“Beyond the horizon, are our dreams, unfolding one after the other“. Skandagiri the most admired spot for its sunrise from the peak. Also known as Kalwara betta, it is located 70 Km from Bangalore making this spot to go for a perfect night hike and to see a marvel of a sunrise.
I was stoked to join the Skandagiri trek with Plan the Unplanned, but little did I know it will be so well organized and I will end up seeing such elegant sunrise and have great conversations en route as well, as an add-on. Boy! was I in for a treat. We started from Bangalore at around 11:30 PM, The pickups were smooth, and we had a good 35-seater traveler bus.
Once all pickups were done, the trek leads and everybody introduced each other. The Icebreaker sessions were especially interesting, we played a game called “Introduce your partner” and “Memory game of names” from one corner to the other, which lead to loads of laughter, and guessing the lie between 3 statements was another fun game which was very entertaining.
We drove through the NH7 Bellary road laughing our hearts out with fun cum crazy games like storytelling as well. We then reached the Base – Pabagni Muttam near the village of Kalwara, at around 2 AM. We sat there enjoying the chilly weather, as the month being November, the Bangalore nights in November are cold. Then by around 2:30 AM, we left to the entrance to get our permits and a local guide from the forest department. Every group gets a local guide.
We all then started our trek at around 3:00 AM. We started to trek at a good pace and had good conversations en route, people were from different backgrounds and so as people say, the spirit of a traveler is all that is needed for people to connect with each other. The best thing about this trek is that earlier this place was full of controversies but this time around there are multiple groups of people hiking through the night hence at any point one doesn’t feel unsafe.
The climb begins with a semi-dry trail continuing through a lush green trail to a tiring ascend during the last few minutes. Originally Tipu Sultan had built a fort here which was ruined by Britishers around 1791.
Hence, during the ascent, we see ruins of the fort leading up to the temple at the top. The trek leads and forest guides were present throughout, and we all hiked with some interesting conversations and time just flew by and we were closer to the peak point – the sunrise point.
The sky was changing its shade from dark blue to grey and red mix. Then we got the glimpse of these colors shifting to white and orange and once at the peak point, the clouds were a cluster over the peaks all around, The sun was slowly rising from between these clouds touching the horizon and it stayed there for as long as our eyes could perceive this beauty, this overwhelming cocktail of colors and feelings that move in sync within us, presenting us a transcending experience.
The final ascent is strenuous, and the experiences that come with walking over unpaved pathways, boulders, and bruises that concur, but when the mesmerizing sun rises on one side, it is as jaw-dropping as ever, the cold breezy strong winds, the clouds that pass over you, and cover the nearby peaks like a mold setting and beyond a backdrop of blue sky on the other.
We sat there absorbing this exhilarating view and watched the clouds slowly gathering and moving over the next peak and the next one. A visual treat for sore eyes. The ambiance though was tranquil and yet full of fire and desires and dreams.
The place where the sun meets the surface, that’s where our dreams shine, adrift and ashore those dreams that were suppressed, resurface once the sky meets the earth’s surface. Keep your eyes at this point “the Horizon” and dreams suddenly appear as real as ever in front of your eyes…
“Every sunrise is a new beginning, new hope, and a fresh start in life because that which we call failure is not falling, but failing to get up”