Four members showed up at Majestic KSRTC Platform 2, it was decided we trek from Bandaje and complete the trek by getting off at Shankashale. The team consisted of Ganesh, Ashutosh, Venkat and Roti the greatest. We boarded a bus to Dharmasthala at around 23:30 hours and got the last seat as usual. The ride was not really all that bumpy, it was pretty pleasant.
We reached Dharmasthala at around 6 and left from there at around 7:30 to Ujire[8km from Dharmasthala] from here we hired a jeep to take us to Bandaje via Mundaje[The foothills from where the trek begins]. The shared jeep ride was amazing with 19 people on board at one point it time, the driver drove safely with just one half of his ass on the seat. We started trekking at 8:30.
We hit the stream at 10:30 took a bath and after breakfast we resumed the trek up. The climb gets steeper as you go higher up. After a while you reach open space and this is the toughest part of the trek. You get a sneak peek of the falls from the edge of the steep ascent.
Once you make it to the top you get to hear the falls, taking a steep ascent down you get to the cliff of the water fall. This reminds me of Onake Abbi falls in Augumbe(not very popular, did not find any write-up on the net as well); however Bandaje is not all that majestic, but it’s still a tougher hike up when compared to Onake Abbi falls. There was a light downpour, after the sun came out again we saw a herd of 8 Bison on the adjacent mountain. Venkat and myself had a sleeping bag, we slept without much complaints. Ganesh and Ashutosh had problems with the cool night breeze. I had missed dinner due to some stomach upset.
I woke up at 4:00 and had the campfire burning till 7:00. With a lot of mist and cloud cover it was not very tough to make the steep ascent.
We planned to get off Shankashale after trekking past
Ballala-rayana-durga. The ascent was pretty strenuous; we took a lot of breaks to get on top. We were trekking past all the high mountains. The view was majestic and pretty hot as well as there was no tree cover all through. We were lucky again to spot a heard of wild bison. The final part of the trek has a lot of tree cover and is a steep downhill ascent in most cases. Its rocky and you need to watch your step.
The locals here helped us with water. To get the auto to pick us up we had to call from sultanpet(4 km from Shankashale). Everyone had lunch at a local Non-Vegetarian restaurant. However I preferred to drink something to cool down my stomach and restore my body fluids.
I had puked at least 3 times during the ascent to sultanpet. After lunch we took a small nap upto 14:00 hours. The bus to Kottigehara was scheduled to arrive at 14:45 hoursand was pretty much on time we had a tough time standing for 45 minutes. At 15:30 we reached Kottigehara. The bus to Hassan arrived at 16:00 hours. We reached Hassan at 18:45 hours. After a mini meal we left hassan at 19:30 hours to reach Bangalore at 00.15 hours. By then I had missed my last bus. Whereas the others managed to get some bus to take them home.
Total Expense Sheet:
#1 Packaged Food – 87
#2 Bus Ticket to Majestic – 09
#3 Tickets to Dharmasthala – 154
#4 Dharmasthala to Ujire – 10
#5 Shared travel by jeep to bandaje – 20
#6 Sultanpet to Shankashale – 25
#7 Shankashale to Kottigehara – 10
#8 Kottigehara to Hassan – 45
#9 Hassan to Bangalore – 90
#10 Bangalore city to my home – 110 !
#11 Misc. expenses(food) – 110
Grand total: 670
#1 Bandaje trek is amazing, its challenging to ascend from Bandaje side and get off at Shankashale side
#2 Carry some chocolates & Glucose, its pretty energising
#3 Make sure you reach Bangalore by 00:00 hours else you will end up paying heavily on autos
#4 Carry some basic medicines