Makuta Trek – Day 2: Trek to Pattimalai peak

It was an early start as we had a steep climb to pattimalai waiting for us. Ram who got up very early had cooked wonderful pulao which we packed for the trek ahead. After a quick breakfast we started the trek.

The initial part of the trek was the same route we followed yesterday till the water point. The guides told us there is no water from here on and we filled our water bottles and drank as much as possible. The path to pattimalai starts immediately after the water source and it climbs steeply. Ashushosh and hemanth the guide took off and werent to be seen till we reached the top.

Our Destination


The climb is steep without any respite and the gradiant increases at certain places. With loose gravel, leaves and rocks getting a firm balance was difficult. With short breaks myelf, ram and rahul continued to the peak while amit and harsha were behind us.

View of the valley



Couple of hours of climbing we reached the peak, where we found ashutosh and hemanth relaxing. They had reached an hour back and were waiting for us to come. It was time to take a breather and I managed to get a small nap while the others were busy with their photo shoots.

Photo Op



I too went ahead for couple of photos and after few group snaps, we decided to head back as it was already 12 in the afternoon.

Descent was gonna be  tricky and with the steep gradient in few places we had to be careful. After slipping/sliding couple of times we reached the base by 2 PM. Ram and others were already there and were having a nice time at the water source. The pulav that was packed was consumed and after a long break we headed back to the APC thus completing a wonderful trek. The last bus to virajpet was at 8.30 and after packing up our stuff we bid goodbye to the forest dept personnel who had helped us in the last 2 days.

It took an hour to walk back to the main road. The 6.30 bus was already present at the bus stop. Myself and Amit went to virajpet while the rest of the guys took a while to come.  We spent the time sitting at the bus stop while the rest of them took a open jeep to reach. Chit chatting we spent the rest of the time. The bus to bangalore reach at 10.3 0 and we came back to the city thus completing a wonderful trek, the first for the new year

Makuta Trek – Day 1: Trek to APC and visit to Neelampolai

It had been almost 5 months since I had been on a trek and the craving to be back on the mountains was getting intense. While checking my facebook feed I happened to see a post about makuta trek on New Years day and I immediately registered for it. Couple of calls to the organizer and I paid the amount and confirmed my participation. The mail sent by the organizer had a checklist of things to get and the same was double checked and packed.

Harsha had messaged in the morning saying the bus would leave from Shantinagar bus stand instead of shanatala silk board. We met the team (myself, Amit, Harsha, Ram, Asuthosh and Rahul). The bus was on time and after an uneventful journey we reached virajpet at an unearthly hour of 4 Am. The bus to thalaserry was at 6 and we had around 2 hours to spend. I utilised that to the fullest by having another nap till 6. The bus was on time and we soon left to makuta. An hour of driving on the ghats we reached the forest checkpost.

Makuta check post


We were supposed to get down here, but we went ahead to the next checkpost where we got down. Upon inquring we got to know we had to get down at the previous checkpost instead. We had to walk a km to the police checkpost where we got a bus and we got down at the forest checkpost. While harsha and ram went to the forest office to complete the permission formalities myself and others headed to the hotel opp to the bus for some refreshments.

With the permissions done we headed to makuta forest office and quickly repacked our stuff before heading to the Anti poaching camp in Sollekolli. As the area comes under reserve forest, as per the forest dept, 2 guides accompanied us till the AP Camp. The path we took was a straight forest road for 3 kms. We took it easy by clicking lot of photos and waiting for others to catch up.

Start of the trek


The path goes along the barpole river and continues on till we reach the camp. After couple of kms we decided to head to the river and take a shortcut  to reach the APC. Jumping across the stones and crossing the river, we reached the APC within a short time and took a break. Due to the detour of going couple of extra kms and coming back, our plans had to be altered. Initially we were planning to climb the pattiamalai peak, however since we arrived at sollelkolli APC late, we decided to trek to the peak the next day.

Sollekolli APC


For today we went to neelampolai which is 7 kms from the APC. As the terrain was rolling, we made good time by walking fast. Taking a deviation from the main path, we reached the place which was by the river. Everyone jumped into the river to play.

Fun time @ neelampolai




Couple of hours of playing in the water we had lunch which was packed and headed back. Along the way we stopped by a hanging bridge for a long photoshoot. It was dusk by the time we left the place.

Rest near hanging bridge



Back at the APC after changing and freshing up, preparations were made for grand dinner to be cooked by Ram and Harsha. After a stumptous dinner, we hit the bed as we had a tough climb to pattimalai the next day.


The ridge walk

It had been almost 7 months since I had completed stok kangri and the need to get back to the mountains was getting bigger with each passing day. Summer had to be ruled out due to lack of water and high temperatures, however when rains began it was time to head back to the mountains. I was initially planning for a day trek and when my friend shashi asked me if i was willing to join for a ridge walk between mullayanagiri and bababudangiri i jumped in on the chance.

As usual tickets were booked and I met Shashi and his friends (hema and Jyothi) at majestic at 10 pm on sat night. An uneventful bus journey took us to chikmagalur the next day morning ar 4.30. Another couple of hours of sleep and it was time to head to bababudangiri. The bus which was leaving at 6.30 was full , hence we decided to take a ride on the top of the bus, which was a different experience and was a lot of fun. An hour drive took us to dattapeeta from where the trek begins.

Ride On top of bus


The weather was misty and the whole area was covered in white by the time we reached dattapeeta. Chances of trekking was less as rain was imminent. We however decided to go ahead with the trek hoping the weather would clear up. We went to mankyadhara falls as the route starts from there and we were soon descending into the valley.

Misty Weather

945499_10201278594745709_1797923025_nWith mist covering the place every now and then, we had to be careful not to loose the way. Though I had done this trek in 2007, i was not familiar with the route, however shashi who had done this route recently was able to lead the way. We maintained a steady pace while taking short breaks while waiting for the weather to clear up before moving ahead.

As the rainy season was beginning temperature was low, and soon we found overselves in a blanket of white cloud. With no idea on how to proceed with took a long break before the clouds parted way and showed us the route to the actual ridge.

Lush Greenary and misty walk

944388_10201278596305748_1944154211_n389230_10201278598865812_1974148617_nWith just an hour to go finish the ridge walk we halted for lunch which was supposed to be a short break which dragged for 45 min. As we still had to climb mullayanagiri, we immediately headed off to the ridge. Care to be taken while on the ridge as there was a big gorge on the side and any mistake can have disastrous consequences. The walk is relatively short on the ridge and we soon reached the tower which marked the end of the ridge walk.

We still had to climb mullyanagiri and there was not a lot of time to loose. The weather remained misty and we soon set about climbing the tallest peak in karnataka. With short breaks we continued the ascent and after an hour and half of climbing we reached the temple. The priest asked us to freshen up and have lunch. A short break after lunch and we were began the descent on the road rather than taking the route down via “Sarpadari”.

Way to Mullaynagiri

401869_10201278600545854_766429056_nIt was long walk back on the road with a short break for tea and snacks. It was already 6 by the time we reached anegundi bus stop where we caught a tempo going to the city thus completing an amazing and fun filled trek.

Bramhagiri — A trek 5 years in the making

Bramhagiri a mountain nestled in the Bramhagiri wildlife sanctuary has been on my radar ever since I started trekking couple of years ago. In spite of climbing numerous peaks over the years this is one peak which has been eluding me for a long time. Numerous attempts to scale the peak have been proved unsuccessful either due to lack to company or due to other factors. I had decided to summit the peak this year as the wait was becoming increasingly frustrating.

For the opening trek of 2012 I had asked kiran to check if we could get permission to climb bramhagiri. Kiran who had been to the peak told me it can be done in a day as the climb to the peak is towards the end, and the grasslands provide an easy walk. The forest dept have also hiked the prices for trekking and one needs to pay Rs 500 for the guide excluding the permission fee of Rs 200. If one needs to stay in the narimale guest house the fee has been hiked to Rs 1500 for 2 ppl which is rather expensive. All these factors made us to consider doing the trek in a day.

Kiran took care of calling the forest dept in srimangala and checking for the permission and booking the tickets. A few calls to the regulars(Prashant, Mohan,Hemanth) and couple others (Sabreesh, Krishna, Ramchandra),the team was formed for the trek.  We met up at the satellite bus stand and after the customary introductions, we headed off to gonikoppal.  A good night sleep and we reached gonikoppal at 4.30 in the morning. We had to catch a connecting bus to srimangala and then head to the forest dept office to get the permission. The next bus to srimanagala was at 5 and we spent some time relaxing near the bus stand while having a cup of tea to beat the chill. We boarded a bus which we thought was heading to srimangala was actually on its way to Bangalore!!. We got down near the turning and the conductor told us the bus to srimangala would be arriving shortly.Pulling each other’s leg and cracking some jokes we whiled our time and soon the bus arrived. An hour’s journey took us to srimangala which we reached by 6. Since the forest dept would open only by 9 we slept for a couple of hours at the bus stand before freshning up. After filling our stomachs at the local hotel we took a jeep to the forest dept office and completed the formalities. The guide for the trek would be present at irrupu falls.

Reaching irrupu we submitted the permission letter at the counter and found the guide who was already waiting for us. A brief photosession and we were about to start the trek when we recieved a shocker saying a one day trek would only take us till the narimale guest house. If we were to reach the peak we have to halt at the guest house which means we need to cough up extra cash, which we werent ready to do. We assured the forest gaurd that we were regular trekkers and it is possible to do the trek in a day.

Entrance to Bramhagiri WLS

The trek to bramhagiri peak starts from irrpu falls and the total distance is 9kms from the falls. Mohan, Kiran and myself were ahead with the guide while the rest were taking it easy. The guide who was appointed, kept saying we wont be able to reach the peak if we slow and he wont be responsible if we were late. Taking a short cut we reached the trail and kept walking at a brisk pace. The route is initially uphill till the guest house and is an easy walk in the grassland for few more kms before the final climb from the base till the top which is about 70 degrees. Mohan and I were at the front while kiran, krishna and others were behind. Krishna who had bought a new SLR recently was busy taking photos much to the dismay of the guide.

Trail to Narimale FRH

A couple of breaks and we reached the first grassland from where we could see greenery everywhere. A few snaps and we were heading to the rest house. Our plan initially was to have a good break at the rest house before sumiting the peak and for that we had to move fast.

Distant Mountains

Kiran had caught up with us by then, while the others were far behind. The guide was getting more and more cranky and when we stopped for the next break, he told us he wont be able to come any further than the guest house. His main concern was the slow pace and the numerous trails enroute to the peak from the guest house where anyone can get lost. He cited numerous incidents where people have wandered off trail and landed up in kerala. Kiran and mohan tried reasoning with him, however he wasnt willing to budge. While mohan went ahead with the guide to ease the situation, kiran and I waited for the others to catch up. We told them if we r to reach the peak, the pace has to increase and photo stops would have to come down.  Since I was eager to reach the peak, Prashant told that the faster ppl would move ahead, while the others would come at their pace and they would not be sad if they didn’t reach the peak.

With the agreement reached we headed off to the the rest house which was a km away. The guide who had reached the guest house with mohan kept complaining to the other group as to how he was forced to come all the way to the peak! inspite of his insistence on not coming. When we reached the guest house, everyone was told the same thing, increase the pace in order to reach the peak. Dropping our bags at the guest house we headed off. With no luggage except for couple of bottles of water and food in a bag, our pace increased. The scenery also changed as we moved ahead. There was greenery everywhere. Taking a few photos we moved along.

Lush Greenary

The guide would look back every now and then to ensure no one would wander off as there are a few trails which leads to kerala. We met another group who had stayed the day before in the guest house and the guide who was with them also tried to de-motivate us by saying the peak can’t be climbed in a day. Seeing in comrade our guide also began the rant which he started earlier. This was getting a bit tiresome and we just continued on our way. Soon we had the peak in our sights and the guide showed us the border between karnataka and kerala

No Man’s Land

Soon we could see the peak from the close range and this made us walk even faster.


The final ascent was one of the difficult parts of the entire trek. The loose gravel made it difficult to climb and the steepness meant more breaks. Slipping and trying to maintain our balance we continued on our way. The scenary however compensated for the tireness and kept us moving

The climb and the scenary

It was quater past 1 by the time everyone reached the peak. A small photo session to celebrate and we had our lunch atop the peak.

The gang atop the peak

Spending an hour at the peak, we headed back. Descent was a little tricky and everyone were careful not to go down face first!. A slow descent which took us an hour,we met up with the guide and headed back to the FRH which took us an hour or so. A short break and it was back to the base. As it was only a descent on the way down, we reached irrpu falls by 5 thus proving to the guide it was possible to do the trek in a day.

Since the majority of them had to come back to bangalore the next day, it was decided we would catch the bus from gonikoppa. We reached gonikoppa around 7 and back to bangalore in the wee hours the next day thus concluding a long pending trek

Snaps can be found here

Kudremukh: An unfinished trek, Somavathy Falls and Tirumaleguppi Peak

It had been almost 2 months since I had been on a trek with the climb to roopkund being the last.  It was rainy season by the time I came back from roopkund(After completing the trek in rain there too) and increase in work meant there was no treks could be done.

Srikanth had also registered for Roopkund trek due in Oct and he wanted to acclimatize himself to the rigorous of trekking in the himalayas, so this prompoted us to discuss a trek.  We zeored in on kudremukh as it was going to be converted to a tiger reserve shortly n this was our last chance to scale the peak.

We had last trekked to kudremukh in 2008 and in January. The landscape was barren when we had visited then.  We could see nature at its best now, as it would green everywhere.

Kudremukh in January

As usual tickets were booked and we set off to kalasa on Friday night.  To our bad luck the bus developed a snag which meant we reached kalasa later than the planned time.

Day 1: Trek to Kudremukh

Kalasa in the morning

The bus to kudremukh has just left and the next bus was not due for another hour. After finishing our morning duties we waited for the bus to arrive. A couple of buses passed and the bus to kudremukh had still not arrived. We waited for some more time to see if the bus would arrive. Even after waiting for another hour,when the bus didnt arrive, we inquired again only to find out the bus has been cancelled.

Time was running as the permission to trek to kudremukh is given only for a single day. Overnight camping is not allowed and one has to return back before nightfall. It was already 8.45 and we decided to hire a auto to mullodi as time was running out

Wet roads all the way

We began the climb to mullodi and to satish(guide’s) house at 9.45. The jeep track was covered in slush and we passed a bridge with the river flowing in full force.

Muddy roads and full rivers

The scenary improved as went higher. Clicking snaps went proceeded. Kiran who had been to satish’s house earlier had asked us to take the jeep track till the top as satish’s house was the last one. We reached a fork in the track n took a wrong route and reached a house. Upon inquiring there we came to know we had to proceed along the same road further and we would reach the house.  This excerise cost us another 15 min and by the time we met satish it was already 11.

The scenary had improved dramatically by the time we reached satish’s house. With the rain still continuing to come down, the surroundings looked even more breathtaking. More amazing scenes was in store for us.

Scenary enroute to sathish’s house

It was 11.30 by the time we reached satish’s house and chances of reaching the peak looked bleak. We still decided to go ahead and see how much we could cover. It was 12pm by the time we left for the peak. Passing somavathy falls we began the ascent with the guide sathish had appointed leading the way.

The lush green carpet had spread itself everywhere, the scenary was mesmerizing everywhere we turned

Greenary Everywhere

Crossing a couple of overflowing streams we continued on our way to the peak. The current in a few streams was high and we crossed them taking the help of the guide. We continued the climb while taking snaps. Soon we reached a flat place and stopped for a short while to take in the beauty and a few snaps. It was already 1.45 and the guide told us it was already late for us to reach the peak, as it was raining intermittently and the water level had gone up. The guides worry was that it would be evening by the time we reach the peak and crossing the streams at nighty t would be a problem.

With the possibility of reaching the peak ruled out, we decided to go till “OntiMara” which is the half way point to the peak.

As usual I was busy with photoshoots, as we continued the climb

Meadows and Mountains

It was 2.15 by the time we reached “OntiMara” and it was already raining.  We spent some time there getting soaked in the rain before heading back.


We left ontimara around 2.30 and started the trek back to satish’s house. We took it easy as there was enough time left for us to get back. A couple of shots of the overflowing streams and a longish break to empty the snacks we had carried with us and we reached satish’s house around 5.45-6.

Overflowing Streams

Evening was spent discussing options for the next day. The guide had gone us thirumaleguppi peak which he said could be done as a day trek.  Speaking with satish we decided to keep our options open for the next day

Day 2: Somavathy Falls and Trek to Thirumaleguppi Peak

It was raining continously throught the night and it was still raining by the time we woke up. We were pondering what to do as we were in two minds as to whether to continue with the trek or go for a sightseeing. Srikanth was keen on doing rafting as we had seen a board indicating rafting on our way to mullodi. However with our finances, rafting looked a bit bleak.

I was however keen on trekking to thirumaleguppi, as we couldnt come back here again and this may be our last chance to climb a few peaks in the Kudremukh NP.  We decided to head to somavathy falls which was flowing very close to sathish’s house and then decide on next course of action.

Somavathy Falls

The weather was beginning to clear as we were returning from the falls and this prompted us to rethink our decision about trekking to thirumaleguppi.

We informed to satish that we could like to trek to the peak and he arranged a guide for us. It was estimated that we would require about 2-2.5 hrs to reach the top and the same amount of time to get back. After having breakfast we began the trek

Crossing the overflowing stream like yesterday we proceeded towards the peak. It was drizzling intermittently as we climbed. The paths to kudremukh and thirumaleguppi peaks diverge after we cross the stream. While we had to cross a lot of streams on the way to kudremukh there were relatively few of them towards thirumaleguppi

First look at thirumaleguppi peak

The path towards was relatively flat with a few elevations along the way. We were proceeding at a fairly good pace, and after an hour of trekking we were at the base of the peak.

The lush green mountains at the distance looked like a picture perfect setting as we climbed the steep ascent to reach the peak.

Mountains, Mountains and More Mountains

Finally after hour and half of climbing, the guide n I reached the peak with srikanth following us.

Hurray!! We reached the Peak

The weather which was sunny suddenly turned misty and it began to rain.  Kudremukh peak was briefly visible before the whole area was engulfed in mist. We spent some time atop the peak waiting for the weather to clear, before heading down.

Another couple of hours of descending and we were at satish’s house. Packing our things and settling the final accounts with him, we bid goodbye to them and headed back to the main road, thus concluding an amazing monsoon trek

Kudremukh Fact File

Distance from bangalore: 350kms

Places to trek in KNP: Kudremukh Peak, Gomukha — which is a detour from the peak. The path deviates from the church which is present near the peak

Thirumaleguppi Peak, Kurinjal and Gangatigal Peaks — These can be trekked from bhagavathi nature camp.

Note: Permission is required to trek to all these peaks. One can obtain permission from RFO paying a nominal fee of 275 per head.

There is a proposal from the govt to convert kudremukh national park to a tiger reserve. This is already in the implementation stage as the trek route from belthangadi has already been closed as that part has already been turned into a reserve.  From our conversation with the guides we have come to know that the main trek route through mullodi may take a while to be turned into a tiger reserve as there are houses in the vincinity and it may take a while for this part of the woods to be turned into a tiger reserve.

Those interested in trekking to Kudremukh Peak can still do it as long as the route is open.

Satisha Kudremukh Contact No

Mob: +919481074530

Snaps can be found here

Monsoon Mania — Shingani Gudda/Jamalabad Fort Trek

With the monsoon setting in, and weather being cool, it was an ideal time to do a monsoon trek. I was initially thinking of doing dabbe falls and kanoor kote, however after a few calls to srikanth & kiran, we decided to climb shingani gudda, also called as buddha’s peak which is one of the significant peaks in the charmadi region. The plan for the next day was to be decided after getting back from shingani gudda.

With a rough plan in place,  the team (Srikanth,Me,Kiran,Guru, Poonam and Shilpa) headed to dharmastala on fri. Kiran had taken care of the bookings and he had called gokhle, to arrange for a guide and stay at their home. We had got news that it was raining intermittently in dharmastala, however this did not deter us from going ahead with the trek

Day 1: Ascent to Shingani Gudda

After a good sleep in the bus, we were dropped in kokkada around 5.30 in the morning. The overnight rains had left the roads completely wet.

Wet Roads

We waited for another half hour for a milk van to come, where we hitched a ride to gokhle’s house who welcomed us when we got there.  Refreshing ourselves, we began the trek after having breakfast. The overcast skies and mist covering the mountains provided a perfect setting for the trek

Cloudy/Misty Weather

The guide led the way and we followed him. The moment we entered the forest, we met our companions THE LEECHES, who would give us company throughout the trek

The cloudy weather still continued, however there was no rain yet. The incline was gradual and we were proceeding at a good pace while taking short breaks in between. Srikanth and myself managed to spot a snake, which was well camouflaged by the green cover. Taking snaps proved to be a challenging as  the camera wouldnt focus on the snake correctly. Trying a couple of times we moved ahead as we observed that the snake was trying to be aggresive when we were taking the snaps

The snake n the mistical forest

The mist which had engulfed the valley began to climb as we climbed higher & the steepness increased in a couple of places.

The valley

Shilpa who was doing her first trek, was struggling to keep up with us as she was quite scared of the leeches. The guide had given a home brewn oil to minimize the leech bites, however that didnt seem to have much effect. This prompted guru to stay back with her, while me kiran and poonam headed to the peak. It began to rain suddenly as we were near the peak and this prompted to stay put for a short near a cluster of trees as the wind was blowing very heavily.

As the wind velocity came down, we began the final ascent in the rain. Lucikly the rain stopped as we reached the peak.

A couple of shots and we were resting there for about half hour or so before we headed down, as we had got a call from guru who had asked us to come down soon, as he lost his way while trying to climb the peak to get to us 😦

Finally!! Reached the peak

Getting down was a little tricky as we were slipping  n sliding while getting down. Srikanth and myself had our fair share of falls before we got to guru and shilpa who were waiting for us.

The descent continued after lunch and soon we reached the water point, where we had another break before moving on. While the guide, went ahead, guru and the girls followed him, while me kiran and srikanth took a longer break before we decided to go ahead, however we soon realized we had lost our way.

Guru was just a short distance away and was whistling to us. Soon, we caught up with him, and managed to find our way to the road. Once we were on the road, the next question that came to our minds were “Where was the guide and the girls”. Srikanth argued that since we were shouting and whistling, the guide would have gone back to look for us, while kiran and I were of the opinion that they would have gone to gokhkle’s house.

To settle the matter once and for all, kiran n srikanth headed back to the point where we started the trek while me and guru waited near a bridge. Soon we found them coming back with the girls, who were apparently relaxing at the guide’s house. We headed back to gokhle’s house where we were welcomed with hot tea.

Evening was spent discussing the plans for next day. While I wanted to trek to udaya parvata, others were not in the mood to do any trekking. Shilpa was totally against any trek. Guru and Srikanth wanted to relax the next day. This left just me, kiran and poonam who were ready to trek the next day. Various options were put forward such as hiring a jeep and visiting kudremukh and few other falls around dharmastala, and even going to mangalore to hit the beach and then go to pabbas for a few ice creams. Discussions continued even after dinner, however with nothing materializing, it was time to hit the sack

Day 2: Jamalabad Fort

It was a early start to the day as everyone had woken up soon. After finishing our morning chores, the “plan for day” discussion continued. I proposed a trek to jamalabad fort which was quite easy. There would be no leeches there, all that was to be done was to climb the rock cut steps to reach the top of the fort. However it was evident by now no one was interested in trekking except me and kiran. The others decided to go to mangalore to have some fun while me n kiran headed to dharmastala to dump our luggage and then head to the fort

We reached belthangdi and took another bus to the nearest point. It was already noon by the time we reached the bus stop. A short stop for lunch and we began the climb

First Look at Jamalabad Fort

There were no security guards present below, as the fort falls under kudremukh reserve forest, one has to pay fees to trek to the peak.  The weather was bright and sunny and we were climbing without much effort.

As we went up, we could see the kudremukh range in all its glory. It was a delight to see the lush green forests

Kudremuh Range

An hour later we were at the top, and were exploring the fort. We also met a few guys who had come from mangalore to climb the fort. We spent some time talking with them before moving on. Spending some time atop the fort, we began our descent. The weather which was sunny suddenly turned cloudy and it began to rain heavily.

Descending slowly we made our way back to the base of the fort which took us about an hour

A short break and we were walking back to the bus stop after taking a few parting shots of the fort and the river

Fort n the River

With nothing to do after finishing the trek and others would take time to get back,  I told kiran we could walk from ujjre to dharmastala, which is about 8 kms.

Munching some snacks in belthangdi and after having some cuppa, we boarded a bus to ujjre and began walking to dharmastala after alighting at ujjre bus stop. It was raining intermittently and as usual we got drenched. Reaching dharmastala, we collected our luggage and after changing we met up srikanth and others who had just arrived from mangalore.

After dinner we headed to the bus and back to bangalore thus completing a wonderful trek, with the only casualties being my phone, which got drenched with me, and my knee 😦

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The summer months can be a hard time for trekking as the humidity and scarcity of water prevents us from going out anywhere. After a prolonged break from my trek to kabbaladurga , I decided to head out for another trek, when shashi asked me about my plans for the weekend. I decided to head out to kotebetta in coorg, this time with shashi and his friend for company.

With the usual bookings done, we headed out to madikeri on fri night and after a comfortable sleep we reached madikeri at 6 in the morning. The next bus to somwarpet would leave shortly and after finishing our morning ablutions, we waited for the bus to arrive, which was unfortunately late. As the private bus stand was very close to the main stand, we headed there and caught the bus to hatti hole which is the starting point of the trek. A short stop for breakfast and we started the trek.

River Hatti

We passed by the river hatti and after a couple of kms we found a hanging bridge built which is used by the people to cross the river. It was decided we would spend some time at the bridge when coming back

The hanging bridge of hatti hole

After walking a couple more kms we found a board indicating the direction to kotebetta and the approx distance. The distance from the board to the top was 7 kms and it was a continous ascent.

Way to kotebetta

The climb began and we were moving at a good places, while taking snaps. There was a good breeze blowing and we proceeded at a steady pace.

With breaks in between, we proceeded on the well defined trail. The sun was beating down on us, however the cool breeze blowing made the climb easier. As we proceeded higher, the scenary improved and we could see the lush green cover of the western ghats

Scenary near kotebetta

A couple more hours of climbing and we reached the end of the trail. The destination was still further away, and we proceeded further by climbing on the rocks and stones. Another hour of climbing and we reached the top. There was a temple at the top where we had a photoshoot and had a small siesta

View from top of kotebetta

After sleeping for an hour or two we began the descent. The trail is a little confusing at the end of the jeep track, and we got lost for a brief period of time. However we could get back to the correct path soon, and we continued the descent. A couple of short stops and we were back to the base.

A quick dip in the hatti river and a couple of shots at the hanging bridge we were on our way to coorg thus completing another eventful day trek

Kotebetta Factfile

Name of Peak: Kotebetta

Distance and How to reach: From coorg, take any bus which goes to somvarpet and get down at hatti hole bridge. All buses stop at hatti hole. From the bridge the peak is about 11-12kms.

Sources for Water: There is plenty of water during rainy season. There are a few wells at the top where one can fetch water

Difficulty Level: Moderate

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Snaps from shashi’s cam

Thadiyandmol and Nishani Motte – The Season Ending trek

Brijesh of Ruff Terrain Adventures had asked me to join for a trek to thadiyandmol and Nishani Motte before I left for himalaya. I had told him that I had climbed Thadiyandmol already and would be interested in joining for Nishani Motte, however he asked me to join as the group would be different.

I proposed the plan to kiran who promptly joined. Tickets were booked for coorg on fri night.

We reached coorg at 6 and called brijesh who sent a vehicle to pick us up. After finishing our morning abulations in the basecamp we got ready to climb thadiyandmol.

Day -1

The trek started after a round of introductions. In order to save time, the vehicle in which we were travelling, was driven till nalknad palace. From here the peak is 6 kms.

The Ruff terrain Gang

As kiran and I had already been to the peak, we began the climb with a few others following us. A guide YHAI Coorg unit as accompanying us in case some one got lost.

The intial part of the climb was through a tarred road and as we gained altitude the scenary also improved.

Way to the Peak

We soon reached the only source of water and took a short break. The rest of the gang was a long way behind. We however decided to continue the climb as the path was straightforward. Stopping to take few snaps we continued our climb

Scenary near thadiyandmol

An hour of climbing and we were at the top. As we were the first persons to the peak, I choose a comfortable place to have a nap while waiting for the rest of them to arrive. The rest of the guys arrived after an hour. Lunch packets were opened and after lunch the descent began.

We were at a small waterfall which we crossed in a couple of hours. A short break to wash our faces and to drink water we reached nalkanad palace pretty quickly.

The rest of the guys arrived late as usual and those interested in having bath went to a nearby creek near the palace while the rest of them went to see nalknad palace. It was time to leave nalkanad palace as it was already 6 !!.  The return journey was spent antakshari. Dinner was served in basecamp and it was time to hit the sack after a round of campfire.

Day 2

The trek to nishani motte was scheduled for today. As the route was new to everyone we were asked to follow the guide. We were transported to galeebedu from where the trek begins. The guide led the way and we followed

The initial part of the trek was through cofee estates.

Coffee Estates

As there were numerous deviations in the path, those who were ahead were asked to wait at the intersections till the guide arrived. After crossing the coffee estates we came to a clearing from where we could see the majestic WG. The scenary was simply amazing and once everyone reached there, a short break was taken before we proceeded

Western Ghats

The guide asked us to follow him as only he knew the path. We continued to walk along the ridge which provided some great scenary

Ridge Walk!!

We could see the peak in front of us after crossing the ridge. With greenery all around the peak looked very inviting. The wind was blowing heavily when we reached the peak.

View from the peak

Spending some time at the peak we began the descent. As usual the guide was leading the way. After briefly loosing our way we were back on the right track. An hour or two of descending, we reached the road. The rest of the guys followed.

Time was already running out as a few ppl had come to AP and they had to reach bangalore to catch a 10.30 train. The vehicle was called to where we were and soon we were heading to the basecamp.

Those who had to get back to Bangalore boarded the vehicle, while me and kiran decided to get down at madikeri, as our return tickets were booked already

A visit to Abbi Falls and we were roaming around in coorg till dinner time and we boarded the bus to bangalore, thus concluding the final trek of 2010

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Snaps can be found here

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

Meruthi Parvatha

Meruthi Parvatha a non descript peak nestled in merthi khan estate was the location for this week’s trek.  Srikanth had told me about the trek when I was preparing for thadiyandmol and I agreed to join. Kiran joined too and the total count was 9 ppl.

Tickets were booked and all the 9 of us gathered in majestic at 10 to start the journey to hornadu. The team for the trek (Srikanth, Myself, Subbu Krishna, Aishwarya, Arun, Rekha, Kiran, Vasudendhra and  sagar)

Our conversations began after settling in the bus. Talking about various treks we spent our time. The long journey took us near to hornadu, we got down in between and immediately boarded the bus to basrikatte which is the starting point of the trek.

The sun was peeking out of the clouds, and the mountain at the distance looked majestic. Upon inquiring about the possibility of rain, the locals told us that the rainy season hadn’t started yet.

Distant Mountain

Having a sumptuous breakfast at shivalli hotel, and parceling lunch, we started the trek.

Start of the trek

We walked a back on the road, and took a deviation to enter the merthi khan tea estates which is owned by TATA. The initial part of the trek is through the tea estates.

Merthi Khan tea estates

Obtaining permission was a breeze as we told the watchman that we had come here before and we would be getting down on the other the hill and go to hornadu. With the permission settled, we began the long walk through the estate.

With scenary becoming better, we continued, with srikanth leading the way. After walking for a short while, we had to stop as there was no clear path. There was a small path going upwords, and we decided to take it, provided it wasnt closed.

Srikanth, went a short way up, and asked the others to follow as the path was clear. It took us another half hour to climb to the top from where we could get a good view of the tea estates and the neighboring hills

Tea estates and hills

The path from hereon was straightforward. Myself and kiran started the ascent, with other following. The higher we climbed the views got better. It had rained a few days back and the slopes of the mountains were covered in green. After climbing for some time we took a short break and took a few snaps of the nearby hills

Trekkers paradise

To reach meruthi parvatha we needed to climb three hillocks all of which are in sequence. Kiran and I continued to push, taking small breaks in between.  Subbu and aishwarya were behind us followed by the others.

At 11.30 kiran and I reached the top of meruthi parvatha.  There is a small ganesha statue at the top of the peak.

Ganesha Statue on top of the peak

Since others were quite far behind, we settled down for a nap

Nap time atop the peak

Subbu, Aishwarya and vasudendra joined us atop the peak after some time. It took another hour for arun and others to reach the peak. Everyone looked very tired, and soon the lunch packets were opened, we emptied it in no time.

Lunch was followed by another round of rest, before we headed back to hornadu. Descent was quick, and we reached the clearing where the path to meruthi parvatha begins in no time. Here the path diverges and we had to take a path goin down. With a short break, we took the path going down and we reached a hospital which was located below.

Srikanth and arun were still coming, and subbu and myself went to ask the route, to hornadu. The person at the hospital guided us short distance and asked us to take the road goin down which we did. We passed a couple of small villages and we reached a field.

Jeep Track

Another couple of min, and we reached a small waterfall, where we decided to have a bath.


Spending almost an hour at the falls, we headed to annapoorneshwari temple, where we spent the rest of the evening. Dinner was served in the temple and we boarded the 9.15 bus back to bangalore

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