Hi Friends, Here I am writing about my first Trekking experience. In south India especially in Karnataka, there are Three Treks which every trekker must do. Kudremukh is one of these Three Treks while others are Kodachadri and Kumara-Parvatha trek which is toughest of these theer treks.
This was Three Day trip. Our plan was to start early from Bangalore and reach to shravanabelagola Temple by noon where we would be having lunch. then visit this temple and by evening reach to Base camp of Kudremukh. Route near Kudremukh contains ghat sections and hence we wanted to reach there before sunset. Next day we were doing trekking, Trek’s difficulty level is moderate but as it’s my first trek, I was considering it as more then moderate difficult trek. It’s 16km long trek, 8km up and 8km down plus it was first week of October so chances of rain were there which will definitely increase the difficulty. After trekking we were planning to stay to nearby City that night and Last day we would be travelling back to Bangalore.Day 1: Ride to Kudremukh via Shravanabelagola Temple
We decided to leave Bangalore by 5 am but unfortunately I woke up at 7. There were 20+ miscalls and few messages from my friends saying that “We already left and if possible catch us on the way or at Shravanabelagola Temple as we decided to spend few hours in that temple”. After seeing that message, I left on my bike via Nice Road and I drove as fast as I could to catch them. Unfortunately after Nice Road I couldn’t able to find Diversion to take NH48 and went straight on NH4. After driving for 15-20kms I realized I lost my way. With google map and local people’s help I could able to found NH48. By then I had lost another half an hour of time. But that’s it, that was the only bad part of my trip. Once I got on to NH48, in an hour I reached to shravanabelagola temple, where I met my friends. That drive was special, I think I covered around 95km in an hour. Ya it was fast but the roads were so good and not for a second I felt risky. Around 11 am I reached to the temple.
This Shravanabelagola temple is situated high on a Hill. It's visible from miles. It’s a Jain temple and for them it’s one of their holy and pilgrimage places. The statue is of the lord Bahuballi. You have to climb 1000+ steps to reach to the temple but it’s completely worth it. The Big idle of Bahubali is a pure Art. View from the hill is very good too. you can see entire Shravanabelagola Town from there.
After visiting that temple, we went to Chandragupta Basadi which is situated on Chandragupta Hill. Architecture is very good. Though I don’t understand much about architecture, I liked that place. Even that place is situated on a Hill so the view from there is very scenic plus the place was very quiet so we sat there for some time. After that, we had Jain meal. In this area mostly you will get pure vegetarian homemade Jain meal. The food was delicious. After visiting Shravanabelagola Temple we headed towards Kudremukh. As soon as we started from the temple, It started drizzling and in few minutes it became heavier. luckily we found road side tapri and we stopped there. We took tea there. Hot tea in rain is almost everyone’s choice. Rain stopped in some time and we resumed our journey.The entire route from Hassan to Kudremukh was scenic.I badly missed GoPro.
Shadows of lashed green trees on the sides of roads were falling on the road so even though it was an afternoon we were not tired of driving our vehicles plus a lot of gray clouds were there in the sky hence temperature wasn’t that high too. After driving for 2 hours we reached to a place called Mudigere. Distance from Mudigere to Kudremukh is 25km of ghat roads. We wanted to reach before sunset but due to few stoppages we were late and we knew that we need to drive last few kilometers without sunlight which would be the tougher task of the day. Ghat sections always make my Bike trips awesome because they are scenic and needs a lot of concentration while driving. hence when you will reach your destination, you will feel like you have achieved something today. We reached to Kalasa City which is 7km away from Kudremukh at 7 pm. It was completely dark and we were so hungry so we thought of stopping at one road side stall where we had various bhajji and tea. Meanwhile, local police came and they charged us some fines as we parked our bike on the wrong side of the road. We felt bad as they were looting us intentionally but with Bike trips, you need to take care of these minor irritating incidents.
Finally we reached to Kudremukh town at night. We parked our bike to some shop and from there we took a Geep till base camp of Kudremukh. Where we were staying for a night in a homestay. It was late and we were so hungry plus tired of a 350km long bike trip and wanted a dinner badly.They served Rice – Sambhar/Rasam & Sabzi in dinner though the meal was very simple I found it very delicious. I always like home-stays’ local food. After having food we went to our dormitory where we slept. The weather was very chilly so even without the fan I slept as soon as we lay down on my bed. We decided to leave early for the trek as it was kind of difficult trek so we didn’t know how much time we might be needed in order to complete the trek. Other than that in early morning crowd will be less and atmosphere will be bit hazy, chilly and full of fresh air So we wanted to leave early.Day 2: Kudremukh Trekking
Next Morning in home-stay they served us Idli in the breakfast and gave us packets of masala rice for lunch which we carried with us. Home-stay provided us a local guide. We had Kannadiga friends in the group so it was easy for us to communicate with the guide.
Route had a waterfall at almost every half kilometer and water of those waterfalls was pure enough to drink it directly. The entire route was covered with lashed green dense forest. The sound of waterfalls, noises of birds, foggy weather and early morning’s rays of sun falling on wet green grass from the gray clouds were making one hell of a scene. I was excited to be in such a scenic place. Finally, I got a kick start to my first ever Trek. Our guide told us to take empty bottles and fill it whenever we will get waterfalls. After walking for 20 minutes we came across the first stream, we wanted to jump into that cold water but then we controlled our emotions. We drank water and filled our water bottles. I was drinking water directly with mouth without using hands, just like an animal. After that, we went ahead. Entire Trek was full of steep hills. Due to light drizzle ground became wet and it was very tough to climb those steep hills. Still, somehow we managed. We saw one peak and we thought that’s it, We had to go till that peak and we will reach the peak. So we gave our everything to reach there, just when we thought we reached that peak we were able to see another peak and realized “Oh we still need to climb that peak!!”. Those things happened 4-5 times. Mean while we reached a milestone where they have written that 5 kilometers to go and we realized after trekking for about an hour and a half we still need to go that much more. We were losing our energy and patience, only thing kept us going was the scenic view of the trek. We relaxed at that mile stones and took some snaps with various poses :P.
We resumed our trek. After that milestone, steepness level of the trek increased a lot and in certain areas, we were literally walking vertically or you can say climbing at almost 90 degrees. Only thing came in my mind at that time was how the hell I’ll be coming back?? Now we were passing by trailless route and hence we need to make our own route plus there were a lot of leeches which were climbing on my legs and sucking blood and now I realized trekking is not that easy thing to do. We passed by bamboo forest
which was the wild, beautiful and great place to take pics. On our way we passed by some places where trees were fallen on the ground, the path is narrow and another side of that path there was deep cliff so we needed to carefully cross those fallen trees. Overall we were experiencing wild life trekking. After walking for an hour we saw a peak which was very steep and realized that’s the last one after that we should have reached the top of Kudremukh. We gave it all and climbed as fast as we could in order to reach that peak. After climbing it the peak of Kudremukh was visible, Now just 1 kilometer of walk and some easy climbing left for us to reach to Kudremukh peak. I don’t know what the reason was but no guide was coming to the peak. They stayed half a kilometer back and told us that you go enjoy and meet us here.
So In 3 hours and 30minutes of a continuous trek, we reached the peak of Kudremukh. Due to fog we could not able to see the view much. But what I heard was you can see Mangalore City and Arabic Ocean on the horizon from that place when it’s not cloudy. I definitely missed it but who cares I am on the top of Kudremukh and successfully completed the first part of my trek without any casualty, so I was happy. We were the first ones to reach the peak on that day and hence the place was quiet and I enjoyed sitting with myself in that quietly beautiful place. I took few photos as a memory. After such a tiring climbing we became damn hungry. So we decided to have our lunch. home-stay had packed Masala rise for us and I never liked masala rice as much as I liked on that day because of tiredness and hunger. Masala rice, cold Waterfalls’ water, sneaker as desert and 5-star view of Kudremukh trek, It was one of the best lunch I ever had.
After spending almost an hour at the peak we decided to head back towards base camp. Now we had to climb down all the steep peaks those we climbed just sometime back. Of course, it will be less tiring compared to climbing up but it needs a lot of weight balancing of your body and control as due to continuous drizzling land became sticky and slippery. The worst part was, It was raining quietly heavily near base camp.In our group of six people except me and one more friend everybody slipped at least once while getting down from Kudremukh. Luckily no one got injured badly though one friend had twisted his ankle. Initially, we thought it’s not a serious injury and we kept on going but after some time he started struggling a lot. With the support of Sticks also he could barely able to walk and hence we decided we will carry him on our solders as only 2 kilometers of a stretch was left. We do have one Jaat friend and he is very strong. Initially, we 2-3 people tried to carry him but it was uncomfortable and tough too. so Parm told he will carry him alone. That was an epic scene. Carrying a guy and climbing down is a tough task and indeed our trek’s difficulty level increased with that. After some time he got tired so I carried him and again him. They were saying to me that “Gujjus are Strong too!!” due to this, I became so much thirsty. All of a sudden I heard a noise of stream and I ran away madly to drink water. I put my face inside water and drank as much water as I can and gathered my strength. Everybody is encouraging rest of the people by saying that now only 10 minutes of walk left this continued for around 30 minutes and finally we saw Forest office that was the end point of our trek. This is how we finished our trekking.
We were so tired so as soon as we entered into home-stay they served us food which was again proper south Indian lunch, Rice-Rasam & and Pickle. That meal was even better than the last night's dinner due to hunger and tiredness of that trek. After eating food we again took a Geep and went down to the shop where we parked our bike. Drank tea/coffee there and decided that, there was sunlight available hence will either go to Kalasa or Mudigeri, where we can stay for a night. After reaching to Kalasa we decided let's drive entire ghat section tonight only and will stay in Mudigeri as it was bit bigger town compared to Kalasa. We reached there at around 8 pm and finally got a decent hotel where we got Biriyani, Fried Fish which is my favorite and Fish curry. Driving those ghat sections in night in bit heavy drizzle was another adventurous experience on that trip.
After this trek I realized that I have a lot of stamina and strength to me as I carried a guy alone and climb down few hundred of meters of Kudremukh trek. Which I never thought I can do. My First moderate difficulty level trek went fine and ended up with giving me lot of awesome memories to cherish a lifetime. I am glad I went for Kudremukh one of the best trips of mine so far.Day 3: Heading back to Bangalore
Next Morning we woke up at 8 and got ready at around 9 and started our last part of the journey that was to go home, Namma Bengaluru. AS we left early and roads were good we comfortably reach to Bangalore by evening. During our return trip, we stopped by few places for tea and had Lunch in some restaurant on NH48. The best part of any road trips are generally stoppages you took on Tea stalls/Tapri and all conversations happened there. Overall It was one hell of an adventurous trip.Few of the pics of Kudremukh Trek