Kudremukh Trip – Part 2

The next day morning,all of us got up early and started getting ready when around 7 am Praveen’s Uncle suddenly comes in saying “Good morning! Get ready fast! I’ve got the jeep to drop you to the trekking point”.We owe him many a favor.We got ready fast reached the forest office, got permission for the trek and were assigned a guide too. Next we went to the hotel/house/mess and had breakfast (idli). We packed lunch for our trek(jowar roti,chick peas curry, chatni, pulao, bananas – yeah, we were planning to feast on the peak :P).Now we had to go around 3 km in the jeep before the trek starts. Horrible path(there is no road), to say the least. We started around 9:40 AM with a guide to help us through the trek as it was a forest area

And as expected, 30 minutes into the trek I was seriously lagging behind. Blame it on my interest in photography or inability to trek fast or the fact that my friends were under the illusion that they were running a marathon. Whatever it is, I had no plans of hurrying through the trek and reaching the top huffing. Thankfully, there was another group passing by and I joined them for the rest of my trek, more specifically 3 of them. Funny part is, they were even slower than me, by choice and by situation. So we just went on at a calm pace, taking 10 min breaks for every 1o min walk , me taking pics and sometimes simply sitting and enjoying the unending view of the hills around, drinking water from the cold streams of water intercepting the path from time to time. The hills stretched as far as your eyes can see.Layers and layers and layers. And it was quite hot too. Finally, I reached the peak a good 45 minutes later than my friends ( they had come down from the top to some shade). Nothing special about the peak. It looked the same as, say, 2 hills below.There were 2 guys from the other group there. Got few snaps of mine clicked and joined my friends for lunch.

After the lunch it was time for way back. The other group which was nearby, said that they have lost their guide and they would be coming along with us. So at around 2:45 PM ,we started as one big group. And as expected, within 15 minutes of the trek, all my friends and our guide went far ahead and I was again with these guys :D . Somewhere in between, we found their guide waiting for them (they wanted me to translate all the swear words to Kannada and pass on to them). Even though we were walking at a brisk pace,the return trek seemed never-ending. I finally finished the trek at 6:30 PM and joined my friends waiting for me, who received me with me with an ovation. I bid farewell to my new friends there (it seems someone was saying I was their only ray of hope..Gee ;))and we started off in a jeep to the main road and from their to Kalsa in a bus to Praveen’s uncle’s place.

A sumptuous dinner was waiting for us there. We told about our day’s experience and then we sat there talking about random topics till it was time for us to catch the bus to Bangalore. We thanked Uncle and Aunty for the awesome reception they gave us and went to the stop. We boarded the bus around 10:30 PM and reached Bangalore by 6 in the morning. Before I end the travelogue, some interesting points during the trip – Manju’s constant comparison of KP and Kudremukh, Praveen pointing out everytime Karthik opened his mouth that its a PJ, my theory of how better phones have 3 pins in their charger while lesser phones have 2, Praveen’s uncle suggesting Manju to become a actor and giving him Doddanna’s contact number, Karthik never actually getting to see Ambateertha coz he got network coverage somewhere on the way etc. Rest has leaked out of memory as of now :). That’s about it guys, till we meet the next time….

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Kudremukh Trip – Part 1

The news is WE, Somarigalu(lazy bones :P) have completed another trip successfully. Here’s a ‘short’ travelogue of the trip, narrated through pictures. Lets go through the planning and the preparation quickly. Our first choice was Brahmagiri (we didn’t get permission);Second choice Sakleshpur(not sure about trains plying on the trek track). Couple of other choices and a 100+ mail chain later, we zeroed in on Kudremukha and Manju spared no time to make sure there is no further debate by swiftly booking the tickets :P. Praveen’s uncle and aunt stay in Kalasa (20 kms from Kudremukh). So we even had vehicle arrangements ready once we reach there.

Jan 23rd: We got on the Sugama Travels bus.Manju almost manhandled and got slapped by some gals sitting in front (thinking it was one of us) but for Praveen’s ‘timely’ last second intervention. I was meeting Sharath after a long time. So he narrated to me his Germany experiences (beer kudi-pizza tinnu -movies nodu-malgu-office hogu).

Jan 24th: We reached Karkala at 7:00 AM.Checked into a nearby hotel for 2 hours,freshened up. The vehicle was already waiting. Finished breakfast, and ready for the trip!!!Our first destination was Hanumanagundi falls.We reached the place pretty soon only stopping at a viewpoint on the way.Hanumanagundi falls is splendid! The falls were not gushing with water. This allowed me to get some real cool ‘silky effect’ pics and we could actually go very near to the falls.

The water was icy cold.After spending some time there and clicking some SO-LOW pics, we started for our next point:Lakya Dam.This dam was previously used to collect waste materials from mining operations when KIOCL(Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited) was still under operation.
We reached Kudremukha next. There was a park nearby. And while I was clicking the usual flowers and birds pics, Manju posed for the most infamous pic of the trip! I shall decide whether to post the pic here based on public demand :D

It was time for lunch.The driver suggested a place on the way where we can get home food. The food was actually good there and we had a sumptuous lunch. This was the place from where our breakfast and lunch for the next day also will be coming. (Pic on the right below. Yes yes, don’t be too surprised ;))After the lunch, the plan was to go to the tea factory nearby via the tea estates en route. One generous employee in the factory explained us all the stages of tea preparation while showing us the equipment. Next we reached Kalasa and directly went to Praveen’s uncle and aunt place.We can’t say enough about the royal treatment we got from them for the next one and half days or so. Very warm and caring people. Praveen’s uncle has some contacts so we always had a vehicle when needed (the two days) . Uncle himself came with us the next day to see us off at the trek starting point and wish us good luck :D. Back to the present,we spent sometime at their home conversing on various topics. It was around 4 pm when we left for Horanadu temple.

A visit to the temple and we were off for the last spot of the day.A viewpoint from the tea estate. Sadly by the time we reached there,the sun had raced down on the west already.(To the right is a pic here in fading light).Next we reached Kudremukh again,this time for our night stay at the guest house.After the dinner, we went around the Kudremukh township. The place conjures up an eerie and deserted look with houses,shops everywhere but no people to be seen (Most of them have moved out after KIOCL closed down its operations due to protests from environmentalists). Soon it was time to sleep. We had to wake up early for the big day tomorrow. I was slightly shocked when Praveen & Girisha insisted on setting their alarms to 5:30 in the morning!!! I blankly told them to wake me up only when both of them are ready and pulled the blankets on…

Seems like this post has gone pretty long already. I am wary of the attention span of my readers. So the remaining part will appear in the next post. I shall leave you guys with these amazing pics ;) (And before Karthik screams injustice, a special mention to my dear friend for suggesting this pic :D)

(To be Continued)
Part – 2 : The ‘Trek’ day, My new Trek group, Highlights of the Trip And More Pics!!!…..