“Are you sure this is the hill we are supposed to climb?”, those were the first words uttered by a friend when we approached Kabbaldurga. “Let’s climb a smaller one instead. This one is huge.”, quipped another one. Though not a huge one, the rocky hill of Kabbaldurga looked much bigger because of all the small hills surrounding it and the steepness too. The view from a far off distance give an impression as if there is a gathering of hillocks happening and Kabbaludurga being their leader ready to address them. Finding the starting point of the hike wasn’t difficult, even before we could slow down the car and ask, the locals just pointed directions for us. Our ascent started after parking the vehicles close to the foothill.
The weather perfect and tailor-made for the hike – breezy and cloudy, much-needed cover from the hot Sun. After crossing few fields on the way to the foot of the hill, the path becomes a gradual climb. And then after few hundred steps suddenly you feel you are facing a wall. The climb in few sections of the paths are steep and tricky, there is no support to grab while climbing – no trees, branches, bushes or plants. Luckily though, there are handrails and crude steps carved into the rocks for support in couple of steep sections. Few sections are a bit challenging for people who are slightly bit afraid of heights. I had a good time playing the role of motivator to encourage one of my friends to complete the climb. The effort was nothing short of dragging him from midway to the top.
Kabbal Durga is a small rocky hill near Kanakapura and is about 70 to 80 KMs from Bangalore (depending on from where you are starting). The place gets the name because of the temple dedicated to Goddess Kabbalamma on top of the hill and from the village named ‘Kabbalu’. Kabbaldurga gets flocked by pilgrims during festive seasons and by trek enthusiasts over weekends. The climb is short but steep one, which can be completed in an hour maximum. Kabbaludurga is a good choice for guys who are new to trekking/hiking and for people want to spend a day away from the bustling city life.
Cold breeze welcomed us as we reached the peak. We spent more time roaming around at the top than the time we took to climb. The breakfast we had earlier at Vasu hotel in Kanakapura was long gone. Luckily we had bananas and snacks, that disappeared quickly. After spending more than an hour at the top, we started our descent. As of the steep climb down was not enough God offered us an additional dose of adventure – it started pouring. With water on the rocks and now tracks other than them, it is a real adventure to get down. We sat there soaking in the rain for sometime – there was no option in that open area except for walking all the way back to the Kabbalamma temple. As the rain stopped, our adventure started – take one step ahead and slide two-three steps as a bonus. Few of the guys decided to sit down and slide down instead. Luckily for us the Sun came out soon from the hiding and after about 10-15 mins the ricks dried up. But it was still an adventure climbing down the steep slope.
As if the adventure of slipping and sliding was not enough, we had a bonus round waiting for us at the end. The moment we finished our hike and walking in the middle of a field, an angry buffalo decided to charge us. Next second all five of us were running for our lives everywhere. Surprisingly the most heaviest and slowest guy during the hike outrun us all – his response was he had to run at least faster than the slowest of the gang, but didn’t who was the slowest and decided to beat everyone.
There are a lot of small hills that are easy half day hikes around Kanakapura – Achalu betta, Bhimana Kindi to name a couple. But, Kabbaldurga or Kabbaludurga has to be one of the craziest and funniest hikes I’ve done so far. To quote one of the many funny one-liners that day – “If at all I build a house on top of this hill, I’ll name it as ‘On the rocks'” – the same guy who outrun us all 🙂