After being in lockdown across 3 different continents and finally being able to repatriate myself to be with the family did come with it’s downs as well. My final port of destination was Bangalore and it was in India that the virus was yet to hit its peak. No sooner did I land in the once-upon-a-time Garden City of India, than the state government announced about the second lockdown due to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases across the city and the state. I thought my chances of spending time with the family would saturate more quickly than it would.
But as luck would have it, by the time I finished my quarantine the lockdown was lifted too and most things were as operational as it could get. It was within a week of this announcement that I got an opportunity to hike up one of the hills around Bangalore, with Dad and his senior mates. I took it up immediately without thinking twice as my feet were itching to hit the road (in any format) having been immobile for a decent few months, despite exploring Brighton & Hove in the UK a week before I flew out.
So without dragging you all into the details of the day, I’ll cut to the chase and elaborate on what exactly adventurous happened on the day. After reaching the base of the Channarayana Durga Hill, about 100kms away from Bangalore, we made it to the starting point of the hike up the hill. There were a few locals at that part who mentioned us to be careful at certain parts of the hike as it could be slippery, considering it was steep at places. An old lady particularly warned us, to avoid all the spots where water would be trickling down the hill. Acknowledging their warnings & comments, we started to make our way up.
It was about 45mins into the hike up that this incident happened. I carried my GoPro to shoot the day’s experience and as always was trying to find interesting frames to capture. About a couple of hundred feet into the climb, I found this really big boulder which was resting against a small stone, which if wasn’t around, would have made the boulder roll down at any instance. In my head it made for a great capture as well as a video sequence that came into my mind.
So with a small backpack on the shoulders, the GoPro in my right hand and my phone/wallet in my tracks, I thought of getting closer to the boulder to get that shot. I did notice that there was a small green patch as well as water trickling down next to the boulder. The old lady’s words rung a bell in my head and I knew I had to be super careful not to step on to the wet part whatsoever.
I managed to wade my way around the wet patch and just as I was about to get a shot of the boulder from underneath, my brain said that the right leg needs to be at one spot so I could sneak a little closer. It was at this point when I put my right foot forward (no pun intended) that I managed to slip and land on my bum, straight into the tricking water. And before I knew it I was sliding down the steep hill !! It was no fun ride I tell you, I forgot about my camera and the phone, the bag and everything else.
As I was sliding down at a decent speed, all I could hear was the cries & shouts of my group who I had no clue what they were doing. In my mind all I could see was the edge of a steep hill and I could only imagine where I would land if I keep going. But as they say, when humans are in dire situations the survival instincts subconsciously kicks in and does what it can to save oneself. That’s exactly what happened. As I slid about 70ft downwards, I realised I had gone into a position where my feet were trying to stop me from accelerating any more and looking for anything to hold onto.
My hands were trying to latch on to the rocks as well and eventually I brought myself to a halt. And the first thing I did straight away was to check where my GoPro was !! Surprising amidst all that chaos, the camera was tightly held in my left hand & I was amazed to have not had let it go. And the next thing was to check my pocket for the phone & the wallet, those two were safe & sound too. It was only after checking these that I looked up at everyone who were scared for me ! I managed to get up, stand on my feet, brush myself off and told them I was totally fine..And I actually was. Slowly I made my way back to the boulder on a different path and I completely ignored the shot I wanted to take.
Putting the incident behind, we made it all the way to the top without any further dramas over the next 3hrs. After a good hour of soaking in the views from the top, we started our descent. It was only on the way back when I looked into that place where I slipped, that I realised how crazy it would’ve turned had I not been able to stop myself from sliding away. A further 30ft away and it was just a sheer drop into the woods/stones down below. I probably wouldn’t have died but definitely would’ve broken a bone or two, if not more.
It wasn’t one of those incidents where my heart was in my mouth sorts, something that I have had a few times in the past. But this definitely gave me the chills only after I realised what the consequences could’ve been, when on the way back. Nevertheless I made it back in one piece and we most certainly had a great day.
Here are a few pics from the day, more at the link below:
And HERE’s a video…
For those who’d like to know more about Channarayana Durga Fort & Hill, click this link below: