Just imagine being an amateur trekker risking one’s life that too on a diwali day ( 17/10/09 ) to ascend the impregnable Madaksira fort. Last time around we wanted to trek this fort but could not in lieu of not finding a proper place to park our car safely. Moreover we were in a hurry to reach Pavgada Fort, which was our destination for stay. This time around it was only determination and guidance of 15 year old Hemanth who accompanied us as a guide. We took the unconventional escape route from the fort to ascend which is shorter. Who knew this path would be filled with thorny bushes, unsteady steps and literally a rock face with 60 degree inclination to ascend.
It is recommended to ascend this fort through the regular enterance which is quite well laid staircase, and for others who are adventurous and 100% fit choose this unconventional ascent.
Once I almost tripped inside the throny bush pathway shaking me up for the first time. Next time around my wife was complaining of chest pain and she aborted the climb, I am happy she did it on the hindsight with her leather slipper it would have been impossible except with bare foot, which was not worth attempting, she went back to the base of the hillock. I decided we should go further up since we had hired a guide in Hemanth. Enroute I had to take 8 breaks to catch up with the steep ascent, and clicked some lovely photographs of the landscape and surroundings. At midpoint there was a steep rock face without support, my guide lent me a hand to ascend. But it would have been fatal if had transferred my full weight on his I would have dragged him down too. However I managed to tilt my weight on to the rock, in spite of it I had a dodge and landed with a slushy grass with water seepage from the Fort pond on top. We ascended further towards the top. At one place there was nothing to grip it was 12 feet high rock face with 60 degree incline with nothing to grip on the rock face. After studying and deeply analyzing the situation, I decided to risk my life for sake of surmounting the obstacle. This phase is only for professional climbers or to ascend with aids such as rope or railing or even a walking stick firmly held by someone from top. Maybe even a strong camera tripod would have been sufficient, but alas I had only umbrella with me. I just managed to cling on to the wild plants growing on the sides of the rock surface, there was only two gripping branches, and finally my guide lent me a helping hand from the top. This was absolute stunner for a 49 year obese personality.
Enroute I was fascinated by a manly face jutting out of the fort. The contours of the rockcut nose, mouth, teeth and forehead is amazing resemblance may be to a Roman warrior. I clicked snaps from all angle and used my resting time usefully. I gulped some butter milk which was laced with sufficient salt. The weather was becoming extremely hot, that too during winter time. I checked the time was 1 pm in the noon and my stomach was almost drained with energy. The only consolation since I consumed butter milk with salt, it helped to avoid muscle sprain which could have been fatal on such an ascent. But I decided never to descend by this pathway, which would have virtually impossible at the 60 degree inclination point with my rebok shoes, which had limited grip. We decided to travel through the main pathway which is neatly maintained with steps, but circuitous.
At the mid point of the fort, there is the Kings durbar hall, a devi temple and small pond wherein our guide dipped himself to cool his body. The water was greenish indicating unsafe for us. So I avoided taking bath, instead I was clicking away snaps to glory, with the landscape revealing the enterance to the fort and newly built Sai baba temple. I was surprised to find a lone foreigner lady from Finland who accompanied a batch of students from the orphanage at Mankapalli. All of them looked famished since they had ascended through the circuitous path. Even though I was shaken I was not stirred.
Madakasira fort is located approximately 160 kms from Blore, one has to travel on NH7 the Hyderabad highway. There are two good places for breakfast, one is Brindavan, in chickballapur another Kamat restaurant at HP petrol bunk after chickballapur town. One has to take a deviation towards left just immediately after the Kondapalli Andhra check post and reach leepakshi and have a dharsan from Lord Veerabhadra to ascend Madaksira fort, which may have saved the day for me on hindsight. Madakasira fort is 45kms away from Leepakshi after Hindupur, where one can have a good lunch in two of the hotels, one his Paaya and other one is Parijata. If one wants to extend their journey than one can visit Pavgada fort further up on this road. Madakasira is AP and Pavgada is Karnataka.