One of the family members Gopu Gokhale had come to pick me up in his scooter .I reached there place ,got ready by 7:30 am.They served me breakfast-hot and steaming idlies with some delectable chatni.I wanted to start as early as possible.By the time the packed lunch was ready it was about 8:00 am.Again he went out to check with the guide and arrange for the auto.I headed to the nearby bus stand by which time -my man friday was waiting for me-Channappa gowda.He parcelled some sugar and tea powder for the trip.We took the auto to the starting point.So by around 8:45 am we started on our trek.
Below : View of Gokhale's house
The intial part was through some bamboo forest,there was forest cover which made the trek easier.We soon made some quick ground.At around 10 am we took a small break ,had some oranges at this point.The sun was coming out and it was getting very sunny.The forest cover had vanished and we were into the grasslands by now.The sun was really harsh on us .The next couple of hours was uneventful with channappa prodding me to keep moving along.The sun was getting really tough on me ,finally we were running out of water by now.We soon reached the water point at 12:30 pm.I was totally exhausted by now.I was sweating profusely now and was dead tired now.I told channappa that we shall rest here for sometime before we start again.By the time i had finished having some water,the whole scene changed in just about 10 minutes flat.Clouds were hovering around and we could hear the thunder of the clouds.We both looked at each other.I told channappa ,we are moving now to the next place where could have some shade and probably rest for the day.
Above : A strange looking mushroom
First view of Amedikallu peak
He agreed instantly.As we were approaching the next point a rock cave,i vomitted.I was down and out completely.The heat and the exhaustion was taking its toll on me.Channappa also reminded me that the lack of sleep the day before could be the cause .Channappa was now worried ,but the good part of it we were very close to the rock cave ,so in the next 10 minutes we reached the cave.It started raining once we reached the place.Channappa was glad we made it.This was a big relief for me since i was pushed to the limit and we had to beat the rain somehow,and we did it.Channappa soon began collecting firewood for the night.The place was quite cozy.
Above :The giant tree infront of our cave
Soon the rain started getting heavy and i was too exhauste and i had slept for about 3 hours now.I got up at around 4pm and saw that by now it was raining very heavily all around.I checked with the guide if he had his lunch and he said that he was waiting for me -i was touched.Soon we opened our packets and had the idlies with the pickles.
Above : The huge cave where we stayed for the night
Channappa was a tea freak,he soon prepared some hot black tea,it was soothing.I checked with him if could now go up the peak since it had stopped raining for a while now.He told that there is no way we can stop inbetween if we started now.Also i had rained heavily and slippery now.The peak was not visible and i told him that considering all this we should put of the ascent to the peak for the morrow.Within 30 minutes it started pouring heavily and we just cozied up in the cave.
Above : The view infront of our cave when it rained :)
The only place where we could have had a safe place to be dry and cozy was this cave.Channappa and me were really glad now.All through the noon we had enjoyed some amazing display of entertainment of the rain god.It was just like sitting in a auditorium and watching a movie.
Above : The fireplace is ready :)
By around 5:15 pm it had stopped raining briefly,we went out a little to check out the place.Took a few snaps and we were back once the sunset.
Above: Just after it had briefly stopped raining
We couldnt catch the sunet due to the clouds.Channappa was sad that we couldnt make it to the peak on this day.I kept reminding him that there are somethings we dont have a hold on.We soon headed back since it was getting dark now.He lit up the fire ,soon both of us cozied near the fireplace and it started raining heavily again.
At around 7pm ,i suggested that we have a early dinner.Channappa agreed.This was another icing on the cake which was waiting to unfold.I opened up the MTR and heated it in the vessle which channappa had bought,i added some water to it (that is my way of doing it :) ).Channappa was curious to know why ? :).I just asked him to wait and watch.Meanwhile i had got some chapatis ,so it was chapati with pickle along with MTR which was getting heated.Channappa was curious as to what i was upto.It is not over yet,i opened up the lijjat pappad and roasted it in the fire.And lo the dinner for the maharaja was ready ;).
This is one of my best dinners i have had.The MTR was hot,yummy ,had some pickles to it.With chapati and pappad,it was simply an awesome dinner.To add to this nature was continuing to entertain me with the rain :) .With me and channappa we chatted through,this has to be one my best dinners i had :).
I decided to hit the bed early ,channappa was not sleepy ,suggested that he put a small fire on the other entrance ,just to ward out any wild animals just in case.Soon i had slept and it was pouring heavily even i headed for sleep.Fortunately the cave gave us very good protection.
Channappa had warned me that there might be some bandicoots.Somewhere in between i woke up to some sound around me.It was just one of the plastic cover moving around.Channappa was still awake since he told me he wasnt sleepy,turned around to see that the rain had stopped and i could see the stars clearly now.The got up couple of more times in between.Soon i woke up in the morning and saw the time it was 6:30 am.I saw that channappa was asleep,woke him up ,he was stunned as to how he was asleep since he had promised me that he would wake me up at 5:30 am.I told him not worry much.A tea freak he soon began making tea religiously.Told him i shall skip tea since i wanted to reach the peak soon.He suggested that i start heading up the hill and soon he will join me in a moment.
I started heading up capturing some amazing landscapes with clouds all around.Although the sunrise couldnt be seen due the clouds which were still clearing,it was setting some amazing displays hiding behind the clouds.Started of the climb with my hawai chappals,which is one of the wackiest things i have done on treks.The ascent was tough,climbing through was difficult.The sun climbing up quickly by now.Somewhere in between we spotted civet cat droppings.Channapa told me the previous night that we was woken up twice when there was a fierce fight between 2 civet cats as he could hear the noises very well very near from our place.
We reached the peak finally.The sky was clear and the views from the peak was simply out of this world.Spent some time clicking snaps.One can view Ethina Bhuja,Gadaikallu,minchukallu and ombattu gudda from this peak.After clicking a few snaps ,we rested for a while enjoying the nice breeze.After spending almost 45 minutes to an hour we decied to head down.The decent was a bit tricky and i slipped at two spots.Soon we reached our cave at 9am spending about 40 minutes in the descent.
Above : View towards dharmasthala side
Above : View of Minchukallu as seen from Amedikallu peak
Above: Amedikallu peak
Channappa soon decided to make some tea,i just didnt want to say no :).We both had chappatis and pickles.We had hardly had the breakfast and tea when he checked the time,it was 9:30 am .Both of us were surprised since we just couldnt understand how half an hour had gone by.We soon packed things in no time and started the descent.
The descent was quite quick since i wanted to make it to the forest cover part .The sun today was really harsh and was getting hotter than the day before quickly.We soon reached the first forest cover by 10:30am,channappa told that the descent was really fast and it this place we could reach the base by 11:30 am.We decided to slow down a bit after we entered the forest cover clicking some snaps on the way down.We reached the base by 11:45am.A cool 2:45 minutes was the climbdown.Sun was very harsh,we reached the bridge where we started in 10 minutes back.Channappa ran and called the auto ,while i freshened up and drank some water.I decied to give Ethina bhuja a skip since i was drained out completely and will come back again to cover the peak :).
I was eager to make it to the shishila temple which i was told would close at 1pm.I reached Gokhale's place at around 12:10 pm and told them that i would take bath and head to the temple and then have lunch once i am back from the temple.Again i must mention the kind nature of the gokhale's.The grandmother in the house gave me water as soon as i came .When i told that i would have lunch later,she got me butter milk and told me there is nothing stopping you from having this :).Gulped down about 4 glasses of buttermilk in notime :).Had bath and again i must mention the kind nature of the gokhale's ,he dropped me till the temple.
I forgot to take my camera :(.The place is very peaceful and it was arati time at 12:45 pm , the pooje was very good and soothing.The murthi is taken around in procession inside the temple which is another interesting part of the pooje.I came out to see the fishes in the river ,they were amazing.Spent some time on the hanging bridge,then headed back to gokhales house.Got a drop in the bike from a guy,was glad since it was very hot.
Had lunch when i was reminded that there is a bus at 2:45 pm,i had intially planned to leave at 4:30 pm bus and had decided to change the plans with this piece of information.
Reached kokkada at 3:20pm .Was lucky to get a rajahamse heading towards bangalore at 3:30 pm.I hoped to reach bangalore by 10 pm.Soon shiradi ghat started.This was the first time i was covering this place in the broad daylight.I was in for a surprise ,there was a huge tusker blocking the road.Quickly took out the camera and was trying to take the snap.The driver seeing me with the camera ,asked me to get down and take the snap .I was delighted with what i heard.Quickly captured some shots.There were about 10-15 vehicles piled up on either side.The elephant had strayed out from the kempu hole nearby which flows nearby.
But one thing which i was glad to see was that all vehicles were atleast 400-500 meteres away and nobody were teasing it in anyway.The tusker saw both ways crossed the road and headed back to the kempuhole much to the relief of all of us.
The rest of the journey was uneventful,reached bangalore by 10:30 pm
Thirumayam Fort, Tamilnadu
5 days ago