01 August 2007

On a warring path!!

Last weekend, Pradeep, Raghavendra, Raghu, Vikram, Prashanth and myself planned for a monsoon trek to Kumara Parvatha in the heartland of amazing evergreen forests in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. As the word have gone, Vikram caught fever on the day of journey and dropped out to see that we are not troubled(!). He had developed chickenpox, we came to know this upon our return. He asked me how the journey was and trek in rains. I replied him thru an email which I am pasting further.

Experience :

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.

The mistic appearance
This apart, it was raining heavily, we had good amount of food and other items with us, along with tent, which was heavy as well. So, cut down in pace, we thought; but least we knew that we had to run for our lives, to escape the leeches. oh! leeches!! I have never come across such a huge stock of them, it was as if they had waged a war against us... rains from above, heavy luggage on our back and leeches from the ground...all were against us.

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.


Prashanth M said...

Nice log & photos!! Mallalli falls was amazing...
My account will have to wait for some more time - loads of pending work...

Veena Shivanna said...

ayyo.. Please remove the last photo.!!
Other photos are really good, specially the puppy.

Raj said...

srik, nice photos. Looks like a great place. Sorry for the ignorance, but how does one reach the place?

M O H A N said...

Very good description, the misty photos make my eyes misty!!

Priya said...

you look like doing a lot of treks...nice..the pictures have really come out well..leeches..yes i remember some of them on my legs when we went on a trek in Chikmaglur.. eeks...

Vinod Khare said...

Lovely photographs. Too bad about the leeches. But I guess consorting with nature has it's dangers.

Aravind GJ said...

You really had a nice time!! Nice photos.. Monsoon treks are always exciting.

Infolines said...

Thats awesome.. Its kooool..
Gr8 pics buddy. will try to explore the places someday. ur blog will guide ..

Kindly do send the details to Yograj Bhat or nagathihalli they will surely benefit :)

rk said...

Intha sundara Blogannu Odhuthiru,
Koothalle prapanchava Noduthiru,
Trekkingu nee mundhuvaresi blogpost maadalu mareyabedavo Sarvajna

Thanks for the lovely post. Nayimari pic. muddhagide.

Srik said...

Prashanth, Yes, it(mallalli falls) was a stunning imagery.

Veena, Thanks for empathising. But I decided to keep the snap, 'coz it shows the degree to which we were haunted by them.

Raj, Thanks for visiting backbencher's page. Please refer to the Mallalli falls link provided in this post for further details.

M O H A N, Welcome back sir. Yes, those pictures are like sure to take you to a dreamy world!

Priya, No...I dont trek too often. Posts here...One of them from 2001, one from 2006 and a few from 2007!

Vinod Khare, Welcome to Backbencher's page. I just went thru your blog, have to dig thru it. Amazing posts, I must say. Thanks for your comment.
Yes, Nature always has an upper hand in any such execution. But about leeches....its their home we invaded. So, they must be angry about it. There is nothing to feel sad about it!!

Arvind, Yes. But we must be very careful in venturing into a monsoon trek...Raingods mite fool you out, sometimes.

Naren, hahaha Nagathihalli....uh! I dont want them to spoil such beautiful places by making them popular. Our people doesnt understand the minimum level of behaviour that is expected out there. So, I am with the people who doesnt want to spoil the sanctity of such places.

rk, welcome WIKITAKAVI :)

Neevu hogaLi hogaLi honnashoolakkerisadiddare sari yenda sarvajna:)

Kadalabal said...

trekking in male and with leaches everywhere a great adventure and last photo optly explains the difficult jounrney hats off to all of you for the same and what srik
what a great way you have narrated the journey. tips to future adventurinsts simply superb

""malegalda naduve malegalalli payana
madidiri nivu jiganegala sneha
ottare kottiruviri namagella
barahada rasadauthana ""
sagali hege nimma payana
harisuvene nanu thumbida manadinda


neela said...

Let Nature maintain its sanctity in some places atleast. I agree with your view fully.
Ella kaDe jana nuggi plastic kasa chelli, beer cans bisaadi haaLu maadibidtaarashte.

mouna said...

the last pic does not get along with the others', please remove it :)

leeches, we had to dissect them in sem 1. i was glad to finish that particular practical exam.

reborn said...

u guys have guts to go in those ghats during rains !!! :) we had similar ( not so much affected though ) last year when we went to Yana...

So now u have survived the leeches, get urself prepared for tigers !! :D

Twisted DNA said...

Sounds like an amazing trek! You know, some of my best memories are such travels I did with my friends back when I was a bachelor! Cherish them!

"A dreamy view in the morning"
Beautiful photograph. You should frame it :)

bachodi said...

Srik , I have done KP .. that was one wonderful experience. I regret that I been only once to the top .. being a local.
BTW. Raghavendra you mentioned , is he a local of kukke ? guess I know him

Srik said...

pranesh saar, wow! Bellur ge sakat competition.. Heege mundu vareyali nimma padapunjagaLa adventure. And, Thanks a ton for your wishes.

neela madam, Thanks for taking my side. I have seen some places getting spoilt, helplessly. For instance, Nandi hills, Muttatti and Sangama. Horticulture department has done a great job in cleaning such places, but our people doesnt leave them alone :(

mouna, yukkkkkes...discecting a leech!! oh! Glad that i dint take up your course.

reborn(Madame S), Your yana story was a good one. Venturing with lazybums...I know how difficult it must have been. But still you did a wonderful job!

Yes..yes... I am ready for the tiger h(a)unt!!

Twisted DNA, Thanks for the visit and comment. Thats one of my favourite snaps as well! I'm excited to see you here.

Bach, I think he is a Raghavendra look alike ;) This Raghavendra is a hard core Bangalorean.

Arun said...

Seems like fullll fun! :)

Srik said...

Arun, glad to see you here. Thanks for the visit and the comment.

prax said...

isnt trekking in the rains fun??

just been to one recently

the leaches remind me of my kerala trip

Srik said...

prax, welcome to the backbencher's page.

Yes, it is fun in deed, tiresome, fiery, dangerous, but opens an avenue of possibilities of great joy.