Saturday, January 29, 2011

Shiradi Ghat State Level trekking expedition-2011(Part-1)

I joined as a volunteer in Shiradi Ghat State Level trekking expedition organized by Mangalore YHA on 22nd of this month. On 22nd morning I was disappointed because of immediate enforced Bandh (Shutdown) by state government but by evening 5pm I was able to catch one KSRTC bus with my new friend Lakky. After a Lot of struggling tedious journey I was able to reach the base camp at 9.30pm.
Our Mangalore YHA unit leader’s great efforts were seen in the way they had arranged this expedition in a most efficient way. Inside the camp all arrangements were very clean systematic & neat. We unloaded our luggage in Dormitory & finished our dinner after having some interaction with all slept nicely. Morning few more participants joined our team from different part and our organizers decided to split as 2 teams team A & Team B & also distributed all volunteers into the 2 teams.
As per our organizer's decision me & another 3 of my old teammates (Mlre YHA members) were assigned to lead team B, our team started towards Venkatgiri Mountain around 8.30a.m after having a heavy breakfast. Venkatagiri desirable for a very short trek under Shiradi Our guide Lingappa headed our team in front & we all followed him.
After climbing initial stretch between thick evergreen forests we stepped into open grassland area and one more hour climbing from here we reached the peak easily.
Venkatagiri surrounded by MugilGiri, AramaneGudda, Arebetta, Gori gudda & Timanhalla Waterfalls & one side big valley. Watching all these beautiful peaks with gusty wind on our face was amazing experience. We finished our packed lunch food on the top & spent enough time &on a different route we started towards base camp.
Evening all had enjoyed at Kempuhole River near our base camp. After lot of water sports in river we came back to the camp & enjoyed our campfire. It was nice to wake up early and all got ready for a new task our plan was to go Kannikayagundi waterfalls instead of Arebetta into the smooth terrain. After flag hosting we left base camp at 7am. Initial 2km journey was through Jeep & it was quiet easy.
We all got together at one point of place & started to walk in the mud road through a thick forest territory. Forests creates a superb environment for walking in the morning, there could be nothing more pleasant than waking up to the sounds of the sweet chirping of the birds. Their delicate sounds seem like music to me. Although I can never follow what they try to convey, the one thing that can be clearly inferred is that they are always hungry first thing in the morning!
The beautiful sounds they use to communicate can sometimes be a hilarious experience as well, with the variations they provide. Witnessing the different types of birds that I have come across my morning journey, I often wondered how many such species may have existed in reality, some which are extinct or on their way to extinction.
Birds are better off in their natural surroundings, so if you think you can have it as a pet, you need to think again! Birds would prefer to have their own freedom rather being cooped up in a cage. Observe and enjoy their presence but at a distance is good. Thinking all these things effortlessly we reached Devaragundi a bank of natural stream.
All spent some moment near to the stream after crossing the river once again followed narrow track inside thick jungle. I wondered about the beauty and the mystery of the rainforests across our journey. After a long 10kms walk we reached top of the Kannikayagundi Waterfalls.
Initial I didn't want to swim but the beautiful pond was very tempting. After having a great time on the bottom of the falls we returned back with a non-stop walk till camp. Night we had wonderful campfire later had hearty dinner & slept early.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


After the Ettinabuja trek we chose to explore Karadigudda especially our teammate Kamath sir (Ramesh Kamat) eagerly wanted to show that wonderful hidden place where he had gone before, after a small drive in a nasty village road we reached a small traditional hamlet which situated between 3 side mountains were famous for one religious Shiva temple It looked like a wonderful place to explore.
We left our vehicle near the temple & started to hike first immediate stretch from the road side. However, it is well worth it after crossing the first hump a beautiful planet opened in front of us. We had   a lot of options that time in our mind ridge walk, trekking to Karadigudda, Trekking to Baremale so many but finally due to lack of time we started towards Karadigudda.
I had already gone twice to this place from another side but this time we chose to go from this side. After crossing 2-3 sharp humps we reached one very open wide plain grassland on the top of the mountain ,it was so vast in size may be two cricket stadium  could be built but thankfully no one had seen the  possibility of  making it commercial and we could still enjoy nature in its calm way,
this area is home for many wild  animals, including exotic birds, and variety of trees and plants due to it being mid afternoon we did not get to see any wild animals in May the temperature will be very hot, but that just drives the wildlife to  cooler place.
Next few hours walk was not very tough it’s a simple ridge walk one side was beautiful valley & another side plain Grasslands & Shola forests. We crossed one thick forest & one more wide grassland opened & also Karadigudda was just 1 hour walk from that place but we decided to stop our journey on that point,
Because of hot temperature & not enough food & lack of time after non-stop 2.30 hours walk our body also was not ready to continue till the top. So we spent sometime in another edge of the grasslands & enjoyed the beauty of Charmady range.
On return we had visited the temple & one beautiful big lake just opposite the temple. Me & Ashu came first so instead of wasting time we sat on the bank of the Lake & soaked our legs into the fresh cool water & watching the fishes kissing our legs was very nice......

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ettinabuja Trip....

We all decided to celebrate New Year on the top of  Ettinabuja as per our plan we purchased some sweets & enough food and started late in the evening. An escapade travel through remote villages late in the night we reached an ancient Shiva temple in Bhyrapura village.
This temple belongs to the highest point in the village & also fully surrounded by green mountains & forests. Everyone could sleep well except my friend Ashok because he hadn’t carried his sleeping bag and without a sleeping bag no one can sleep in that freezing chilled gusty breezy night.
In the misty cold Morning the white cloud, solitary and alone in the vast blue sky hugs the Ettinabuja and gracefully rises over it. First glimpse of sunrise was reflecting the peak it was an amazing sight, it seemed like it was inviting the brave hearts to summit the peak. We freshened up in one clean pond near the temple & later we followed the trail which would take us to the bottom of the mountain.
A small walk and we could stand at the bottom of the mountain which a plateau with grasslands and coniferous trees was an area of incredible beauty, although we climbed to the top of the rocky mountain in less than 30 minutes with a lot of enthusiasm. Sitting on the top of a mountain and looking at the beauty around was very pleasant & view was so dramatic. What a great way to celebrate New Year on the top o Ettinabuja we all had sweets & food.
What a pleasing moments we spent against running time; this is a great opportunity, a variety of terrain nowhere else offers a trek something like this very easy peaceful, stunning, original & natural beauty of nature and glimpses of many mountain ranges.
Spent lot of time explored each corner of the peak & stepped back & on our return temple was open so all had grace of God & with the lord's blessings and looking forward for many more treks we returned pleased....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Seeta Bhoomi (Part-2)

A non-stop 8 km’s Ridge walk on the beautiful Grassland was beautiful we never had an experience like this before. The Shola grassland ecosystem is characterized by dense growth of trees in the depressions and folds of the Ghats surrounded by extensive areas of grasslands.
After crossing each mountain another new group was ready to cross. Each slope each group of hill ranges each hike would open a new world in front of us & its increase our energy in each level.
After a 4 hours non-stop hike we reached our destiny point where we can see 360 degree panoramic view. One side of the Hilltop a beautiful sight of the clear green water of River & it’s besides Hill ranges makes most panoramic view & remaining 3 sides thousands of mountains bunching together with wearing greenish blanket.


The view from here shows clearly the many pinnacles that rise out of this land that surrounds us. When we were on the top we spotted lot of animals around us Gaurs & Spotted dears, Sambars, verity of birds….
First time we saw such uncountable animals around us I felt it was like watching Animal Planet on TV. We had light food everybody was in their own mood their own dreamland. We spent enough time on the top & that’s the time to tell bye bye to the heaven. 
On return we preferred a different route for a change. As our decision we started to climb down on edge of the hill top. Had one hour mountaineering downward we entered lower groups of Shola forest.
One more surprise in front of us our guide brings us one beautiful small 30feet height LakkiHole waterfalls in forest. First we reached the top some of us climbed down with a help of one aerial root we reached bottom of the waterfalls. A beautiful rainbow welcomes us some of us had freshened up in this chilly water.
Breathtaking LakkiHole Waterfalls
 I had an opportunity to discover another aspect of Western Ghat with its lush beauty, breathtaking views and cooler temperatures. After all, it was the mountains we were enraptured by its beauty.