Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ratnagiri - The Ruined Fort

This trek to Ratnagiri was organised by YHAI (Youth Hostel Association of India). It was Neeta who asked me whether I would be interested to join this trek with her.

According to the plan by YHAi we all met up at KSTRC bus stand from where we were supposed to catch a bus which goes to Madhugiri. After a brief introduction of everyone we caught the last bus to Madhugiri. Madhugiri is just 3 to 4 hours from Bangalore but due to heavy traffic in Bangalore we reached there in the mid nyt at around 2 AM. YHAI group had already arranged for the accomdation over night. We went to the house where we were supposed to take rest until morning. As the sky was so clear with stars shining all around, we felt like sleeping on the terrace. First, we thought there is no staircase, so climbed from the window and reached the terrace. Most of them tried the same when at last one found the staircase from behind and came through there.

Nobody could sleep as it was very chill night with the stars smiling at us. After an hour or so, we realized that it is not possible to sleep there as the weather turned to be truly cold and it did not let us to sleep. So we came back to the house below and slept there for few more hours. Early morning we got ready to move to our trekking spot which was Ratnagiri. We had thatte idli and kesaribath for breakfast with a truly hot cup of coffee. We left the house and went on to catch the bus to Ratnagiri. As we were waiting, the tempo traveler's insisted to take a ride in tempo and reach Ratnagiri. Chandru sir thought its a gud idea and hence all got into the tempo. It was great ride having fun and chatting all the way to Ratnagiri.

We reached Ratnagiri very early as it was just more than 40 minutes of the way. We could see the hilly fort from a long distance itself. We got down from the tempo and headed towards the Ratnagiri village. As this is the border of Andhra Pardesh, most of the people were speaking in Telugu. We took the path that leads to the Ratnagiri fort. We crossed the village filled with small huts and houses which looks like it had been built very long back. Few children started walking along with us and it was gr8 talking to them on the way. Started trekking towards the fort. Children were curious to know why have we come from so long to walk towards the fort as it means nothing to them. It was quite difficult to explain them what is the value of the fort. As we walked up the hill, we could see the village from there and many other hills which were next to it. Every place looked quite old and worth. With lots of clicks from each camera we went ahead.
We reached the top when it was too sunny as it was afternoon.

We saw so many historical things that I hardly remember any names [Wink] It was time for us to come back. With so many shots, posing here and there we climbed down the hill. We reached back to the village in no time as getting down is much easier. We had a quick lunch in the village under the shade of a huge tree. We also could eat fresh groundnuts in the village as people there grow it in their fields. We took the tempo in which we came in the morning and headed towards Madhugiri. It was nearly in the evening when we reached Madhugiri. Most of us wanted to climb the hill which was in Madhugiri as well but there was no time left as we ought to reach back Bangalore before late night.

We went to the same house where we had slept the other night. Packed the bags, freshed up and left the house to catch the bus back to Bangalore. As most of the buses were full, we had no choice than going via different route this time. We went through Tumkur and took another bus from there. It was nearly 10'o clock when we reached Bangalore. Leaving the historical place behind we started our way back to our respective homes. Back to office the next day, with only memories of the previous day with those pics to keep the experience still alive.

About YHAI: YHAI (Youth Hostel Association of India) is a trusted non profit organization. For more information regarding the organization, you can check the web site YHAI, India. They usually conduct trekking programme from time to time. You can also join the YHAI group for the latest updates regarding the trekking programmes they conduct at Yahoo Groups.