Unfolding fascinating tales

Unfolding fascinating tales
Bangalore Hikers’ is a group with a difference. They make sure they don’t get compartmentalised into a single category.

These enthusiastic hikers not only go hiking to popular spots but match their hiking expeditions with an equal amount of other activities such as mountaineering, photography, biking and cycling. It would be a misnomer to call them only as ‘nature enthusiasts’ since the members are actively involved in several social events as well.

‘Bangalore Hikers’ is the brainchild of two avid trekkers — Deepika Muthusamy and Santosh Kumar Gupta. It was formed last year in January. Their entrepreneurial streak and the will to soak in the elements of nature, in all its pristine glory, set the ball rolling for company. Now, they have seven volunteers who plan ground-breaking itineraries and events for day trips, long holidays or weekend getaways just to get away from city life.

     Santosh says, “Through our group, we wish that people develop a strong connect to nature. We have strict policies and safety rules which we ensure people follow once they are on the trek. We have a committed set of volunteers who organise and plan well in advance for trips during weekends.”

“We mainly market ourselves through our website and mailing list, so that people get to know about our trips. The group is transparent in terms of cost which is shared among members and has a fund which takes care of emergency supplies and website maintenance,” he adds.

More than discovering new places, the group offers memorable experiences. They have traversed through interesting terrrains — from the powerful waterfalls of Dudhsagar, the rich tropical forests of Dandeli to the blue waters of Gokarna. Though, it is difficult for every volunteer to pick out their favourite trek, Dhananjay recalls that his best trip was to Nandi Hills.

He says, “I enjoy day trips because they include trekking and biking. These two activities are the best combination for fun and fitness.” Pavithra, an ardent sports enthusiast, says that she finds every trek simple yet rejuvenating. “It’s a perfect stress-buster. It’s not very challenging and I can balance both. It’s nice to come back to work after a weekend trek.”
 
Their collaboration with rural areas through their non-profit organisation is an important part of ‘Bangalore Hikers’. Amitesh, one of the volunteers, says, “We rarely mix club trekking and social activities. Our social events include one-day activities or long term activities for children such as education, sports and cultural activities in rural areas. We deliberately limit our members only to 15, so that the interaction among the group is larger. We also interact with the locals whenever we go out to get a feel of the local
culture.”

‘Bangalore Hikers’ also break the misconception that women find it hard to go on treks. Deepika says, “We try to have at least five women members on the trek, so that they don’t feel lonely. There were many a raised eyebrows when I told people that I am the co-founder of a trekking group but not anymore.”

Ramya, one of the volunteer, adds, “Women need to trek because it’s a good physical activity. In Dudhsagar, we had more women than men on our trip and it’s nice to know that more women have taken to trekking.” 

Mamta, another volunteer adds, “There are two trek leaders in every trip who help first-timers and professional trekkers. There is a flat hierarchy in the group, so that every member’s idea is incorporated.”  ‘Bangalore Hikers’ may go on different trips every weekend with different groups but the one common factor running through them all is that every group returns with fascinating stories.

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