Saturday, April 19, 2014

Trek around Makutta Range

The valley was more scary; the time was around 7.30 pm; we all finished the dinner preparation yummy Khichadi; about to set for night camping; suddenly we can hear thunder sound continuously; the light was hashing us; a youngest trekker Kirtana [7 year old] started cry “wants to go home!!!”; we all set under the tarpaulin till midnight.  This was the situation of the most scary trek night at Barapole river, near Kutiyala range of Virajapete taluk.

Since I am become a member of Conservation Awareness Team Trust [CATT –] this was my first trek with Prathap Sikadar.  He organized many treks around Western Ghats and very surprise to know that he explored almost entire Western Ghats.  The team size was only 5 members; the youngest trekker Kirtana joined with her father.

We left the Bengaluru on 18th April 2014 at late night 11.30pm.  The journey distance was around 250 kms.  Boarded the Qualis from Shanthala Silk house, later Sri Ram & his daughter joined us at Raja Rajeshwari arch.  Journey went on with self-introduction till midnight.


The base camp of this trek place is called Kutiyala Anti-Poaching Centre [APC] which was very remote place around Virajapete taluk.  We all reached very early morning at 5 am to the APC.  Babu in-charge of the camp greeted us with his smile.  Finished our morning duties and Babu took us very beautiful place near to the camp.  Finished our breakfast near the stream and did some good photography.

Back from the stream, we all set to leave towards Nanjigundi hills.  Babu briefed about our journey and asked us to get prepare to fight with blood sucker leeches.  Very surprised to know that in the April month still the leeches are active in this range.  Took the group photograph and left for the trek with Gun and Macchu.  May be surprise why the Gun!!!! The entire range is inhabited by Elephants.

The initial a kilometer path was jeep track.  

Very soon we all entered in the forest.  Crossed the Elephant trench and the path become denser. 

Started to notice leeches are crawling on our shoes.  The little trekker never bothered about the leeches and very daring girl.

After few kilometers trek reached a watcher tower.  We all went up and enjoyed the entire valley.  Took many photographs and headed towards the Barapole river.

From watcher tower the path was descending; we have to be very cautious to get slipped into the valley.  

There was no defined trail across the stretch; literally we have to cut the plants and make the way.  Enjoying the valley reached the Barapole river around 3 pm.  

The place was really beautiful and very scary.  The civilization is far away from this place and to be very cautious about the animals.  The stream was flowing calmly; one side of the river bank is big trees.

Dumped our backpacks and decided to have the lunch.  We all shared our lunch and enjoyed in the river.  We had enough of the time and explored the place. 

The trek was more pleasant till 5.30 pm; suddenly clouds turned into black.  Prathap suggested not taking risk will start the dinner preparation.  

We had no option apart from this; there was no shelter to escape from the rain.  We all together helped Prathap in preparation of Khichadi.

Yummy dinner ready and had very early at 6.30 pm.  The entire valley becomes dark and very scary. About to settle for night camping suddenly the rain started.  Luckily we carried two tarpaulins; one we covered our entire luggage and second one helped us to protect getting wet.  Four of us hold the corners and rest settled under the tarpaulin.  The thunder and lights made scarier the night.  Kirtana started crying and asked her father to take him back.  We all tried to convince her; still she did not. At last she got tiered and slept on her father lap.

May be the time is around 12 midnight, the rain shown little mercy on us.  Sky was become little clear and star started to shine.  With great difficulty we all set to relax for some time.  Dinu, one more forest watcher taken care about the fire.  We have very thankful to him; entire night he was watching us holding the gun and keeping alive the fire.


When I opened my eyes, the valley was looking more beautiful.  The eyes were not ready believing the scary night situation.  Everything was looking pleasant.  Kirtana back to her trekking mood.  Quickly finished our breakfast and left from the Barapole River.

Ascending the part sweated us, taking multiple breaks reached back again the watcher tower.  Leeches were again more active to attack on us since yesterday night rained. The view of the Barapole was looking more beautiful.

The next point is to reach the Sharadabbi falls.  Again soon we entered into dense forest.  Dinu struggled to find the path.  The sun rays were struggling to reach the earth; we can imagine the dense of the forest.

The Sharadabbi falls was dry, Babu explained about the place and crowd during the monsoon.  This falls is accessible by jeep.  Spent good times and cleared litter.  

Taking many group and individual photographs finished our lunch.

Now the time is back to base camp.  This stretch was flat jeep track.  Very soon we reached back to APC, left the place with mesmerizing our last scary night.

Hats up to Kirtana who completed successfully the scary trek.

PC: Prathap Sikadar

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