When green route turned pink!

Its very famous in southern part of india, that too prominently in karnataka as Green route. And rightly so, nobody can question that simile trekkers have bestowed upon edakumeri-gundia railway track which is part of mangalore-bangalore railway route.
But here my effort is to forewarn enthusiastic trekkers who may have to face similar difficulties that i faced few months ago.
The tale begins with one of my close friends Mukund repeatedly asking me to arrange a trek in this route. I too was enthusiastic and we planned the trip in august this year. It was raining moderately, yet we wanted the trek to be a rain drenched one. So with mukund, abhi, his friend kartik, my uncle vasanthkumar perla and sister artha perla we set towards green route.
Took a mangalore-bangalore ksrtc bus early morning at 5.30 from mangalore. We got down at donigal near manjarabad on NH 75. By mistake i had moved forward 2-3 km away, so had to walk back along highway. By then it started raining, so we put on raincoats and hastily reached railway track, luckily rain subsided. 
So once again each of us were keen to track walk. Initially it took some time to adjus




t our walking style to tracks, but soon we were comfortable. We came across few youth from Bangalore who were hesitant to continue, as they did not bring any night camping material.
Both side of the track we could see vast coffee plantations, and scattered forest. Later we entered jungle and the atmosphere was pretty cool and encouraging.
It was a good journey and tunnels, water falls beside track, appearance of goods trains all made our trip memorable.
OUR PLAN
We had planned to camp in Yedakumeri Station. So i had contacted a friend of mine who is working in mysore division railway office. He after some efforts, had confirmed me that there was a waiting room in Yedakumeri station, which can be taken for camping, but he also had clarified amenities are not there. All that we wanted was a roof to rest under, as it was rainy season. So it was our plan. Next day we wanted to descend towards Gundia.
So back to our trip, 
On route, we finished our lunch-Rice Unde(pundi), and proceeded towards destination. It was relaxed walk as we were sure of a safe area of halt. Everybody was clicking photos and watching peaks and valleys both sides of track. It was picturesque!
At last we reached Yedakumeri station, and rain welcomed us! It was already 7 pm. So all were happy to reach after a tiresome trek. So we met the railway station master and all of a sudden we were taken aback!
Station master almost behaved rudely and asked who permitted us to walk on track. I was shocked by his behavior, as my railway friend had confirmed about our stay. My uncle was tired and my friends, sister all were very tense. I told master about this but he was not ready to allow us. He told nobody could stay in station as it was not meant for passengers. Thankfully bsnl mobile range was there, i contacted my railway friend, and told about the incident. He asked me to stay there for a while so that he will contact some officer and permit us(i learnt that master whom my friend contacted had gone home after finishing his duty, the next station master was peculiar and kind of psychic, as told by other staff later!). When i showed my ID card, and told about my contacts in Railway department, after few hours, he told he would let us stay there only when division higher officers call him immediately and also told he cant stay there waiting for call as he was busy :) If they don't call we CANNOT stay there, and have to move out. And he also tried to shake saying that we should not have made a blunder by coming here that too in rainy season, and allowing us to stay there might be risky as there was chance of some thieves loot us.
Coming to station, it was beautiful area, with a huge hill in front of and a deep valley behind. As master told it was not for passengers and no train halts there for passengers. Trains halt there only if some railway staff are there to either get down or climb or they have to supply some material to station.
It was drizzling and the platform was wet, master was not allowing us inside waiting hall. IMAGINE......All were hungry, and shivering in cold, and there was no place to sit. But after watching all the drama, railway workers came to us and talked to us in nice manner. They asked us to wait till the shift changes as we could expect a gentleman station master. 
We unpacked chapatis quickly and started eating, the station master was beaming vicarious smile to us. My contact in Mysore didnot give any telephone call as the landline phone in Edakumeri staion was out of order. Only option left was call in hotline, but the higher officer had already left for home so he could never come back to control room to make hotline calls.
So nobody could help us and we were on our own. But we were confident by the assurances given by railway labourers. 
At last the shift changed at around 10 pm, and my uncle was very tired and badly needed rest. The new station master was really a gentleman and he allowed us inside the waiting room. But he told it was against the rules, but he could understand our position.
Railway labourers also had told us that a train coming from bangalore towards mangalore would stop in the station for few seconds at early morning around 4.30 am, so we needed to be ready. We set our mobile alarm at 4 am, and fell asleep. 
All went well at last and everyone of us had sound sleep, and we were ready at 4am to catch the train. We were expecting a packed train, but to our surprise, it was not crowded, and empty births welcomed us.

SO THE POINT TO BE REMEMBERED IS-DO NOT PLAN YOUR TREK IN THIS ROUTE IN RAINY SEASON, EVEN IF YOU PLAN, NEVER TRY TO STAY IN RAILWAY STATIONS. TRY TO FINISH JOURNEY IN ONE DAY.

2 comments:

Ashoka Vardhana said...

ಈ ಮಾರ್ಗದಲ್ಲಿ, ದೂದ್ ಸಾಗರ್ ಮಾರ್ಗದಲ್ಲಿ ನಾನೂ ಹೀಗೇ ತಂಡ ಕಟ್ಟಿಕೊಂಡು ನಡೆದವನೇ. ಆದರೆ ಅದು ನಿಮ್ಮ ಸ್ನೇಹೀ ಸ್ಟೇಶನ್ ಮಾಸ್ಟರ್ ಹೇಳಿದಂತೆ ರೈಲ್ವೇ ನಿಯಮ ವಿರೋಧಿ ಎಂದು ತಿಳಿದೇ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದೆವು, ಬಿಡಿ, ಹತ್ತಿಪ್ಪತ್ತು ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಹಳೇ ಮಾತು. ಆದರೆ ಈಗ ನೀವು ಮಾನವೀಯತೆಯ ನೆಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಅಹವಾಲು ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಿದಂತೆ ಬರೆದ ಈ ಲೇಖನ ಕಾನೂನನ್ನು ನಿಷ್ಕರುಣೆಯಿಂದ ಪಾಲಿಸಿದವನ ಗಮನಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದರೆ ನಿಮಗೆ ಸ್ನೇಹಿಯಾಗಿ ಒದಗಿದಾತನ ವಿರುದ್ಧ ಸಾಕ್ಷಿಯಾಗುವ ಅಪಾಯವಿದೆ! ಕಾನೂನು ಕತ್ತೆ ಎನ್ನುವುದನ್ನು ಮರೆಯಬಾರದು. (ಸಾಹಸಕ್ಕೆ ಅಭಿನಂದನೆಗಳು.)

Pavan said...

we had been there for the same trek 5-6 yrs ago and v also had to meet such a rude station master. yuk. in our case he even took some money from us to board us a train to Kukke but didnt do it. Idiot. By the way i just wanted to know whether trekking is still allowed??? we are planning it again.
any suggestions???