packed lunch. Few went into the temple and after some rest, we decided to get down. Now having taken more than half day primarily to wrong routes, we weren't really sure how long it takes to go down.
Since the kids were still with us, they pointed the direct route through valley down (which were supposed to use to come up as well) and due to now-acquired habit of running more or less while coming down, just trekked down at rapid pace.

3.30 pm.

Harini stunned us during the entire climb and descent with her 0% complaining and never slowing us either way. Bharath was good for his first trek with us as well. The descent took around 30-40 minutes at best. The path was lovely with mostly trees all through giving a feeling of walking through a jungle. We were at the house with the bikes around 4 am and heard the interesting adventures from the guys who had come d
own earlier. In a way it looked like they had more fun than us as we didn't really have that great views from the peak.

So spoke for a while, got on our bikes and left. Reached bangalore fairly early than what we had planned.

Route to Maribetta:

1. From Bangalore, take the Kanakapura Road and go to Kanakapura around 45 Km from Banashankari.
2. From Kanakapura, take the road towards Ramanagara(Mysore).
3. You should find this after 5-6 km. Better to ask people around for starting point of the trek.

Total Distance: 50 km from Bangalore.

Better To Know:

1. Better to go via bikes/cars. Of course buses can be availed till kanakapura and since this place is fairly close to kanakapura, one can hire autos till destination.
2. Need to pack food as nothing was available near the temple.
3. Mobile network was available.


  1. Nice one maga :-) Like your narration style.. Film script thara ide..

    One of the most remembered treks of our group...

    Write the experiences of other treks soon..

  2. the introduction of the new characters.. Totally awesome!! .. sexy narration style :)

  3. everything awesome about the blog except the pathetic selection of portraits of Keerthana, Padmini, Akshaya, Kiran and to some extent Harini as well. Come on maga, u can do better :P

  4. Thanks guys ..
    @Srikanth - yes will pick up pace soon ..

    @Pavan - I actually spent lots of time for profile pics :( . Didnt have many pics of akshaya but for rest i had loads of pics and felt these were the nicer ones ..guess our tastes are totally mismatched ..

  5. Nice selection of Pics kano.. Flashback time ge perfect ag Ide..

    Also, how lean most of us were.. Nice to look back those times.. Good blog Maga..

  6. @Kiran - I know you ll be totally happy ;) ..Even you might have forgotten how lean your face was !!

  7. Nice one Balu! One of the most eventful treks! MOst importantly...We haven't finshed that trek!! Very rarely this happens with us!!

  8. @Keerthy - Yes we should plan to targetting the higher peak next time.