Trek to MadhuGiri

Trek to MadhuGiri

Though this space is initially meant to post only techie stuff, I occasionally  post some travelogues – just in case it benefits someone!

I’ve been longing to go for a good trek for some time now and last Sunday turned out to be a perfect one filled with ride and treck!

Girish, with his roommate Kitchu, came up with an idea last weekend to go off bangalore and visit Madhugiri. I was happy to join when he called up and explained though I had no idea about the place, I just wanted to stay away from busy Bangalore at least on weekends. Ever since my roommate Siju shifted his company from a 24/7  to mon-friday regular routine, he too desperately wanted to utilize his weekend fully. So finally on the day before, we decided to make it and were all set for the next day! It’s become a habit ( rather – bad habit ) to stay awake till late night for me and couple of my other roommates and that day was no different. I was wondering how the next day would be when I kept the alarm and went to bed at 2:30!

Nevertheless, we managed to wake up at like 6 and left room in half an hour. After having a tea, we four started the journey from BTM layout.  Soon, through some service roads we joined the nice road which was stretched straight with many lanes. 40 Rs toll wasn’t a big deal considering the quality of road and the comfort. McLaren’s Mercedes Road Show recently happened in this road. No wonder – where else can it possibly work in busy Bangalore?

We joined Tumkur road in around 30 minutes which again gave a good riding experience. The NH gave enough space for 3-4 treks to go in parallel! You can easily speed over 100 km/hr in that open road. From under a fly over, we took a diversion and joined Madhugiri Road. The road wasn’t bad till some 15 kms, but the last 30 km was a painful ride.

A few steps up from the ground

A few steps up from the ground

By around 10:30-11:00, we made it to the bottom of the hill and started climbing up. The place wasn’t crowded at all, but there were some people around who looked more like local residents. My friends who’d been there before had injected some fear explaining the complexities to make it to the top and climbing down, so was pretty much looking forward for ‘complex surprises’ in each stage. The first layer was quite easy and had proper steps to walk up.Though its called Madhugiri fort, you dont have much historical stuff to see around. Many of the remainings were kind of reconstructed which has taken away the originality and historic feel of the place.

Once I was back after the trip, I googled around to figure out the history of the fort. It appears the origin of the fort dates back to the Ganga period. While the construction was in progress  it was conquered by the Nolamba dynasty which was later taken over by  Vijaynagar empire  Raja Heera Gowda who almost completed its constuction. After the fall of the Vijaynagar empire in 1565, the fort was under sieze by various feudatories providing protection for the few surviving nobles and royalties from the massacre unleashed by the sultans.

In 1678, the Fort was captured by Devaraja of Dalavoy dynasty, who were the commanders under Wodeyar’s and later turned out to be rulers. Hyder Ali annexed the fort after defeating the dalavoys in 1761. Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan were engrossed in waging war ( 4 Anglo mysore battles ) with the British and had very little time to complete the Fortification with Islamic structures.

We continued walking up through the way  shown by a few workers who were doing some reconstruction on the top. We passed by a watch tower and a reservoir  structure soon afterwhich we could see the stale rock which needs to be climbed up. Fortunately ( “unfortunately”, says Girish who’d been there last year :) ), there were rails made of steel/iron to give you a support in the steep rock as well as steps carved in the bare rock. When I say steps, it isn’t a properly made one, but definitely gives you a better grip.  In no time we reached the next layer’s doorway

A Watchtower

A Watchtower

After taking a small break, we headed to the the next layer of rock with the support of rails which again was considerably easy except for the fact that the sun above was just sucking out all the moisture. The pic below would explain the path which do not have  anything in particular to see but just rocks! Soon, we reached another entrance which welcomed us with a shelter made of stone – the typical one which you see in Hampi or any historical place around Karnataka. Unfortunately the walls and stones were all messed up with chalks and paints by visitors who wanted to leave a proof that they were there. They included self promoters of their name or guys who were trying to prove how much he loved ‘x’ in some wicked font which I never saw in ms-word!

madhugiri_25

climb maka climb!

After having some photo sessions, we continued though a route which was once difficult to climb as per Girish’s view.  Seems, there wasn’t any support during his last visit and walking horizontally in slanting rock at a considerable height was  scary. Anyways the rail support gave us enough confidence to easily move forward. We gave way to a couples  who were descending while a few teenagers who looked more like local residents were seen ascending with ease behind us.  By the time we reached the next doorway, body had started becoming weak .Probably it was expecting me to be sitting  in front of laptop that day too.

madhugiri_17

Remaining of an old structure

My woodlands was giving up often and so dint want to take more risk. Leaving behind the shoes under a rock ( which probably was a bad idea ), we continued ascending the next layer which dint have any more rail support ! The wind was blowing so heavily up there which can even take away your balance.  Soon, we realized that it wasn’t the end and we still have a layer more to go up! I decided  stay back a few feet below the top and took pics around while others climbed up to see the top view.

Yey its me on the top :) - From Girish's cam

Yey its me on the top :) - From Girish's cam

By the time we only had empty bislery bottles, but the cold wind was good enough to give enough relief from thirst.

madhugiri_32

A panoramic view from the top

Climbing down was relatively easy, but you really need to be careful with every step.  Soon by 2:30, we reached the bottom of the hill and started  looking out for something to fill stomach!  Madhugiri is a small village and you cant expect some big hotels over there. So we had  some snacks and water from a shop down and started riding back to Bangalore looking forward to finding some good hotel. The Food from a dhabha in the highway was decent and pretty heavy which gave enough energy for rest of the day. Soon by around 7:00 we reached the room though had some bad time with traffic in the city. With the satisfaction of making it as per the plan, I was googling around that night to prepare a list of places which I need to visit coming year before going to a sound-sound sleep :)

Enabling/Disabling Directory listing in Apache

Enabling/Disabling Directory listing in Apache

Locate your apache configuration file – httpd.conf and edit it using vi editor, normally in the location /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

To turn on automatic directory indexing, find the Options directive that applies to the directory and add the Indexes keyword. For example:

<Directory /path/to/directory>
Options +Indexes
</Directory>

To turn off automatic directory indexing, remove the Indexes keyword from the appropriate Options line. To turn off directory listing for a particular subdirectory, you can use Options -Indexes. For example:

<Directory /path/to/directory>
Options -Indexes
</Directory>

I had a situation where none of the Options combinations worked.  Then only I noticed that the mod_autoindex was not loaded and the module as suh is not compiled with apache. I had to compile and enable the module to get directory listing working. The steps for compilation are given below.

1. Download the apache source tarball from apache download site

2. Untar the tarball and locate the mod_autoindex.c file in the directory `generators`

3.Switch to the directory `generators` and compile the .c file as shown below using apxs

[root@localhost autoindex]# /opt/apache2.0.55/bin/apxs -c mod_autoindex.c
/opt/apache2.0.55/build/libtool –silent –mode=compile gcc -prefer-pic  -DAP_HAVE_DESIGNATED_INITIALIZER -DLINUX=2 -D_REENTRANT -D_GNU_SOURCE -g -O2 -pthread -I/opt/apache2.0.55/include  -I/opt/apache2.0.55/include   -I/opt/apache2.0.55/include   -c -o mod_autoindex.lo mod_autoindex.c && touch mod_autoindex.slo
/opt/apache2.0.55/build/libtool –silent –mode=link gcc -o mod_autoindex.la  -rpath /opt/apache2.0.55/modules -module -avoid-version    mod_autoindex.lo

4. Once compiled, you can find the mod_autoindex.so file generated in the following location

[root@localhost autoindex]# ls -la .libs/mod_autoindex.so
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 90078 Oct  4 18:16 .libs/mod_autoindex.so

5.Copy the .so file to modules directory

[root@localhost autoindex]# cp .libs/mod_autoindex.so /opt/apache2.0.55/modules/

6. Add the following line to apache configuration file

LoadModule autoindex_module modules/mod_autoindex.so

7. Do a apacheconfigtest and restart apache

[root@localhost autoindex]# /opt/apache2.0.55/bin/apachectl configtest
Syntax OK

[root@localhost autoindex]# /opt/apache2.0.55/bin/apachectl restart

Recheck now if the URL is listing directories!

orkut birthday alerts

orkut birthday alerts

It is always a troublesome job to remember the birth day of your pals and family and wish them on time. At least, for me, it was. google calendar is what I use for keeping track of events and get alerts on my cell phone so that I wont miss any.  I have always searched to find a way I can get alerts of birthdays to cell phone by integrating orkut birthdays with g-calendar, followed up the same request with google communities, but never found a way to get this done.

Finally google has come up with a solution to this, you can see a link

view your friends’ birthdays in Google Calendar”

Just below the ‘upcoming birthday’ section in your prifile page. This takes you to the google calender and it’ll have all the orkut birthdays marked in the calender. Now the most important part – getting alerts of google calander events in your cell phone. go to http://www.google.com/calendar >> login using your gmail username/password >> go to settings >> mobile setups. Start by selecting your country and then enter your phone number and carrier. A verification code would be sent to your mobile prior to activating this facility. Finally enter the verification code sent to your phone. They says there can be charges for incoming message ( google doesnt charge you for this service), but I’ve been using this without spending a single buck over a vodafone India connection. Cheers.

Edit: Looks like this is no more a service provided by google, but hopefully will resume someday