Beating the Gold Brush (Trek to Kodachadri)

Team:          Raghavendra pai, Shridhar , Shankar, Goutham,Deepthi, Namitha,Kailash, Sandeep, Anoop, Naveen, Myself
Place           Kodachadri Belt
Date             28-31 Dec 07
Distance     Approx 300 Km

The Team 11
Western Ghats  is the place that I consider the most beautiful place on this planet Earth, I know the existence of other beautiful places, but still I blindly accept this as the best  for me, very much similar to the way we accept our life mates as the best person for us in the world very much knowing the existence of better people in the world :). This statement is definitely not an invitation for a debate. This writing is about one of the finest peak in the Sahyadri belt, Kodachadri, the highest peak in Shimoga district  which we trekked.

After Sakleshpur trek everyone wanted to trek KP. The plan was to trek KP in October which got postponed due to rains. After a series of negotiations with the team mates, it was decided to trek KP in last week of December. Suddenly Goutham alias Gunda came out with the plan to trek Kodachadri peak which was close to his house, instantly everyone agreed for the trek and the trek got scheduled on 29th and 30th of December. After a series of yes and no's the list came to 11.


Goutham, Sridhar, Kailash, Deepthi and Sandeep were the new members to our trekking crew and one among them being the organizer :) Train tickets were booked to Shimoga. It was decided that we would be leaving Bangalore on 28th night and come back on 31st early morning. As per the plan we started off on 28th night. The seating’s were distributed and the whole troop had to get split into two groups. Myself, Anoop, Kailash, Raghu, Deepthi, Namitha in one place and Sandeep, Naveen, Gunda, Shankar, Sridhar in another place. Unfortunately the place I slept was very close to the toilet, adding to this there was a bright bulb burning on my head, throughout the night. All praise to Kailash, Deepthi and Namitha who had sound sleep even in this ambience. Around  5 in the morning we reached Shimoga . It was now time to hit the bus stop ,after a series of talks with auto drivers of Shimoga we successfully convinced the auto drivers to drop us to the bus stop for Rs 25/per auto.

 Raghu busy messaging in Bus

Later we were greeted by the trade mark short buses of Shimoga. The Bus to Hosanagara was ready and we got into it. The bus took nearly 2 hrs to reach Hosanagara. There were stops at every corner and it is quite understandable that the numbers of buses that fly in these routes are less. The route to Hosanagara from Shimoga goes between a forest. The forest resembles Nagarhole Wild Life Sanctuary with lots of Bamboo shoots beside the road.

Gunda's home in Hosanagara

Around 9 in the morning we reached Hosanagara, Gunda took us to his home. It was so nice to see the joint family living with such a good harmony which we rarely see in cities. We refreshed ourselves and had a good breakfast. Gunda then took us to his estate where they were growing Cardamom, Vanilla and Coconut. Instantly we christened him as "Chikka Soukarru" looking at the vastness of the estate. Sharavathi back water was just beside his estate and this reminds us the Kabini. Namitha and Anoop got themselves engaged capturing the moments of the workers in the estate. After drinking tender coconut water in the estate it was time to get back to the bus stop to catch the bus to Kollur.

Gunda's estate

Around 12 we were seated in the bus to Kollur. The Sun Shine was at its peak and we could feel the heat when we were in the bus. Around 2 we got down near Karegatta where we have to take a left to climb Kodachadri.

The starting point of Trek at Karegatta

The trek started of with a team snap. Te entire crew got divided into smaller ones and started to walk. The initial walk was on a mud road and was quite steep. Within no time, we could hear the pulse beat and started to breathe from mouth. Remember, it’s not advised to breathe from mouth when we go tired. It will not supply adequate oxygen required for the body. I spotted one snake on the way and it escaped within no time before getting its snap. Finally we hit the Kakka's hotel, the official entry to Kodachadri trek. We stopped here to have our lunch.Every one had stomach full of lunch hoping it would aid us to climb the peak. Shankar spotted one unique tree in the jungle beside the hotel and asked us to look at it. Myself  and Raghu went there and took some snaps of that tree which had a very peculiar base.

The daunting task from far

After the lunch we started to walk. The first sight of the Kodachadri looked very daunting and it never looked like a one which we would be able to climb. This was the famous jungle route to climb the peak. The climb is 8 Km up. This route is not advisable to everyone as it is quite steep and tough to scale if we are not physically fit. People can take the jeep route to trek this peak which is comparatively easy. The climb started and it started to get tough for each step we move ahead. We were continuously motivated by our Captain Sridhar to walk. This reminds us of the movie Lakshya.This portion of walk was within a forest. We were saved from the scorching heat.On the way we spotted one more snake. Looked like a snake that belongs to Viper family. Anoop came forward to catch the snake and he suitably got the dues from the seniors.He was advised not to do these stuffs.

The snake that seduced Anoop

Gunda didn’t show any sign of tiredness and continued to walk. The first wicket fell, Naveen was down with a cramp. At this point we stopped ourselves. He was given the initial first aid to recover from cramp. Every time Naveen sat, it gave us a genuine reason to rest along with him. This helped us a lot without scarifying much on our egos. It’s tough to admit your tired in front of many people when you are an experienced trekker. The climb continued and finally after a series of walk and rest we came out of the forest cover to hit the grassland. This one was spectacular. the evening Sun rays on semi dried grass made the entire hill look as if it was painted in gold. The Sun had started to go back to home to take rest. We had to hurry ourselves , else we might miss the Sun Set.

Anoop and Naveen in action during Sunset

Finally we decided to witness the sun set at this point . After watching the Sunset we started to walk towards guest house which was still far from our view. We entered forest at this point and it was already dark. It was fun  walking in forest in dark. Captain Sridhar kept on motivating us to walk. Our photographer Namitha was still busy taking the snaps, recently she had received few tips from  one of our friend who is a professional photographer which she wanted to experiment in this trip.

Photographer Namitha in action

The steep climb continued but the tiredness wasn't there when it was dark, it was comparatively easy to walk in dark and finally around 7 we hit the summit, we reached the Kodachadri guest house. There was a sense of achievement in everyone's face. The task that looked so daunting 5 hrs back was now conquered.

Sandeep and other crew while trekking on grassland

Now we headed towards Bahttara mane.Bhattara Mane had a big compound and a cemented floor. We all settled down there. There was no much light available in this place. Gunda started to arrange for dinner and stay in that place. In the mean time, a small kid from Bahttara mane came out. He looked very mischievous. Namitha introduced this guy to Raghu and asked him to call Raghu as mama; Raghu had to pay price for it. The guy rolled over Raghu, pulled his hair, face and gave a tough time to Raghu. He started to throw bottles on us , Shankar was very much watchful about this guy as he anticipated danger from this guy at any point.

Raghu in WWF mood

Kailash Sandeep were busy taking snaps at this point and Kailash was very open in telling that the trek was easy for him, this started a debate and he had to take back his words. It was time to call up the parents and inform that we had reached the place. Raghu’s airtel connection sensed signals and we made our calls to our home's and few to their beloved ones.I hope I need not give any further explanations.

Yo mate Kailash relaxing at  Bhattara Mane

We started to smell food from Bahttara mane, every one were very hungry at this point. We refreshed ourselves and had dinner. The food was very tasty. Kailash and Gunda as usual did a very good batting even on this track. After the dinner myself and Shankar decided to walk further up in torch light. We were accompanied by Naveen this time and we started to walk towards Sunrise point. After 10 minutes of climb we decided to get back considering the life of torch battery. We came back to Bahttara Mane. Before we could rest another crew which had come started to sing , few of us like and few didn’t as it kept disturbing us a lot. Finally the beds were ready, after finishing up the final duties of the day, we hit the bed. In No time Naveen was in sleep. Anoop was inside a sleeping bag. There was a night mare waiting to all the people sleeping around Kailash. He started to Snore. I always feel that there are only few fortunate people on earth who get sleep instantly when they go to bed and I wish I am one among them.

Sridhar and Shankar in relaxation after a tedious trek

The Alarm rang at 5 in the morning, instantly Shankar and Raghu got up. We refreshed ourselves and got others ready. We left Bahttara mane at 5:40 to witness the Sunrise. This walk was little dangerous. There was a deep trench beside the path on which we walked. We waited for an hour to watch the sun rise and finally we captured. the early day birds sound, the blowing wind, blue skies and the cool weather made life look so beautiful. Now we started to move towards Sarwagna peeta. On the way we had butter milk which tasted so good in early morning. At this point we took snaps on the highest point, I was asked to do a biceps posing, unfortunately in the snaps the biceps never looked like a body builder's one :( so I am not uploading it :(.

Captain Sridhar on top of Kodachadri

Gunda suggested us to trek to Chitra Moola that was below Sarwagna Peeta. We started to move towards that place. It was a very steep walk. Kailash, Naveen, Anoop backed off and the remaining continued walking. We are very much doubtful of walking back this place. After offering our prayers in Chitra Moola, we headed back towards Sarwagna Peeta.

Gunda at Chitra Moola

Now we started to walk towards Ganeshaguhe, the priest offered us a lunch hand band. By the time I finished my enquiries about wildlife in this place, others had left the place and they had started to walk towards Bahttara Mane. This was a different route. Myself , Kailash and Sandeep lost the way this time. The best part of the trip was waiting for us. We started to see our troop at the foothill and we had to climb down. there was no path for human walk at this place. So we had to be too junglee at this place. We started to skid over a thin stream of water. Kailash slipped , I don’t know how much he cursed me at this point :). Finally we joined our troop and followed a pipe line which the priest at Ganeshaguhe had asked us to do to

Path Finder stream which showed me, Kaiash and Sandeep the way to get back to the correct route

We had our break fast and we were informed that we would not be able to take bath at this place. Now we started to trek to Hidlumane falls. We started to walk on jeep route. At the 10th mile stone, we took a left. We had to climb 3 small peaks to reach the water fall. The walk was very strenuous, Sandeep started to slip a lot. Raghu advised us to walk like our Rebel star to avoid the pain in our thumbs.

Deepthi, relaxing act while walking

Since the waterfall has dried up, the route was decieveing.At one corner we hear the sound of water fall and within no time, the sound used to cease. With a sense of uncertainty we started to walk down. The place started to get more scary and the chances of us finding the waterfall looked very bleak.We were not in a position to back track our path, we started to move and finally landed in the valley. Every one sat here. This moment reminds me the night mare I had in the valleys of Sakleshpur a year back where our college troop was almost lost.

Shankar in the valley where we lost

The water in our water bottles had become very less, our immediate task was to find a water source. There were no signs of Human habitation. At this point it looked a bit scary. Anoop and Gunda walked down the valley and found out the Hidlumane .There was so much relief after hearing this. We walked towards Hidlumane, We enquired the locals and they told that we had come in the correct way and the falls was very close from this place.

The sweet people oh Hidlumane

After drinking water we started to move towards the falls. This falls was very peculiar, the water flows is in four steps. We had to reach the first step. Our journey climbing the hills didn’t stop, we started to climb up , This time it was tough climbing up. We had to hold the roots and walk. In the mean time Anoop was strangled in bushes for following a wrong path. I climbed up and got him down, it was quite adventurous. I have a fear for heights and I know the best way to kill was to fight against this. I climbed up with ample support risking myself and Anoop to bring him down. God’s grace everything was fine. Now we hit the falls and started to play. After playing there for couple of hours we started to get back. The boots we were wearing had got wet and was slipping. Raghu had a nasty fall. I decided walking on bare foot to avoid it. Within no time we were back in Hidlumane. Our drivers were waiting for us . In the mean time we dried up our wet clothes and had ate few eatables which we had carried.

The famous Hidlumane falls in winter

Once again our photographer Namitha got engaged in taking our final snaps. Our vehicle came and we started to move towards Hosanagara. As soon as we reached Nagara, the phones started to ring.Deepthi left to Mangalore from Nagara.  After a series of adventure and fun , there was nothing much left for God to bless us.  We packed our bags, had a decent dinner and started to move towards Shimoga. The hospitality shown by Gunda's family is a memorable one.The people of Hidlumane so sweet, so much to learn from these people. On the way to Shimoga I and Kailash started to speak about Ghost stories to capture everyones attention and I hope we did it. Anoop and Namitha left to Mysore in a KSRTC bus and remaining towards Bangalore in train. This time everyone were very tired,  nothing could stop us from sleeping, the mighty snores of Kailash nor the sweet smell of Railway toilets. At 5 we reached Bangalore and headed towards our home thinking about office work

The trek is probably the biggest I have done. Every time you travel you learn, you read people and understand life better. You stay in the state of being happy, free from all worries." Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so ", so rightly said? What you say?



Nandish  :)


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A date with a Man eater (BR Hills)

Team          :  Manu, Syed, Anil, Arpan, Vishwanath, Krishna, Myself
 Date           :  Feb 9,10,11 2007
 Place         : BiligiriRangannaBetta (BR Hills)
 Distance   : 200 Kms

On the hill top of BR Hills
Over the huge white rock connecting the majestic Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats there lies a  place , the cosmopolitan dense forest which shelters many animals and birds called the Bili-Giri-Rangana-Betta.This writing is one hell of an experience we had in this place.

A trip on bike was one experience which we always wanted to experience. After a gap of 9 month, me and my college mates decided to go to BR Sanctuary on bike. When the idea was proposed, not everyone were fine with it, After a series of negotiations and promises everyone were convinced.

Finally 3 Pulsars and 1 Yamaha RX 135 bike was ready to hit the jungle.  Syed being the most daring driver in our troop was exempted from driving the bike as we all were aware of possible dangers if he drives on highway :). On 9th Feb 6:00 we left Bangalore. It was a cool ride till Maddur on the new Bangalore Mysore highway, then we had to take a diversion to Malavalli to lodge that night and attend the annual fest of this place (Siddi Habba)  which is quiet famous in this belt. After we had a good dinner in Anil's residence(native from Malavalli) we headed towards the New Ganesh lodge to sleep that night. Although liquors were packed, no one had the mood to drink that night.
On 10 morning 4:30 we left Malavalli towards Kollegala,it was at prime winter. Hands got cemented to bike handles because of the cold, roads were in a very bad shape and it was still dark. Around 6:30 we were nearing Kollegala and we started to see things around us. We still could not find any good hotels at this time, we headed towards Yellandur were we had a good breakfast. After Yellandur we had to take a diversion to BR hills. It was dry path and we started to wonder, how can an evergreen forest exist in this place. Finally we hit the forest check post and we were given some instructions. Then we started to get inside the forest. On the way we were able to spot  only spot peacocks and deers.Myself, Manu, Arpan, Vishwa and Syed parked the bikes beside the road and got inside the forest in search of Elephnats. We were successful this time..... Successful in only finding their dungs in large chunks :).

We then reached the hill top and offered our prayers. The next question was about lodging. Since we assumed that we would get lodge in Inspection Bunglow, but it was already booked and it was on week end and we couldn't get it. After a series on enquiries we got one super flat were we took rest for a while before heading towards one wonderful place on earth. Our guide was the superman "Naga" who was a tribe from nearby forest. He guided us very well. Initially showed us the Sudarshan's project to improve the economic and social status of native "Soliga"  tribes. Then we started towards "K-Gudi" (Kyaatharayana Gudi). The transition of dry forest into evergreen forest was super. My heart started to beat more looking at the dense forest. Krishna and Anil who were on same bike returned back that as they thought that they would end up meeting an Elephant while returning , which was very correct. We couldn’t force them much and the remaining 3 pulsars headed towards K-Gudi. The route was deadly, any first comer would definitely get scared looking at the forest. Arpan's bike which was in front suddenly stopped where Naga yelled  that the tiger was drinking water in the stream beside the road. Manu and Naga saw the tiger and we couldnt  see in that excited period. Everyone’s bike stopped. Naga and Syed went inside to capture its photo, which was a foolish act . I tried stopping them getting into the stream, but no one considered my words and even I  was tempted to get inside and look at the monster. By the time we got into the stream, the tiger ran up the fill covered by thorny bushes :(

Then we headed towards getting the photo of the tiger footstep , which we were successful in doing. Suddenly the shrubs started to shake and the tiger ran down the hill and in no time we were back on road sitting on our bikes.Many of us injured ourselevs while running back to road.The forest is majorly occupied with Lantana hybrida plants.  At this point I could hear my heart beat and just could not digest the situation. People who read this, please never make any foolish attempt to get close to a wild animal. They are dangerous at any time. Remember "The line between bravery and foolish act is very thin". This was definitely a lesson learnt by all of us, it could have been fatal if the tiger had a bad morning with its wife :)

After this excited moment we started to drive the bike and the fear of tiger chasing was always in my mind. I kept looking at my side mirror a lot which we don't do when riding the bike in Bangalore. Even my pillion rider Vishwanath was quite moved with the incident. Within no time we hit K-Gudi and it was time for Safari. Naga took the jeep to show us the forest. It was a normal safari nothing prominent except the "Moor addi rasthe" which lead to a pond were we spotted wild buffaloes. The width of this road is just 3 feet and riding on this road is at individual risk. Then we headed back to K-Gudi and it was already dark. We had to get back to  BR Hills were we had lodged. We made a brave move to drive back on this way in dark. The probability of us hitting a wild animal was high. We started to drive back even after getting warnings from forest department. We drove back with a fear that elephants may block the road at any point. Remember the brief distinction between BR Hills and other natural park is that, the roads in Bandipur and Nagarhole is on a flat ground , but it is Ghat section in BR Hills covered by thorny bushes. Only pachyderms would be able to walk in this forest. Some how we managed getting back to the lodge where we spent the entire night relishing the memories of our ride .

The next day Manu, Arpan , Syed went back to K-Gudi to drop Naga early  morning .They spotted few animals .Once they came back we had our breakfast in "Hotel RangaNayaki", the dosa's made in this place was so tasty and it just costed 2 Rs /dosa.In the mean time I washed my bike which was very dirty after the ride. By the time I finished cleaning my bike, our troop emptied the hotel and the bill came up to only 65 Rs. Superb bill :) It was time to get back .....Then we drove back to  K-Gudi where we once again stepped into the stream were we spotted tiger the previous day. This time we were unlucky to get any animal but through out the journey we kept on misleading other travelers that we spotted an elephant just now which used to bring in panic in them. This was definitely disgusting for few but we enjoyed it thoroughly. We halted in K-Gudi for couple of hours. We felt bad for the injured Kanthi elephant. Then we had a elephant ride. Riding on elephant  head without mahout was just cool. We consider ourselves very lucky to get this one.Naga showed us the blood strains of a deer which was attacked near the Jungle Lodges by a tiger the previous night. Definitely scary.

Then we rode back to Malavalli via Chamrajnagar . We reached Malavalli around 4:30 in evening where we had a good lunch in Anil's house. At 6:00 we left for Bangalore. Around 9:30 we reached Bangalore

The entire trip was so adventurous that this will go along with us until we live. May be we were lucky this time that we weren't hurt by any animals even after our foolish acts. "Everyday is not Sunday" may be some day I am sure that we will face a wild animal and run for life if these foolish games we played in this trip does not stop.

Nandish :)

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Kemmanagundiya Pravasa(A Trip to Kemmanagundi)

Place         Kemmanagundi and Mullyanagiri
Date           5 and 6 Oct 07
Distance   8 Kms
Team         Srikar, Smitha, Gururaj, Gowri Gururaj,Karthik, Manasa Karthik, Vaishali, Shreyas, Sonalika, Maoromi, Vibha,Ashwini, Gaurav, Rishi, Saurav, Vijay, Vineeth &  Nandish

The Team

        Projects creeping in, possibility of night outs and slogging looking bright. This was an ideal time to take a break from office and hit the jungles . Since this was a new team for me to trek, the taste of each individual was not known. Few had inclinations towards going out for a pleasure trip and few wanted to hit their foot on hills and rocks and trek the place.After I  christened myself as "Son of jungle" , I pushed for a trek. After much of R&D about the venue, trekking to Hebbe falls was decided which is a moderate trek, which  even a debutant  can do it with ease.
         After a lot of yes and no from many people, the list came to 19. It was decided that we would be leaving THBS  office at 10:30 PM on 4th Oct. As usual we had to comply to our IST(Indian Strechable time) and start at around midnight adding to this, even I had to attend my friend Sujay's bachelor party. The bus started to take the Tumkur route instead of Hassan route to reach Kemmanagundi. The roads were in a pathetic state, blame it on the government or on the rough weather we had this year. Finally we reached Kemmanagundi at morning 5. There was no power at this place at that time. We had to walk in the dark searching for the office to book a room. Thanks to Nokia 1100..the materpiece from Nokia. The torch light of this mobile phone was good enough to search the office.
        The Sun started to come out, the land scapes and hills started to get visible. I had been to this place couple of times but during summer. but this time looking at this place early in the morning after a healthy monsoon was just spectacular.

Early morning in Kemmanagundi
After witnessing this beautiful sunrise, then it was a series of photo session that happened as usual. In the mean time Gururaj had to do a lot of circus to get a room booked.It was really tough to get a room at this season. Thanks to Guru for getting us a room, otherwise it would have been a problem for every one to get ready for the trek. In the mean time, a guide was hired to guide us for the trek.After having a good breakfast and getting some food packed for lunch, we started to trek.

The entry point to the trek, istn't it beautiful?
        The trek started , the entire troop got split  into smaller ones. Since Shreyas and Karthik had trekked this place before, they lead their teams towards the falls.The place was very picturesque . It looked as if some one had painted the place in his leisure time.The entire walk till a point was amidst  coffee estates. One moment  that I would like to write is about the first view of Hebbe falls. Walk, walk for few Kms, even without getting the trace of the falls, and at one corner in your walk you see a "super masterpiece of God  at a very far distance crafted to perfection hidden amidst a thick green blanket and gushing white water on it". Words just cant explain the beauty and ofcourse am not a  descendant of Wordsworh.

The majestic Hebbe Falls
         After witnessing this view, there were two ways to reach the falls, one was to get down the steep hill which was pretty closer as told by our guide and the other was to walk in the jeep route. Few people decided to get down the  steep slope and few on the road.Unfortunately  both the troop met at a common point at the same time, our purpose of getting a guide was total waste this time.I think we don't need any guide to trek to this place.The route is evident and it can be done in ease.

The steep down walk amidst the woods
       After this we get insie the estates enroute to falls. The estate is in the foothills. Covered by  thick forest and the waterfall nearby.We had to cross 3 beautiful streams before we get into the falls. When you walk into these places you get into a dreamy  mood , things around you look so beautiful which we aren't used while staying in cities.Finally we hit the falls and it was quite slippery at this place.The waterfall was neat and people had kept it neatly. Finally as usual we jumped into the water and enjoyed the adreline rush of water.

Falls at closeUp
      Spending a good amount of time, it was time to get back to the guest house.It was already 4 and we had to come back to the estate to break for lunch. Lunch was served, we had packed lemon rice which we fondly call "Chitranna". Then we booked two jeeps to take us to Kemmanagundi. The jeeps used are the Mahindra commander made in 1970. No other vehicles can run on this road.Its worth once going i to this place in these desi hummers.The jeep finally left at one place where our bus was waiting. The place started to receive fog and sunset was nearing.The entire team was on hill taking snaps of this place.Even this point was so beautiful that I cant write anything about it, if I do so, the entire write up would be more like a flattery rather than a write up. But it was beautiful, I mean what I say!

One beautiful evening on the slopes of Kemmanagundi
        The we decided to get back to Chikmagalur to stay that night as it was told that this place(Kemmanagundi) will not have power after 11 PM.  The trek was beautiful adding to it few elements of it makes it special, that remains along with us for a long long time.

The beautiful Mullyanagiri

Sakaleshpur-Part 2

Place         Green Route(Donigal-Yedakumari)
Date           5 May 2007
Distance   17+4 Kms
Team         Raghavandra Pai, Gowri Pai,Shankar BS,Namitha, Sujay, Krishna, Naveen, Nandish(Myself)

    Its usual that sequels are doing very well with cinemas but with the treks they seem to do even better .Sakaleshpur never short of adventure as misfortunes still seems to haunt us when we visit this place, but the misfortunes are the blessings in disguise that let us see the rain forest in dawn and in showers.
    After the Mullyangiri trek it was decided that our next trek would be on the famous Green Route which I had already seen.But there are some places worth watching many times and this is one among them.The plan was set and was delayed coz of the non availability of key trekkers in our team.So finally we set to leave on 4th May, exactly a year after the previous trek on this route.By 2 AM on 5th we were in Hassan and we lodged there.It was decided that we would leave Hassan by 5 and reach Donigal around 6 IST to start the trek.But some  how it was delayed(IST still stands for Indian Strechable time and never Indian Standard time) and we started the trek around 8:30.On the way to Donigal we spotted few boards around Sakaleshpur stating that the best coffee bean is grown in this place.Definitely a proud thing.

The Team   
    05-05-07 8:30 the trek starts with a photo of the team.The walking started , some started to walk on the rails trying to balance, few on the side paths and few on the stones put to support the rails.As usual I started to get the complains that they are walking with the heads looking down and not able to see the scenic beauty of this place.This is one problem with this trek that we are forced to look down and walk as we walk on the stones and any misplacement of the foot would lead to a nasty fall.
    After 45 mins of walk we encounter the first bridge, I still remember the night mare I had on this bridge last time when there was no walking plates on this bridge.Now all the bridges are plated , so walking is very safe and easy,But definitely the shine of the trek is gone.Walking on plateless bridges was a challenging one which made this path so famous and adventurous, now its just a plane walk amidst the thick jungle.

First Bridge
    Then comes the first tunnel after bridge no 2.It was a very short tunnel and none of us were excited about this.After this it was a series of bridges and tunnels which greeted us.There were few places on bridge which was not plated .So walking on them was definitely fun.But one alternative bridge didn't had any plates  so we  guys decide to walk on it and every one enjoyed it.

Walk on the plateless bridge
    Then after tunnel no 11 we get the biggest and longest bridge.We decided to descend down the bridge to have our lunch in the valley.The descend was a bit steep and amidst real thick jungle.It was here the fun started, Raghu spots a leech followed by a terrible scream by Namitha.By this time I had already descended down but the intensity of that scream made me to run up to see what had happen.I initially thought that they might have spotted a animal or a snake but never in my wildest of dreams I thought a leech could bring such a big shout from a human.We had our lunch in this valley and rested for a while.As usual some trekkers had left their eatables scattered around this place without disposing it properly.

    The Valley
    Then we decided to resume the walk, now we had to climb up to reach the railway tracks.Shankar,Krishna and  Naveen who were the last in this climb lost their way, I ran down to spot them and luckily they were not too  far from the correct path.By the time we came near the tracks Naveen was down and tired.So after quick aids he was ready for the walk .Then in couple of hours we reached Yedukameri.By this time the weather was going worse and it seemed it would rain heavily.The local people forced us to tent there for night and few even scared us of the possible dangers of elephant and leeches.

The Jubilant team at Yedakumari 
I had been to Nagarahole 15 days back and I knew that many wild elephants in this region were captured and were being trained in Nagarahole and Bandipur camps,So we decided to walk down.It was a steep descent for 30 mins after which we encountered a stream.Then we had to walk for 3-4 kms to reach the road.

The steep down walk  
    Chequerd flag for this walk will never be easy, I knew it and it happened! Rain starts and the downpour was heavy.We didn't feel the real intensity of rain as the bamboo shoots covered us for the entire walk.On the way Elephants had uprooted two trees blocking the path.We had do to little bit of strech and jumps to resume the walk.Suddenly it was frogs around the place.There were so many frogs that came out as soon as it rained.Initially every one enjoyed the rain and walk , after a while fear started to eclipse every one as we didn't get any trace of vehicles or its sound.I had walked this place last time but it was in dark and it was a kind of new path even for me.But confidently we moved ahead and we started to hear the sounds of the vehicles.The biggest night mare was awaiting for us.I saw my pant and there were many leeches attached to it and when I saw my legs, leeches were having their feast.Before the trek I wanted to feel the leech bite but looking them sucking our blood, I dont think so any one would like it.It was very tough removing them , we didn't even had salt.So we had to give a lot of work to our hands to remove them.Thanks to Raghu and Shankar for helping us removing the leeches.
Rain walkers in rain forest
    Now we were near the second stream, there were no currents in the stream but walking on the stones was very very slippery, making the things worse.there were a lot of lightnings around this place and I knew people die in these area coz of lightnings in rains.But some how we managed to reach the road after few falls on these stones.Krishna and myself took a lorry to Gundya to get our vehicle.It was fantastic looking at this rain forest during the rains.The clouds at our hands strech makes this place a real paradise during monsoon.We were back in 45 mins and headed towards Sakaleshpur.Another troop asked us to drop them in Sakaleshpur, so we took them inside our vehicle.They boarded the vehicle without removing the leeches from their dress and bags.Once again there was lot of leech activity in the vehicle, we had to stop the vehicle on the way to remove these blood sucking creatures.By 8 we were in Sakaleshpur were we refreshed ourselves,By this time Krishna was down with suffocation.He had bleeding around a place where the leech bit him.The bleeding didn't stop four hours!.Some how he managed, we had our dinner and left for Bangalore.

    After successful walk in Sahyadris accompanied by  the pre-monsoon Showers(Mungaru Male)
    The trek is gruelling but the memories are sweet which will heal the pains.Thats why our life is always a balanced polynomial equation.God is definitely a mathematical prodigy , Istn't he?

Cheers :)

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  •    Team      : Anil, Krishna, Myself(Nandish), Manu, Kiran, Vishwa and Nirmal
  •    Place      :Nagarahole and Irruppu falls
  •    Date        : 8,9  of April 2007
     After a wonderful journey from Bangalore, we headed towards the Irruppu falls via a place called Kutta.Geographically located in Karnataka but more or less looks like Kerala. Irruppu falls is situated amidst thick Bramhagiri shola forest range.The temperatures dips as we near the Bramhagiri peak.This is the transition place where dry decidious forest grows into evergreen Shola Western Ghats.We need to trek around a kilameter  from the basement to the falls. The falls was not in its splendour but still good enough to enjoy. The best part of this falls is that the water is too cold.I really wonder for this reason.There were few non-sense people who had thrown beer cans and plastic in the water making the place look so dirty.People who read this blog  make it a point to not to dirty any place.We need to understand that this is our place and we need to keep neat.I would appreciate if the forest department comes up with strict rules to punish these irresponsible people. We had a good bath in the water, we were some how successful playing in the water considering the fact that the place was cold and the water was too cold.
    After this place we headed towards Nagarahole for Safari.But we were a bit late to start Safari and the forest department stopped us from venturing into the forest instead asked us to go in the morning.So it was a bit frustating for us but stil we luckily had two huge elephants near our cottage with which we spent some time.Of courcse it was tamed and knotted.Gajendra the tusker was really a big one.I think this was the biggest elephant I had seen in my life.
The tusker Gajendra
    After the dawn the place goes really scary, ample electricity , rustling noice of the dry leaves. the glowing eyes of grazing deers in the night makes it breathtaking.By 9 in the night the cooks had cooked wonderful dinner for us which we had in open space.These are the kind of moments which we will carry through out the life time.

On slippery Irruppu bamboo platform

The pivots with camera man Vishwa

Froggy style snap with friends

Near one of the water resource in the jungle where we found pug marks of many animals

    The next morning we headed to Safari but we were too unlucky.We spotted few wild boars, languar, deers and kaati.But still it was worth watching the forest early in the morning.Then after the breakfast we headed towards Bangalore.On the way we stopped near a lake which looks like back waters were we spotted pug marks of many animals.Yes we were wrong at this time, we were not supposed to stop in the forest and we got the dues from the department :(.

    In couple of hours we were in Balmuri were we played  and then headed towards Bangalore spending some time in Coffee  day.This was a trip were there was a lot of anticipation but many things didnt  happen. We had to accept this coz  we know that this is how the life runs......


    Nandish   : )


Mullyangiri Trek

  •    Team      : Raghavendra Pai, Gowri Pai, Shankar BS, Nagesh Hebbar,  Namitha, Ramya V, Vivek Kumar Singh, Vinod Katare, Rakesh M, Shankar Hegde, Nandish
  •    Place      :Mullyangiri and Baba Budangiri
  •    Date        : 24 of March 2007



Ramya took the initiative of organizing the trek to Mullyangiri , the highest peak in Karnataka. I agree there are some sect of people who claim KumaraParvatha to be the highest peak. This writing is definitely not an invitation for the debate. The plan was to leave Bangalore on 23rd night and start the trek on 24th. . As per the plan the entire team left on 23 night exactly at 10:10 IST (Indian Stretchable time) in a Tempo traveler. The vehicle was in a very good condition so none of them faced any problem during the journey. It was Shankar BS whose witty talks kept every one awake

            Reached Chikmagalur around 2 AM where we stayed in a lodge called Malnad lodge. By the time we reached Chikmagalur our men in Blue was eliminated from the World Cup, these guys are proving that they are so consistent in being inconsistent. This didn’t shake our spirit to trek. So by 7 in the morning every one was ready to trek. We started towards Sarpadhari, some how we lost our way and we were heading towards Mullyangiri peak, then we decided to come back were we took the deviation towards peak. Being Computer Engineers it was not tough for us retracing the path as we were well versed with the concept called back tracking, finally we found Sarpadhari! This is the entrance to the peak if we want to trek. Its a small arch that greets us. This is a wonderful place  were the thick shola jungle is covered by silver oak trees.

            So it was around 9:15 we started the trek, many were busy collecting some sticks for their support. It didn’t take a lot of time , just 2 mins walk on the steep mountain, every one were down, this looked grueling tiresome. I mean it was very steep, but still scalable. Now it was a real test of character and stamina under scorching sun, remember the peak is grassland, no trees to get shade. The grass were dry and the sun rays were reflecting and the black soil making things more worse. It was only occasional cool breeze that came as a rescue.

            Now it looked very hard to scale, Vinod was down and it looked he will be going back, please take my suggestion not to scale down this path, its dangerous, you may have a nasty fall. You can climb this steep but the reverse is dangerous. But he was ready in a while and the trek restarted, within no time Shankar BS was down that reminded him  that he was getting old and it was high time to get married. Then it was one of the cave we found as a temporary shelter to take rest. Cucumbers were distributed so that every one gets rejenuvated, this one is very good during treks, a good source of water and energy.

The caves where we took temporary shelter and Nagesh relishing the cuccumber

We were just in the mid of our summit, so once again the trek restarted, this time people were seasoned to the steep climbs, so every one walked easily.Then we found a Nandi statue which was under a tree which looked very old. Shankar had a small nap here. Then it was towards the caves which are pretty famous in this place. After crawling in this moist caves, our destination was visible.It was hardly few meters from this place, slowly every one scaled the summit and our work was half done at this poit.

The Nandi statue which offers some shade and the steep climb towards the summit


You can find a temple of Lord Shiva here. We had butter milk served by the priest family here, in the mean time Raghu was busy configuring outlook express in his new mobile and Namitha was busy in her photo session.

The Mullyangiri temple and the moist caves


            Then we headed towards Baba Budan Giri, this stretch was very pleasant as there was no steep climbs but it had one pint were we had to jump around 7 feet which was pretty risky. The lady team took an alternative path .Then it was walk on the grasslands which was very plesant.Raghu and myself (Nandish) were busy collecting the plastics littered in that place by few nonsense people. Please make it a point to not to litter plastics at least in jungles and hills. Within no time we took a  break for lunch. Under a small tree the serving was started, we had packed dry chapattis, pickles and dry ground nut  chutney. This one is really good if you are going for a long trek as they don’t get spoiled for 3 days. We found 2 other fellow trekkers on the way whom we invited for lunch. They had come to trek without bringing water. Believe it or not they had ate the cucumbers we had left in the cave to quench the thirst. So remember to take enough water when you are trekking. After crossing 4 peaks we had reached Vivekananda point, the official end point of the trek. The roads towards Baba Budan giri was visible and we came down to the road waiting for our vehicle to pick us.

The trail towards Baba Budan Giri and Vivekananda point

BR Hills trip

Feb 10 2007

With College mates to BR Hills



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Pirates of the Carribean-3 coming

   Click to view the trailer
Like the 2nd sequel very much especially the show put up by Jack Sparrow, a role played beautifully well by Johnny Depp. The 3rd installment will see the inclusion of Chow Yun Fatt as Captain Sao Feng. The plot ouline simply reads “Captain Barbossa, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann must sail off the edge of the map, navigate treachery and betrayal, and make their final alliances for one last decisive battle. They must face Lord Cutler Beckett, Davy Jones and Admiral James Norrington in a titanic showdown that could eliminate the freedom-loving pirates from the seven seas. Navigating through treachery, betrayal and wild waters, they must forge their way to exotic Singapore and confront the cunning Chinese Pirate Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat). Now headed beyond the very ends of the earth, each must ultimately choose a side in a final, titanic battle - as not only their lives and fortunes, but the entire future of the freedom-loving Pirate way, hangs in the balance.”

Plot Captain Barbossa, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann must sail off the edge of the map, navigate treachery and betrayal, and make their final alliances for one last decisive battle.

Sakaleshpur trek

The team


Bugged up with the daily routine,i wanted to get out from Bangalore and my native to a far place.Planning started with Arpan,Manu and Shashi to Goa via Belgaum.But Arpan dropped out at the last moment,so the plan was scrapped.But we never wanted to waste the holidays.I read about the railway track trekking on the net,I found it to be very interesting so i did a lot of reading on this place.Informed about this place to Manu(The trip Boy) and he was very interested in this,We both started to do a lot of R&D on this place,searching the documents on this place in the net for almost one week.Atlast we decided to trek from Donigal to Yedukameri roughly around 25-28 kms(Dont believe the distance the localites tell,they will mislead you).

The team comprising of Me(Fear + Enthu/2),Manu(Trip Boy),Krishna( The Make-Up Guy), Anil(Gubaal), Vishwanath(Camera Man) , Satish(Mr Cool) and one and only Kiran(Brilliant Guy) was formed.We decided to leave on 28 night.Booked Toyota Qualis on 28 afternoon, did a lot of hurry-burry purchaseon 28 evening and packed everything for trekking.

The final moment arrived we left Bangalore on 28 night roughly arount 11-30 pm.Reached Sakaleshpur in early morning.We found a very expensive dirty lodge,but we had to use it and there was no other go.From Sakaleshpur Donigal is around 4-7 kms,ensure that you take a correct stop on the road to Donigal railway station,it will a 5 mins walk from the road to the railway station.

29 Morning 7.30 we left Donigal with huge enthusiaism and zero thoughts about the possible dangers.Our brilliant guy kiran showed the first sign of tiredness after walking half a kilometer,we thought we must send him back to Donigal ,but he eneded up becoming the best performer of the trekking!In the wilderness you can look and talk to the mother nature so closely,the scenic beauty is just awesome.

After walking around 2 kilometers the first dread ful thing appears,A long bridge with two rails on it to walk.I was the first to walk on it and the first guy to get tensed and nervous.It is really scary,and if you accidently misplace your foot,you land up into the ditch (Dangerous be careful).Then we stopped for the breakfast were our Gubaal took the lead of distributing the breakfast,We took a pound bread ,jam bottle for the break fast,In a hurry to reach the destination ,I and Manu were constantly warning the guys to be a little fast ,as we both knew the dangers in this place after evening.

In the grren Land

Finally after a long wait the first tunnel appeared,It was a samll one and we crossed it happily and then we encounterd a samll stream of running water,we jumped into the stream and played for half an hour,the first sign of the enjoyment in the trip was noticed in every body.I and Manu had to do a large shoutings to get our make-up guy Krishna(He had the fear of getting tanned) into the water.Finally every body into the water enjoying themselves like samll little kids playing in their back yard.

The second bridge was crossed with no fear as there was a iron plate running through out the track.After this it was just cycle of bridges and tunnels.Then we had the first signs of elephants,we saw elephant dungs on the track,believe me it was a track on the steep mountain,wonder how can that huge animal climb steep mountains,Manu was shaked by this.Recently he has developed a fear for elephants listening to the experiences of few people near Bandipur.The walking continued and continued ,and no signs of Yedukameri.Then we encounterd one of the longest bridge before tunnel No 8.It was just a big one.Since i have the fear for heights,I wanted to kill this in this trip,so i made a bold decission to cross it all alone and do it first.And i did it.But it was a vey long walk, the bridge is around 300-400 mts and had a good depth.Believe me if you try to see the land when you are walking on the bridge,you are in danger.Never make a blind attempt to see the land,you may risk your life.Then comes the biggest threat,the bridge between tunnel 10 and tunnel 11,the longest and deepest in Asia( As told by the local railway authority).When you are walking on this bridge it is completely a different feeling,this is inbetween the lushest hills and has a dpth of 200-300 ft.You can have the best glance of Westaern Ghats from this place.After this the biggest tunnel of 600 mts arrives, trip boy Manu makes a bad attempt of lighting a log to make it a fire torch,but everything fails and agrres to come with us .We had just one torch which our camera man Vishwanath had got.We 7 people followed the light.Satish had a nasty fall while walkingin in the tunnel.The tunnel is just next to black.It was very dark where you are as good as being blind.Almost half of the bridge was uncoverd and there was water falling here and there.Some people had scared us that you may find sankes at this place,but we didnt find any snake.

The bridge

As soon as we thought that all the major hurdles are over and expecting a cool walk to Yedukameri,one more bridge greeted us with a frown face waiting to gulp every body,this was a bridge made up of only wooden logs,Some logs were cylindrical and to dangerous to place our legs.Every body were frightend.A single bad step will be fatal on this bridge.Few articles on the net stated that you can never fall from the bridge,but all those things are just bull shit(Sorry for the slang).A man can easily fall from the bridge between the logs.After this bridge we all hoped that we had crossed all the bridges and happily crossing a tunnel, but it was not over one more wooden bridge much more longer than the previous one greeted us.Having crossed the previous one it was not so tough to cross this bridge but fear prevailed in every ones heart.Then it was a 400 mt tunnel where we made our make-up guy krishna and Satish to walk in the tunnel without the light.They were very slow through out the trekking,inspite of warning them continiously about the time,they walked in the same pace,After this tunnel it was a iron bridge and the most deadliest one,I was following Manu as he was walking on this bridge very easily.But we had to put a long steps to catch the iron bar (A really scary one).The hurdles were over and the signs of approaching railway station was becoming bold .Lot of elephant dungs were present on the tracks which gave us the clear indications of Elephants in this place.Finally around 5-15 in the evening we reached Yedukameri.We found a group of S/W engineers relaxing themselves near the railway station.We asked on of the worker to tell us the way to the Bangalore-Mangalore High Way he suggested to walk down the hill , take take a right turn and walk for couple of kilometers to reach BM road. Every body wer

e very tired but i forced them to come down so that we could reach the road before the sunset.

We didnt know that we are still in the interval of our trekking ,we all thought we are in the climax of an adventure movie.But the real adventure started now.Hold your breath and believe it.It may sound a bit cinematic but what ever i am going to write down are our hard core horrifying experiences.

I lead the team to walk down the hill as i was pretty good at climbing and going down the steep places,Manu was following me and then the others.It was a very steep hill and the the angle of depletion was more that 60 degree.I slipped couple of times as i was wearing a MCR rubber slipper,then Manu started to lead.We found a lot of elephant dungs in this place ,Manu and Krishna got tensed.Suddenly our camera man Vishwanath shouted that he spotted an elephant down the hill which was around 100 mts down.Manu started to run back pushing me so wildly(Elephant-o-phobia).Then we started to see the spot properly ,it was just a black rock resembling an elephant skin.Our Make-up man Krishna lost all the make-up on his face and was sweating profusely.He slowly started to insist on going back to Yedukameri and catch any testing trains and go back to Subramanya or Sakaleshpur.Me and Manu scolded him and took them down the hill.It was just a path of Elephant dungs,ocassionaly we used to find some fresh ones also!.

Then it was a cool stream which greeted us.We had a face wash here,and our camera man Vishwanath was contniously insisting us to cross this stream and start to walk(He was the person who asked us to play in the water for half an hour in Yedukameri).Manu cut his foot while walkingon the sharp stones in this stream.Next the way was confusing.Manu spotted the way and we both started to take the lead and walk.No signs of any humans,It was only a place of bamboo shoots,usually a paradise for elephants.The fresh smell of Elephant dungs perfumed the air.Krishna and Vishwanath started to insist on going bac

k. Still we continued to walk .we found a hand kerchief on the way which told us that this is the correct way.But no signs of road or any sound of horns.Anxiously waiting to hear the sound of a vehicle we started to walk.Suddenly our Brilliant Guy Kiran started to scold me and Manu for misleading them in the forest.Gubaal was completely scared and had made a resolution to not to come for trekking any more in his life.I insisted Manu to go back to Yedukameri as there was no signs of road and it was getting dark.So we had to walk back to the stream were we encounterd the Software Engineers from Bangalore.They follwed us hoping to find a way to the BM road.When we told about the elphant dungs here,they halted in this place. A guy called Bharat suddenly jumped and ran to find the road.It was 5-45 already,the Sun was getting ready to go back to his home .We all sat over the rocks in the stream.One more guy walked to Yedukameri to enquirewith the localites over there.This guy returned after half an hour telling that the road in which we walked was the correct one and we had to walk a bit more to reach the BM road.But there was no signs of Bharat who had gone to find the way.Tension started to mount in every ones face.We were in the middle of a very thick jungle .We thought he might have been attacked by any elephant.It was 6:30 when he returned and he was just tired.This guy had ran for nearly 10 kms to find the way(He was very good and an experienced trekker).Then we made up our mind to not to stay here and walk to BM road.We were now a team of 15 members with mixed level of braveness.Sincerely those guys were just very brave which really boosted our confidence to get back to the high way.

I led the 15 people troop with Manu following me ,Bharat and co at the end.It was dark already by the time we reached the place were we returned from.Still any sounds of the bushes and trees used to trigger the fear for elephants in every body.Suddenly Kiran started to come in front and lead the troop.This guy was a dare devil were he had no clues of the consequence of the walk.He was just the same person when we started the trek.Slowly we started to hear the sounds of vehicles.We walked briskly so that we could go to the road.After a long walk we found the road.I jumped and shouted with joy.

But this day was made with misfortunes for us.The adventure didnt end here.We found a 200 meter wide stream between the place we are standing and the road.The hopes of getting back to the road shatterd.We shouted so that somebody could see us and help us.There was no signal in any ones cell,The worst possible situation we could expect in the night between a thick jungle.We all sat on the banks of the stream busily discussing to put a camp fire and stay that night in that place.It looked very dangerous to walk in the stream without light.The water was running in a very good force.Suddenly we see Mr Brave Heart Bharat walking in the stream far away with his torch.As soon as he reached the other side of the stream our pulse rate started to get back to normal.We formed a human chain and started to walk.I was the last in that chain.I knew that this place is haunted by crocodiles,I remained to stay quite as this may panic other guys to walk.Finally we reached the other side of the stream.The road was just above our head but the we needed to climb it .It was a vertical steep making our job more diffucult.Once again our Brave Heart Bharat climbed to get on to the road,then it everybody followed him.A long stick was given to everyone to hold it to climb.Atlast every body climbed and reached the road.In the mean time,Mr Arsikere had damaged his legs.We had a first aid kit with which he was medicated.Then it was to reach Gundya check post.None of the vehicles were stopping for us.Then a group of truck drivers told us that they spotted 14 elephants the previous day near the stream..With their aid we found a truck ,we all sat on this sand loaded truck and reached Gundya check post.

Every body called up their home informing about their accom

polishment.Both the teams now had some hand shakings and few snaps.After which we left to Subramanya in a KSRTC bus.Make up man Krishna was shouting to get into a AC lodge for rest.As it was the tourist season we landed getting a big hall in outskirts of subramanya ,were we slept on a plastic carpets.Our AC cum Makeup Man Krishna couldnt even find this, he slept on bare floor.Every body had very sound sleep till morning after which we continued our piligrimage place vistits.

Dont forget to take the following with youll while going to trek.

  1. Dry food, glucose, fruit juices,some citric fruits,towels,shoes,a small blanket,first aid kit,one pair of extra foot wear,torch,cracker,kvives

  2. Apart from this please take few brave hearts along with youll,other wise all the above will be of no use.