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Organizers Trek to Tadiandamol

After our trek in the Western Ghats in March, this Organizer’s trek was a monsoon trek, what place could be better for a monsoon trek than Coorg!
Addition to our crazy gang as new organizers were Hiren, Ritu and Swatz - hardcore WOW girls, Subrata and Piyush - the RE bikers!
Abhishek took up the responsibility of organizing this one. Our Trek plans and discussion was ON throughout the week. Earlier in the day we also did what’s app shopping of sleeping bags, rain ponchos! Thanks to Channa who was at the store and picked up stuffs for us without fussing to carry so many things 
For all my past treks I always packed two days before the trek, but for this one I packed couple of hrs before leaving, well that must be a sign of me becoming a Pro from an amateur! It was as easy as heading out for a short leisurely walk on the street :-P
Windy Friday: It’s been almost a month, the state’s meteorological dept has been promising us the monsoons, to hit the city in the coming days, well it just sounded like false promises of Politicians; so our definite shot for the rains was Coorg. 
Our getaway spot from Bangalore was as usual Shantala Silk house! Well not many organizers gossiped about Shantala this time, so I’m guessing they have got over her I suppose :-)
 I reached the spot by 8.20pm and most of them were already there- Viru, Channa, Abhi, Hiren, Subrata, Piyush, Swati, Ritu. Sangu, Sush and Anthony were yet to arrive.
I had skipped my lunch and was so hungry that I could gobble up anything which could be least edible, Channa had got Girmitt (a snack made of puffed rice), we all pounced over him for a handful of it, obviously it did draw few onlookers attention, as couple of us were sitting on the ground with our hands stretched out, begging at Channa! We did look like beggars :-)
By now, all 12 of us were there, we had a sweet surprise from Viru, and he had got us Loki halwa, prepared by his mom which he had got us from Mumbai. Needless to say that we were again back in the game, trying to get a bigger spoon of the dessert! The dessert was finger licking good!
Our TT arrived by 10, many had got their new hiking backpacks (Thanks to Snapdeal’s discount offer), Subrata and Piyush voluntarily became our Bag Organizers trying to arrange them at the back of the TT!
We started our journey to Coorg, bantering went on among us and Viru in this trek kept getting spiritual now and then, with his questions “Yeh Duniya kaisa hain” rest of us were puzzled every time he threw this question at us, some of the answers to his question were; Yeh duniya gol hain, mathlabi hain and yes pittal di too :-P. (Nobody is aware of the fact that he’s a follower of some secret babaji :-D)
 By 11pm we stopped at hotel Nandini for our dinner in Ramanagara and we all ordered the same dish as the waiter warned us that he wouldn’t take orders, after 11.30pm. Interesting fact to be mentioned is that, sush uses sanitizer to clean her plate :-P (Kidding!)
We settled for biryani and lassi. After a heavy dinner we were back on the roads. Sangu was forced to stay up and make small talks with the driver so that he doesn’t fall asleep.
We reached Virajpet by early morning 6, as expected we were welcomed by rain showers, we got half drenched by the time we rushed to the Virajpet bus stand to finish our morning ablutions. Well few of them decided not to brush at all and be like junglees! (I’m so tempted to reveal their names :-P)
We then marched to the hotel to have our breakfast, no matter how less or more we trek, but the way we load our stomach with food is like as if we might have to starve for next whole month 
After breakfast, we started in our TT to execute our first day’s plans that was visiting Chelavara falls and Chomakunda hills.
The journey on the curvy, narrow roads uphill just defined the highway to heaven! The lush green coffee plantations, paddy fields, gushing streams and the rain tapping on the windows, dripping down the windows and soaking your shoulder is a sweet experience that you miss out inside cities.
While soaking up in this serenity, it was combined with juke box playing in the TT, song dedications for each other kept us totally entertained! The best one was Anthony dedicating ‘Lucky boy’ song to Hiren and Hiren reciprocating with ‘Jiggy wiggy with you boy’ song :-P
We reached Chelavara falls, it was a small 100 m walk to the view point, there were no other visitors, and we stood there and watched the waterfalls till our eyes were satisfied. The water currents were too strong so we didn’t risk getting inside the water, though the place was really irresistible. We just let our feet feel a bit of it!
And then, we trekked to Chomakunda hills. On the way there were many small streams and puddles, Viru kept jumping into them and making water splash on us as if the rain wasn’t doing its job of getting us drenched! He had many frogs too for his company which kept hopping around us :-)
It took us about twenty mins to reach the top; Viru spotted a cobra, which was quiet and asleep between the grasses. We stood on the hill top and looked down; we could see more shades of green than you thought possible. The view was breathtaking. The clouds along with mists acted like curtains which gave us the green view now and then, and also our faces! The visibility even at one arm distance was just a white out! The mist clinging to the grass, the clouds clinging to the mountain tops and our eyes clinging to the view for hrs!
Rain showers played us mischievous, it would stop when we put on our raincoats & ponchos, and it would start again when we packed our jackets!
The winds got very strong and we had to descend to make sure that Abhi or Hiren don’t get flown away with winds :-P
After countless number of profile pic shoots we continued our travel to Nalkand Palace. The rain started pouring heavily so we decided to tour the palace for longer time. By then it was mid day, and no signs of the rain to stop. We found a small shelter where we made our new organizers introduce themselves (That was a good round of ragging done by the old organizers!) and then the new organizers took basic classes from teacher Viru about how being an organizer, do’s and dont’s :-)
We are a bunch of guys who go with the flow! It is obvious we had no booking of a home stay or a hotel! We found a small house at a distance, Channa and Abhi went there and were able to strike a deal with them! The lady who owned the house was kind enough to lend us room like balcony of her house for us to stay for the night! She also provided firewood to make fire and hot water for our Maggie!
And yes I found the cutest thing in the house, a kitten! That played with us all night! We made our dinner and decided to sleep early as the next day was a long one!
Ritu & Swatz didn’t want the tents to go unused which we had carried so we pitched tents inside that small room! Later me & Swatz felt claustrophobic and crawled out of the tent, slept beside it inside our sleeping bags, leaving Sush & Ritu inside the tent.
Day two – Rain rain go away!! :
I woke up, the last one as usual :-). It was still raining heavily. Everyone had mixed thoughts about trekking to Tadiyandamol. We conducted a poll and majority of us chose to visit Talakaveri, Abbe falls and Mandalpatti instead of trekking.
This gave us more time to hog more :-P We had our breakfast and walked back to our TT. The journey began, with just one fuel break. Our next stop was Talakaveri. Talakaveri is the place where river Kaveri takes its birth; a holy place, people come here and offer pooja. Further ahead, about 300 stone steps lead us to Brahmagiri. That was another view point, completely covered with fog!
Next we headed to Abbe falls. It was a long walk down to the Abbe falls and the waterfalls was in full roar! A lovely hanging bridge constructed just opposite the falls offered a spellbound view of the falls and a perfect spot for pics with waterfalls in the background.
We decided to skip lunch to save time and visit more places. So our next tour was to Mandalpatti. As the road gets steeper and narrower our driver decided to pull over the TT. The biker boys stayed back in the TT for discussing on their biking events. Rest of us began to hike. It was 6km from there. There was no sun, whatsoever. It was just rain and fog. We had to reach the top before it got dark. While me and Hiren were literally running half way draining our energy, the others took their own sweet time, draining the battery of the camera with so many clicks :-)
After a distance of 1km, we paused, beyond which we had to take a jeep. After a decent bargain the jeep driver agreed to take us for 900 bucks.
The track was most horrible and unsafe on some places; huge boulders & landslip sections and a very narrow slick mud track. At some places road went through edge of the deep valleys. In addition, the visibility was totally nil, the driver now and then peeped out from his side while driving to stay on the track. That was real scary; anyway the fear was masked by Sush, Swatz jokes which kept us laughing the entire time. All of that, we ended our journey near to a small forest office where road ends
We followed the main trail and a short distance we reached the top.  After another short spiral stairs to the top at the view point, it was a visual treat! The long hard journey was totally worth it!!
It was as if you were inside the clouds! Chilly breeze with rain showers. We could see our hair completely covered with mist, which appeared like tiny shiny pearls!
It was getting darker and after taking enough pics we descended and got into the jeep and returned to our TT. It was already 6pm, yet we decided to visit Golden temple, the Buddhist monastery at Kushalnagar. The temple was closed but we stood in front of the doors for good snaps. Sush was planning to put up her papers and come live here (the question is, is it for the spirituality or the cute monks :-P)
By now we were super hungry, barged into a restaurant. The waiters were mean to the veg eaters :-P. The group which had ordered non veg food even got their second round of orders when we still weren’t served even the soft drinks which we had ordered. When we complained, the waiter laughed and replied later the better and you can eat more dinner! We were in no mood to laugh at his joke. Finally our dinner arrived. We ate peacefully. We had spent two beautiful days amidst nature and it was our time to return to Bangalore.  
End of the day what I realised was, destination doesn’t really matter, it is the journey. (Though our initial plan was to trek Tadiyandamol peak), not everything goes your way and you learn to adapt to the circumstances and carry on. We stop complaining about little things and learn to appreciate; be it the never stopping rain or the strong winds that diverted us from our initial plans! And as friends we bond better, being there for each other in need :-)
Thanks a ton to Abhi for taking the pain of organizing and all the fellow organizers who made this journey sweet and cherishable!

Will it rain? Wont it rain? What to pack? what not to pack? which seat to catch in the TT? - lotsa thoughts! Finally, gave up on each thought - sought people's help and prepared myself for my first ever Organizers Trek.

June 20th , evening:

With a very responsibly packed baggage (ok, so again only some of my friends can comprehend why I the word 'responsibly' here :P!), I headed out for Shantala Silk house in my Shikari Shamboo avatar; and met the rest of the BTC organizers who had already gathered at the destination. Must say, it was a confluence of different personalities – again; people from different cultural backgrounds, different mind-sets, different thoughts and views on adventure.

While we waited for few others to join us, Channa inaugurated the Fun by opening the churmuri packet he had got from his native. We – the bhukkads (I mean the whole troupe, none specific) dug our hands at the poor plastic cover to get maximum share of the churmuri :D. This followed the distribution of 'lauki-ka-halva' (took some time to explain gujju bhai Hiren that its duddhi-no-halvo :P) brought by Viru.

Cracked jokes. Saw Channa, Deepthy, Sangu and Viru's bag-packing techniques.  Chit-chatted for a while. Had some more of snacks-eating sessions (lonavala Chikki from Sush), and started in our TT that arrived an hour late!

Journey was more peaceful one (considering that most of us were from IT sector, and had arrived after a week full of facing computers).  Passed our time talking about various things : drink-n-drive cases, signal jump fines, elephant-chasing experiences n blah blah blah. Stopped over for dinner at 11pm (after a hiatus on finding an appropriate place to hog :D). Continued our journey to reach the destination.

June 21st :Morning:

Enter Coorg. And our organizer Abhi's prayers were answered! The place welcomed us with rain showers. Got the TT stopped outside the Virajpet bus stand, for refreshing ourselves. After brushing our teeth (..and i sound utterly insane here!) (on strict instructions by Abhi – else some of us junglees did not really care – it was gonna be a jungle exploration, after all :P!), we headed out for breaksfast. Got our lunch parcelled, and started for our first destination  – Chelavara Water falls. The ambience here already had started to captivate us, as we walked our way to reach the Falls. The falls was even more mesmerizing! Some of us stepped onto the chill waters (thanks to Deepthy n Sush for handholding me); and later gave some work to our photographers – Anthony, Ritz and Channa :P
Chelavara Falls
Chelavara Falls - 2
BTC organizing team
Took our time to take in all that the place gave us. Finally, we all had woken up completely (after a refreshing experience at Chelavara); and then headed out for another view point – Choma Kunda. Thanks to Sangu's hilarious music dedication session (Ritz and Sush were the DJs) – our journey from Chelavara to Choma Kunda was much more lively and active :P

Choma kunda viewpoint – a walk into the Clouds!

Got down from the TT, and again – the rains! The way to the base of this viewpoint was equally beautiful. Throughout this passage, Viru kept his notoriety on, by hopping and splashing water on every possible targets (some of us – Abhi, Hiren, Ritz, Sush n I - literally ran away to escape the brunt – while the rest were attacked :D!)

Post the fun-walk, we reached the base of the viewpoint and started to trek. The climb to the peak was a bliss – with just the green on our path; and the fog-white and chill winds blowing around. Abhi's dhyaan-mantra seemed to have really impressed the rain gods, and the showers went on and off all along! From the peak we witnessed the clouds gliding above from the valley below (yes! You read it right! They glided above from below indeed!) – and this was really a heavenly experience! At some points, the clouds cleared out giving us spectacular sights of the dense forest at the valley down below. We howled, clicked pictures and moved to another part of the peak where we enjoyed heavy rains.  By this time – I was totally lost into some peaceful world – with a stream of memories with childhood-buddies enjoying out in the rains, gushing in from no-where and catching hold of my brain! Of course, this lasted for a short period of time, and then we all started out to touch the base.
Walk all the way to choma kunda peak
A click from the Choma-kunda viewpoint
Took a different route for the descend. Had a brief but interesting conversation with Hiren on life as a Gujju, and life as a Bangalorean! The conversation was abrupted by Viru's intentional attempts of distracting us with 'yeh duniya kaisi hai' rut; and the photo sessions mid-way until we reached the base :D Sangu-Channa pair were all time the 'solo-picture-perfectoss' :P

Had no clue about what time it was [we had barely seen the sun since the time we were up, and were too engrossed in the fun and nature], but our tummies signaled that it was time for us to take a lunch break. 
Drove for some more time with another round of music dedication, and cracking more jokes, until we reached a school outside the Nalknad Palace. By now it had turned into a ritual that whenever our organizer – Abhi - stepped out of the TT, it inevitably started to rain heavily! :D We halted outside the school, where we decided to have our lunch. Even post the lunch, we had to wait for the rains to stop – but since Abhi refused to get back inside the TT (oops..i mean since the rains refused to stop :P), we had to postpone our plans of trekking to the forest peak. We explored the palace (that felt more like kannada movie Aptamitra's haunted house), had a photo session again and wandered around wondering what next to do (rains hadn't stopped still!)

Felt like it was dusk (again with no idea of what time it was) and Viru, Channa, Sangu and Abhi chalked out plans on halt for the night. With a bit of investigations, we zeroed in on a place and boarded our TT. We halted on the way near a shop and then came an announcement – 'We will have an Introduction round' :D Piyush instant comment – 'subah se sabko dekh toh liya, ab kya introduction lena hai' got us chuckling, nevertheless, we had to finish the formality :P. After the formal stuff, we headed out to a house for the night-stay.

Sushma's Takeshi-castle act was a super funny one :D (poor thing had confidently got out of the bus without rain cover, but the moment Abhi stepped out, again rains started showering, and I had to quickly wrap her inside the rain cover that I thankfully had handy – well.. letting only her head sneak out of the cover :D. Wonder how did she manage to walk all the way from the TT to the house with even her hands wrapped inside the cover – or did she manage to pop out her hands on the way?? :D). Thanks to Subrata who threw the light on our way (while we were struggling to get our torches in those heavy rains, reluctant to open our bagpacks!)

in-house camping (uncaptured in photos) :P

Ok! So we are different! And so what if the rains tried to spoil the sport..we dint blame it and still made our way to camping – inside the house :P the owners were kind enough to let us set up a camp fire (mainly to cook our dinner).  We 4 girls urged our organizer to set up a tent inside our room – one of the craziest decisions made (just wanted to have a tent-feeling, as we had missed it), and our organizer set it up with no complains :D

Had a nice sharing-n-caring dinner, cracked jokes, countered Viru's 'ye duniya..ye duniya..' saga, watched Abhi's fun chase and shooing away the owner's cat out of the tent; and then called it an adventurous day…

Everyone retired, we girls retired into the tent – the suffocation that Deepthy and I felt inside the tent, led to a series of comedies (ok..not blaming the other 2 :D), and we both decided to sleep out of the tent (wanting some fresh air) letting Ritz n Sush have a peaceful tent-sleep :P. it felt more like Dip and I were guards to the queens resting happily inside their palanquin :D![yeah..guards..because the next day morning we realized we and our sleeping bags had got all wet due to water dripping down from the roof :D, the tent-ers were spared of this...hmmm...;)

Day 1 – the end…

Day 2:
Rains hadn't stopped still! It had been a continuous pour since the previous evening. Again after some brainstorming, the organizers tweaked the day's plans that felt safer - considering the weather conditions. After thanking the house owners (who were really sweet and all smiles at us), we packed and set out for our first destination of Day 2 – Talakaveri.

Day 2 was a more active one in the TT – when even Subrata and Piyush (who were more of silent spectators the previous day) joined in the fun by discussing stuff about biking [and later paired up with Viru - to pull Ritz, Dip's and Sushma's legs by calling them 'Indicator' :D]. well…i was busy pulling Hiren and Abhi's legs [Anthony, Sangu and Channa had nice entertainment, I guess :D]

Talakaveri – a nice rainy walk till the entrance reminded me of Diddy's song – Home Coming. Anthony was at his comedy best. :D As soon as we entered the place – Dip, Hiren & I turned into kids and started splashing water on each other (yeah…insanity inside the temple). The weather was all gloomy and on-off rains.
The series of 'mannat-buildings' :P
BTC folks with their 'wishes stones'
loved this pic!  return from Talakaveri..walk towards TT
Peak was an amazing place. Its believed that this is a place for asking 'mannats (wishes)'. You have to lay pieces of stones one over the other and ask for something, and it shall be granted. Sush, Ritz and I – sparing no chances – busied ourselves by constructing stories of stone buildings with wishes :D (not only for us, but for others too :P). In the end, we realized that my 'mannat-building' had disappeared. Concluding that someone up there had really picked it up, we returned to join the rest of the folks (who were busy taking pictures)

BTC (mock) Family and Abbey Falls:

The journey from Talakaveri to Abbey falls was hilarious. With all intentions of ragging Abhi to the core; we created a nice BTC (mock) family – with Abhi, Sush, myself, Hiren, Deepthy and Viru as characters [keep guessing who's who – I mean 'wild-guessing' :P]. Anthony – the all-silent chap in the team opened up with little dance jig :P

Abbey falls somewhat reminded me of Iruppu in terms of its aura. Again, the casper in me played up its prank! Had a gut feeling since the beginning of the trek that I was gonna bump into a known face somewhere in the journey, and lo! Bumped into a friend's friend! The Falls in itself was a beautiful sight (the rains adding to the experience). Channa diligently managed to ask for umbrellas (to capture the moments even in those rains) :D

Abbi - The Falls
Click with Abbhi - The organizer :P
Mandalpatti :

The return from Abbey falls again indicated it was time to fuel ourselves again.  After lunch, we journeyed again with some travel music on inside the TT. Realized that we actually had good singers in Hiren and Sangu :P ([and thanks guys for letting me listen to 'hosanna' – never spared any gang / group from the song :P] Reached the start point to Mandalpatti.  The bikers viz Piyush, Subrata n Viru chose to stay at the base for some reasons; while we set out to explore. After an arduous 4km walk, we took onto a jeep ride on awesome roads to meet the viewpoint.   

Climb to the Mandalpatti Viewpoint
Blissed out - on the top of the tower
The spooky (Ritz term), mystifyin (my term) spot! reminded me of Kung fu panda set up and Master Oogway!

Viewpoint – was equally scintillating as the previous one (except that nothing was seen but for the white clouds :P – it was the weather that did the magic!). We chose to experience this chillness and the cold rains on the top of the tower; and again clicked nice snaps. Hiren did a brilliant 'Sholay-wala-Veeru' act from the tower (when the rest had got down); until we had to accept Dips as his Basanti :P [ok..i spill some beans about the BTC mock family here :P]. The jeep ride back to the base was again hilarious – the heads of BTC mock family (Abhiyum naanum :P) had got silent; when the rest (Dip, Sush, Sangu and Ritz) continued commenting. Sushma's comment 'bechaara beta baap ko nahi pehchaan paa raha' – was the ultimate one :D

Coorg monstery [The 'WOW' memory]:

Again, it felt like dusk after we had returned from Mandalpatti. With no other places in mind, and lot of time left to return, we went to the Coorg Monastery. Ritz and I instantly went down the memory lane reminiscing the first ever BTC WOW 2-day event :D [just that this was evening time we were inside the monastery]. Missed Captain Ajju big time here! However, had a great time with the troupe. Did some nautanki, again clicked pics [Anthony, Channa and Rits – got too technically deep into photography – and the rest of us happily posed:P].

End of Journey…

Thankfully the rains had stopped on day 2 evening [finally saw some stars on the sky]. We set out for our return journey, post a fulfilling dinner. Reached Bangalore the next day morning, had a feedback session, and then bid each other adieu and returned to our abodes….The 2 days had been awesome, yet another feather in the BTC cap!


Well..with BTC – the word 'thanks' is losing its lustre (need to find a similar term with bigger magnitude!)! But anyways, a big thanks to Abhi for organizing this trek (and tolerating all our pranks patiently!). There was a lot of learning from this trip. Kudos for planning it! 

Hats off to core BTC folks for establishing such a diverse team of weirdos :D Looking forward for learning and contributing in the weirdness :P


Written By        : Deepthy & Swathi
Organized By    : Abhishek
Date of event    : 21st June 2014
Members Count : 12
Place                : Coorg
Pictures            : BTC FB Page
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