Bike Ride to Scotland of South India (Madikeri)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 / Posted by Sharat / comments (10)

We had decided to tour Madikeri one month before the actual date. Because many of us had to take leave on 16th of August. Earlier we were 8 members and the day when we left we were only 4..!! Other 4 had to miss the trip due to unavoidable reasons.

On August 14th we had to re think our scheduled tour to Madikeri. This is because of the rain that had been pouring for almost 10 days in a row in Madikeri district. Bhagamandala and some other places had become island because of water. Therefore we had planned 2nd rout also. That was to visit Shivana Samudra, Mysore and surrounding places, Gundlupete, Bandipur, Gopalswamy betta and then Ooty. We postponed the decision to take 1st Plan or the latter at Shriranga Pattana as it was the last common place to take any route.

August 15th
Two bikes one mine and the other one of Vardhan, both Hero Honda Hunk started from my room on Independence Day at 5am in the morning. I was alone in my bike, Arun Dixit and Vardhan were on another. Ravi was to joining in Shriranga Pattana. We had a couple of stops on our way because of slight rain. Reached Maddur at 8am.

Had breakfast at Maddur Tifanys. Also we packed some breakfast and Maddur Vada from the hotel for Ravi. We reached Shriranga pattana at 9am. Still Ravi was missing. By the time we had rest, Ravi arrived. We were chatting something and suddenly we saw Ravi jumping off the Bus in his unique style. We all laughed our heart out.

We had collected weather forecast of Madikeri for the next three days and since we had some positive news. We were bit hopeful that our tour may on as per 1st plan. But we all know that these forecasts always go wrong. But we all were geared up to take the challenge. We all were ready with the raincoats.

We took diversion towards Hunsur, 4 km after Shriranga Pattana. Stopped as soon as we found one nice place. Ravi was Hungry. He had nice breakfast beside the road. He was very quick to finish it off. We all took some photographs of him. Started from there and reached Hunsur. Had tea in one small shop in Hunsur Bypass and started towards Piriyapattana.
We again stopped near kamplapura where the Landscape looked photographer’s delight. On either side of the road it was Tobacco plants and the landscape looked awesome. Took couple of photographs and started our journey. State Highway 88 was awesome.

We had planned to reach bailukuppe before 12:30 but we could reach the place only by 1.15. Bailukuppe is a place where thousands of Tibetians are living from decades. There is a Golden Temple and many other temples of Budha in Tibetian colony. Golden temple is very beautiful and must visit place to anybody visiting Coorg. Actually we don’t feel like we are in India as soon as we enter Bailukuppe. We also visited “Padma Sambhava”.
At 2.30 we left temple and started searching for Tibetian Lunch…!! We all were interested in tasting the special dishes of Coorg rather than regular Rice, Rasam, Curd etc. which we usually taste in typical Udupi Hotels…!! On the way we found one tibetian restaurant called Olive Restaurant. Menu was filled with full of Non-Veg items and somehow we could find veg Fried Rice, Noodles. Both items tasted very good. We also ordered few unheard items like “TOM-YUM SOUP” and “VEGETABLE MOMO”…!! Veg MOMO was good and we were tasting for the first time. But the soup was nothing but Hot Neembu-Pani..!! But don’t know why even that tasted really good.

Left Restaurant at 3.40 and reached “Kaveri Nisargadhama” which is around 6-7 km’s from Bailukuppe. It’s a nice place to visit especially for children. Lots of Rabbits, deer and even elephants can be seen. We can even feed the deer’s. Left for DUBARE forest at 5.00.

Dubare is a dense forest through which Kaveri flows. Its famous for Rafting, Elephant riding and sight seeing. We could not stay here longer as its already getting darker and we have not booked hotel in Madikeri and also it was another 30 km’s away. We crossed the Kaveri river in boat and saw many elephants which were under training. Wild elephants are trained in Dubare.

Left for Madikeri at 6.00. There were 2 routes to reach Madikeri and we took the road which goes through coffee plantations. The climate was chilling. Had short coffee break in one of the village. And left for Madikeri. The road and the scenery around was out of words. There were around 4-5 seasonal falls across the road. We stopped near a falls. Even though it was darker we could see some beauty of the falls. We all decided to revisit that place next morning so that we could see that falls better.

We reached Madikeri at 7.30pm. Fortunately got one big room in the middle of the city. Dumped all the luggage and went for Dinner after taking some rest. And there ended eventful First day of the Tour. By then the Trip meter read 271km.
Routes taken by us on Day 1
Bengaluru -->Maddur --> Shrirangapattana --> Hunsur -->Piriyapattana --> Bailukuppe --> Kushalanagara --> Nisargadhama -->Dubare --> Chettalli --> Madikeri

August 16th

Got up at 6AM but couldn’t see anything other than the mist. The whole city was dressed in white…!!! We had planned to start the day as early as 6am but everybody was lazy in getting up. Had coorg special breakfast and left to see the seasonal falls that we saw a day before.

This was not planned earlier. But we were determined to go there. Saw the falls and I thought of going to a unplanned place, Infact it was an coffee estate 1 km from the main road. It was worthy as we could walk through the coffee plantations and see some spectacular scenery. It was around 11.00 when we felt that the time was running out for us to meet our plan.

It was raining since the morning. Although it was not heavy, still it was enough for us to get wet. We reached ABBE FALLS at around 12.00. There were thousands of visitors as it was long weekend. ABBE falls looked at its best, courtesy heavy rain for almost 15 days. When we were returning we saw a land slide on the road but it was not difficult for us to get through.

Next stop was Omkaranath Temple which was closed for lunch. We didn’t wasted time and reached RAJA’s SEAT . RAJA’s seat is a place from where Sunrise and Sunset looks awesome. By this time Rain was getting heavier. We had few lighter moments and started our way back to our Lodge. Packed our bags and checked out at 1.30.

We had some bakery food and left Madikeri towards Bhagamandala and Talakaveri. Me and Dixit were almost 1-2 km ahead of Ravi and Vardhan. We were thinking that they are right behind us. Suddenly Dixit’s mobile started to ring. Then we came to know that Vardhan’s bike had got Punctured..!!!! We went back to them and saw that front wheel had got punctured. Madikeri was 6 KMs away and there was no Garage anywhere nearer. We didn’t had any option other than requesting some tourists or to ask any other vehicles for help.

Luckily one jeep came which belonged to a coffee estate owner and he promised us to get the bike to Madikeri. We lifted the bike and put it inside the open jeep. Ravi and Vardhan went to Madikeri with the bike. Me and Dixit were waiting in the same place for them to come. They came at 4.00 We had wasted almost 2 hours. It was raining bit heavily.

We decided to skip Bhagamandala Temple and started towards Talakaveri. When we reached Talakaveri it was 5.15. Talakaveri is a place where Kaveri originates. Talakaveri was covered with full of fog. Visibility was hardly few meters.

Offered prayer at the temple and climbed Brahmagiri Hill which is about 340 steps from the base of temple. We could see nothing except the fog. Had a cup of tee and Kanda Bajji. It tasted awesome in that chilling climate.

Our plan was to reach Virajpet and halt there. It was 60 km from Talakaveri and the time was 6.00. After 1km we saw a shop where lot of HONEY bottles were kept. We all bought some HONEY, COFFEE POWDER and other things like DHOOPA etc. Honey and all the things were not adulterated and and tasted awesome. Even though we paid some extra bugs but we had got some quality products.

We came back to Bhagamandala and asked locals for the route for Virajpet. We had two options. One road was in bad condition however it was shortcut almost by10kms when compared to the other one. It was already 6.30 and the light was fading. And we had to travel almost 45 kms. We decide to take the shortcut. And this was the only mistake we did in the entire tour..!!! This was the only road throught Madikeri where the road was in worst condition.

We had to travel at the speed of 20km/hr. And there was hardly any houses visible. I cant imagine what might we have done if any of our bike got punctured. On an average we could see a house for about 1km..!!!

We decided not to keep much distance between the 2 bikes. We reached Kakkabbe at 8pm. From there the road was quite ok. When we reached Virajpet it was 9pm and Virajpet was in sleep..!! We could somehow located one lodge and dumped our bags and went on searching for food. Only one hotel was open and we had no option to look for. We had light dinner and went for sleep.

Route taken on Day2
Madikeri -->Chettalli -->Madikeri --> Abbe Falls-->Madikeri --> Bhagamandala -> Talakaveri --> Kakkabbe -->Virajapet

August 17

In the morning again we went back towards Kakkabbe to see many places we missed previous day. We saw CHELEVAR FALLS. This falls is a less known compared to ABBE falls but it was awesome. It was worth the time we spent there.

On the way to NALKNAD PALACE we saw a small natural pool where we had a stop for about 30 minutes. The place was superb. Washed the bike and ate some Guava fruit (Perale). NALKNAD PALACE was a hiding place for Mysore Kings during Tippu and other Muslim kings period.

Near NALKNAD PALACE there is a Hill called TADIANDAMOL HILL which is highest peak in Madikeri. It is a trekkers paradise. We skipped that and went to PADI IGUTTAPPA Temple.

The temple is a sacred place for KODAVA’s. For every KODAVA family IGUTTAPPA is a Family God. IGUTTAPPA is another name for SHIVA. We had very nice lunch at the temple. Only in this temple we saw many Kodava women in traditional Kodava Dress.

We left Temple at 1.30 and reached Virajpet to collect our Luggage. Checked out at 3.00 and started our way back to Bengaluru. We had covered all the places except IRPU FALLS as per plan. We thought we might cover this when we go to WAYANAD.

It started raining very heavily as soon as we left Virajpet. We all were wet and had to travel 225 kms to Bangalore. Initially we thought that we might reach bengaluru by 8 pm. But Heavy rains spoiled our hopes. We couldn’t see properly due to heavy rain. We drove very slowly, stopped many times as the rain was very heavy.

Even though driving in rain is a pleasant experience we were much worried about the camera inside the bag. Eventhough we all were wet during most part of the last two days, it didn’t took our spirits off.

By the time we reached Bengaluru it was 11.15PM. And the TRIP METER read 726km..!!!!

Route taken on Last Day
Virajpet -->Chelavara Falls --> Kakkabbe --> Nalknad Palace --> Padi Iguttappa Temple --> Virajpet --> Gonikoppalu --> Hunsur --> Shrirangapattana --> Mandya --> Bengaluru

Detailed MAP of MADIKERI District
(Marked path shows route taken by us)

View Madikeri Tour in a larger map

Bike Ride to Nandi Hills

Thursday, July 17, 2008 / Posted by Sharat / comments (6)

On very fine Sunday morning we started our Bike ride to Nandi hills. We had to say good bye to our sleep as early as 4.30 AM on Sunday morning in order to meet our scheduled plan of reaching Nandi Hill by 6am. We were 6 of us planned to go for ride to Nandi Hills. 2 bikes started from Bengaluru, One from Hindupur (AP) and the other one from KGF.

Vinayak Hegde(VMH) and his colleague Murthy started from Hindupur, Me and Adiga started on my bike and Pradyumna was alone on his bike. Pradyumna and I planned to meet near Shivananda Circle at 5AM. But we were able to meet only by 5.15AM. We were thinking that Vardhan will reach the hill only by 8:00AM and were surprised to hear that he was just 20 kms away from the top of the hill when we were still in Bengaluru…!!! Vardhan had not slept in the night and had left KGF by 3am in the early morning..!!! Also he was the only person coming on bike from KGF which is 120 Km from Nandi Hills.

We started from Shivananda Circle and stopped near Devanahalli International Airport to have a cup of Coffee. By then Vardhan was at the entrance of Nandi Hills. He told that it was very misty on the hill and the visibility is of few meters. It was very first journey to Nandi Hills for Adiga, Pradyumna and Vardhan. However I had been to Nandi Hills 3 times before.

It was first trip on my new Hero Honda Hunk which was only 3 days old. Therefore I was not supposed to cross 45 on my speedometer. Even Pradyumna was not leaving us behind. Slowly we reached the foot of Nandi Hills. In between we took couple of breaks to get the beautiful early morning photographs.

We called Vardhan and he told that there was nothing to eat for the breakfast. Therefore we decided to pack some Idly’s from the bottom of the hill only. We were waiting for VMH to come. He and his colleague arrived in couple of minutes. And even Vardhan came down from the top of hill.

We had couple of Idly’s for breakfast and were on our way to the top. It was very jolly ride to the top as the roads are good and have some steep curves. Adiga was taking photographs by sitting Ulta on my bike…!!!!

We were on top in 20 mins. Even in between we stopped to take some photographs. It was 8AM but we were supposed to reach the top by 6AM. We missed very misty morning. We bought the tickets and started to explore the hill. We roamed around the hill till 1AM and took number of photographs. There were thousands of Monkey’s on the hill. We explored almost whole of Nandi Betta and were very much hungry. We went to KSTDC canteen and had our lunch. It was almost on the verge of hill and therefore the view from there was awesome.

We left Nandi Hill by 1.30 and were going to Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple which is around 9km from the bottom of the hill. We were knowing nothing about the temple had no expectation on how it could be. But when we reached there we came to know that why people we met in the morning were insisting us to visit the temple. The temple is of Bhoga Nandeeshwara which is another name for Lord Shiva. There is another temple on top of Nandi Hill which is called Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple.

Almost 90% of Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple is built from stones. There were some beautiful sculptures in the temple but they were destroyed by some Muslim Raja’s centuries ago. But still the Temple was awesome. It was very silent and refreshing inside the temple.

While we were getting ready on our way back, some people in the temple informed us that Sir M. Vishweshwarayya’s native place Muddenahalli is just 4km from that temple. And everybody seemed interested to visit Sir MV’s house, which is now a Museum.

It’s the advantage one has if travel on bike or on any private vehicle that, we can see all the surrounding places. We were in front of Sir MV’s house in 15 mins. It was closed but the watchman was waiting for anybody to come. We saw Sir MV’s childhood house and then the house which he built when he became Diwan of then Mysore State. The new house is a museum now. The Museum has collection of very rare photographs, awards earned by Sir MV including “BharataRatna” award. We were luckier enough to read the Prajavani of 1960’s which said “Soon Russia will send animal(monkey) to space..!!!”.

We visited Sir MV’s Samadhi and sat there for few minutes. It was very proud moment sitting beside Sir MV’s Samadhi who is known to be the best engineer India has ever produced. For all of us visiting Muddenahalli was more memorable experience than visiting Nandi Hills.

We all said good bye to each other and started our journey back. Me, Adiga and Pradyumna had very nice Coffee and Mirchi on our way back which reminded us of our college days and we were back in Bengaluru by 5pm.

Exciting Kumara Parvata....

Thursday, May 22, 2008 / Posted by Sharat / comments (8)

One fine day I was travelling from my native Sirsi to Bangalore. In Haveri I got my train to Bangalore and I met some funny group of college students who were enjoying like I used to do when I was in my hostel during my college days. I started to recall those “HAPPY DAYS” of my life. Suddenly I remembered that it was almost a year since all my friends met together. So I was thinking of a reason to get together. Suddenly a thought of going for trekking for a couple of days came to my mind. And I started to look for a place to go. As many of my friends are all from Uttara Kannada or nearby western Ghat districts, I was wondering where to go. Everyone of us had seen YANA and even that is one day trekking place. I wanted some what long trekking place. Suddenly I thought Kumara Parvata would suit my requirement. When I was in Ujire, one of my friend used to tell how difficult place is that place to trek. So I did some research on the place and called many of my friends. Everyone agreed on the first instance itself. We were almost 10-12 members when planned but on the day of our trekking we were only 6…!! Other 6 people couldn’t come because of some reason….Those 2 days were the most memorable days of my life, worth sharing. Thus, starts this travelogue of our trek to “Kumaraparvata” or “Pushpagiri” abridged as KP. Kindly bear my English while reading…..

KP is one of the highest peak in Karnataka whose height is at 5000ft above sea level. Even regular trekkers consider this as one of the toughest of all trekking places in Karnataka. KP is situated on the border of Coorg and South Canara districts. People in Kukke Subrahmanya side call this peak as Kumara Parvata and people of Coorg (Somawarpet) call the same as Pushpagiri. Well, I prefer to call this one as KP. There are two ways for reaching the peak. One is from Somwarpaet in Coorg and the other from Kukke in South Canara. The “Mahurtha” for our trekking was on Friday, 4th of April 2008. We decided to take the Somwarpaet route. Five of my friends joined me and let me acquaint you with them.

Vardhan : A production engineer who believes in presenting mother earth as it is to the future generation. Very cool and lively person and he was my cricket captain as well. He is basically from Sirsi.

Adiga : (Shreesha Adiga)is a software engineer who is known for his witty answers which makes any conversation a humor. A moody fellow but very friendly. His native is Shankaranarayana.

VMH : (Vinayak Mahabaleshwar Hegde) Whose name is abridged to save time is a mechanical engineer who is known for his short temper making fun of which is our favorite pastime. Well there is another name for him and that is “RISING STAR” because of his short tempered nature. He is from Kumta.

Ravi Hegde: An electrical engineer, My roommate for 4 years during my Engineering days and also we had studied together for 9 years and he is the most eccentric person you’ll ever find who has the capacity to become anyone between a nuclear scientist to a veterinary treating buffaloes. He is from Ankola.

Umashankar : My cousin, and he was new to my other friends. Software engineer with intrinsic knowledge on various kinds of areas from Biotechnology to anything in Software. He is from Sagar.

Me : A software bug, From Sirsi.

Ravi lives in Bellary and so he was to join us later. Therefore, I and other four met up in Bangalore bus station at about 10:00 pm on 4th. Adiga and I had taken responsibility to plan for all the essentials required for the trek. But it was Adiga who had planned so meticulously that he had left no stone untouched. Everything had been put into place. Planning was perfect. We had booked our tickets in a Bangalore – Somwarpaet express bus. It was a holiday weekend. The bus was jam-packed and the bus stand with holiday goers that delayed our departure. Therefore, by the time we departed Bangalore it was almost mid-night. We spent the first half our journey reliving our hostel days. Many in our bus were staring at us as we were making a lot of noise. At last, we reached Somwarpaet as the clock struck six.

As soon as we got out of the bus, we went in search of a lodge to freshen-up. All the lodges we went into were unattended at the reception table. We enquired at the last lodge on the row and the receptionist gave us an affirmative answer. But he asked us to pay Rs. 50 each for using the room for freshing up. We bargained and got him down to Rs. 150 in total to which he agreed. We were shown to our room. The room we entered into was so low class, so roadside that it was not even worth 10 rupees. The door to the bathroom was broken. We laughed out our despair, anger. One by one, we had our bath. We were ready to take on KP.

Ravi was still missing. All throughout our journey, we had been checking his position and by that, we expected him to reach us by 11:00 AM. Therefore, we decided to buy the remaining essentials and be ready to leave as soon as Ravi reaches us.Vardhan got out of the room to walk around and met another party, which was leaving for KP. He exchanged the phone numbers with them. They were leaving by bus to Bidalli, which is the foot of KP. He also came to know there was only one bus in the morning and one in the afternoon. So we had to hire a jeep to reach the foot after Ravi joins us. All of us checked out of the room not before giving back a mouthful to the lodge owner for giving us such a filthy room. We bought the remaining essentials: Rice, salt and edible oil. We went to the nearby eating joint and had our breakfast.

When we had finished we called Ravi and was surprised to learn that he had almost made it. He was only a few minutes away from us. Adiga got a call from Ravi saying that he had reached and he left to receive him. We bought mineral water bottles and left toward the bus stand to join Ravi and Adiga. He had his breakfast. In the meanwhile I and Umashankar bought a T-shirt each and four hats. I and Vardhan then went to the nearby petrol bunk and bought half liter of diesel because we did not know the flint stone technique of lighting fire…!!!

It was 10:00 am and we were formally ready to hire a jeep. We were taken aback when we were demanded a 1000 rupees for a mere 25 kms to Bidalli. As we were contemplating on what to do next a lady asked us to meet his brother who was in his shop. We met him and he negotiated a jeep for 600 rupees. We started our trip to Bidalli and as we traced the path, we started to get a glimpse of what was awaiting for us next. The thickness of vegetation started to grow with each jump of the odometer. We snapped couple of photos along the way.
We reached Bidalli and there was a Shiva temple. As our puja was over, Ravi had started to show some signs that his eccentricities had not decreased a bit. The path to KP starts just behind the temple. The driver assured us that if his name were to be taken at the forthcoming forest check post, the forest officer there would give us a concession on the entry fees. We thanked him and bid him goodbye.

A short path of about 30 minutes leads to the forest check-post. Here the trekkers are required to pay an entry fee of Rs.110 each. As the driver had assured us we got the concession. The forest officer gave us valuable tips like where is water point, where to take rest and where to camp. We later realized that they were extremely useful. It was 12:30 pm.

Our native places are from such areas of Karnataka that has good density of forest cover. Still we were finding the forest through which we were coursing through very thick. The place is so virgin and that is the reason why it has retained its freshness. After a few minutes of entering of the forest, the guys got into their sportswear. We resumed our journey and after a while when one of us looked at his boots, he saw that deadly looking leeches were clinging. There were so many of them around. Millions of them. We got a little time to shake them off before they reach our bare skin and start sucking our blood. Care is necessary and we took utmost of it. We noticed that at regular points where there were chances of our losing the path, somebody had clearly marked it. The mark also accompanied a value of distance. This made our choosing of the path unambiguous and clear.

Weariness was overcoming each member of the team and it was decided that it was time to have some refreshment. A small clearing near which there was small spring flowing down and had ample sunlight suited us just fine. The sunlight kept the leeches away. We had brought two loaves of breads. One of them was not cut. Our knife was not too sharp. Therefore, the second loaf got funny shapes when it met the blunt knife. When we were in hostel in our studying days, Ravi and Vardhan had the habit of laughing for a very long time for really a silly reason. Once they had laughed for 45 mins at quarter past three in the night just because Vardhan had pronounced “forging” as “forgery”. Such an occasion aroused there as well and we all had a hearty laugh. The reason for that was simple, somebody uttered “GULCOSE” instead of GLUCOSE…. That was enough to start the laughter.We would have continued but for me and VMH who started to get restless. The clock struck 1:30 at this point. We had to reach the top by 4 pm to see the sunset.

The path started to get steep at each of our step. The leeches did not show mercy and they did the job nature had programmed. The difficulties we were facing were compensated with the greenery around us. Sweat was flowing down our bodies. The water bottles with us were gradually emptying. At one point of time, many doubted whether we will reach the peak before it gets too dark. Suddenly the direction of the path changed and when we were about to turn we saw a clearing nearby. When we went there we saw that we were looking down a cliff and were surprised to see how far up we had come. The scene was marvelous. We had climbed around 6 km so far. After seeing some beautiful mountains and greeneries around us we started our journey again.
I was thinking that my bag was the heaviest and then I exchanged my bag with Ravi and came to know that his was even more heavier. Vardhan had kept 2 kg of Rice and some other eatables without informing Ravi…!!! And he was blindly carrying that one to the top…. After 2 more kms there came a diversion where we have to take left to go to the peak. The right one goes to Kukke.

It was about 3:30 pm, the path stopped, and an almost vertical wall stood in front of us. The wall was about 70 degrees to horizontal..!!!! This was the first real challenge. Our team rested here for a while. Adiga made to the top of the wall very easily as his bag was lighter one. The rest followed him. I had climbed only a 20% of that steep rock when I had my life in mouth when I started to slide down. But somehow I managed to climb up with my bag, water bottle and tent. It was the bag which was heavier, which made my life difficult. Vardhan was left behind. One has to crawl up. As Vardhan took a couple of steps, he lost balance and had to let go the water bottle to save his life. A couple of steps more, Vardhan heard a weird noise and he realized it was his lower that had torn. I had a spare lower. I donated that to him…. Adiga was a little furious with Vardhan because he had lost the water bottle. He went down and got the lost water bottle.
We continued the trek and we were challenged with same kinds of steep slopes at regular intervals. It was great to cross each one of them but I must assure you that it was equally tiring. We need to cross some slope and then some forest.And from the diversion we took earlier, it is said to be 4 kms to the top. But we felt like we will never get to the top by evening. At each of our step we felt the pain of crossing a km. And VMH was telling all of us that we need to go another 8 km to reach the top. This frustrated Adiga more than anyone else. We were all laughing each time when VMH was telling the same.
As the time just passed five we saw a small flag fluttering in the breeze. We were looking at the peak of KP which was only a half km away from us. Even at that point VMH told that we need walk another 4kms…!!! We became ecstatic. All of us realized how Tenzing would have felt when he scaled the great Mt. Everest. It is the same feeling one goes through. At this point, the direction of the water hole was also marked. We went up the last few steps swiftly and reached the peak. We noticed there were other campers and were preparing their tents.

Everyone dropped the bags and went a bit further to reach a cliff. Ravi started to go further seeing which I shouted at him to stop. He ensured us it was perfectly safe and the view down and even I went there to see what he was seeing….wow… it is inexpressible. Sorry… mate. You have to be there to know what it is. Umashankar, Vardhan also joined me.We sat there for a very long time. Talked of how the trek was an overwhelming plan. While we were climbing KP all were telling that they will not come to KP ever in life again. That much tiring it was. But at this place we were paid double the tiring of climbing wonderful KP. The sun started to set and we were waiting for to see that. However, we were not that lucky lot who had the choice of seeing this majestic feature of nature. It was cloudy and therefore we could not watch the sunset.

The light was diminishing rapidly and we had to search a place for putting up the tent. We had light refreshment. We ate the Chapatis we had brought. There are thick bushes and it is a practice to put up the tent between the bushes so that the tent is kept in place in spite of the stiff breeze that blows on the peak. We made 3 groups. Ravi, Adiga and VMH went to bring sufficient firewood for the night. Umashankar came up with a nice spot.
Vardhan and I were roaming here and there taking some nice snaps of the beautiful nature. After a while clouds started to form around the peak. The thick clouds started to blow towards us. My god…. What an experience it was. I felt like I don’t have to search for another heaven as no other heaven is not even nearer to KP. The clouds were passing by us.

At that point I realized that how much ever advanced man becomes he can never surpass the ingenuity of nature….the most sensual, beautiful and graceful lady. Actually we should have reached the peak early if Ravi had come earlier. We should be on the peak atleast by 3pm so that we can explore more. Adiga and VMH were trying to put up the tent. They started to scold me for not helping him. Vardhan and I ran to their help. It got darker and darker but our tent was not yet ready. Finally, with the help of a torch we finished the task. Nevertheless, the tent was in a very bad shape. Yet it was fit to stay through the night.

It was 7:30 pm. We lighted the bonfire and fire to cook. Umashankar cooked rice and prepared puliogre for all of us. We relished sitting around the fire. As soon as we had finished our simple supper, we went to bed. I asked Vardhan for his camera to see the snaps that were taken on that day. All the others huddled around me and had a look at the snaps. Then I went to sleep….

The only thing that was worrying all of us was the Rain. At around 3.30am I woke up as it was drizzling. Oops..was it. What if this drizzle turned into heavy rain? Everybody was worrying about this question… But Thank god it stopped after few mins.

I got up at 6:15 am. I came out of our tent. I could not see anything below the peak. Everything was covered with fluffy clouds. One by one everyone freshened up. I was as usual taking the snaps of early morning. We went to the water hole and brushed our teeth. We collected water, came back, and cooked our breakfast. Maggie and Upma were on the menu. We relished both the dishes. After that, we packed our baggage.
The time was around 8:30 am. We were about to start our descent. We went back to the water hole filled up our water bottles with precious water. The path of descent is clearly marked and does not give any chance for ambiguity. A few steps in this direction brought us to the steepest slope we had encountered. I thought if we had come by the Subramanya route, we would have stopped at this slope. We had to lie down and slowly inch along. We took a whole 20 minutes to go down. The team carried on. One of the straps of my bag snapped. I lifted the bag and had to carry using the solitary strap until we reached Kukke. Carrying that heavy bag itself is a big task but I had to carry whole 13km with only one strap. I was a worried man. I had good reason to be worried. We carried on and we reached cliff from where we could see Subramanya town. That cliff is called Shesha Parvata. It was a tiny speck to reach which we had to cross an infinity.

It was all descent in this part of journey sprinkled with short spells of climbing or level track. I was finding the descent more difficult than the ascent. It was because my knees had to bear sudden shocks with each step. The load on my back aggravated the shock even more. Everybody felt the same. After about one and a half an hour climbing (4 kms) down we reached the coveted “Mantapa”. It was a solitary stone structure. I wondered who would have reached this unexplored land, build this one structure, and go away.
From Mantapa I called Bhatta’s house and told them to cook for 6 of us. Thanks to Arun Sarin and Vodafone as I could get some network at many peaks.We moved further and our team gradually split up. Ravi, Umashankar, VMH and Vardhan were together. Adiga and I fell behind. Its not only because of my bag but the scenery around us made us to go very slowly. Adiga and I took many photographs. But the other group was just going fast as Ravi was narrating the story of the latest movie. I think he took more time to narrate the story than the movie actually is…!! When he finished they were sitting on resting benches that have been put in place at regular intervals for the trekkers to rest.

I had even tent in my another hand that made my situation even worse. Thanks to Adiga who took that burden of mine and I was a bit relieved one. We reached them couple of minutes later. We all rested there. We had some Holige to eat. We cooled our feet sitting on the benches. It was excruciating pain in our legs but it felt sweet when we looked at the clouds kissing the peak of KP. This touching scene was behind us. After some time we walked towards our lunch.

When we reached “Bhattara Mane” there was two other trek parties having their lunch. Another one was resting in the Betel nut plantation adjoining the house. We washed our hands and had our lunch. It was a simple lunch yet very tasty. We paid, thanked, and sat for 10 mins before leaving for kukke….Ravi and Vardhan started a peculiar argument about who’s socks is smelling badly..!!! We all had hearty laugh and left after getting some directions for the rest of the journey. Its around 5-6 kms to kukke from Bhatta’s house, the only house in that jungle.....

It was 2:30 when we were on our way down to Subramanya. The path was getting steeper and steeper as we moved forward. The vegetation around us turned slowly into a thick forest. All of the others were in a upbeat mood. Ravi in particular was in full of energy. It was his idea to reach to the water point that was nearby and rest there for some time. It was 3:45 when we reached there.

I heard a sound that resembled a thunder and a drop of water fell on my shoulder. Everybody quickly packed their camera and placed it at the bottom of the bag. We reached the main path when it started to rain heavily. We had only 1 umbrella which was of no use.
Just Imagine walking in a thick forest in heavy rain….Wow….. The only worrying factor was that our electronic materials like Camera, iPod which might get wet. We walked in the rain for about 3 kms until some houses started to get closer.
Walking in the rain always fascinates me but the only thing was we could not take the photographs of our rain walk. Also the bags were 2 times the original weight..!! These 3 kms are the only place where we didn’t stopped even for a minute and didn’t even talked because we could not hear the words also as it was raining that heavily. All the others somehow made it. However, Vardhan made it with utmost difficulty. At one point, he even told Adiga to leave him behind. But Adiga gave some confidence and dragged Vardhan with him.

Subramanya is a very small yet a beautiful town. A main street and one more adjoining it at a right angle is all that makes the town. The street is lined with many lodges for the tourists. Since it was the end of a long weekend, we had little difficulty in finding a vacant room. At last, we found one and the first thing we did was to have a long bath in hot water. We had something to eat and sat to plan our return journey.VMH and I went out to reserve seats but returned with empty hands. The only way out for us was by train that plies from Mangalore to Bangalore via Mysore. All of us recited our prayers when we visited the beautiful temple of Subramanya Swamy. We had our dinner and it was time to leave.

It was 9:00 pm. Ravi bid us goodbye and left us to Bellary. The remaining of us hired an auto rickshaw to reach the railway station, which is at a distance of 14 kms. Thanks to autowala who took us to station with the speed of almost 80km/hr on road that was full of irregularities. We reached there just on time. But we could not win a seat. It was only when the train reached Sakaleshpur we could find a seat for each of us. Sleep engulfed us only to leave when the topography changed to that of Mysore’s. When we set out foot in Bangalore, it was 7:30. A final goodbye to everybody ended our trek.

What a memorable experience……. I have painted these two days of my life with such wonderful colors that will remain bright throughout my life. So have others who were with me.

Special thanks to Vardhan for helping me to write this experience.

Things to carry before going to KP:
1) Enough water (atleast 1.5 ltr per person)

2) Enough Food Items. (Better to take ready to eat materials, also some chapatis)

೩) Kerosene/Diesel

4) Matchbox
5) Sleeping bag or 1-2 bedsheet (Don’t carry any blankets as they are too heavy)
6) Tent / tent materials
7) Energy drinks(glucose)

8) First aid kit
9) Cooking vessel

Note: Don’t take even an extra kerchief as it feels like carrying an extra blanket while trekking..!!!

How to reach KPFrom Bengaluru

1) There is a direct bus to Somavarpet from Bangalore at 9.30pm and another at 10:೦೦pಮ್
2) At 7am there is a bus From Somawarpet to Bidalli from where the trekking starts. Or else we have to hire a jeep. They will charge around 600 Rs for mere 25 kms.

I prefer trekking from Somawarpet side is better as we can directly reach kukke even if its in the evening the next day. But If anybody goes from Kukke side and want to reach somawarpet, they might find it difficult to get any vehicle from Bidalli in the evening.

Links to some more photos.
Please comment if u find this one useful…....