Saturday, July 9, 2011
Soligere- Up, Up and Above
The Monsoon of 2011 has finally arrived. Although it has taken off to a slow start, the clouds bursting open is always a joyful moment that brings in much awaited smiles across regions in a country like ours. It is also the right moment to loose the coveted tag of a so called " Urban Dweller", Someone like me who's lost in a city whose traffic and infrastructure seems to cripple to worse states day after day.
So i had been thinking of taking a break for a simple easy get away somewhere in the outskirts of Bangalore and "Soligere" almost momentarily occurred to my mind. I had been to this beautiful place last year as a part of the Sangama-Muthathi Trek. It was during this time did i actually realize that not so far away from Bangalore, can one actually find some splendid Water bodies. following on the Trail of Mother River Cauvery, i had come across some amazing landscapes.
Coming to 2011, a year that hasn't had anything in store for me, half of the year had already passed staying indoor and refraining from any notable outdoors or camping. The weekend of July on 3rd had been here and i had decided that i shall be biking to Soligere. This Serene place is not so far away from Bangalore, yet not near. This place where river flows far and stretched, this place where the only sound that i could hear was that of the animals and birds, this place where only a handful of people resided.
Indeed this place is over a 100kms from Bangalore and has an environment that totally transcends into a different kind. The place not known for many people, The people who are always heading to Nandi hills or Skandagiri to add more litter and thrash. I'm hurt seeing the plight of Skandagiri which was once a quiet hill with few stone structures and some magnificent views turning into a dump yard for people who throng to this place on the weekends. Luckily Soligere has shied away from the attention which has in turn done more good to the place and has helped retain its austere surroundings completely untouched and unharmed.
The place impressed me as much as it did an year ago. So what is this place all about,?what does it really have in store for me ?
Well, Soligere is a small village lost in a hillock off Sathnur, Kanakpura Taluk of Ramnagara District. The place has a settlement of over 10-15 families amounting to less than 40 people who mainly depend on agriculture, livestock rearing and crafts for their livelihood. As one reach the top of the Soligere hill, there is no human settlement and the hill ends with a beautiful view point.
This view point opens up a wide panoramic landscape to the soul who needs to trek to the top as there is no motorable road. (People wanting to damage their bikes could certainly do some off road biking). One could see Cauvery river flowing swiftly in wide and winding trails , cutting across the mountains, flourishing lush green vegetation that forms Sathnur and Muthathi Forest Range. One could see places as far as Shivanasamudra hydro project, Shimsha , etc from this view point. The even more luckier souls could spot a herd of Wild Elephants, Bears or Small Animals. I believe the photos shot from my mobile will do the rest of the talking about the place.
The ever blowing winds seem like they were here to take away all the worries of a man along with them as they brush against you. Nature certainly takes the front seat and everything else seems to be in the backseat. A feeling of surrender to the mother nature seeps in and leaves you spell bounded. A watch tower cum guest house provides relief from winds and rains, it also doubles up as a place for night camping.
My dear friend Shyam had luckily accomponied me to this wonderful place, I'm sure he enjoyed as much as i did.
A place to visit on a weekend, to spend some time in process of nothingness, a small nap, or to get lost watching those huge and wide landscapes, to watch the river flowing in sheer elegance, to get lost and to be found. to discover, to learn, to unlearn. Soligere is certainly the one place for people who want to drive away from those popular tourist spots overflowing with people and business. The ideal place for a quiet retreat with family or friends. A place to hang out and refresh, rejuvenate your minds and body.
The last motor able stretch for 4 wheelers ends at 5kms from the view point, That means to say that people heading out on cars need to trek along the mud route for 5kms.
The last motor able stretch for 2 wheelers ends at 1km from the view point. That means to say that people trying the off roading will need to trek just 1km to the top.