After conquering Shivagange, Devnarandurga was on our cards via Namada Chilume but we spent a lot of time there taking rest, fueling our system and exploring dry & unexciting bushes.The only cheerful thing was few monkeys aiming at our food and making electrifying gestures and spontaneous acts of bunch of couples in every nook of this Deer Park.
Namada Chilume is the place where Prince Ram, during their exile in forest created a sprinkle of water with his arrow to suffice Sita's thirst. Although this 1ft diameter reservoir with unknown source of water origin is religiously significant, it's hardly maintained and thoroughly algae-covered. Also there's a kindergarten within where we'd some snacks as it was closed. There's a passage through the bushes through which you can make it to a rocky area to click few pics.
Now as Siddarabetta caves exploration was on our mind, we bypassed Devnarandurga (although hardly 4kms from Namada Chilume) and through scenice track full of brookes and boulevards with an exception of posterior-breaking under construction patch which provides you to display your skills with zig-zag biking, we reached Siddarabetta at 18:00. Its approximately 40kms from Namada Chilume although milestones may be deceptive.
As soon as we started ascending, the sleeping beggards suddenly on the sideways did an 'Undertaker' showing great spinal cord flexibility. Soon after, there were few people descending and wishing us all the luck to reach the top in the dark and finally the pujari too was descending although he did explain us on how to perform puja. But the best part was a stray dog and my companion for the rest of trek, came from nowhere and guided us to the top. I named it 'RADAR' to the very perfection to suit its deeds. This peak offered more green pasture and was much more steeper then Shivagange and it being second ascending in a day was tiresome but the atmosphere motivated us and finally we made it to the top at around 19:15 and......We're speechless and mesmerized by the tranquility in the caves the coolness it offered. We dipped our tired feet in the 'kund' and sprinkled water on face and magically we got rid of all the tiredness in the world. We ritually performed puja to lord Shiva in few artificial lamps which we were told are generally switched off after 18:00. While it was supposed to our back journey, the rejuvenation provided us with hunger for exploring caves with RADAR in the natural darkness. The only lights that were visible was the lamps in village 1200+ meters down from the top.
Although these aren't typical caves, but rocky arrangement which gives you cave-like feel but they are enigmatic in their own terms. Once through the caves, we were in open land full of rocks and vegetation all around. Shining moon above and twinkling fireflies beneath was a sight to watch. I still carry a glimpse of 5 young guns in my mind with the front one carrying a torch, second accompanied by a dog, the third and fourth with a stick to his rescue and bagpack respectively and the last one water bottle. In future, whenever I'll try to be remittent about this trip, this picture alone with narrate everything. We would have zoomed ahead but we took plane's sound for a tiger's roar and for the first time during the trip our minds and legs were in sync and in opposite direction.
Finally we started strolling downwards with an injured Pandava (Keyur during Shivagange) and truly memorable moments. Bread-butter and a parle-G was all we could offer as a grateful gesture to RADAR.On return we took a different route via TUMKUR village which although long, is safe and smooth with odometer frequently chasing 100+. And as there's no adventure without agonies, as we halted on NH4 we had the first meal of the day and it was way too spicy to lower it down the stomach and had to suffice our hunger with Mazza and ended our trip reaching home via NICE road.
I don't remember anything from the moment someone opened the door at 01:30 till I woke up at 10:00 in the morning.
Best time to Ascend: After the dusk as the mood will drench you in mesmerizing peace and chillness. Although take utmost care as you will be all alone in the dark and on way back there has been incidence of robbery.
Precautions: Torch to guide you and cushion to allay aching back on the bike.
---Rambler Ravish (next is Nandi Hills)