Bandajje – Arbi : the serene landscapes…

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Opportunity knocks only once, and it happened to me as well. I got an opportunity to visit Stockholm on project assignment for two years. Beautiful country with lots of greenery and clean air and nice people. lot of things to learn from them.
I arrived at Namma Bengaluru on Dec 3rd 2015, finally to reunite with my family and to cuddle with my little angel. My wildlife odyssey had taken a back seat because of my absence in India, I was missing the South Indian jungles..monsoon rains…trek to the woods…evergreen forests…morning mists….those endless waits just to catch a glimpse of the big cat…and of course the night drives.. 🙂
First thing I wanted to do after coming back was to hit the roads, drive to a nice destination that would take me closer to nature. After thorough findings we planned a trek to Bandajje – Arbi located at charmadi ghats section of western ghats.
This time it was with new enthusiasts who were having a lot of experience in trekking, the responsibilities of entire trek from travel to pitching the tent were evenly distributed among us.
Our plan was to trek from Chikkamagalur section and reach Bandajje as it offers lush green landscapes. As planned earlier all of us assembled in Kempegowda Bus station where we were to catch the bus towards Kottigehara. It took us very little time to get to know each other. Soon we were on our way and the journey towards Bandajje had started in no time.
After a short while most of us were tired and took the shape of the seat for a cat nap on the bumpy road, the early morning wind gushing from the broken glass woke me up. The bus had reached Mudigere station.We were just about 40 mins away from Kottigehara
Few minutes later we reached Kottigehara, not realising for a fact that we were 2 hour early on our schedule. But surprisingly this place is very friendly to its visitors even at this hour. We could see many eat outs serving Dosas even at 3am. Resisting the temptation to gorge on the hot dosas, we moved on to find transportation that would take us to Sunkasale. Another 35 mins of journey got us to Sunkasale. Starting the trek at this hour was not a desirable plan, hence we reached a nearby resort called Gatikallu for refreshments. we also booked a guide who would accompany us on our entire trekking adventure. A shot trip on the local transportation got us to Durgadahalli from where we started the trek at 8 AM.
Taking advantage of the situation. I photographed few birds.

 

 

 

The spectacular view of the mighty mountains captivated us, Anand sir lead us to the peak followed by Subbu, Nagaraj , Guru, Aravind, Ganesh and at last me.. 🙂
Peak summer had already set in and the dense forest was devoid of its usual greenery. From a distance it looked as though a carpet of mosaic design with patches of land and trees was laid under the blue sky. As we moved through the forest, the anticipation of spotting any wildlife movement grew more and more. Trekking under the scorching heat is not a joke and we ended up taking many small breaks.
My attention was drawn towards Avifauna and I had to stop in between to capture some pictures. My bones weren’t cooperating that well as I was trekking after 3 long years and I had to pull them on track to cope up with the team.

 

 

We were fortunate to spot the black eagle which was soaring high in the sky. Initial plan was to pitch tent at Ballalarayana durga and halt rest of the day, but we continued to Bandajje after taking some rest.
It was around 3.00Pm when we reached the peak, those breath taking landscapes mersmerized us. First thing we did was to identify a flat surface to pitch the tents. In few minutes our tents were in place with the help of Subbu sir, Anand and Guru, meanwhile myself, Ganesh and Aravind went in search of firewood for camping and Nagaraj uncle and Suresh went to fill water bottles for cooking from the stream that was flowing very close to where we had pitched our tents. Food was ready in no time and we gathered around the firewood to have food and have a little chat. As time went by, one by one crept back into their tents and fell asleep.

 

After a short break we were all geared up to see the fantabulous Bandajje – Arbi water falls. An hours walk from our camp took us to the viewpoint from where we could see the beautiful falls.

 

 

Soon it was time for us to return back to our tents lucky, we could catch the glorious sunset. No words can explain the beauty of nature, the silence, the cool breeze, picturesque sky, it was a perfect ending.

 

 

 

Next morning we started to descend by wrapping all our belongings and garbage making sure not to litter the forest area.
Some of us purposely slowed down the descend to observe nature. As we moved on we saw our fellow trekkers crossing the mountain in front of us. This Man Vs Nature view is aptly described in a quote by “Ray Brudbury – We are an impossibility in an impossible universe”. 

 

If climbing the mighty mountains is a difficult task, then descending the same is even more difficult. Our legs became weary and by the end of the descend it had almost started wobbling. But the calm and cool surroundings helped us to revitalize and descend further. Halfway through the descend we reached the ancient Ballalarayanadurga fort. Fort overlooks the town of Sunkasale. This fort was built by the Hoysalas in the 12th century.
 To my mind’s eye, the side view of the mountains looked like the face of the Phantom. But that is only my imagination, everyone’s perspective in viewing objects differs.

 

Panoramic view of these mountains:

 

 

 

 

At last we reached Durgadahalli by 4.00Pm and took an auto rick to Sunkasale, few decided to head back to bangalore and we decided to visit Horanadu Annapurneshwari temple.
(Amit,Subbu,Dinesh(Guide),Nagaraj,Anand,Guru,Suresh,Rahul,Aravind(with selfie stick)
Getting there to Bandajje and few pointers:
  • Bangalore–>Kottigehara–>Sunkasale–>Durgadahallli–>Bandajje
  • Bangalore–>Mundajje–>Bandajje
Guide from Mundajje:
Kishore Valambra – 9901939829
Suraj Valambra – 9844393421
Location:

Wandering souls @ Kodachadri

Conquering kodachadri was due in our list, but I don’t know why it was all the time deferred…..

The time was set to triumph over kodachadri, It was decided to leave Bangalore on Dec 17th night. The new entries were added in the odyssey. It was Karthik’s better-half “Veena” and his friend “Kishore” who accompanied the journey.
It was decided to assemble at KSRTC bus station on Dec 17th at 7.30Pm; the bus scheduled departure was at 8.00Pm. Hmmmmmm 4 of us [Amit,Karthik,Veena,Kishore] were very enthralled in trekking kodachadri, boarded the bus and sat in our designated seat numbers…. Now gossips began for some time and all went for a good sleep..
Dec 18th by 8.00 am we reached Nittor, I had coordinated with my friend Lokesh who stays at Nittor and arranges accommodation and trekking. Lokesh was waiting for us at Nittor bus stand and welcomed wholeheartedly. We planned to stay at Nisargadham at Nittor, in few minutes we were dropped to Nisargadham for refreshing ourselves from tiring journey… Everything was set and all of us were in full enthuse to trek kodachadri. Lokesh dropped us at foothills of kodachadri and told us he will be waiting for us in the evening to pick us up.
I had previously trekked from Hidlumane falls as this route is very tedious for girls, this time we planned to trek on the jeep track.
Kodachadri is a mountain with dense forests in the Western Ghats. One can find kodachadri behind famous Mookambika temple in kollur. It is home to several endemic and endangered species of flora and fauna.
In full josh we started to trek, the trek length was 8km to peak including sarvagna peeta on the top of the hill. Mr. Ganesh was sent with us by lokesh as a guide. It was very new experience to veena and kishore as it was their first trek and they found some difficulty in making the way.
VB bakery Congress bun and plump cake stopped us after an hour or so. The reluctant body and soul has to keep up and push for another 3 hours. The beauty of Western Ghats dint make us exhausted, instead it was stirring us in moving further on.
Kodachadri is a home for many endangered species including flora and fauna, apart from this it also has rich manganese ore. Slowly political eyes are on it and one day we will lose all those in coming decades.
It was 1.30Pm when we reached half the way, kishore and veena where slightly exhausted but also tried to thrust themselves ahead. The lunch was arranged at Battara mane at the top so we dint carry any meals for our journey. The jeeps also reach the hill top usually charge 800 rupees for a group of 6-7 people and the drivers are very sloppy and drive very rashly.
We witnessed 2 Green Viper snakes which jeep dart them to death. Our guide narrated many incidents of similar kind. They are least bothered about protecting wildlife and conserving it. In future generation we might lose many things for the cost of carelessness and being not aware of wildlife conservation and its importance.
The time ticked 3.00pm when we finally reached kodachadri hill top. We could easily make out the joy and happiness on our faces in conquering the kodachadri. It is an awesome scenic trek one should not miss.
The lunch was ready by the time we reached Battara mane, plantain leaf was readily put on the table and mouth watering dishes were ready for serving. Had heavy lunch and relaxed for sometime say for ½ an hour or so. Then we headed towards “Sarvagna Peeta” which is around 1km from the peak.
The history says that “ShankaraCharya” did meditation at this place and called as “Sarvgna Peeta”.
Our guide hurried us in getting to sunset view point, and we descended the peak and headed towards the view point. It is a delightful experience to watch the sunset from kodachadri peak and if one is lucky and clouds show mercy on you, we can see the sun sinking down in the Arabian Sea.
The sunrise is also very enjoyable this can be viewed from “Venkatarayana Durga” another hillock behind TB. As we had no other way to stay to witness sunrise, with heavy hearts after capturing compelling sunset beauty at kodachadri we started descending.
It was 8.30 Pm when we reached the foothill; the torches shed the light on the ground and made our way easy. Though it was pitch dark the experience was awesome and memorable.
Lokesh was waiting our way at foothill where he dropped us in the morning, the body and mind wanted some long rest after a tiresome trek.
Kodachadri rocks!!
How to get there:
Distance from Bangalore: ~400Km – 8 hours
By Car: Bangalore->Shimoga->Sagara->Hosanagara->Nitoor->Kodachadri
By Bus: Bangalore -> Nitoor [RajaHamsa, SuvarnaSarige]

Trek to Yedakumari….

This time we decided to ramble on the railway lane which is known as Green route trek starting from Donigal to Yedakumari. One can also start trekking from Yedakumari to Sakaleshpura; the picturesque landscape, chirping birds attracts all nature lovers.

Due to busy schedule Karthik, Pavan dropped from the trek, finally it was I and Rajeev twosome started from Bangalore. We had very less time to plan things and lastly got the tickets confirmed on 19-Feb-2010 @ 10.30Pm Suvarna Sarige.

Though the work was packed, we managed to get out off the office on Friday by 7.00Pm as usual planned assembling at bus station at 9.45Pm.

We packed 20 chapattis and “Subbammana Angadi chutney pudi” ghee which is a right combination with chapatti and chutney pudi, crammed few fruits, glucose, dates etc.

Bus started from Majestic by 10.45Pm late by 15 mins to schedule as its IST… no comments on that. As we are only 2 of us no serious discussion happened we slipped for a good sleep, the time ticked 3.00Am when bus halted at some place for a tea break I had a chance to talk with conductor and reminded him about our descend at Donigal.

Conductor was surprised to hear about the railway station located at Donigal his face showed the curiosity about the trek on railway lane and enquired about the same. Journey started from tea break and I went for a quick nap. The time was 4.00 Am when conductor gently came and awaked me saying “Sir… Donigal”.

Donigal is a small place on the Shiradi Ghat highway. It was dark, dim sodium waper light was struggling to throw the brightness on the road. There were 2 huge barricades placed on both the ways of the road. Police jeep was parked beside the road might be they were on night patrol squad; the only identification of Donigal is from a tea shop. Our starting point of trek was from Donigal railway station, with full enthuse I enquired how to reach the railway station; the tea shop owner promptly answered all our queries and guided us to reach the Donigal railway station.

It was still 5.00Am when we reached the station and decided to take a quick nap till 6.00Am. The alarm of bird chirps awakened me at 6.15Am. Surrounding was covered by mist and it was a perfect time to start the trek. To reach Yedakumari we need to trek 18km on railway lanes…

Trek became balancing act between mind and body, one should concentrate on the parallel bars to move ahead or we might fall. Seeing the parallel bars endlessly create an illusion in the mind, we moved an hour without taking any halt and met few railway personnel’s on the way, I was curious about the bridges and tunnels we were yet to cross and enquired the same.

Encountered the first bridge, crossing the bridge looking down enthralled us cautiously crossed the bridge we had collected the information that we will be crossing 13 bridges and 26 tunnels before reaching Yedakumari. It was an amazing experience…

Usually goods train passes by the way, and we came across the train soon after crossing the bridge. We were hungry and gave a break for 30 mins and continued our trek anticipating more thrill in the journey.
First tunnel was ahead us, on top of the tunnel it was engraved the year of construction and length of the tunnel in meters. It was pitch dark and trekkers should have a source of light or it is very risky to cross the tunnels. Initially we stepped slowly on the parallel bars throwing the light ahead us after crossing 3 tunnels it became a child’s play…

Railway personnel’s who were working on the lanes accompanied us and narrated their hectic work and life style they lead. It was 2.30Pm when we reached Yedakumari after crossing 13 bridges and 23 tunnels. The green route trek is very scenic as it runs through the dense forest in which it is situated and also we will not forget the numerous streams en route. To conclude the trek was an incredible experience and nature lovers should not miss this trek.

Location:
India > Karnataka > Hassan

Bus Route:
Bangalore > Hassan > Sakleshpura > Donigal

Trek Length:
One day/ depends on the length of the trek

Trek Route:
Donigal to Yedakumeri station
– Get down at Donigal, the bus generally stops at a tea stall.
– walk along the tar road till Donigal railway station.

You can EXIT:
– Carrying on further from the station look for the 75km mile stone.
– After reaching Yedakumari we can climb down and cross Kempuhole river.
– Crossing the river you reach NH48. Catching a bus or any transport you can reach
Subramanya temple.

At Yedakumari request the station master and catch a goods train which will drop you to Subramanya railway station.

Note:
– Carry a powerful torch with extra batteries to make your way through the tunnels.
– Better you trek wearing a good hiking shoes.

Kumara Parvatha aka KP – A Summit

It was in our wish list to trek “Kumara Parvatha” aka KP which is said the toughest trek among all trekking in Karnataka. KP is located in Subramanya of Sullia taluk, Karnataka.
 
KP belongs to Western Ghats which is about 1712 meters and is 13km trekking from Subramanya village.
 
KP can be trekked by two routes
1) From Kukke Subramanya temple and
2) From Somwarpet town which is in kodagu dist.
 
We planned to trek on 23rd Jan 2009 and choose to trek from Somwarpet.
Our bus was scheduled to departure at 10.00 Pm from Bangalore City Bus stand; it was decided to assemble at 9.15Pm to the bus platform.
 
Most of them who have trekked KP say it’s hardest! I think the meaning of “hard” started realizing the moment we started our journey. It took more than an hour or so to reach kunigal cross with the slow moving traffic. And we had no clew that our bus had a mechanical problem with clutch until driver accelerates the bus.
 
The bus was occupied with 3 teams approximately 20-25 trekkers including us. Bus is moving in a speed of 40km per hour every one got irritated, frustrated and started screaming to the driver and conductor. Poor chaps what could they do? If it is a mechanical problem, unfortunately they had no mobile phone to call the nearest next depot to change the bus. The co-passenger helped the conductor by calling the manager of Bangalore bus depot and reported the problem we are facing. The next depot was a kunigal depot and we all decided to stop the bus at kunigal depot and change the bus. So finally with great difficulty and frustration on bus/govt/manager/driver/conductor we reached the depot by 12.30Pm. The new bus was given to us after waiting an hour or so.
 
Finally all were happy and ascended the new bus praying to god, we could reach Somwarpet without any further difficulties. Joyfully we all got settled and started our journey.
 
I think the prayers to god dint reach..! it was 2.30AM when suddenly the windshield shattered into pieces because of air crack… I don’t know whether the driver was unfortunate or he was unlucky that day.. Imagine without windshield driving at a speed of 80km in the night.. It was horrifying chilled breeze haunted us without sleep. But this time none of us screamed on driver or conductor as we could understand the situation.
 
Again we had to stop at hollenarasipura Cross and waited for more than an hour to get a new bus from the nearest bus depot. Finally with all these menace we reached Somwarpet town at 8.30AM. Normally bus reaches Somwarpet town at 4.30Am and we were behind 4 hours.
 
Quickly we refreshed ourselves at the restrooms at bus stand, meanwhile Karthik and Basavaraj went to get the breakfast packed to have it on the journey. Me, Govardhan and Pavan went to enquire the bus or transport facility to reach pushpagiri cross, where the trek to KP starts.
 

Wasting time in waiting for the next bus at 11.30Am was not a good idea; we managed to hire a jeep to drop us at pushpagiri cross.

Our team was filled with energy and enthuses to trek the KP. There is forest department located at 1 km from pushpagiri temple. Forest department officials check the luggage to ensure we don’t carry any liquor, petrol, kerosene or these kinds of substances which are harmful to the environment.
 

After paying the entry fees which is a nominal amount of Rs 115/- per head, joyful trek begun at 11.00Am.

We were 11th troop entering the forest from Somwarpet. The trek started with full of greenery and thick vegetation around us it was 8km trek to reach KP peak. So we decided to trek asap without wasting much time in resting. We backed 3 teams which were ahead of 1 hour and that reminded us we are on our toe and also felt happy about our fitness.
 
The route deviates after 3 hours towards “Girigaddhe” and “Pushpagiri” one has to choose pushpagiri to reach KP peak.
 The terrain is very steep and shuffled the baggage among ourselves so that it will not be burden on individual, we halted at few places and had snacks and energy drinks to keep up the race.
 
At 4.00Pm we reached the peak and got disappointed to see hundreds of trekkers.. it was fully crowded, I think we were on the wrong day.
 
Swiftly we choose a good place to camp. The work was broken down and shared among the members, wherein me, Karthik and Hemanth decided to setup the tent and Govardhan, Basavaraj will collect the firewood for campfire at night. And Pavan honestly slept…
 
It was time to witness the sunset, hence the whole crowd assembled near the sunset point it was a mesmerizing sight. The sunset at Western Ghats hmmmmm…
 After the sunset the next thing we did was to have a cup of coffee, it was my wish to have coffee at the peak for this reason we carried a small stove, good life milk, sugar, Nescafe.. We first setup the campfire and prepared the coffee, after a coffee the cooking started we had carried ready made foods, noodles, bread butter jam. Few things will not shade out from the memory…
 
It was decided to wake up early morning to catch the sunrise, so we slept by 12.30pm after a long casual chat. Early in the morning we again assembled in the view point.
Henceforth we decided to pack up the things and start to downhill. The clock ticked 8.00Am when we started from KP.
The downhill to “Kukke Subramanya Temple” was 13km trek, so we prepared energy drinks and started descending KP, on the way down you can see “Mari Gundi” a monolithic rock.
After taking few amazing landscape photos of nature, we continued the trek. It was 1.30Pm when we reached “Bhattara Mane” it was crowded like a forum mall. And we decided not to have lunch only we will rest for sometime and continue.
 From Bhattara mane the Kukke town was 6 km downhill, it was a sunny day and energy level was coming down. The only energy supplier for us was fresh water and chewing gums to keep on move. On the way down we met a group of people who were trekking from Kukke Subramanya and in that group a person was aged 70 years. This made us really happy and it was time to give round of applause to the person, energy level raised high after seeing aged person trekking the KP.

It was 5.30 Pm when we saw the road, the legs were not listening to mind and we were drained completely. The only way to relax was to dip in the water and we decided to go directly to “Kumaradhara” river which is in the town of Kukke Subramanya.

Henceforth after relaxing about 1 hour or so, we visited “Kukke Subramanya Swamy” temple we sat at one place viewing the holy rituals going on. Our bus to Bangalore was scheduled at 10.40 Pm. It was time to have prasada which means anna dhana, we had dinner at the temple and started toward bus stand.

Amazing trek the memories last long…

Skandagiri – A Night Trek

It was a Terrific Friday night. The clouds were filled with lightnings and thunder and rain was about to downpour in a while or so. Don’t know why always Friday is the inspiration day for us to plan for wild getaways? 
 
The endless passion made us to assemble @SLV [Gandhibazzar] after our strenuous work when time ticked 8.30 PM. Conversations between us suddenly strike to a small trek which is outskirt to Bangalore, “KALLAVARAHALLI BETTA” aka “SKANDAGIRI” which is also famous for “MOON LIGHT TREKING” the plan was geared up by 10.PM and we decided to go by 2 cars as we were 9 of us. 
 
It was decided to gather around 11.30 PM back to SLV after a light supper, compulsorily carrying a torch with each of them. Plan was to start a trek around 2 AM the next morning so torch was badly needed with everyone. 
 
Finally all set for a night drive to Skandagiri which is 65km from Gandhibazzar. First pit stop was at hebbal to pick Prabhakar, it was first time in our adventure journey to trek in the night and everyone was curious about it, stopped at a small tea shop on the way. By the time we reach the tea shop was 12.05 PM and it was raining heavily which took us to a dilemma state to cancel the trek or not! OK we decided not to trek but at least we shall go to foothill of the destination. 
 

Pavan had been to the place previously and he was the guide for us to trek, we took a left turn at SaiBaba Arch which is 50km from Bangalore, the road which will take to Skandagiri. You can also reach through chikkabalapur. We missed the way and couldn’t find a single person to ask for right directions. At last Hoysala police were patrolling and stopped us, they were surprised to see us strolling at the wee hours of night and interrogated us with n number of questions [who are we?? What are we doing here?? Have we consumed liquor?? Any antisocial activity is on??] Finally we proved that we are nature lovers and adventurers, and told our night expedition to Skandagiri. Also we told them that we missed the way and looking for help to reach the foothill. Police guided us to Skandagiri foothill. We thanked Hoysala team and started towards foothill.

  

It was so strange we were wandering in the same route but couldn’t see the sign board which is positioned make us very hard to locate it. 

The time was exactly 1.56 AM. Few minutes drive from the board located we reached Skandagiri foothill. Here is a matt called as “PAPAGNI MATA” where you have to park the vehicle and book a guide if you need else become a self guide and explore it! 
Rain had stopped its play but clouds were filled with lightning and thunder. There were already 2 tempo travelers around 25 people waiting to trek. Mean time Ranga enquired one of those members and found that they are planning to start the trek in the morning around 5 AM. 
 
So, what’s next?? Are we trekking or wait until any other team start and follow them. 
Fanaticism made us to start right away and planned to trek without any guide as Pavan visited this place before and he could guide us. It was time to take out the torches and pack few food items to carry along with us. To start we had only 6 torches karthik started investigating who did not carry the torches and it was [Prabhakar, Seena and Ranga] were without torches. 
 
This trekking is famous for MOON LIGHT trekking and people trek on full moon day. But that was not a full moon day and it was a dead dark, with difficulties we started our adventure to peak. I was heading front with a torch the other 5 torches were distributed accordingly. 
 
Seena started cursing me and Pavan who planned the whole game as he was filled with fear and he did not wanted to take such a risk, according to him it was a brain damage plan. Hmmm literally everyone mind strike the same statement but neither of them expressed. In between Sunil cracked jokes and PJ’s which helped us to be on positive note and reach the peak. 
 
It was wild climate new-fangled environment to all of us; seeing us the other team also started the trek, we were ahead of them we could only see the torch light blinking from downhill. Factually speaking there are no directions put or any sign boards which says we are on right direction towards peak the small red arrow à marks indicate left right or straight, to see theses indicated arrow marks one has to observe keenly on rock or on bark of the trees. There are cases where one can easily get into wrong route if you do not observe [Especially trekking in Night]. 
 
I don’t know why the forest department has not taken any right moves in improving the Skandagiri. You will not find any safety here from robbers or from wild animals; obviously one cannot blame wild animals as we are in their territory. But I think govt. has to improve the place and make more access to the place from all nooks of the city. The Govt. should [appoint authenticated guides, put sign boards markings, put sign boards saying about the place and its history, place dustbins to collect the garbage and wastages] let the govt. collect forest entry fees/ charges from the trekkers to maintain the place. But I don’t see these improvements which are still in the dark side. 
 
Local people here are guide and they take you to peak, they charge around 300/- for a team to accompany. It was 4.30 AM when we reached the peak to our surprise already 30 members’ team was in the peak. The rain had completely stopped and peak was covered with full of mist. It was shivering cold on the peak and managed to sit near a fire camp to beat the cold. Basavaraj and Govardhan gently distributed the food items which we carried like fruit cakes, buns n breads, biscuits etc
. 
 In the peak you have a small ganesha temple. As the peak was filled with smog and previous night rain the climate was very bad due to this the sunrise was not clear and we were not able to capture the good scenic beauty from the peak. After an hour or so the other team also reached the peak. I engaged myself in speaking to a guide accompanied them and learnt that Skandagiri has sloth bears and many trekkers have encountered the beast. This made me more thrilled usually sloth bears are very shy animals its presence is always secretive and crossed my fingers that we could sight one while downhill. 
 
The time ticked 7 AM satisfying with one or two scenic pics we started downhill and reached the “Papagni Mata” where we had parked the car at 9.30 AM. We stopped at a tea shop at foothill and had a morning sip of a coffee.
          
The mind went to flashback in collecting the memories, calculating the pros and cons of trekking the peak at night, imagining the encounter of the beast [sloth bear] last but not the least many things in improving the Skandagiri and making more accessible to all nature lovers and adventurers. 
 
A small suggestion to all nature lovers is do not leave unwanted wastes like plastics, watercan bottles and things which will not decompose and are likely to be threat to the environment. Carry a bag wherein you bring back all you’re waste like [Plastic covers, biscuits/cake covers, and water bottles] dump the next morning to Municipal Corporation.
 
Basavaraj–>Pavan–>Seena–>Ranga–>Amit–>Govardhan–>Karthik–>Sunil–>Prabhakar(behind lens)
 
The mind and soul still wanders and seek to trek on FULL MOON DAY! – JAI SKANDAGIRI 
 How to reach there:- 
Route 1: 
BangaloreàDevanahalliàLeft turn near SaiBaba archàPapagni mata[Skandagiri].This is 65kms.
Route 2:
BangaloreàDevanahalliàChikkaballapuràTake a left inside the townàPapagni mata. This is 75kms.

Thadiyandamol – An unforgettable adventure

In the precipitated month of September, the monsoon had ended its games with the wild climate which whispered in our ears to start for the first trek. We decided to the misty hills of TADIYANDAMOL or Tadiandamol is the highest peak in Coorg and second highest in Karnataka at 1,750 meters or 5742 feet above sea level. The name Tadiandamol literally means “highest point”. Located in the Western Ghats region of south west Karnataka the coorgi’s locally call it TADIYANDAMOL Betta. The team was me SrinivasRangan, Amit, Karthik, Srinivas aka Seena and Prahalad.

It was Friday the 28th Sep that we set out. The plan was to reach Mysore and stay at my place and from mysore start the journey early morning to thadiyandamol. I, Amit, Prahalad and seena started to mysore on the same day where in Karthik was stuck up with some work and joined us at 2:00am in the wee hours of 29th Sep. Finally it was planned that we can start our journey by early morning 5.30 AM.
We all went for a quick nap and woke up to a beautiful morning on Saturday the 29th. The cab came at six and with a cup of steaming tea we started the fantastic journey to thadiyandamol. The first pit stop was at Hunsur for breakfast. We all knew the trek would be hard and consumed a smaller amount of food.
We crossed our fingers as the bypass road took us on Nagarahole, hoping we could sight Big Cats [TIGER, LEOPARD] finallywe were happy in sighting 3 elephants which crossed the road and entered into woods.

 Time ticked it was 11:30am when we reached the foot of the peak. Smearing Vinegar to our leg which was the only way to keep leeches away, we started the trek. It was half a kilometer up the hill; we found a beautiful stream, snow white in color which amazed us a lot. It was like a catalyst for the trek, the sight of it filled in energy and adrenalin inside us.
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 Spending a few minutes at the stream and quenching the little thirst that we had, we set off again and the scenic beauty of the thick evergreen forest went on thrilling us to the core. The mind was reminding about fearful leeches, watching out each step we keep. Enjoying the greens we went ahead encountering small streams which thrilled us.
The water of the streams was chilled and was as sweet as it could be. We spent some time at each stream which also gave us a kind of relaxation to body and soul.
It took us to a new world free of hectic life we usually spend at Bangalore with smoke and sound pollution. Which mind was seeking for? Final 3 km trek became too tedious to us where the path ahead became narrow to walk.
 
There in the horizon hung the sun which was very lightly visible, appreciating the scenery and the greens and the vivid formations of nature we were entirely immersed into a naturalist’s vision andit was a feast to our eyes. It was “Picture Perfect”.

When almost a km or two was between us and the Peak, we came to see what we had struggled for; it was the lush greenery that we could see standing in a valley on all the four sides, iced with thick mist all around. This made us challenge to view any object for that matter..

Seena was tired and he was unable to keep a single step also, he decided to give up the trek and sat at one place. Despite the fact our mind also sent us a message saying we also shall give up. But the passion did not stop us in accomplishing it.

With great enthuse finally after three and a half hours of strenuous trek we reached the peak, The Summit, only four of us could make it (Me, Amit, Karthik and Prahalad)

  We swore to ourselves that we would not consider further treks lightly or without preparations as it was our first trek we did not plan well, we were so casual that we did not carry enough food items neither liquid intakes. We were damn hungry, and we had to wait for another 4 hours after declining the peak for having food. Our energy levels had become almost zero. Spending not more than thirty minutes at the top, we started a non-stop run to downhill where the cab was parked, eager to grab something for stomach.
TEAM [L-R à SrinivasRanganà karthikà Prahaladà Seena and behind the lens is Amit]
 
How to Get There:
  1. Driving from Bangalore you first reach Madikere, from there it is around 45 km to Thadiyandamol.
  2. Nearest Petrol bunk is at Napoklu which is 20km.
  3. From Madikere à Bettagiri à Napoklu à Kakkabe àNalaknad à Thadiyandamol.
  4. You have to park your vehicle if you go in a 4-wheeler at Nalaknad (there is also a palace at Nalaknad which is open till evening).
  5. If you go in a 2-wheeler you can drive another 1.5 km uphill till the road ends
  6. The peak is 8 Km trek to Thadiyandamol from here.
  7. If you commute from Virajpet, Thadiyandamol is 50 km.
  8. Bangalore àMysore àVirajpet à Nalaknad à Thadiyandamol.
  9. Total kilometers to Thadiyandamol from Bangalore :- 270 km