Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valikunja - Kudremukh Range

Introduction:
From Valikuja Peak in Backdrop;Gururaj,Raghavendra,Purushottam and Rohit in-order

The trek was a mistake with absolutely no real intent. It was decided Friday 1700 hours that we'd trek; Valikunja & Sitabhumi peaks were in our long pending list, we zeroed-in on Valikunja. Participants were just 4 in all - Gururaj, Purushottam, Raghavendra & Rohit(ME). We reached majestic Bus stand at 2300 hours, with no direct busses to Karkala we took a bus to Dharmasthala.
From Happy Valentine's Eve

Day 1[13th Feb. 2010]
On reaching Dharmasthala we were fortunate to find a bus to Karkala waiting. From Karkala we took a bus to Ajakar and a connecting bus to Under. Under's the place from where the trek begins.
From Final Destination
By the time we started the trek, it was close to noon at 1100 hours. We took no guide as usual and decided to make our own roads; we took a winding route though many estates and finally got right on-track what appeared to be a prominent trail taking is the direction of Valikunja. As we got into into tree cover, the climb got steeper; we ended up taking longer breaks with very little ascent.
From Toad in action at a local stream

By 1715 hours we hit the last known water source, we knew we were close to the peak we camped for the night along the trail, with no suitable flat camping site.
We could smell fresh elephant dung and foot print beside the water source and decided to have 2 camp fires to keep off wild visitors. 2 slept and 2 stayed up - 5 hrs straight feeding the fires.

Pre-Dinner was something unusual, thanks to Purushottam and his special Recipe -> Bun Masala. Ingredients were Finely cut tomatoes + Sev + Mixture + Chilly Powder + Salt stuffed into half sliced bun.

Day2 [14th Feb. 2010]
From Happy Valentines' Day

It was Valentine's day but not for serious trekkers like us, we started the day early and crossed over to the Adjacent peak to Valikunja. We realised this only on reaching the Shola Grasslands. We tried to look for any possible routes to get us Valikunja. We realised we had missed the possible route up long back. We had little choice and cut straight through the jungle again making our own roads.
From View of Valikunja from the Adjacent Peak

Just a few meters from the last known water source; we were in open grasslands and had the peak in sight. The climb up wasn't easy either, now with the sun aiming right at you + no breeze + no tree cover we had little respite, we kept going faster, at one point we dumped our luggage.
From Valikunja Peak - Blown-up Transmission Tower

The peak had what looked like a blown-up Transmission Tower with Solar panel mounted over it. Found a couple of foot prints carved out, not sure the history behind it.
We soon started the downward journey, we maintained a pretty good pace. On getting back to civilisation we freshened up in a steam and got ready to board the bus back to Karkala at 1430hours.

After a sumptuous meal we got to Dharmasthala visited the temple and boarded a night bus back to Bangalore at 2130. We made it back to our homes by 0630 hours Monday morning.
From The Descent

Finale:
1. The forest is infested with tics during Jan~Feb, avoid this season.
2. Tics cause more damage than leeches; Their bites turn sore, very itchy and need medical attention.
3. The total expenses worked out to be around INR 700.
4. With no breeze you must avoid this season.

13 comments:

machine_head said...

I HATE ticks...and I seem to get a fair share of my own on every damn trek :-(...

with such heat arnd, I stopped going fr post-lunch walks only, frget doing treks :-D...

BTW is that Valikunja and Sitabhumi the same peaks that are mentioned inside the Bhagavati nature camp?
I wanted to do, but at that time nobody had a clue on whether permission is given or not...

alwaysrohit said...

Bhagavati has a board with these names, to trek Sitabhumi you will need to take permission from Khudremukh RFO, Valikunja from Karkala RFO.

Trekking Narashima Parvatha is banned, avoid taking even the Kigga route, STF have been authorised to fire at will, you might be mistaken to be a naxal.

machine_head said...

okie...

so Karkala RFO is near the bu-stand itself? Is the permission a walk-in stuff or we need prior permission before the trek only?

_Pranjal

alwaysrohit said...

well, we didnt take a written permit, it was just over phone.. the locals were wondering too, the locals say you need to pay up permit fee, a guide and inform the local police so that the STF is alerted. which we didn't do

皮東 said...

If you can not be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.............................................

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長卉LisetteC said...
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