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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

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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.

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Roopkund Day 4: Ali and Bedni Bugyal

The weather which was clear turned bad at night and it began to rain heavily. The rain had not subsided in the morning when we got up, and this was the sign of things to come for the rest of the trek. It was initially decided we would leave at 6 in the morning was postponed to 7 and by the time we left didna it was 7.45

The initial climb was easy and as we entered the forest the steepness increased. As usual myself and benji were ahead with the rest of the guys following us. The trail was pretty straight forward and we continued the climb with short breaks in between.

A couple of hours of climbing and we reached a place where the trail came to an end. We were looking around for the continuation and soon found it. The steepness increased as we climbed further up and soon we could find the clearing from where we could see the vast expanse of the grasslands

Finally around 10.10 me, benji and poonam reached ali bugyal. We had noticed mist covering the area and we were hoping we could get a clear view once we reached the top

Ali Bugyal Covered in Mist

The guide who had reached ahead of the rest of the group asked us to go to the pond a little further up and wait for the rest of the group to arrive. We were also asked to have our packed lunch while waiting

The pond and the mist

The mist had played spoilsport and we were deprived of the magnificient view everyone were expecting from the bugyals

We waited for the others to join us and after they finished their lunch we started towards bedni bugyal which would be our camp for the day. The mist would clear occasionally revealing the greenary everywhere. Those who were in front were happy to pose of a few shots

Greenary everywhere and happy faces amongst mist

3 more hours of trekking and finally we reached our camp site which was situated admist mountains. As usual we got hot pakoras, soup and tea upon reaching the camp. It was drizzling intermittently when we arrived at the camp and the place as usual was clouded in mist.

Lokesh told us since we had already gained sufficient altittude, there was no need to go for an acclimatization walk. However those who were interested in venturing out, bedni kund and the tea shop were the attractions nearby

With nothing much to a few of us headed out to bedni kund which was covered in mist. The kund is a fresh water expanse of water which was surrounded by a wall with mountains on either side. There is a saraswathi temple near the pond, which people visit during the nanda devi raj jat which happens every 12 years

Bedini Kund and the temples

Having spent some time there taking snaps we headed for the tea shop to have some tea before going back to the camp.

Dinner was served and it was nap time. With the ascent to baguwasa starting the next day

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Sandakpu – A trek to the gates of shangri-la – Day 1

The day started with everyone being woken up at 6. As bathing was forbidden for the next 1 week, we just had to brush our teeth, and get our bags to the hallway. Breakfast was served and after that we were asked to assemble outside.

Jeeps had already arrived to pick us up and the trek  started after singing the national anthem and raising the national flag.

Jeeps

We began our journey to dhotrey which was the starting point of the trek. After collecting our packed lunch in manebhanjan we continued our journey to dhotrey. At Manebhanjan those having  cameras had to pay a fee of Rs 100 and this ticket would be valid till rimbick which was the last point of the trek.

Singalila National Park

Having reached dhotrey at 10.30 we were asked to assemble again and after a headcount the trek started

Dhotrey Village

The weather was quite cold and misty when we started the trek. The initial part of the trek was through villages.

The weight of the backpack was beginning to take its toll and I used to stop every now and then before moving further. After a little while I got used tot he weight and the climb became more easier.

The road to tonglu

The mist was however blocking the beautiful scenary. With breaks in between the climb continued  till we reached Tonglu where we were supposed to have packed lunch. There was a house there where we could rest.

House at Nepal Border

Nepal was just a few feet from there and we all went there for a photoshoot. Having spent some time at the border we headed back, where the headcount was taken again. The final leg of the trek was a downhill walk to tumling which was the final point for the day

Nepal and rocky path to tumling

Soup was served to everyone and we were shown our respective rooms. Evening was spent playing antakshari. Dinner was soon served and later me shashi and a few others for a moonlight stroll as the full moon was just too inviting. We went to a nearby stupa and spent some time there taking snaps.

A short while later we were back at the camp and hit the bed, as the climb to kalipohri awaited us tomorrow

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