Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Bababuddangiri to Kemmangudi


After a lot of heated discussions the destination was finalised 3 hour before the onward journey.  This time we were more organised in terms of Food & Transport ( 12 seater Tempo Traveler).  Harish (ಮಾಂಸ ಪರ್ವತ) had both the TT and Food arranged. Food worth INR 5k !!

Day 1: to the starting point>
We reached Mulliyana Giri (highest motor-able road in Karnataka) Saturday early morning, freshened up in the open, heated water using Jatin Mari's new ultra-portable stove (camphor stove).  To warm water it took about 35 minutes.  We had instant noodles along with Hot Bajjis and Hot Tea from a nearby makeshift mobile food van.
Nagesh and his Discovery
 After a brief entertainment by Nagesh with a small 12" snake he discovered, we decided to head to the Mulliyanagiri temple and then to the Cave just below the temple and then started our trek.

The trek started from behind Mulliyanagiri Temple. It was a warm-up trek for the following day.  The weather was stormy, gusty winds, poor visibility and a few little blood sucking monsters.
The Troupe

With poor visibility we didn't get to good panoramic views. Our trek ended at a Forest Checkpost adjacent to road below (4kms trek approx).
Jatin,Harish,Nagesh,Prajval,Rohit in-order
To welcome us Sandalwood Actor Prajval Devaraj had lined up to pose for us.

Rashi water falls:
En-Route to Rashi Water Falls

We later trekked a small waterfall (Rashi Waterfall- 1 km steep trek) which is a few kms away from the check-post en-route Bababudangiri.  The beauty of the falls is it has knee deep water with a three layer cascading falls.
Cascading Rashi Water Falls

The rest of the day till late into the evening we ended up scouting places to camp for the night.  It was finally decided we halt in a guest house beside datta peeta (Bababuddangiri).  The accommodation was a 15'x8' with a pay-n-use toilet.  We had also rented a kerosene stove for our cooking.  Nagappa and Harish did most of the cooking.  Dinner was Puliyogare and sack items.
Trail leading to Rashi Falls

Day 2: Kemangundi Trek via Palumane Trek route>
Breakfast was last night's left overs with 3 cups of Tea, Thanks to Goutham who bought the ingredients in his last minute shopping.  We had the TT drop us off at Galikere from where our 20 kms trek began.  Thanks to Jatin who had offline maps for the first 16 kms of the trek.  The last 4 kms we had no clue.
Galikere Temple - Trek starts here

We started out trek from Galikere at around 8 am.   The terrain is mostly flat and we maintained a good pace.  We were also warned about tigers.
Tiger shit & Pug Marks
On the trail we found Tiger pug marks and shit as well :).  The terrain is also extremely scenic with a lot of green cover all through,  the trail went missing on few occasions since we had the GPS we got back on track.
Valley view down along the Palumane Trail
The frequent odd rains during October had covered most of the trails.  On many occasions we had to cut through bushes and thorny shrubs with bare hands to make way.
Gautham exploring the valley along Palumane Trail
The best part of this tail is the valley of Flowers purple and yellow.  Extremely pretty for about a km range.  This is towards the last 4 kms of the Palu mane Trail.
Valley of Flowers - Palumane Trail
The palumane Trail ends in a ruined ancient guest house with a small lake nearby.  There is no visible trail from hereon to Kemanguindi.
Ancient Ruins - End of Palumane Trail

Make your own trail:

From here on we roughly had a 4km displacement to Kemangundi Peak.  But with no trail we decided to just head out North-West.  We initially stayed on the open shola grassland region but finally had to enter the thick forest.  Here we ended up in a T- Intersection with a trail both on the left and to the right.  Since Kemangundi was more towards the left, we took that trail which soon turned out to be an animal trail.  But we did not lose spirit.
First clear view - Just out of the thick forest growth
Harish & Jatin took lead and stuck to the compass.  We hit a steam crossed over to the other side and kept going.  The forest cover got denser and extremely slippery do to heavy incessant rains.
Deer Skull - Fist sign of life (HAM Radio antenna visible from this clearning)
We finally got out of the thick forest.  To our luck the sky had cleared, the rains had stopped and could spot Z-point and Kemangudi HAM Radio antenna.  But to get there was another adventure,  since we had lost our way and no visible trail, we ended up scaling a mountain cliff.  On the way we saw a clearing where we found skeletal remains of what looked like a Deer.  We scaled the final mountain stretch from where we could see Raj-Mahal from the peak. We finally reached RajMahal at 1800 hours.  Everyone had too many leeches all over.  Everyone smelt of rotting blood ..., till we reached Bangalore.

Thanks to all the trek was awesome the 2nd day last 4 km trek was a memorable one for all.
Trek this terrain, words can't describe the beauty!
Panoramic Valley View along the Trek

Fellow trekkers who want to do it our way check this map out. [Once palumane trek ends find your way back to kemangundi(you could find our trail if you made it out alive)]
QR Code for your smartphone:

1. Leech bites turn itchy after a day or two the only cure is apply sandal paste with normal salt. it really helps.
2. Do not forget to carry a sickle ( we did not carry it on the trek) we had a tough time using bare hands.
3. It was a good idea to hire a TT pickup, drop & unnecessary delays for public transport avoided. It worked pretty cheap too INR 700 per person.
4. GPS helps carry it, when there's poor visibility and in unknown terrain.
5. Getting permits to trek is now a bigger problem than trekking, you don't one here!