Saturday, January 11, 2020

MG Trek around Western Ghat

MG Peak
Half murder is more dangerous, similarly the incomplete / shortlisted trek also itch you to attempt it soon. 

Distance was not much, shade walk was very less, open to sky in grassland is 90% trail, no flat surface since beginning, no water source on entire trail, consumed water like a medicine, lips were dry, packed lunch brought back to base camp due to non-availability of water, a lesson to carry enough water / fruits, motivate to conquer one more time.

Beautiful Valley
This is life time experience during MG Western Ghat trek on 11th January 2020. We wanted to hike this peak last year during our VG trek, but due to guide issue it got cancelled. 

Grand opening of 2020 trek is one of the toughest trail me as on today. In my view, description of the toughness is, not the trail difficulty, it is about overconfidence of preparation/precaution. It taught a good lesson and realized the water essential during trek.

Once again thankful to Lokesh who organized and executed so well this trek. He taken care entire responsibilities and experienced us wonderful trek.

Beautiful View
This time again, decided to keep team size by max 5, travel by public transport. Lokesh and Chandru confirmed to join at base camp, myself, Sudhakar and Nagesh left from Bengaluru.

Journey begin

Early morning around 4.30 am reached the base camp forest guest house. Chandru & Loki were ahead of us, taking rest. We too joined them and had short nap.

Our Camping Palace
Guide, the young and energetic the same Tatha ready at 7.30 am who took us last year VG trek. 

Young & Energetic Guide
We all finished the breakfast nearby hotel and carried packed lunch. Breakfast is yummy.

Breakfast filling Station
Guide warned us to carry enough water since there is no water source. Moreover it is January month. After selfy of the group begin our journey

Team is ready
To begin the trek, we have to walk on highway tar road about 500 meters. It is always irritation to any nature lover, but there is no option. 

Initial trail on tar road
Took deviation from highway, entered in to real adventure path. Cool to our eyes and body.

Entered into Forest
After couple of yard, forest dense become thick. absolutely there is no path, just we have to follow guide. Making path our journey continued.

Thick Vegetation
Only initial trail around 2 KMs will provide you shade, rest is grassland with open sky. Making way in forest reached a small rock.

Break time
We decided to take a small break for snacks. Friends were brought cucumber, carrot and other eatable things. Shared the snacks each other, continued our journey.

Journey continued
The gradual ascend took us to open area of grassland. This was the last place of shade. Almost all western ghat trails are similar.  

Monkey Man - snatching Amla
On the way, we found plenty of Amla trees. Our rambo boy Sudhakar snatched enough of Amla and also filled our bags.

Destination far away
Now the peak is just in front of us, however it will test our stamina a lot. We all felt it is so easy to reach that place, but the reality was totally different.

Tough trail
When we reached the open area, cool breeze made us relax. It tempted us to take more and more photographs. We can see many more popular peaks of Western Ghat.

Pic Time
After spending some good time, continued towards the peak. Each step become very heavy to us. Sun was harsh on us merciless, water bottles getting empty, the trail and peak much ahead.

Many more popular peaks
Since the guide tatha is old, we asked him to take rest in mid of trail. He warned us not to take any deviation which may lead to adverse trek. Shared couple previous experience where trekkers wanted adventure exploration and ended in mystery treks.

Tough trail
The forest is habitats for many wild animals. We have noticed the Elephant dung and Tiger / Leopard shit on the way.

Elephant Dung
We assured him and continued our journey towards peak. The misery of this trail is, peak looks in-front of you, but it take more and more time reach to hug it.

Far Away
Water completely getting empty, we had no enough water to have food. I had never experienced and realized, a drop of water how so important to human life. To beat the thirsty consumed all Fruits and cucumber. Kept quarter bottle water for extreme emergency.

Journey continued
Now we are just 500 meters away from the final hike. But it was almost 70 degree altitude. I have lost the battle, mind and body was not ready to move ahead a single step. This is my first trek where I completely exhausted. The reason is not because of trail, it is non-availability of water.

Final stretch
Myself decided to stay back and not to take risk, along with me Nagesh and Chandru too expressed the same. Appreciate Sudhakar & Lokesh taking challenge with half bottle water to finish the final stretch.

Relax on peak
We found a rock with little shadow to relax our tiered body till both of come back. Food was waiting for us, but no water. Considering scarcity of water, decided to take it back.

After half an hour they both returned with load of golden memories. They briefed about adventurous trail. "The visible one is not the final peak, there are two more which need to cross to reach the final one".

Countless peaks
First time in life wanted to descend fast and drink enough of water. Obviously our steps become fast, taking small breaks reached the base point.

Had multiple tender coconut to beat our thirst, after sometime we become normal. Reached guest house and refreshed our body.

Victory Joy
This trek is unique in many aspects for me. I decided to take one more challenge in October 2020 to hike with well preparation.

Tiered soul

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Half a Day Trek to Savanadurga

On the eve of Gandhi Jayanthi, 2nd October, decided to hike around Bengaluru. Finally, shortlisted the Savanadurga. I had been here couple of times, however, it is ideal place to hike half a day trek close to namma Bengaluru.

We did not keep limit of team size, count ended by 15 members.  Car pooling is the best option. Considering the team size, lined up 3 cars.

Weather threaten in the early morning. Post monsoon also pouring heavily in Bengaluru. In the previous night too had good amount of rain. It disappointed early morning drizzle to our plan.

Our initial plan was to witness the sunrise on Savandurga hill. Due to weather condition, postponed two hours. Morning at 4 am, drizzling continued. We were little more upset, however decided to assemble common point at RR Nagar by 5 am.

All 3 vehicle friends gathered at the common point, and continued our journey towards Magadi. As the journey continued, sky is little bright and drizzling gradually stopped. Not taking much time, reached the Magadi. Surprise thing, there was no rain at all.

We have dual opinion about breakfast point, few are said to at Magadi and other at Savanadurga. Decided to have breakfast at second option.

When we reached the Savanadurga, already parking lot getting filled. The climate was perfect to begin the trek at the earliest.

Found a very good hotel near temple. Filled our stomach with yummy variety breakfast viz., Idli, Vade, Chitranna & Poori.

After, heavy breakfast, our trek begin. The entire trail looking like marathon. People were more, climate was cool.

There were many pit stop for photography. Pictures will talk more about our trail.

Very soon reached the peak. We took group photography. Spent some good time on the top.

It is very easy hike for all of us. Now the time to descend towards Bengaluru. Taking multiple break reached the base point.

We had prasad at Veerabhadreshwara Temple, at Savanadurga. While coming back, taken the other route of Doddaladamara.

This one day trek is most economy, just Rs.181/- each including the transportation.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Bicycle Tour: Mudigere to Manipal [Through Charmadi Ghat]

There are many ways to reach home Muniyalu from Bengaluru. However, we have to cross any one of the Ghat. I have already finished bicycle trip of Hulikal, Agumbe, Kuduremukha and Mookambike Ghats. This time decided to go through Charmadi Ghat.

Quite long time, I did not go for any bicycle tour. Monsoon is on peak, weather is tempting to take a challenge for a long ride. Initially, planned to go solo, at the last moment joined my close friend Sudhakar. We finalized the 20 – 21st July 2019, accordingly booked the tickets.

Route chosen:

Bengaluru – Mudigere by Volvo

Mudigere – Kottigehara – Charmadi – Ujire – Guruvayanakere – Bajagoli – Sharlalu – Muniyalu

Muniyalu – Shiroor – Hiriyadka -Manipal


Bus is scheduled at 10.45 pm; we had enough time to reach Majestic bus stand. Sudhakar and I reached ahead of schedule. After waiting half an hour, bus arrived at platform. We convinced the conductor, loaded the bikes in the luggage compartment, journey went well.

Day – 1: 20.07.2019

Sky was dark, weather was chill and its drizzling, the time is 5 am, when we reached Mudigere bus stand circle. Need to kill the time another one hour to start our journey. Assembled the wheels of bike and taken into bus stand. Decided to get refreshed and wait for sun-rays to start the journey.

Its now time to start peddling, after hot coffee and light snacks of bread. We expected, the journey is going to be happen awesome in the monsoon rain. After smart selfie, begin our journey towards Kottigehara.

Sudhakar brought homemade chapati and my-self curry. We decided to keep yummy food for lunch time and take the breakfast at Kottigehara.

Mudigere to Kottigehara is almost down trail. Drizzling giving an extra joy to our ride. There was no count for our photography. Taking many more breaks reached Kottigehara.

The breakfast totally disappointed us. We are unable to find any good yummy hotel. Ordered the Neerdose where the sambar was yesterday's. Compromised the situation and filled the empty stomach.

After a long break at Kottigehara, continued our journey towards Charmadi. Now the entire atmosphere become dark; rain drop increased; fog and mist captured the valley. 

I never seen such a wonderful monsoon magic in Ghat. We have stopped in may places to take the photographs.

Traffic was very less; taking multiple breaks reached Sri Annappa Swamy temple. It is in mid of Ghat; spent some time and continued our journey. After this point, the Ghat path get little wider; you won’t able to see the valley since it is covered hill both sides.

We had recalled our Charmadi Ghattrek memories which we ventured four years back. Indeed, every place looks different in the different seasons. Taking many more photographs, reached Charmadi village.

Decided to take a small tea break nearby hotel. From this onward, the trail is rolling; put target 5 pm to reach home; we are on-time.

After a small break, rain took a charge again. There is no point to wear the rain cheater since the heavy rain. We understood from the locals, school and colleges declared two days holiday due to heavy rain in the Dakshina Kannada district.

Very soon reached the Ujire; rain is pouring non-stop. From Ujire to Guruvayanakere road is very dangerous. The traffic is always more with heavy vehicles. Taking an extra precaution continued our journey in the heavy rain.

We have taken the deviation towards Karkala at Guruvayanakere. The traffic is manageable from this on-wards. We were feeling very hungry; however, the rain pouring non-stop. Decided to find the bus stop shelter to fill our empty stomach.

Found a descent bus stop at roadside. Homemade yummy food is always favorite. Chapati's and curry was not enough to our hungered stomach, again top-up with Bun + Bread.

We have come across high-tech Bus stop at Naravi, a small village. It has all modern facility viz., Wi-Fi, CC Camera, Water Filter, Digital Clock, Bus Timings etc.

After a long break, continued our journey towards Bajagoli. This is the place where the deviation takes us to Kuduremukha/Sringeri. I have chalked out the inner village route to reach Muniyalu through Shirlalu, Andaru. Traveled many times on this route.

In non-stop rain peddling, reached Bajagoli. Home, Muniyalu is around 30 KMs distance. Took a tea break and continued our journey.

Bajagoli to Muniyalu trail is so beautiful. It passes through interior village road. We could not able to capture more picture due to heavy rain.

I had been getting an journey update call from home, children were waiting my arrival. Nothing much taking break reached the home at 4.15 pm.

Day – 1 journey come to an end which will be in memory for peddling non-stop rain.

Day – 2 : 22.07.2019

Second is always relax one when the day-1 camping is at my home. This time also not much different; decided to visit the favorite place Multlapadi. Daughter and Son also demanded to join with us.

After yummy breakfast, we went to Multapadi in car. This place is always one of my most favorite in this region. The stream is flowing very forcibly; mist is covered the Valikunja.

We had spent good time in photography; tried different poses. Now the time to visit Kabbinale Falls.

This is my first visit to this beautiful fall. It was on glory of this peak monsoon. However, forest department restricted public to venture this falls for many reasons. We have obtained the permission from guard and get in to the forest.

Gorgeous Kabbinale falls will attract more tourists, definitely. It is very easy to access from road. After spending some good time, returned back to home.

We have been getting a call from home for lunch. After yummy lunch, adieu to children and continued our journey towards Manipal.

As per initial plan wanted to visit the Malpe and Udupi. But considering the weather condition and heavy rain, decided to peddle till Manipal. Our return journey is booked from this place.

Today also rain did not give relax; enjoying the rain and local village route reached the Shiroor Math. This is one “moola math” of Udupi. 

I had been this place multiple time and also visited during Bicycle tour from Shivamogga – Udupi with friend Chandru.

We explored the surrounding area, spent some good time and continued our journey. We were not in mood to explore anymore place. Heavy rain completely exhausted our energy.

Passing through Hiriyadka reached the Manipal at 7 pm. Of course, it is a big challenge to ride bicycle from Hiriyadka to Manipal due to heavy traffic. We had enough time to catch 9.45 pm bus. Filled our tummy with yummy dinner and boarded the bus back to Bengaluru.

This will be remembered for long for couple of reason:
1. Non-stop two days rain            
2. Monsoon Charmadi Ghat        
3. Many waterfalls throughout the trail
4. Yummy homemade food