Gudibande Fort and Adiyogi: My Tiny Adventure

Saritha Subramanian
7 min readFeb 19, 2024

If you’re curious what type of combo this event is, one option is to go trekking, while the other is to experience Shiva’s thunderbolt impact. Ideally, the fort should have been visited early in the morning, but if you are not a morning person, you may complete the trekking before midday, finish your lunch on the way, and arrive in Adiyogi in the evening, as Google has perfectly synchronized the paths.

Allow me to walk you through my experience on this well-planned weekend getaway!

#Gut Sticker <Source. Pixel>
Leap from Google

A Slight Shift in the Process of Making Decisions

Well, who would sign up for trekking when I still blame my owner for not keeping a lift or elevator for my 2nd-floor house. However, why not? That’s me!! Now, I signed up for a trekking event. The worst fear is that I would become a sports spoiler. Thinking of that itself, I never went with my friends, lol, let us be honest, there was no invite.

Let’s make a point, this time, for a change, I decided to change the pattern of my decision-making style.

  • Having zero expectations for the experience that I am signing in for
  • Even if I turn out to be a failure, I am going to be okay with that
  • Not going to be guilty of the outcomes

Random Website

I eventually found a website that promised to take me there after doing a lot of Google searching. It was a spontaneous decision to give it a go, and I had no idea if it was spam or legitimate. In general, I believe in taking measured risks, and this is no different. The website appeared to be identical to the one mentioned by my colleague, and it included a detailed synopsis of the day’s activities. Except for the purchase receipt and contact number, no information regarding the trip was available until Friday evening. On Friday evening, I contacted the contact number, and they swiftly joined me in the active WhatsApp group. As a result, my tiny gamble paid off.

Lesson learned: Follow up and always look out for your details.

Travel Started: Saturday, 7 a.m. IST

When it comes to time-sensitive tasks, I am always the early bird. So here I am, at the boarding point, waiting like an owl in the night. However, the co-ordinators were working on their timetable, which was not intended to be communicated with anybody in advance (not sure, why?), even though it was fantastic!! For some reason, I wasn’t upset at anyone today. When you’re not sure what to anticipate, it’s important to keep your calm. I believe I nailed it with my feelings.

As soon as the first boarding began, the bus information was shared in a WhatsApp group. There are a few deviations from the scheduled time. There’s hardly much waiting time. I entered the bus and picked a window seat. Songs were playing. My co-seaters were two very gorgeous women. Then I learned that, unlike me, they booked using the BOZ app.

Lesson learned: Social media cannot be avoided; hence, learn to use it wisely.

Part-timers: tour guides and travel organizers

After everyone had settled down, the organizers introduced themselves and mentioned that they work for an IT company. Then they acknowledged that they work as tour guides on weekends to make a little money, travel to different places, and meet new people. I was wondering how smart they were! They were all calm and collected since they had a test plan in place to execute this day’s excursion.

Breakfast: Saturday, 10 a.m. IST

The organizers circulated a paper band to be tied to the hand for breakfast. This is to enable the restaurant to give only a limited number of options for breakfast, and we could only choose from them. However, it was not a disappointing option either. It’s a simple South Indian breakfast that I usually like to have. Happy tummy! On the breakfast table, to my right, was a group of high-energy college students having fun mocking each other and sharing the food. To my left, a group of working professionals whispered in an attempt to seem like gentlemen at the table.

Dumb Charades

To pass the time and serve as an icebreaker, the organiser hosted Dumb Charades. The acting and guessing talents never fade. We had a game master who gave movie names that the producer had wiped from his past but that attracted our master’s interest. Encourage everyone as if we were auditioning for a movie. The sun was beaming brilliantly through the securely covered windows as we drove through vineyards and lakes.

Gudibande Fort: Saturday, 11 a.m. IST

It is a Kannada word; Gudi means temple, and Bande means rock; Shiva temple.

With laughter and countdowns, we arrived at the fort as the clock struck nearly eleven, the sun shining at its full power. Despite my initial uncertainty about completing the trek, I decided to take the plunge. The fort was completely made up of rocks and big stones. There were hardly any trees. Bushes and small plants were adding greenery to the fort. The fort was well structured to balance the complexity of the route, yet there is simplicity to reaching the summit. There were a few slippery moments, but it was not that hard to cross them.

Interestingly, I ended up being both the first to start and the last to reach the top. My strategy involved walking 5–7 steps, taking a brief rest, and then repeating the process. This method, though effective, was challenged by the steepness of the steps and the scarcity of shadows for relaxation. While I climbed, I made friends with a few youths who moved at the same speed as me.

After a few exchanges, we were never strangers. Friendships formed instantly!! After 1.5 hours of work, I arrived at the summit. In general, a normal, healthy individual may take 45 minutes.

#Gudibande fort. Source:<<Namma Trip>>
Gudibhande Fort from Google(Travel trip)

On the way, I spotted empty, dark, open chambers with only bricks and muck within. The air did not have any moisture while, in the escape chamber, the breeze was chill,despite the outside temperature.

Finally, at the summit, there’s a breathtaking view of the entire city in a miniature, 360-degree picture of the city. Shiva Temple features an ancient temple building; however, it was closed when I visited! In mid-afternoon, at the summit, we were not completely sunburnt, yet there was joy in everyone’s face. Standing tall at the moment alongside the fort made us feel powerful.

The climb down is going to be fast but stressful for your ankles.

Please keep in mind that after you begin walking, the fort lacks basic amenities like water and toilets. As a result, it is important to bring water and snacks.

Lunch time: Saturday, 3 PM IST

After a self-sponsored lunch that made me nostalgic for family-travel traditions like packed tiffin boxes of puliyogathre or lemon rice, our group eagerly set forth on the next leg of our adventure — the journey towards Adiyogi

Adiyogi: Saturday, 5 PM IST

The 112-foot-tall Adiyogi Shiva bust stands in the middle of the universe by itself, surrounded by nothingness. There aren’t many people or structures in the region, just trees that appear little next to Shiva, rocks, and mountains that are far away from him. The landscape is mostly made up of space. Though Shiva appears composed and meditating, the goal of Adiyogi’s mission is to increase public knowledge of yoga. Even Though the goal is sort of achieved by Shiva’s look, I couldn’t help but feel that it wasn’t complete. Perhaps it was the wide area with no ceiling that prompted this thinking.

It was an hour waiting for me to witness the laser show. While waiting, I experienced a lonely moment when I sat by myself in a large space, thinking, “Even though the world is full of people, I am still alone.”. The laser light started with a few songs and sudden darkness that created chillness in the spine. But suddenly, it transports you to a whole other level of astonishment. You become addicted to that. It creates vibrance in the soul. The different forms of Shiva make you attracted to him. I was so involved in the laser show, and suddenly schoolchildren surrounded me. I was no longer alone. Should I consider this Shiva’s magical touch or a mere coincidence?

Source: Isha Foundation. #Adiyogi
Adiyogi from Isha Site

Wrap: Saturday, 8 PM IST

As the day came to a close, the adventure concluded with a lively DJ and enthusiastic dancers, and despite the approaching nightfall, I found myself still energized with no trace of fatigue.

All in all, Gazing at the 360-degree vista from the top of Gudibande Fort and then taking in the mystical laser display at Adiyogi, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the beauty of spontaneous adventures. This day combined physical activity, cultural discovery, and reflection to create a memorable experience that will always be woven into my memory.

The positive impact of both the group and the locations lingered, providing a sense of rejuvenation for the next day routine life and lets not forget to thank my influencers for making me take a little risk on my journey.