Road to Pushpagiri
Yes, It was a fantastic experience, to trek in rains..amidst water and leeches.
The forest guard who was at the entrance didn’t allow us to enter the forest. After sufficient pleading, and assuring him that we would not venture further to Kukke Subramanya, he agreed. He charged Rs. 100/- each without giving us any receipt. However, we ventured with our luggage, tents and other stuffs.
Our initial plan was to trek from Somavarpet side(Bidahalli) -> camp at the peak -> trek further to Kukke to end the trek.
Lichen infected ground
But it was not to be, since the forest guard didn’t permit us to do so. So, we had change of plans, to trek till and camp at the peak and return back to Bidahalli. Since all we wanted was a monsoon trek, we went ahead in search of the peak.
If you have done KP(Kumara Parvatha) earlier, you'd know that there are two places in the jungle where water flows across the road and you have no other means to cross it, but to walk on it. In monsoon, these places would be usually flooded. Flow was tremendous, so, we had to be careful in crossing the stream. And once you cross, you are sure to encounter numrous such places where water would be rushing its way dissecting your way. This was exactly the scene we encountered.
An encounter with rain
To note, we had already de-paced hearing to the villagers that no amount of assurance would enable the guard to permit us in. Thus, we were running against time as well. We trekked for about three hours to reach the first viewpoint. It was a viewpoint, from where we could see nothing. owing to the clouds that covered the whole region. There was absolutely no distinction between the valley, hill, drop or anything else. Everything was misty, un-real and un-clear.
Tommy, a local dog that trekked all the way, just to accompany us!
It was 5:30 PM already and it was getting late as well. Venturing further, we searched for a sufficiently feasible place for the stay. We found none...the whole place was already occupied by the leeches. Villagers had warned us that the place b/n the view point and the peak was a haunt of elephants. Getting wary of this fact, we decided to head back for a village stay thru the night.
We ran down from here, but it was only by 9PM we could find a village suitable for our stay. We stayed at a hospitable villager's house that night. Village was named Heggadamane. Next morning we started trekking back to the bus stop at BidahaLLi 3KMs down the valley.
A beautiful view from the house of our stay
We missed the bus, but fortunately there was a chap with a jeep that could be hired in that village. We enquired and he agreed. On the way, he took us to a breath-taking waterfall called the Mallalli falls. Spending an hour there, we got back to Somavarapet in time to take the 1PM Rajahamsa. We were back in the city by 8PM.
We couldn’t conquer the peak, but had we some 2 more hours, we could well have done that as well. But I must admit, at the end we were happy to have daringly faced the leeches and their distructive war practices.
A dreamy view in the morning
Pradeep, Raghu and Raghavendra on a privileged walk
Next time, I am sure we can find our blood stains in the hills there, flowing inside some leechs' body!!
What an experience!!
P.S. If you are planning for this route in monsoon, keep the luggage to a bare minimum, and do not miss the 7.20AM bus at Somavarapet. If you miss this, then, you might end up caught between the rain, leech and the setting sun in the heart of the jungle, exactly what happened to us!!
I told Vikram that he missed a great oppotunity of spreading the chickenpox among the leeches!!
Leech bitten Srik
A war over the leeches, rain Gods and the dipping Sun....we won?? They won?? I cant say.
Update: Many are asking me for the means to reach this place. Please read this link, my post on Mallalli falls to know about the road to take, the distance, and bus facilities...etc.