Moonlight trek to B M Betta
A visit to Bananti Maramma Betta, popularly known as B M Betta was pending for a long time. After my Himalayan Trek to Dodital in December 2006 there was some snaps left over to be completed, hence decided to visit B M Betta.
Deepak and I planned for the visit to B M Betta and started off in my bike on 06.01.2007 morning having only a vague idea about the place. We reached Kanakapura and had breakfast. The owner of the hotel to whom we enquired about the place had not heard of this place, surprising, though he was born and brought up in kanakapura. Such is our importance of tourism here. We came out of the hotel and made enquiries at the fruit stall who gave us a clear picture of the place.
How to reach B M Betta
After Kanakpura start going towards sathnur for 2 kms till you reach the end of a tank bund where you can see a yellow colour board on a tree on the right side of the road. Take a turn and continue the path for nearly 10 kms till you reach the village. Take a left on the mud road for 2 kms to reach the base of the hills. At the base of the hill is the Bananti Maramma temple. Vehicles go up to this point and can be parked here before you start climbing the hill.
There are two hills opposite each other. One hill has bolted route and requires climbing gears to go on top. The same hill has an alternate route to go on top without the use of climbing gear also. The other hill is a normal climb. In between these two hills there is a trail which goes inside the forest and comes out of the hills. The hills stretch up to 3 kms and the trail is a neat descent and a good trek for the beginners. Coming out of the trail you reach a lake Sidde Gowadara kere.
Alternate route to B M Betta.
From Kanakapura take the road leading to Ramanagaram and reach B M betta from the other side of the temple. This is a shorter route to B M Betta, but not much frequented. On enquiry with a local villager, there seems to be roughly 25 routes that can be done in these hills. One can easily engage themselves for trekking for 3 to 4 hrs going around both the hills.
There are number of trees near the temple. River crossing technique, Jummaring, ladder climbing are the other activities that can be undertaken in this place.
After spending nearly 3 hrs in this place, we thought of doing a night trek on full moon day. The villagers and other friends who had been to this place earlier cautioned me about the bears in the hills and told me that it is not advisable to do trekking in the night.
We decided to trek on a full moon day on 02.02.2007 which is also our first trek from Bakpackers group. Preparations for the trek were done and till 30th there seemed to be no response. But from 31st morning enquiries started pouring and by 1st morning it had crossed 25 members. Prasanna and I decided to visit the place and make arrangements for a local guide and also for food. We spoke with Mr.Borashetty and made enquiries about the safety who assured me not to worry about the bears since there is a huge group. He also agreed to prepare tea and chitranna for us in the night. By afternoon I lost count of the number of participants. Had I expected such a huge response we could have chartered a bus to take us to the place safely. But it was too late to change our plans.
Almost everyone had agreed to come on their own vehicle. We decided to assemble at 9.00 pm near Khodays gate (Opp Metro), but by the time the whole team assembled it was 10.00pm. It was getting late. I had to call Mr. Bora Shetty and tell him that we will be coming at around 12.00. He was kind enough to wait for us till that time and served us Chitranna and Tea. He even made arrangements for a local guide also. After food we started trekking up to the temple. Temple is 3 kms from the village. Reaching the temple we assemble for a self introduction and have a count of the number of participants. The total number of participants was exactly 50. It was nice to have such a good response. After a small briefing we started to climb the hill. The weather was very good and there was no wind at all. This made it very warm. The trail up to the top was a gradual ascent and since the team was huge we trekked at a leisure pace ensuring safety of all the trekkers.
After resting for a while at the top of the hill we started the descent to the other side of the hill. The route is full of thorny plants, hence one had to be extremely careful not to hurt themselves. We reached the lake at 3.30 am. Some of the first time trekkers were a bit tired. We relaxed near the lake having some snacks and biscuits.
At 4.00 am we started our return trek to the village. This circles the hill and the route is on a level land, cutting across the forest into the village. This takes a clear 1 hour to the village. We reached Mr Bora shetty’s house at 5.00 am, where we had parked our vehicles. We thanked him for the kind gesture and left the place at 5.30. Reached kanakapura and had tea, from where every one disbursed to their place.