To give our summer vacation an adventurous start CMRNPS organized a trek for the students of grade 5 – 8 to Uttari Betta or Uttari Durga, one of the nine hill forts of Bengaluru. Uttari Betta trek can be quantified as a beginner level trek having 2 summits. The first summit has a temple at the top and has a good view of the base village and the winding path we took to the top. From this summit, we can continue the trek to the second and main summit. This path is beautiful as it goes through a narrow pass in-between two huge rocks (some call it the cave section). The main summit has a multitude of viewpoints which are breathtaking.
The total trek was 3 km one way with 800 ft elevation. There were also resting spots in between to offer some shade. We were asked to assemble by 5:30 AM in the school and we started by 6:10 AM for the trek after customary instructions. There were around 25 of us who had signed up for this trip. We were accompanied by two of our P.E teachers, Mr Santhosh and Ms Priyanka. In our excitement, the bus journey of 90 mins looked a bit long. On the way, we had breakfast and continued our journey.
After having scrumptious breakfast, we reached the village and were greeted with many glimpses of rural life. We walked a short distance until we reached the foothills of Uttari Betta. Over there, we met four instructors who would guide us and ensure our safety throughout this adventurous trip. We were asked to form a semi-circle so that we could warm up exercises before we started trekking. The instructors taught us the shoulder, hip and leg exercises to make sure we didn’t hurt ourselves or twist our ankle during the trek.
After preparing ourselves physically and mentally, we started trekking to reach the first summit. The first few stretches of the trek were quite easy but slightly tiring due to the heat of summer. We were also asked not to be over adventurous, to clearly follow the instructions, and be in a group always. Emphasis was laid on safety which was paramount. some places of shade on the trekking path offered us a respite to rehydrate ourselves. There was not much natural vegetation on our way to the first summit and also noticed burnt brick walls of forts of a bygone era.
The last stretch before the first summit was a bit steep and slippery. At the first summit, we were blessed with the view of an ancient temple. The view of the village and beyond from the first summit was breathtaking. We also saw the Savandurga peak from here. We spent little time in the first summit before heading to the second summit. The path on the way to the second summit was slightly harder. It was a bit narrow and more vegetation was present here. This path was also rocky and slippery, but with the help and guidance of our instructors, we successfully navigated the arduous path. The effort we put into trekking the hill was worth it as the view of lush greenery from the second summit was absolutely stunning.
However, we did not stay for long on the summit because the heat was debilitating and we hastened our trip back to base in quick descent. The trip down the hill was not hard. We made it back to the bus quite fast and headed back to our school. We were served a delicious North Indian Thali for lunch. After lunch, it was a one and a half hour journey back to school.
The trekking to Uttari Betta was a memorable experience for all of us as we explored the wonder and beauty of nature. We definitely learnt the values of teamwork, fitness and the importance of conserving nature from this experience. It was also memorable as we spent time with friends.
‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’- John Keats
And let’s preserve these natural bounties for posterity
Aparna.S.J, Grade 7