1830 hrs: Getting lost in the wild can sometimes be fun, not this time though. We are hungry, thirsty and dog-tired. We are surrounded by jungle, long grass and more importantly the darkness at some 1000m above sea level @Aandi Gundi Betta. We are short torches and all the geeky devices we carried are starting to show the signs of starvation. This exact moment keeps reminding me of the movie “6-5=2” (it’s a Kannada Horror movie – related to trekking with a supernatural topping, a must watch).
1845 hrs: Luckily I had recorded the trail while climbing, replayed that and somehow with the help of Ashok and Ramesh we got back on the correct trail.
1915 hrs: We reached the checkpoint, but decided to find another way since the trek further involved descend through some really steep and wet rock face.
1930 hrs: We are lost again, but this time in a Raagi field. This somehow remind me of all those Scarecrow horror movies I had watched; like Jeeper Creepers, Husk, Messengers etc.
1940 hrs: Battery is almost dead, and with just a couple of minutes juice left we intersected the initial trail.
1950 hrs: We could spot our vehicle in a distance and breathed a sigh of relief.
I was running short of camping spots around Bangalore, so decided to do a day trek and scout for camping spots on the coming weekend. Finalized on Aandi Gundi Betta/ Handi Gundi Betta (Coordinates – 12°43’35.8″N 77°18’59.3″E), Prasad created the Whatsapp group to continue further discussion with the team. Initial plan was to go for the Sunrise, but that got swapped with Sunset after the discussion.
Anyway, the final team got downsized to 8 from 12. We all met at the Nice road – Mysore road junction, and started towards Aandi Gundi. We stopped @Thirumala Green Palace near Wonderla, good enough place to have a lunch.
Reaching Aandi Gundi:
- Be on a lookout for “Basavanapura” board on left around 4-5 kms from Rasta Cafe.
- Take left, cross the Railway Crossing, and keep going till you find a large tree in middle of the road.
- Take Right there, and left after some 30 meters (it’s a mud road, and will have small rock pillars on both side)
- Continue on the mud road for a half km, park and find a trail towards left (Google map has a trail marked, or use this – KMZ –GPX, use MyTracks, GPX Viewer or similar apps to view the trail on most smartphones).
First break after a steep climb.
Second photo break.
Some random clicks on the way to 3rd photo break.
By 1730 hrs we started descending, and somehow we starting offsetting from the initial trail and soon we reached a point where there was huge drop. I opened my “My Tracks” app and started moving back to somehow intersect with the initial trail.
A little before 2000 hrs we reached the parking, took a short break and started the hunt for the dinner dhaba on the way back.
Found a place near Bidadi – Cafe Coffee Day, Green Palace or something (was too tired to read the name :D).
Location, seating area, food were excellent, service was a laid-back though (and they don’t accept cards).
Anyway, Aandi Gundi trek was a success and we returned home perfectly safe, I am sure none of us will ever forget the experience of actually getting lost.
Hoping to go back to Aandi Gundi again sometime, but to camp at the top and witness the sunrise.
Will end the post with a checklist for whoever plans a trek, especially if it involves the darkness :).
- Multitool/ lighter/ a small bottle of Surgical Spirit to start a fire
- Extra water/ snacks
- Full length pant/ full sleeve shirt/ jacket
- Focus lights
- Record the trail using “My Tracks” or similar
Ride safe, trek safe.