2009 has not been really great for me...i missed my favourite hiking, my state karnataka suffered because of the heavy rain which resulting floods and huge life, property loss.
So i wanted to start the new year in a good shape, wanted to arrange some trekking to nature's lap. There umpteen number of places in our own western ghats, but whenever i was fixing the dates, rain god was showing his anger, due to which i had to postpone the trek 2 times.
At last! my friend Murali was also arranging some trek, to which i though i could join. I rang him up and asked him to include me in his list.
So i was in! But forgot to ask which were our destinations.
Our destinations were:
DAY 1 - Trek to Ballala Rayana Durga(fort)-
-Night Stay in Kudremukha guest house-
Day 2 - Trek to Kudremukha peak
I had already covered the above destinations, still i feel kudremukha is an evergreen destination to all. So i thought to see those places once again.
Our TT(tempo traveller) started from mangalore and we passed via kottigehara(chikmagalore district) and we reached a place called durgadahalli. A old KalaBhairaveshwara temple lies just below the Durga(Ballalarayana durga). The family of the temple priest was so cooperative that they had prepared some snacks(avalakki) for us. We started our trek at about 12 pm.
The initial hike is through thick jungles and then we step in to the bare mountain neck. One side you will see the steep valley and another side shola forest.And you will have to tread amidst this. Narrow path leads to you towards the fort of Ballala.
Its not at all a hard trek. There were several first timers in our team, but they were very happy and managed to climb up the hillock.
We reached the top at 1.30, wandered around the fort, saw Kotebagilu, a huge entry point to the fort, and then we started to descend.
Nice meals was waiting for us at priest's home when we reached at 4 pm! All were hungry and that made each one forget other things and concentrate in munching. We thanked the priest mr.Dongre for the hospitality and prayed Sri Kalabhairaveshwara, and our journey began towards kudremukha township
We reached kudremukha township, which lies in a place called Malleshwara at 7 pm, we had to take permission for kudremukha trek from the forest office situated at the township. We managed to find the staff after a few minutes of scouting. We took permission letter and identified a guide for us and then went to the guest house.
A few words about this township: Kudremukha Iron Ore Ltd was functioning here till 2005, and following Supreme Court's order, it had to stop its mining operations here. Thus the prestine nature is once again blooming in this area. The vast township of malleshwara consists of a large park, guesthouse, auditorium et al. Now since company cannot function in the national forest area, this infrastructure here lies idle. There is a proposal from state government to use this area as a police training camp.
Now back to our trek. It was very cold out side, and we fell asleep very soon in the night, since we had to start our journey as quickly as possible.
We all were ready by 6am, and bundled up the pack lunch started towards samse. We have to move towards Sringeri road, and deviate towards right to go to kudremukh. The road is in a bad shape, and soon after 2-3 kilo meter journey we thought it was safe to stop our TT there itself. So we took all necessary baggage, and started our hike from there itself. We met our guide in samse, and started the trek to kudremukha peak. When we were moving slowly amidst the coffee estates, a group of youth came in bikes, they too were heading towards the peak. In samse there are a few houses, and they provide all possible support to the needy trekkers. And any vehicle has to stop in that village and the road ends.
Then the real trek starts.
My knee was paining since i had slipped last day. Still managed to trek in the nature. I was all alone and in the last of the group. I was unable to rush like others. The last part of the trek is very tough and steep.
Still we reached the top of kudremukh. Now, the speciality of kudremuka trek is that water will be available abundantly throughtout the year in the trek. Many small springs on the way to kudremukha.
A big stream is flowing 365 days atop the peak, which is very helpful to the trekkersk, where we finished our lunch, and most of us were not bothered to speak, some fell asleep for a few minutes. The other team also reached and started to cook their lunch.
Wait..its still not peak. you are in the shoulder part of kudremukh, from there its about half an hour walk to the head of the horse. My knee was giving me utmost trouble, and i decided to descend as early as possible, and since i had visited kudremukh peak a couple of times, it was not a big disappointment for me. Once again all alone i stepped down very slowly, as i could not bend my right knee.
When i was reaching the village other members also joined me.
Each one of us enjoyed the trek, the sign was visible, a tired look outside, and a fresh feeling inside the heart.....