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Little-known Mincheri beckons trekkers

M. Ahiraj
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They made it:A team of trekkers among the ruins of the Collector's bungalow in Mincheri, Bellary district.
They made it:A team of trekkers among the ruins of the Collector's bungalow in Mincheri, Bellary district.

A hill in Mincheri village, around 25 km from Bellary city, is one of the lesser known trekkers' routes.

As a historical perspective, the British used it as a hill station during the summer. T.L. Strange, who was the Collector of Bellary under the Madras Presidency (1845-1851), constructed a bungalow on Mincheri hill and lived there. With no roads to access the hill station, the British used horses instead. The other collectors who succeeded him, including Peter Bruce, spend a lot of time there. According to the British Gazetteer, the collectors, who also discharged the duties of district judge then, used to come down to Bellary from the bungalow on top of the hill, when their Shirastedar signalled (by hoisting a flag on top of the court house) that cases were awaiting trial.

There are three buildings — the Collector's bungalow and two others believed to be servants' quarters — all in a dilapidated condition. The bungalow, with vast rooms and good ventilation, also has a fireplace in the hall.

What we see now is graffiti over its walls, roof debris and ditches in almost all the rooms (suspected to be the handiwork of treasure hunters).

Recently, a group of trekkers from the Mallasajjana Vyayamashala in the city, reached the area and were awestruck by the panoramic view of the valley.

“Apart from Mincheri, there are a few other spots where trekking and rock climbing can be done, including from Narihalla Dam to Bhairav Teertha, Ramgadh; and Yeshwant Nagar forest guesthouse to the ancient Kumaraswamy temple in Sandur taluk in Bellary district,” said M.A. .Shakeeb of the district unit of the National Organisation for Promotion of Adventure Sports and Nature (NOPASANA).

“Not many know about the district's tourist potential for nature lovers and adventure-sports lovers. NOPASANA can provide logistics and guidance to those willing to trek here,” he said.

T.G. Vittal of Mallasajjana Vyayamashala said, “On behalf of the vyayamashala, I would request the Deputy Commissioner to develop Mincheri and other areas in the district.”

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