Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

July 5, 2021

Trek to Huliyurdurga

Filed under: Travel/Trips — Suramya @ 7:34 PM

Thanks to Covid we have been unable to go for trekking since March 2020. To give some context we normally went for a trek every month, sometimes multiple times in a month depending on how we felt. So it was quite understandable that both Jani and me were eagerly looking for going on a Trek. With the latest lockdown opening up a little, we started looking for options for a day trek. Spoke to Ayush, Akanksha and Shashank to decide a place and when they didn’t have a strong preference I selected Huliyurdurga which is a fort hill and part of the Navadurgas (9 forts) near Bangalore which are said to be erected by Kempe Gowda to protect Bangalore.

The destination is not very popular for the normal tourist crowd but is apparently quite popular with the trekking crowd. The palace is approximately 100 kms from Bangalore which made it a comfortable 2 hour drive. We started from home about 6:45am on Friday (since the weekend was still under curfew). Akankasha, Jani and me were in our car while Ayush and Shashank were on their respective bikes. I personally am not a bike fan but Shashank’s new bike looked impressive and this was a great way to inaugurate the bike.


Pic on the way just after a toll when we were waiting for the bikes to catch up

The drive was uneventful and we made good time. In the past 5-6 years I have seen the quality of roads all over India (including Karnataka) improve quite a lot so I was able to maintain a good speed.

If you are driving to the venue, I suggest that you enter the Haliyurdurga Police station as the destination since the trail is right next to the station. Once you are nearing the end of the route keep an eye on the right side of the road, as you will see the station on the right side of the road even though the map will still insist that you have another 500 mtrs or so to drive. Another landmark is the Haliyurdurga Bus station which is about 100 mtrs from the station. Just before the station on your right you will see a small concrete road take that turn. Google Maps doesn’t show that particular road as connected to the main road you are on, but you can ignore that. As soon as you turn on the road, you will see a cemetery on the right side of the road. Keep driving till you come to a fork on the road. You will need to take the right side road that appears to go through some houses. After about 500 – 1000 meters the road ends and you will see stairs going up the hill. Park your vehicle near the steps and you have reached the start of the trail.

We started climbing immediately as we were eager to start and the steps are a bit steep initially. We made good time and reached the Temple on the end of the steps quite soon. After that the hike becomes a bit more challenging. The best way to climb up is to take a left turn from the temple (there is a faded blue arrow pointing the way). If I hadn’t read about the trek before we started, we would have been sure that we were going the wrong way as the trail is quite narrow and goes through some boulders and you need to squeeze your way through. Since no one had come trekking on this trail since March 2021 due to the lockdown in Karnataka the trail was quite overgrown with a lot of thorny plants taking over the trail.


The overgrown trail


Interesting Fauna we saw on the way

After braving a lot of thorns we reached a point where it looked like we would have to hack through the overgrowth if we wanted to cross without becoming a pin-cushion. By this time all of us have had enough of the thorns and since the only knives we had were a butter knife and my credit-card knife we had to turn back. I was disappointed that we didn’t get to climb all the way to the top as the view is said to be spectacular.

Once we reached the temple, I remembered reading that there was another trail going towards the right of the temple that was supposed to take you to a nandi statue and a small pond, so we decided to take the trail on the right side. The trail was a bit less overgrown and the view on our right was quite phenomenal. After a bit of walking we reached a point where we would have to bend over in half to continue due to overgrowth and I was willing to do so but the rest of the group chickened out and so we stopped. Just before that section, there was a rock overseeing the view that looked very inviting so we took a break over there before starting back.


View from our break point


Jani Relaxing mid trail

Once we got back to the temple we started looking for somewhere we could setup our picnic and grab a bit to eat. Halfway down the stairs we found a flat section on our left side and when we explored the place we found another Temple which was in the process of being renovated. Just outside the temple there was a nice shaded area so we retrieved our picnic bag from the car and had a lovely picnic.


Selfie in front of the temple


Picnic on the rocks

The entire climb and picnic took us about an hour but with the sun right overhead it was getting to be too hot to stay. The only person comfortable with the temperature was Jani but she was overruled by the rest of us and we started back soon after we finished eating. The drive back was again quite uneventful and we made good time till we entered Bangalore city limits after which we got to enjoy the Bangalore traffic. That is one part that I hadn’t really missed during the last year and half.

Some general notes: The trail can be overgrown if not under use and I would suggest going with someone who is ok to hack and slash through the vegetation if required and in which case you would need the proper tools for the job. I would also recommend that you wear clothing that allows you to cover your body/arms even though that might be hot. This is because of the thorns on the trail, having thorns stuck in your bare skin is painful (obviously) so anything you can do to avoid it is good.

After having traveled a grand total of 24 kms during the March, April and May it was great to go on a long drive. Even though we were unable to climb to the summit it was fun enough that we are planning to visit the other 8 forts over the next few months as day trips. Since we were the only people on the entire hill and didn’t see anyone else during the entire trek we were comfortable in planning the next outing.

Jani also did a writeup of the trek that you can read here.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

July 1, 2021

Never used foo/bar/baz as variable names, can I still call myself a programmer?

Filed under: Humor,My Thoughts,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 4:14 PM

Just realized today that in my 24+ years of programming I have never named a variable foo, bar or baz. These are the goto names for placeholders in code & metaphysical variables and have decades of history behind them. Most programmers use them for temporary variables or place holders. Since I have never used them, can I still call myself a programmer? 😀

Jokes aside, you should use good variable names in your code that are meaningful, easy to read and concise. Some guidelines on how to do that are below:

Also, another point to keep in mind is to avoid acronyms that can have a different meaning in a different language or resemble rude words etc. See the screenshot below for an example of a ‘bad’ variable name:

Example of a bad variable name
Example of a bad variable name

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

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