First wicket Down..!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 / Posted by Sharat / comments (6)

This happens to be my first off travel blog..!! And is dedicated to my dear friend Anand Vardhan!! Fondly called as Vardhan, Dana etc. Call whatever he responds!!

It has been an overwhelming journey so far since we first met in 2002. Thanks  to Brahma Chaitanya Hostel or world famous as BC hostel....!!

Unforgettable 4 years in BC Hostel and 4 more adventurous years so far. I want to thank all my friends especially Ravi, Vardhan, Adiga, VMH, DVD, Arun Dixit. Though our core members of all our tours was only 3 (Me, Ravi and Vardhan) others too had their share, sometime or the other. Whenever we were together we used to laugh our heart out for hours without any reason or may be for very silly reason...!!

In those 4 years of our hostel days, we had never been to any trips as such and yes not even to nearby famous Chitradurga fort!! It all started with one of the most difficult trek to Kumara Parvatha in Apr 2008 which literally opened our eyes to enjoy the natural beauty around us. It was a damn good trek. And this was the start we all needed...!!

Our first bike trip started with a ride to Nandi hills 3 days after I bought my bike. And then it was series of long bike rides, treks and tours  followed. Bike ride to Madikeri in heavy mansoon, Ride to BR Hills and ooty where we encountered a tiger on road in a deep forest (Still I cant forget that scene!!), First 1000+ kilometer trip to Chikkamagaluru, Daring munnar and Valparai ride(1200km), Ride to Wayanad and many more which are not listed here.

We had planned to cover as much places as possible in these years still many places left uncovered. Sakleshpura railway track trek, Challenging Ombattu Gudda trek, Kodachadri trek to name a few. And the biggest of all “Leh-Ladakh trek” is been waiting for a while. I have promised my bike to show as many places I could!!! ;-)

My main purpose of buying the bike was to tour on it!! We had decided not to drive rash or to chase anybody. Few other measures not to get hurt while on any bike trip...!! Everytime my mom used to scold me for all the adventure we had on bike. In fact I was ordered to call home, every hour when on bike to inform our safety!!! Ravi was so sure of safe return that he used to book return ticket every time, to Hospet from bangalore .....!!!! ;-) ;-) (just kidding!!).

Whenever I gave call to Vardhan and Ravi, they were always there. Even though I planned all the trips, it was Ravi and Vardhan who took most of the burden. Since Ravi is in Hospet and Vardhan in KGF it was another added burden to come to bangalore as it was the starting point of most of the trips. I wonder how Ravi traveled another 10 hrs on bus to hospet after a tiring trek or after the long journey on bike. And for Vardhan it was another 100km to KGF on bike!!  And they were again ready for the next call!! Thank you guys for that!!

Well, coming back to Vardhan's marriage, I have given permission for his   marriage only after he assured not to miss out on few key treks and bike trips..!!! ;).

2 days before marriage he called me to inform me that I was the official photographer in his marriage!!! I thought he must be kidding but on the day of his marriage I got to know that there was no professional photographer or videographer present!!


His marriage was not just like any other marriage for us and therefore, me, ravi, adiga been to his house a day before the marriage itself...!! Though we had plans of building “Maduve Mantapa”,  we were never allowed to do that!! No need to mention  the hospitality showed by his family and relatives.
Ravi preparing Vardhan!!!
Aha!!! Madumaga!!
His marriage was the most traditional marriage I have ever seen!! I have always liked the marriages at home with all the traditional values in it when compared to the one in chowtry's . And this marriage was the one I would cherish for years to come. His uncle and Primary education minister Vishweshara Hegde Kageri and congressman Deshpande showered the blessings on the couple.

Though Vardhan's wicket is not the first one in our batch but certainly the first one from our core group.And I expect him to be in every trip we do, but the rear seat of his bike might not be free for friends anymore!! I hope we all tour/trek with our "family" once all the wickets are down..!!;-)

Wish you a very HAPPY MARRIED LIFE BUDDY............ 

Memories to cherish.........

Sharat Chandra

Kuduremukha Trekking!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011 / Posted by Sharat / comments (3)

I was planning for Brahmagiri trek in Madikeri but as new year was on the cards, many trekkers like us had already taken permission from the authorities. When I called the forest office all the slots were already booked. So changed the plan to trek Kudremukha.

Since it was not a bike trip I had expected many to join us. But still few managed to escape..! Our core team member Vardhan was busy in preparing for his marriage... So he missed too..!!

Before going to Kuduremukha I had booked a homestay near the starting point of the Kudremukha trek, ie @ Mullodi.  There are many homes which run homestay in Mullodi. We had booked at Satish's House.

Finally 9 were ready to take the challenge of trekking 22kms in a day : Me, Ravi,Alok,Umashankar, Prashant, Yashodhar, Vaman, Rajeev and Srinivas.

Dec 31st
New Year Celebration!!
We had booked the TT. Started @ 11pm on the 31st night. Picked all the guys and  we were on our way to Sringeri. Stopped our vehicle at one place and welcomed the new year by cutting the cakes.

Jan 1st

Reached Sringeri @ 8am. Visited Sharadamba Temple. Spent some time at the river. By that time Ravi arrived from Bellary.

Packed lunch at nearby hotel. Breakfast was planned at Rajeev's Home which is 15km from sringeri. Ravi had just come in but his dialogs had already started. He was telling Rajeev that "ನಾನು, ತಿಂಡಿ ಹಾಕಿದ್ದು ಸಾಕು ಸಾಕು ಅಂತ ಹೇಳ್ತೇನೆ, ಆದ್ರೆ ನೀನು ಒತ್ತಾಯ ಮಾಡಿ ಬಡಿಸಬೇಕು!!!"


Reached Rajeev's house. His parents and counsin welcomed us. Refreshed and had wonderful breakfast. Hot Dosa and Avalakki were delicious. Ravi had only 8 dosa's and few plates of Avalakki!!
Sirimane Falls

Took a group photo and left for Sirimane Falls which is 5km from Rajeev's house. Sirimane falls is not a big falls but it is easily accessible and  not much of risk is involved.

Had a great bath. It was already 1 in the noon and we left for Mullodi.

Paddy Fields on the way

Stopped at a hanging bridge for couple of snaps. We had packed Mangalore Buns for lunch on the way.

Hanumana Gundi Falls

HanumanaGundi Falls which is also known as sootanabbi falls lies on the way to Kudremukh. Visited the Falls which is on the roadside itself. The falls is beautiful but we didnt get into water as we had already had enough of entertainment in Sirimane Falls.

Stopped on the way @ a picturesque point in Kudremukha National Park and photo session was on. The same place some of us had visited 2 years back on bike. 
Kudremukha National Park

Photo Session @ Kudremukha NP
@Kudremukha NP

Photo Session @ Kudremukha NP
Lakya Dam from outside

Visited Lakya Dam inside the National Park which is built to collect the wastes from the iron ore factory. View from the dam was awesome But nobody were allowed to take camera on the dam. However we took snaps from mobile.
Satish's Guest house

Reached  Balegal and parked our TT. Satish had already sent a Jeep to Balegal. We took all our belongings and the jeep was heavily crowded with all the 9 members in it. Balegal to Mullodi is around 5km. Only 4 wheel drive Jeeps can take us to Mullodi as the roads are in worst condition. Reached Satish's house in 30 mins.

Camp Fire
Long exposure shot

Long exposure shot

Locked all our belongings in a room. Spent some time in front of Camp fire. Experimented with some long exposure snaps. Had dinner which was good if not great and went to sleep.

Jan 2nd

Initial part of trek
Woke up early and had breakfast. Packed our lunch (Chitranna). Guide was ready and waiting for us. 22kms of long trekking was ahead of us. 11km on one side... We were supposed to return atleast by 4.30 since Ravi had to catch bus from Kalasa. Without wasting time we started our trek.

Initial part of the trek was easier as it goes mostly through forests.and since we were not taking any of our belongings with us except the water bottles and Camera. It was quite easy for 4 kms. Only My bag was little heavier as I had carried my huge camera, lens and a Tripod with me.

After 4kms we took a break for 10mins. Had some buiscuits and fruits we carried. The destination was visible from long distance Vaman and Yashodhar were way behind.

Sun had started showing his full intensity and we were in grassland. Next 7kms is a difficult trek as we have to trek steep climbs in open sun. Only relief was not to carry the water with us since the water sources are available all the way to the top.

Beautiful Hills of Kudremukha
Beautiful Hills of Kudremukha

Even though we were under direct sun, we never felt heat because of cold breeze that was flowing. Every ascending step added beauty to the landscape.

Panorama of Hills @ kudremukha
Final countdown to the top

There were many other trekkers too. Our guide and Rajeev were far ahead. Yashodhar and Vaman were lagging behind. After many photo breaks we reached the top at 11.45am.

Noon hot sun and CLOUDS BELOW US.. Wow....!! What a sight it was...!! We were on cloud Nine..!!

Our group over Cloud Nine!!
Our group over Cloud Nine!!

Cloud below  us
Ravi taking photographs!!

Had a long photo session. After 30 mins Vaman and Yashodhar reached the top...!! Opened my tripod and clicked some group photos too... We were lucky enough to see the clouds below us because just the previous week other batch had trekked the same place but under the hot sun and no clouds!! Poor VMH and his company!!

We conquered Kudremukha!!
With my tripod

Spent about half an hour and it was time to leave. Reached a stream which is just 15 mins away from the top. Had our lunch.  It is around 3  hours of trek  back to reach the homestay.

Sun was burning hot and after couple of breaks we finally reached the Homestay at 3.45.

Tired Souls!!
Our Team

Waited for Others to come and had a great bath at the small stream that flows near the homestay. Chilled water bath was a welcome break after burning in sun for hours.

Jeep was ready and we were too. Packed all our belongings and left for Balegal where our TT was waiting for us. It was already 5.30. Reached Kalasa on time and thankfully bus going towards Bellary yet to arrive. Dropped Ravi and visited Kalasa Temple.Had Dinner in Horanadu Annapurneshwari Temple.

Left horanadu and reached Bangalore early morning at 3.30. And thus we had a Rocking Start to New Year!!!! 

For more pictures....

Kudremukha Peak Trek

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View Kudremukha Trip in a larger map