I was in Bangalore recently. Of the many Sundays I was there, I spent one with 30 people trekking through Kuntibetta. Rumored to be the place where Pandavs were exiled for 13 years, Kuntibetta (kunti as in kunti ma and betta meaning hill) proved to be a great place to test my trekking skills (and to some extent- rock climbing) capacity.
The 5 kms uphill trek was a great sight. We saw stars and the sun, night sky giving way to the crack of dawn. Through the shrubs, over the rocks, between the plants and under the trees, we trekked for 3 hours before we caught the sunrise from the summit.
The trip began with a long drive to Kuntibetta from Bangalore. 150 kms away, the place seemed to be tuck away in one corner of Karnataka. I knew 7 of the 30 people we were going with, but we didn't sing our way through. We all slept! That was our way of gearing up for the long trek that lay ahead of us. As we reached our base, we geared with our supplies – a few torches, a bottle of water, our jackets and a lot of energy.
The first few steps were difficult, as we struggled on a steep slippery slope, using our limbs and hands, catching up with our breath. As we got the hang of it, things eased up. Next two hours were of pure exhilaration. That is the time one isnt sure if they should look up at the sky, or at the magnificent view of kuntikund in front of us.
I suggest you also go in a large group, as it absolutely changes your experience. (if you want suggestions of group outings, let me know. Ill share the contact details)
As we marched up, we were welcomed by the view of kuntikund. What seemed more like a silhouette when we began the trek, now turned into a beautiful lake, tempting us towards it. The sight also encouraged us to march up quick, so we could catch the beautiful sunrise. The blue sky slowly gave way to the yellow hue, and hinted that it was time for the sun to come out.
Sun rises around 6:20am, so you can be mindful of the time. The view (as expected) caught us by surprise. Overlooking some beautiful, typical kannada villages, the sunrise was a mesmerizing sight.
However, we were not surprised that the summit was full of people- out with their cameras, capturing the sight. Amidst this, who caught my eye were those, who sat calmly. Soaking the sun, they admired the beauty of the sight, comfort of the rock and silence in the crowd.
As the sun lit the sky, quite a few people left. But we, we stayed there, sleeping on the rocks, soaking the energy and purity of the environment. A group of also meant spending quite a lot of time clicking pictures!
The trek transformed me in many ways. Apart from some spectacular views, I also learnt the basics of perseverance and 'sabr Ka phal meetha hota hai' in true sense.
I suggest that one shouldn't get lazy but must visit kunti kund. Its a sight you wont forget. As we closed the trek and reached the base again, the slope looked less daunting now. We spend some time sliding through the slope, slipping like we were at the beginning.