In search of Monsoon went on Bicycle around Coorg [Kodagu], covering Talakaveri, Bhagamandala, Virajapete, Madikeri and a hike to Tadiandamol [second highest peak of Karnataka] on 17th & 18th June 2017. Cycling is always thrill and enjoyment especially in Monsoon. I was eagerly waiting to enjoy this season; my last cycling journey was from Shivamogga to Malpe sometime in February 2017 of this year. Again, accompanied with me, lovely friends Shanthi Prasad & Sudhakar. If you read my journey, most of the times they were with me, I am always happy to do more and more with these wonderful guys.
I have chalked down the trail for two days including a Tadiandamol trek, which is second highest peak in Karnataka. I trekked this place two years back with lovely bunch of friends, however considering the distance in two days, decided to do this wonderful trek.
16.06.17 Night: Bengaluru – Virajapete by Multi-Axle Volvo
17.06.17: Start from Virajapete – Kadanga – Cheyyandane – Nalakhand Palace – Tadiandamol [Night Halt]
18.06.17: Start from Tadiandamol – Kakkabbe - Napoklu – Bhagamandala – Talakaveri – Madikeri
We booked the Volvo bus which ends at Virajapete to avoid any luggage issues. The bus was at 11.30 pm from Mysore Road Satellite Bus Stand. Bus arrived on time, conductor – drivers were very co-operative, boarded our bikes and settled in our seats, journey went well.
As we expected the bus reached early morning at 4.45 am to Virajapete. We had enough of time to get refreshed and start our ride. Finished the morning core job at public toilet at Bus stand, had hot tea & biscuits in a petty shop. Morning was pleasant atmosphere with cool breeze, understood from the people, there was no rain since two days.
Very soon we crossed the town and hit the Bhagamandala road. Virajapete town hill was looking so beautiful from far, we stopped a while for morning warm up. After short exercise to our body, continued our journey.
The trail was rolling and not much difficult, weather was very perfect for cycling. Not taking risk, asked the localities about availability of breakfast, someone was suggested Kadambi.
Soon we reached the
village, decided to take a break for breakfast.
Tiny village hotel served hot Dose + tea, continued our journey.
|Break for Breakfast|
Our target to reach by 11 am max to Thammayya house, which is the base point for Tadiandamol trek. We had enough of relax time, now Sudhakar & Shanthi Prasad were in mood to have the Jackfruit.
We found many trees, unfortunately could not able to get
a tasty fruit. But nature had not
disappointed us, found enough of Guava
fruits. They were crazy, filled our pocket and backpack.
|Jack fruit attempt|
We took a deviation towards Nalakhanda Palace road before Kakkabbe. Passing through coffee estate continued our journey. Thank you to local people for making us to awareness about Elephant movement around this place. We understood there were 8 elephants & 2 calf.
Nalakhand Palace is on the way to Tadiandamol peak, decided to explore a while this palace. Guide – cum – Security guard explained about the palace. Even though it looks very small, however it is very interesting palace.
Now the most difficult journey started for the day. The trail become so tough, many places we could not able to ride it.
It was not so easy to ride
off road with steep trail, we had to stop in many places. Either we stopped for
photography or tiredness, reached the Thammayya house.
Smiling face, Thammayya welcomed us, explained about our trek plan and stay at his home. He is very nice guy who provide a stay and basic tasty food on demand. Parked our bikes at his home and continued the trekking towards peak.
The Tadiandamol is peak around 4 KMs from his house. Appreciate Forest department for initiating a check-post at base point. They charging entrance fee Rs.20/- each, I think this is the lowest fees across Karnataka as of now.
One more interesting and admirable thing is, they are collecting Rs.50/- as a security deposit each plastic bottle . The amount will be
refundable, once they bring it back and shown to officials. I personally recommend not to allow any
plastic bottles and other stuffs beyond the check-post point.
Paid the fees and finished the entry permission formalities, continued our trek. The weather slowly turning into rainy, the clouds & mist covering the valley. Thank you so much to Sudhakar for bringing tasty homemade food for lunch, Chapati, Curd, Chatney, Onion and Pickle. We decided to stop for lunch before rain hit, near big rock [common place of camping for trekker] had yummy lunch.
After a small relax, continued our journey towards peak. The weather was completely turned into mist and rain.
The valley was hide and seek in
the mist, drizzling added more cool in the atmosphere. Soon we entered in the forest range from open
grassland. Tadiyandamol trek is 95% in
grassland, only at one stretch we pass through forest.
How can be a trek without Leech bite, yes, we all had first Leach bite of this monsoon. Hope leeches like my blood more, I am the person got highest bites. We were about to reach the peak, the rain started pouring heavily, the valley was completely misty. Taking short breaks at last we conquered the Tadiandamol peak.
The rain and mist was not shown mercy on us to enjoy the valley, this was my second time upset for not seeing the valley. The last attempt went vein in misty & rain, this was not so different. We waited for a while to get a valley vision, but could not. Started descending towards our camping site, rain followed us till the base point.
We settled our luggage at Thammayya sweet home. We were lucky, only three of us in entire big house. I am in love this place, an old home really gives lot of peace and joy to me. Tiered bodies wanted hot bath badly. We engaged to light the fire and have a hot bath. Enjoyed entire big HANDE [big pot] of hot water bath.
The day was very relaxed, we did around 30 KMs cycling and 8 KMs trek. Thammayya called us for dinner at 8pm. Hot delicious Anna, Sambar, Happala, Pickle filled our stomach. We can’t gauge their love and affection which shown to us. Thanked them for serving tasty food and retired for the day.
We all thought, the day will be a long journey. The distance need to cover around 100+ KMs tough trail of Talakaveri and Madikeri. Got up early and finished the morning core job. Now the time adieu to Thammayya family, again thanked him for giving such a wonderful hospitality.
One of my close childhood friend Bandeppa is settled at Napoklu. Many time I expressed to visit his home while I was trekking in Coorg, unfortunately could not. Thought, this time I must visit his home since it is on the way to Bhagamandala. I called him and expressed about my visit with friends, so greeting invited us.
We struggled lot while ascending the Palace to Thammayya house, downhill was also not so easy. Taken extra precaution while descending towards Palace. Very soon we hit the Bhagamandala road junction, continued our journey towards Napoklu passing through Kakkabbe.
The distance is around 12 KMS from Kakkabbe, my friend was constantly in touch with me to know about our journey. I had been to his home twice before this, so taking assistance reached at 8.30 am. He greeted with smiling face and exchanged the old golden memories. Breakfast started with sweet KESARIBAATH and finished with hot POORI and Daal. After spending more time, decided to adieu to my friend. Thanked him for inviting us and serving delicious breakfast.
Our journey was continued towards Bhagamandala. Considering the distance, decided to avoid the unnecessary breaks. The weather was again turned into drizzling.
Most of the trail was
rolling one, soon reached the Bhagamandala.
|On the way to Bhagamandala|
The time was around 2.00 pm, Sudhakar bike had some issues and expressed not to take a risk to ride to Talakaveri. I and Shanthi Prasad accepted his request, we both continued our journey towards Talakaveri. Yes, indeed it is continuous steep 8KMs long journey from Bhagamandala, took both as a challenge to ride non-stop.
Initial 4KMs journey is manageable, the rest is tough. Taking small breaks for photography, continued tireless Talakaveri journey. We about to reach the peak, the atmosphere become misty.
Visibility was very poor, we feeling like reaching heaven. Reached the Talakaveri taking 1 hour 25
minutes, relaxed for sometimes and started descending journey.
Bhagamandala very soon, Sudhakar was waiting for us. Now the time to fill our stomach with lunch. Hot
delicious food filled and relaxed for sometimes.
|On the way to Talakaveri|
Bhagamandala to Madikeri distance is around 39 KMs, keeping the target continued our journey. Now we started to feel the monsoon rain. The entire range was raining heavily, continued enjoying the journey. Trail was mix of ups and down rolling one, soon reached Betageri.
The last 10KMs will be toughest one, so we took a long break. Sky was completely dark, Shanthi Prasad alone had the torch, asked him to lead us. Our journey was continued in the dark. The rain was pouring with breaks, finally we hit the tough last mile of journey. Taking small breaks, reached the Madikeri town around 8.30 pm.
|Somewhere in dense forest|