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Mistical Charmadi – Trek to Kodekallu gudda – Ballekallu Gudda

It was more than 2 months since  I had been on a trek with the last being a short climb to makkalidurga. My body was craving for a trek and this prompted me to plan for a trek. This would also act as an acclimatization trek for the himalayan trek which was due in Nov. There were quite a few places which came to my mind ,and I finally zeored in on Kodekallu and Ballekallu in charmadi ghat. Kiran and srikanth joined in as usual. With weather still unknown in dakshin kannada, we decided to go ahead for the trek.

A couple of days before the trek kiran told me its raining very heavily in mangalore, however since tickets were already booked, we decided to go ahead with the trek. I met srikanth and kiran at majestic and we boarded the bus to dharmastala. After a roller coaster ride through shiradi ghat we reached dharmastala at 6.30.

Kodekallu-Ballekallu are two prominent peaks in charmadi ghat. One has to take a bus to kottigehara and get down at anjannapa temple which is present enroute and trek from there. After finishing our morning abulations, we boarded the bus to kottighara. Locals had told that it was raining very heavily for past 2 days, however weather had let up temporarily which was a good sign :).

Scenic Western Ghats

With amazing scenary on the way, we soon reached the temple. We asked for directions to go to the peak. We were told there were two routes to the peak. One being a climb from ‘Onti Mara’ which was a short distance before the temple, and other was to go bidirutala and start the climb from there. We opted for the second option, as this was our first trek to the peak.

The trek to bidirutala starts after a km or two on the highway.We need to take a left at the mud path and start the trek from the mud path which goes for 2 kms

Road to bidirutala

After huffing and puffing we got into a rythm and climb became more easier. The mist which had engulfed the place was playing spoil sport. After an hour we reached bidirutala.

Bidirutala is a small village with has just  5 houses!!!.  Having reached one of the houses, we asked for directions, the person told us how to go. Since the place was too misty, there was  a concern whether we could find the correct path in the mist.

Dumping our luggages in one of the houses, we asked one of the locals to show us the route.

The trek officially started at 11.1 5 in the morning. We followed the guide to kodekallu first. It began to rain also, however that didnt stop us trekking. With short breaks at places to click snaps with continued. We crossed jenukallu, however we couldnt see it in the mist.

Misty Mountains

The rain stopped temporarily and we were close to kodekallu. The peak looks like a big umbrella and there is place under neath the rock which can be used for shelter in case of rain or sun. No snaps could be taken of kodekallu due to the mist !

Hillock near kodekallu

We soon reached kodekallu and took shelter underneath the rock. Lunch packets were opened and after finishing lunch, we relaxed for a while before moving to ballekallu. Ballekallu is the one of the highest points in charmadi, and the climb was quite tiresome towards the end, as we had to climb at a 65 degree angle.

The whole place was covered in mist and it had a very serene feeling.

Mist covered ballekallu and surroundings

Spending some time atop the peak, we headed back to birudutala. The descent was tricky as, the ground, holes, and grass all looked the same !. As we neared the base, we could see jenukallu more clearly and we had a small photoshoot there before going back.

Mistical Charmadi

The guide showed us dodda yeri peak which can also be covered in a single day. Kodekallu-ballekallu-dodda yeri along with anadaka waterfall can be an ideal two day trek

Dodda Yeri at a distance

Reaching bidirutala, we thanked the guide and headed to the river for a bath and it was back to dharmastala.

With no rooms present in dharmastala, we had to settle for sleeping in the veranda, in one of many guest houses as all rooms were packed.

Day 2

With the trek completed there werent any specific plans for the next day. The plan was to go to Ujjre and then decide what can be done. After reaching Ujjre we decided to visit anadaka waterfall in didupe, however srikanth called up his friend and came to know of another waterfall called yermaee abbi. We decided to head there instead of anadaka waterfall.

Boarding the bus to didupe we reached the stop . Kudremukh which we could see at a distance was covered in mist and the the sight was awesome.

Kudremukh covered in mist

The falls can be reached after a short trek, which we did. Yermaee Abbi is a secluded waterfall which falls at various levels. We could reach the first level pretty easily, however we didnt know there was another level. Spending some time at the falls, we headed back to the road

Yermaee Abbi

With nothing else planned out, for the day, we decided to go to mangalore and have a couple of ice creams in pabbas before heading back to bangalore.  A 2.30 hr journey took us to mangalore and after filling our stomachs with ice creams.  I then headed over to my cousin’s house while srikanth and kiran went back to dharmasatala.

The return bus was at 10 at night, and we reached bangalore, thus concluding another wonderful trek

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Snaps can be found here

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100 cyclists to tour across the beautiful ‘Blue Mountains’ range

Bangalore, India, Wednesday, October 13, 2010: Tour of Nilgiris (TFN), a flagship event of RideACycle-Foundation (RAC-F) and India’s original bike tour, closed-in 100 registrations for the year 2010. TFN 2010 (popularly known as TFN Ten) is in its third consecutive year where it has seen a 60% increase in the number of riders from its first tour in 2008. TFN has grown to be India’s premier cycling tour which trails across the beautiful Nilgiris Mountains in South India. It is a mass participative cycling event for professional, amateur and the casual cyclist.  RAC-F intends to promote the cause of cycling and bring awareness about the various benefits of cycling. The ride is stretched across eight days starting from the 16th to the 23rd of December, flag-off of which will happen from Bangalore.

“What started as a casual cycling trip amongst 40 friends in 2008, has now grown be the most recognizable and enduring sporting brand in India with a total of 100 riders, who were selected out of nearly 350 applicants for the year 2010″ said Ravi Ranjan, Co-founder, RAC-F. He further added “TFN has now grown to be an event for the cycling community. It is challenging yet non-competitive. The riders are in to enjoy themselves and not compete”

TFN is doing everything under the sun to keep up the fun factor as well. One such initiative is introducing a fictitious character named ‘Jack Lee’. Jack Lee has grown to be a character that is revered and hated alike for his impartial selection of riders for the tour. Jack Lee makes sure that his identity remains concealed until the start of the tour so that all cyclists stand a fair chance of being in the tour. And because of the growing popularity of the tour, it is a challenging task to choose the riders. Jack Lee also helps the riders plan and prepare for the tour.

When asked how Jack Lee selects the riders, Ravi told us “To make sure that the selections are impartial and fair, and in keeping with the vision of RAC-F, Jack Lee chooses riders based on first- come, first-served basis. In case a rider chooses to opt-out of the tour due to unavoidable circumstances, the slot gets vacant and the next person in line is invited.”

“Each year a person is chosen among the organizers and the identity is kept a closely guarded secret until the start of the tour, when Jack Lee is finally revealed in a fun filled party during the tour”, added Ravi.

As TFN Ten gets bigger and better, it leaves the participants waiting with bated breath for the show to begin!

To know more, visit: http://www.tourofnilgiris.com//

About RAC-F

The RideACycle-Foundation (www.rideacycle.org) encourages cycling as a form of recreation, sport and as a means to commute to work. The foundation actively works for the rights of cyclists and for laws that offer protection to cyclists through dedicated cycling lanes as well as through support for safety regulations. They hope to work with the government administration to bring about change aimed at encouraging cycling in all cities.

Several fun events like cycle treasure hunt, off road rides for children, dirt track races, and bicycle maintenance workshops are the various activities undertaken by RAC-F.

However, one of the first campaigns that RideACycle-Foundation has undertaken is to promote responsible and safe behaviour cycling within the cycling community.

To Joga on a cycle!!!!

After completing the serenity ride which CAM had organized in june, I was itiching to go for another round of cycling.  The bekal ride could not materialize as I was in chennai for official work. When CAM announced the route from kollur to sagar via jog  I signed up immediately. The first ride during 2nd week of sept and next ride was scheduled in the last week of sept. However the impending ayodhya verdict caused the ride to be postponed.

Finally with all verdicts done, the riders assembled at hockey stadium on 9th Oct. Cycles were already transported to kollur and waiting for our arrival. After the initial introductions, the bus left for kollur and reached kollur after a rather long journey.

The Gang

The people at the guest house were more interested in our cycles rather than where we were headed to. A  few of them even tried out the cycles. After breakfast, we were alloted our bikes and the expert riders began the steep climb from the kollur while the easy riders started the ride from from the kollur junction which was just after the 12km climb.

With the roads being smooth, everyone started off with zeal…

Excellent roads for cycling

The climb was a mix of ascents and descents. Each rider was in a world of his own enjoying the ride.  After 16kms of peddling we reached sullali, and after a short break, we began the journey to kogaru where we could have our lunch.

With excellent scenary keeping us company the ride continued.

Scenary enroute to jog

There was even a short spell of rain to energize us as some of us were feeling tired after continuous peddling. The support vehicles were right behind us,  and could be used, to refill the water bottles, or hop onto the vehicle if the riders found it difficult to ride.

We soon reached the half way point and the support vehicles and the other riders who had reached earlier, were having lunch.  The final part of the ride was still pending and we had to come more than 40kms.

Lunch was soon over, and the second leg of the journey began. We were now riding inside sharavathy forest and we were expecting to see some wildlife. However this wasnt the case.  The road condition was also bad and progress was slow.

Finally we were just 6 kms from jog and the rest of the ride was downhill. The setting sun provided an excellent backdrop as the descent began.Another half hour and we were at jog. Rooms were alloted for us and after dinner the tired bodies were given a rest, as the climb to sagara was waiting for us the next day

Day 2

Sunday morning began with a visit to jog.

View of Jog Falls in the morning

The ride to sagar started on sun morning. With cool weather keeping us company,  the climb to sagar began. The climb was quite long and the riders took it easy as there was enough time to the complete the ride. Green fields greeted us after a few kms and the road became flat and riding was easy

Green fields

Reaching talguppa we had breakfast and relaxed for a while. The expert riders took the road to linganamakki dam, while the easy riders continued to sagar. A couple more hours of riding and we were at sagar, with the support vechile and the bus already waiting for us.

Karnataka — One State Many Worlds — How True

The expert riders completed the visited to linganmakki dam and were back to sagar thus concluding another wonderful ride.

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Snaps can be found here

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