This trip was one of the CouchSurfing community event. You can find the details of the event here. Gingee fort was on my bucket list from the time I heard about it in 2010. It has taken eight years to remove it from my todo list. When I found the event on couch surfing, I wanted to try it for sure.
It turned out to be a nice chance to meet new people and know a lot about their travels. But I was also bit hesitant to drive with a couple of strangers. But anyway the travel turned up real good. So the plan was to leave Bengaluru as early as possible and reach Gingee fort by 9 when they open the gates. It gets really hotter in this area, so the earlier we go its better.
I started from my home at around 2 in the morning and picked up two folks on the way to our meeting point at Ecity. It was a bit strange to get a stranger into the car late in night. But Ravi filled me with his travel stories and within few minutes we got accustomed to each other. We had to wait for few more folks to join us in the meeting spot. Once everyone arrived, we started from Bangalore in 3 cars.
Once we hit the narrow road towards Tiruvanamalai, we were surrounded by fog all around. Visibility had come down to less than a meter. Driving in this weather was a group activity with all the persons in the car looking out for turns in the road, potholes and vehicles coming in the opposite direction. This road was an embarrassment for me as one of the friend in the trip was just saying about how good Tamil Nadu roads were and I had to take her in this road.
Each person in the trip had their own favorite stories to tell. One interesting story was by a guy who had backpacked around Kanyakumari. It was interesting to see places you are so familiar with through a different set of eyes.
|A small pit stop near a lake|
We made an unplanned stop at Tiruvanamalai temple. The temple town was waking up for the day. We had breakfast in Tiruvanamalai and started to Gingee fort.
The sun had already risen and the temperature was reaching its day time peak when we started the climb. Gingee is a group of hill locks typical of the deccan plateau.