|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|
|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|
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.