Friday, May 15, 2009

Chikmagalur Reloaded!

Me and my bench mate in college Kodanda(kodu) were thinking about going for a trek for some time. It was peak summer, so a full trek was partly out of question..so thought of heading to Chikmagalur (which is touted the best hill station in Karnataka) even though d ideal time's in the winter or after monsoons.
More than one reasons for the decision- one we wanted to go to d place frm where we did our engineering, and another was the pestering frm my frnd Tom whom we call Jacko..
He has been behind me frm d days i knw him, for showing him Chikmagalur, coz i created a vivid n enchanting pic abt dis place..but he was partially unlucky as he dint gt 2 see d real attractions of dis hill station which r numerous...
n as a matter of fact he kept abusing me till d evng of our first day der,as it was really hot n we were still driving to reach to "the" places in there. But, that changed once we reached dis hidden waterfall in an estate..!! :)

We started frm Bangalore on sat morning and kodu had brought in 9 of his colleagues as well. So me,tom,kodu and his frnds started in 3 cars....every body was sleeping till d time we were around 70kms frm Haasan (Again famous for the enchanting Belur & Halebid)...We'd to stop here owing to d heavy fog n mist thru which it was very difficult 2 drive, u can say 5m visibility...guys gt excited as it was bt 8.30 am and also it wasn't cold, also it being summer dis was stranger than fiction!


Stopped for some time, had breakfast from a hotel nearby and headed to Ckm (Chikmagalur!). We reached the forest dept. office in Ckm and were disheartened to know dat d first plan of having a safari in the Muthodi forest (which is part of the Bhadra Forest Reserve famous for the best tiger sighting in Karnataka), had come crashing down as tourists were not allowed for safari during summer owing to a lot of forest fires.
Now what..? We discussed, but finally the local boy Kodu told dat we can as well drive through the Muthodi area and go towards the rear side of Mulliangiri peak (the tallest peak in Karnataka-1930 m (6317 ft.)). The drive was incredible and the guys were thrilled, partly also coz kodu's frnd faiz had joined with his old Willys. This frnd of kodu is some expert driver material! Some of us sat with him on the muddy narrow hairpins over and he did some full throttle thrilling cuts and stopped just on the edge of the hairpin in time!! i'm sure who ever sat had their hearts pop out a few times!

the WILLYS!




A stop in the forest (me in front n kodu clicking frm behind)-


The Muthodi forest path-


From here we proceeded to a waterfall, which is in an estate and you can take ur vehicle till a little distance above frm d falls although der r narrow hairpins as u descend down. This place is just before d Honamanahalla stream which is at the beginning of the ascend to Muliangiri peak (the Tea shop here is pretty famous!).

Another snap of the falls-


From here we came to the town as we had to fill the fuel for us n d cars before proceeding towards the remote estate on top of a cliff where we were to put our camps for the night.
This place is not dat easy to locate, but it is an extremely amazing place to pitch tent and light up campfire; all courtesy kodu! We drove towards d place which has curly serpent roads. We'd some confusion finding the cross to take d deviation, but finally did n wen we reached there we remembered dat we did not have kerosene; nevertheless we thought to proceed, as going back and coming back at around 9.30pm was not an option.
So, we started d moonlit night trek soon. The trek was a good climb thru d orange n coffee estates; it was quite tasking for some heavy guys. Finally we reached d top where der is a flat area perfect for pitching tents.
Jacko n Kodu got busy with tent setup with others, and i got busy with the pegs n one of the tents. Now, some people were busy collecting the firewood. One tent was in a bad shape, Jacko exhibited his skills by getting it fixed n ready(Jacko's good at cooking as well!).
We were ready finally with tents and campfire finally and sat around for d drinks n gup-shup!