The academic year 2012-13 was scheduled to start on 30th May. This year May 30th also coincided with the auspicious ‘Bhageerathi jayanti’ (or the water day), which is celebrated on jyestha Shukla dashami. With a view of starting the new academic year with a bang, Purnapramati decided to take its students on a short excursion cum field visit to Shivaganga hills.
It was 7:15 am, by the time all the excited students, teachers and parents boarded and settled down in the bus. Our journey to the famous Shivaganga hills started at 7:30am. Shiva Ganga is a hill about 50 km from Bangalore. It’s a pretty tall hill with two temples, one close to the foot of the hill and another uphill! These two shrines are dedicated to Lord Gangeshwara and Goddess Honnadevi. The water here is considered as holy as river Ganga from Kashi. The hill top is about 1370 mts above sea level.
Bus reached the foot of the hill by 8:15am. On arriving, groups were assigned. Each teacher and an adult/parent were given the responsibility of four to five students. Specific instructions to be followed throughout the climb were given by Meena akka and Srinivasa anna. It was close to 8:30 by the time the actual ascend started. The children did not take more than an hour to reach ‘Olakalu theertha’. We had our breakfast/fruit break here. Though children were given an option to stop here if they wanted to, not a single child opted for it. They wanted more adventure!
Steps cut on the rock and steel railings along the path guided us to the top of the hill. Another 45 minutes risk-filled ascend brought us close to the ‘Shantala drop’. Not many people manage to endure the climb till this point. Except for one child who felt a little uneasy in between, all the other 45 children dared to climb to the top. The view and the cool breeze at the top was breath taking!
A small educative session was arranged at this point. It was started with the Purnapramati song. After that, Vikram anna gave a brief history behind ‘Bhageerathi jayanti’. The children were told that this was the day that Ganga, being pleased by Bhageeratha’s austerity descended to the Earth from Heaven. Bhageeratha, striving for the betterment of his ancestors, brought the Ganga to Earth. On the first day of this fortnight, Ganga flowed as a small stream and grew to a large river by the tenth day.
After this, Sri. Pradeep Simhachar taught the kids a shloka about Ganga. Rajendra anna with his ever enchanting voice sang Dr. Da.Ra. Bhendre’s famous number “ilidhu baa thaaye ilidhu baa”. Later, Srinidhi anna educated children about the journey of the two rivers Arkavathi and Kumudvati from its birth till it reaches river Kaveri. He also talked about the specialty about the rock at Shivaganga, as it absorbs rain water, rather than just letting it flow on it.
It was quarter to three when we had our lunch and started descending. Getting down the hill was also equally risky. On our way down, a visit was made to ‘Patala ganga’, a natural spring. By the time we reached the foot of the hill, everybody was thoroughly exhausted. Our journey back to Bangalore started by 5pm. Healthy sprout snacks with fruits were served in between to regain the lost energy. We reached Purnapramati at 6:15pm. Parents were eagerly waiting to receive their kids. Thus ended our memorable visit to Shivaganga.
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