Bhubaneswar: With every adventure of BCAC, we always try to blend some thematic flavor into the activities so as to make it memorable and inspiring. The target is always to inspire others to take up healthy and active lifestyle, enjoy as well as realize the importance of nature around. The Bike and Hike program by BCAC is one such moderate endurance activity that takes a person away from the busy crowd of the city into the beautiful nature of Barunei and also offers some quality time to spend with the family and friends in the BCAC family.
This , , joined together at the base of historic Barunei Hills (most of them on their bicycles) from the customary starting point of every Sunday Ride – The BCAC Clubhouse. As a family-friendly program, Parents guided their kids on their bicycles to ride from Bhubaneswar to the Barunei hills in Khurda passing by Khandagiri, Pitapalli and the historic Prananath College. Riders in their Neon-Green Jerseys were spreading the wave of greenery as they move in unison. A beautiful wintery morning with cold breeze and morning sun was welcoming the riders on their path all throughout. All riders were excited about the second part of this adventure, the hiking to the top of Barunei hills and explore the pre-historic cave and the Sita-Kund (a small water source) on the top of the mountain.
By 6:30AM all the riders with their bicycles started pedaling towards Barunei hills in Khurda. It was a scene worth reclaiming with the parents guiding their youngsters on the bicycles. As the peloton reached “Sri Durga – Patrapada” our member Tirumal Kumar has provisioned for a welcome break with Tea-Biscuit. Welcoming cold morning with a hot cup of tea was simply amazing. After a short break, the peloton moved forward to their destination of the day without further delay.
By 7:45AM when the riders started reaching the foothills of Barunei, the welcome arrangements were all set. The riders were offered Gluco and Bananas with a beautifully arranged area. Some of the participants joined here on their vehicles directly. After a brief meet-up and welcome, the riders were all set to hike to the top of Barunei on foot. The customary prayer to “ ” “ ” echoed in the air as the riders started their hiking to the top of Barunei.
The first 500 mtrs were simply treacherous as the gradient was almost 30 degrees inclined. We have to literally crawl to the top as we walked. This part of the trek was the most difficult, but not for the kids who joined this amazing adventure. They even tried to run this patch for a short distance before succumbing to the physical exhaustion. We were happy to see the well-maintained concrete patch which covers these 500 mtrs. As a picnic season, the inflow of visitors was also huge and we all started trekking altogether.
After the first 500 mtrs, it’s the end of concrete path, which leads us to the bushy and thorny path that leads to the cave. The path was so narrow that we have to literally clear the roads before moving ahead. As we crossed another 200 odd mtrs, the grasslands became visible on the top. The golden hue of the dry wild grasses with a clear blue sky provided a perfect frame for pictures. Passing through the grasslands and high-climbing rocks, all hikers reached the top. The sign of exhaustion was not visible among the excitement of climbing on the rocks. The view from the top was quite heart-warming as we see greenery around with the development of various institutions around this area. The top view of IIT-Bhubaneswar, and NISER were quite amazing from the top of Barunei hill.
As we reached Sita-Kund and the Cave, we took a small break for exploring the region. Kids were excited to see the cave which is believed to be extended to Lingaraj Temple as a hidden escape route (more research needed). The hikers took a lot of snaps before descending back to the base. It took almost 2 hours to climb-up and come-down after enjoying the hiking. We definitely missed the wild-flowers which bloom in the monsoon throughout the mountain.
As we reached the base, hot and delicious breakfast was waiting to the served. The participants enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast with Idli, Vada, Chops, Puri, Upma, Boiled Eggs and Rasagola. The participants were awarded their hiking badges (customized with their names). After spending some beautiful time, the participants returned back to Bhubaneswar, with a beautiful memory of hiking and biking to this historic place.
Kids including Ram (Achintya), Gudly (Kalyani), Om, Nikita, Aryaditya, Ayush, Guddu, Chitraksh along with our NRI member Dhirendra were special in this adventure. We couldn’t end our adventure without mentioning the brave ladies of BCAC family, who graced this occasion for this amazing adventure and hiked the Barunei with us.
The Barunei temple is located on the foot hill of the Barunei hill. The deities of the Barunei Temple are Goddess Barunei and Karunei. Legend has it that had established the temple on the hill for the goddess. The two idols are made of Black granite stone (Kalamuguni Pathar) and are seen wearing battle dresses. There is a story behind this. The hill is associated with the rich history of the freedom struggle of the state and especially Khurda, which had the rare distinction of being the last independent fort in India. The fort remained the major fort in the area from 1568AD to 1803AD. The British were not able to take the total control of the fort till 1817. During battle against the British, the local kings used to address their soldiers from top of laterite platforms. Khurda was famous for its warrior community or ‘Paikas”. . In the year 2017, Government Odisha celebrated 200 years this struggle in a grand way.