Sunday, July 18, 2010


The summer after the end of college in 2007 was officially the last holidays for most of us(Except the ones who did masters later). Made lots of plans for many get-together trips and treks but eventually shivagange was the only one that materialized.

Shivagange is a small hillock near Dobbspet in Tumkur district that is famous for a shiva temple and olakala Teertha. There are more chances of finding temple devotees than trekker in this particular hill.

Our normal gang assembled for the trek except couple of folks who went to their native places. In pursuit of a female company to convince her parents for the trek, harini finally managed to find an unlikely companion and we were all set for the trek.

New Characters:

Balakrishna: The most mischievous and funny guy of our group. But shifts seamlessly from comedy stories to horror stories anytime especially when the timing is right(i.e. in middle of forest at midnight). Nature lover and more likely to be found somewhere in north-east of india than in bangalore though he is supposed to be a software engineer working here.

Vinutha: Surprising company for our trek. Very simple and soft-spoken girl. Completed her first trek with us with absolutely no complaints.

The Trek

Date: May 2007
Time: 7 am

8 of us - me, Keerthy, Srikanth, Shreyas, Pavan, Harini, Bala and vinutha started off in 4 bikes towards Tumkur road. Morning rides are always pleasant and after an hour of riding we stopped for breakfast at Kamath Upachar where disaster struck(for only me). After breakfast we were just taking pics including harini riding my famous Enticer ;) when i decided uncharacteristically to try a wheelie. With my enticer not really being conducive to a wheelie took srikanth's discover. Totally misjudging what even 112 cc can do, ripped the throttle and left the clutch and after a fleeting moment of being high in the air literally fell crashing down. However the disaster was not really falling which barely caused any damage to either me or the bike but being chided for the first(and so far last) time by the bike owner, Mr kaams !!

Not long after that, we left the restaurant with me feeling stupid, srikanth sulking and rest having a good laugh about it. Shivagange is about 10 km from Dobbaspet junction and we reached there quickly enough. The entrance to the hill is via a temple gopura where the bikes can be parked.

Most of the trek up has steps carved out of stone so it is hardly a challenging trek. To make it more interesting we generally avoided steps and walked directly on rocks where possible. The most fascinating or rather irritating part of the trek is the abundance of monkeys all around. Unlike other places, the ones in shivagange are rather aggressive and would actually pluck things from your hand/shoulder. Any eatery that is exposed is likely to end up in one of the monkey's mouth. Bala lost his bag temporarily before he heroically retrieved it from the monkey that took it !!

There are few temples along the way to the peak with one famous spot being Olakala Teertha. Basically there is a narrow crevice between rocks where spring water flows and one needs to stretch their hands to touch them. The legend is that anyone who has sinned will not be able to touch it while a pious person would be able to touch the water. Considering that the only person in our group who couldn't touch it was vinutha (and she was mighty upset with that) the legend was dismissed immediately though we had some fun at her expense.

Almost at the peak there is a Nandi statue with a nice view and just beyond that we reach the top of shivagange where of course another temple welcomed us. The climb to the top is not that strenuous even in summer and you would find lots of devotees climbing to the top on barefoot. There are no of small shops along the way selling snacks, buttermilk and cool drinks.

There were nice views all around though it being summer there was not much greenary to be seen. It was quite hot and complaining from harini about her skin resulted in staying about an hour before starting the descent down. Most of the time was spent in posing for pics.

Descent down was quick and reached down by 1. Swapped our bikes and came back to bangalore for lunch. The roads were good enough to easily maintain 80-90 speeds then. Met few other friends - Sharath, Keerthana, Padmini, Rajesh, Kiran and Akshaya who couldn't come for the trek for a rather late lunch in some hotel in Rajajinagar( too far back to remember). The contrast between sun-burned trekkers and freshened up rest of the gang can be visibly seen in the pics !!

Overall a nice short trek that doesn't physically stress out much. A rather short drive and doesnt require much planning.

Route to Shivagange:

1. Take the Tumkur road if coming from Bangalore City. A new alternative is to take the NICE road from either bannerghatta road, kanakapura road or mysore road. This joins the Tumkur road much further down avoiding most of the traffic at yeshwantpur, jalahalli cross etc.

2. Take left at Dobbaspet towards shivagange onto SH3 (there are boards indicating the same)

3. From there it is about 12 km on small winding roads. There are enough boards the guide the people.

Distance from Bangalore - 60 km

Better to Know:

1. Buses from Bangalore to Tumkur might stop at Dobbaspet and one can take autos from there.
2. Since the trek is short no need to carry anything other than water. Snacks and cool drinks available on the way up.
3. Strictly don't carry anything in hand or on outer pouches of bags. Pack and zip up the bags to avoid wrestling with monkeys.
4. If eateries are bought from vendors finish it there itself.
5. There is not really much cover at the top except couple of rocks. So better to reach early in the morning or late in evenings during summer.