Friday, August 24, 2012
I’ve been there 4-5 times before but not visited in Monsoon, the region is wonderful in monsoon, with gusty winds and swirling clouds, misty mountains, lush green valleys, in grueling winds, numerous waterfalls and heavy downpour. So have to dig experience to the thrills of getting myself into a heavenly place, once again I chosen to visit Metkal in a fine Rainy day.
A long exhilarating bike ride in incessant pouring rain we reached at Hosangadi, a small hotel used to be opening just as we reached and we would all pile on for a quick breakfast. After small continuation we left our bikes and started to walk through a mud trail.
After few minutes walk we find ruined steps and we followed the same, this was the beginning of the actual climb. This was 4th time that I was walking on this path, so many of the landmarks were familiar. It took us through slippery routes, muddy rivulets, mini waterfalls and colorful tiny wildflowers, which attract a large number of butterflies, moths and birds. It all added to the fun.
After a steep climb it would take us under a huge rocky slab that the trail was originally slated to climb. This climb was very exhaustive and everyone was quite tired. There are two caves called Tiger caves, and one ruined small temple under the rock slab. Heavy rain seeping down into the underlying rocks contributes to the instability of the area and aids in speeding up the movement of these huge columns further down slope. The route here goes through some stunning rocky portions and tricky in some parts.
We had steep climb we came to a ledge section to an intermediate plateau. We were able to get a glimpse of Beautiful Valley and wide Balebare Ghat ranges and some other unknown Pinnacles in our right. There was a small pond and a monsoon lake on the top. Needing a break at this point we headed up to the ledge to relax a bit and re-nourish ourselves.
Thereafter, we had a gradual walk till the top. By the time we had reached the top, the rain increased its volume. We took few minutes shelter on Ganesh Temple we were pleased to see a beautiful lord Ganapathi Deity. Later we headed to ruined fort located on a hilltop just next to the temple after a risky attempt on a edge of the hilltop safely we reached the fort. The Fort was built during the rule of the Keladi kings; the panoramic view from the summit is awe inspiring and is ideal for trekking in rainy days.
It is an isolated fort with dense forest all around. This hill fort has a great view of the Varahi River. Huge pinnacle are visible from a distance. One can see plenty of waterfalls here in the monsoons.
Kunchikal Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in India its cascades down rocky boulders and total height of this fall is 455 meters.
I heard from villagers that one beautiful lake called Kustappana Kere and one huge ruined fort was there inside the nearest forest range and on king’s time it’s connected to Kavaledurga Fort on a continuation base. The Ramalinga Temple at the foothill is another major historic attraction here. After the lunch we went more interior places and it commands a grand view of some waterfalls, river and mountain ranges.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
The clouds are back; the rains are back and its showering heavily in Western-Ghats range so we decided to do another monsoon trek here. It’s very special to go for trek during rainy season. Gadaikallu is the best place to explore during Monsoon, one of the easiest and safest treks. The experienced shared here a trek which happened during last weekend.
I left my home at morning 5 o clock and joined my enthusiastic travelogue team in Belthangady. Actually our agenda was to go somewhere wild in Charmadi range but when we traveling through the Ghat road we heard further Ghat road has been blocked since morning 3AM due to landslide. Last night here recorded heavy rain fall and it’s caused for nastiest land slides in these areas. So without any chance finally we headed to Gadaikallu hill.
A pleasant ride through the winding roads will take us to the bottom of this fort hill. There was no security guard on that day he might think no one will dare to come in such rainy day. It’s raining throughout our journey we were all set to get totally drenched in rains, yet its fun and we were craving to once again to hike our favorite trek point. Trails shrouded in an atmosphere which is totally unlike a blue clean day.
The climb starts off with some well maintained steps, and then we slowly start climbing steeper and steeper domains. In the hills patches of clouds will roll through, reducing visibility to only a dozen or so feet in any direction with only the faint black shapes of trees around. Things here in the Monsoon Smoky Mountain take on a spooky, misty quality in the rain. After crossing two fort walls we entered an interesting part our journey started through steep slippery Rocky terrain.We continued on set of huge stony steps which connected to upper fort entrance wall, across the hike on one side you have the rock surface of the fort while on the other side nothing except a small cut out of the same rock surface some places the rock walls are on the edge of this hill. Because of rain it went more slippery and you can sight some small seasonal cascades across the journey.
Continued on this steps we reached next level which almost top. We just had some open space and shorter grass at a place that we spent our time. As the wind velocity is very high on top, luckily the rain stopped as we reached the peak. After a small break first we headed to northern end of the hill top. We had been to this fort in rainy season so the grass had grown to be tall and it was really hard to find any path to look around the fort.
After a small walk we reached to the top of northern end but we can’t get any clear view because of thick mist the mist which had engulfed the whole valley. The running white Clouds generally kiss this hill and that would give some more nice scenes on rainy season.
Another side of the hill top at the peak a small shelter made by kings time. This hill is isolated from surrounding hill ranges stands tall and dominant even from a distance; it gives a good view of all the villages in the surrounding on one side you see the Western Ghats and another vast plains.
It’s a very panoramic view especially in Monsoon time the place is really nice and is a paradise for nature lover and trekkers. Getting down was a little tricky as we were slipping and sliding while getting down. We took an hour to get down and were at the base of the hill. I love to hike in the rain it always seems to add adventure. I ended up finding great views, It’s a different world altogether and seems somewhat magical.