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Kuduremukh Trek - 8th & 9th August 2015

Kudremukh in Chikmagalur(District) is one of the most beautiful, mesmerising and green hill station in karnataka. It has many hills and many more streams, water falls and flora. The place derives its name from the shape of the hill, which resembles the face of a horse.
As it turned out 8th August was the D-day. Our Pickup point was Shantala Silks at 10:30 P.M, and we started in out TT around 11:00 P.M.
We reached the small village of Balegal around 6:00 A.M and started a 7 K.M trek to our Homestay at Mr.Raje Gowda. We were invited for a breakfast of kodbu with delicious chutney and Saambar, which we gulped down along with tasty sips of traditional jaggery coffee.
We rested for a while and hired a Jeep from Balegal Bus stop at 1:55 P.M to the most scenic and beautiful waterfall aptly named  ‘Yele neeru’ about 11 K.M away. We trekked around half a K.M to the waterfall and were welcomed by the most exciting and refreshing scene one could wish for, we bathed and enjoyed to our hearts content and as some put it, ‘ it was like visiting nature’s spa’.
Ele-Neeru Falls
We rested for the night at the homestay after having some fun with Dumb Charades and sharing some exciting and some not so exciting stories.
We woke up by 6: 00 A.M for our trek to the majestic Kudremukha after freshening up, packing our lunch and smearing leech repellant oil (which didn’t prove to be helpful) we started our trek with a forest guard at around 7: 00 A.M.
After walking for around half a kilometer we came across first of the 12 streams, all of which were pristine and refreshing. It certainly was a daunting and fairly difficult 12 K.M trek. However the rustic and scenic beauty of the place, the isolation with nature, the magnificient mountains and the clear cool waters aided us in our quest, this was a quintessential analogy to the phrase “ the journey is beautiful than the destination”.
We crossed 8-9 hills and waded a dozen streams made our way through the cool, calm and restful forest, the roaring waters only helped our spirits.
                                                       Green Carpet of Kuduremukh
We paused at times for pics and some snacks but our NCC master ‘Channa’ always pushed us and saw to it that we reach the peak safely and on-time and we did.
The rush of achievement and awe of the beauty cannot be described in words, the peak gave us a sense of perspective and of the might of nature. We clicked pics, some with the Indian flag. Later we finished our lunch at the peak and started descending at around 12:00 P.M  
                                                   BTCians @ Kuduremukh Peak
The trek like most other taught us one thing. We must respect and admire nature, it beautiful and fierce at the same time.

Kuduremukh Trek -8th & 9th Aug 2015

Whenever I hear Kudremukh, lush green ranges of undulating mountains ranges spring to my mind. With BTC, I was set to hike to the peak. With the rains dwindling away, this seemed like my best shot of this year’s rain trek.
Our trek began as soon as we got off at Mullodi, near Kalasha. Tucked away into some winding road, this village will hardly give you reason to take a second glance, but this route gets trampled by lots of hikers heading to the Kudremukh peak. The road leads from the main road (Kalasa-kudremukh) to the forest office, overall about 6+ kms. The tar road climbs up at a gradual slope losing its sheen after about one third the way. The mud road  ahead with its coarse soil which has somehow held strong for some many rains is twisted by jeeps that ply from the main road to the homestays and makes it quite a muddy ordeal to walk on.
Well it was a pleasant morning and after quite a bumpy ride from bangalore, we didn’t mind stretching our legs a bit. Our trek leader Chenna convinced us that it was a short way up , and we never doubted despite seeing two jeeps pass us either way twice. We chatted around, getting to know other people while we walked next to the waving tops of the 50ft areca-nut trees. But walking in the slush was not to easy. There was also one point where there was a stream flowing across the road and we had to remove our shoes to get past. On the way,one of the jeeps got stuck in the muck and all the four wheel drive wasn't helping, but one good shove from our volunteers and it was on the move.
Close to 9am, we reached Raje gowda’s residence. He has converted his house to a home stay and we boys got a outhouse room while the girls camped inside the house. After a filling breakfast of hard kadabu and chutney, we decided not to do the trek the same day. It was close to 10am and we didn’t want to return late in the dark. We had the entire next day for it. So, we headed down back towards the road on a walk again to discover something new. By then, we were really getting convinced that Channa might have fudged the numbers on this being a very short path. There was a light rain which seemed to change its intention to pour every few minutes, so, we had to constantly juggle around with the raincoats. We had a variety of full robed, hooded, super-hero  characters with capes - Yellow, grey, black, beige. I was in a black poncho,  and along the way one of the bull grazing around gave me a long hard stare before it got convinced that I was not to be messed with(luckily)  :)
With no definite plans to go anywhere, it was not a tough decision when the jeep drivers there suggested a exotic unknown private waterfall, which only they knew and had access. We were packed at nine to the jeep. While subrata chose to hang out(he was entirely out of the jeep, enjoying the wild ride), the rest of us were quite comfortable for the ride down the road. After half an hour, of a rolling, swaying and having our bones rattled,  we came to a small waterfall blocking the road which looked ‘wow’. Our jeep driver convinced us that this was hardly the reason to drive down and took us on a steep climb though leech territory to get to the ‘big’ waterfall. With the steep incline, thick trees, and the waterfall being almost hidden, we couldn’t make out the height, or see it,  but just the sound was clearly exhilarating. We enjoyed the waterfalls thoroughly until everybody had enough and then we started moving down. Our clothes were all wet and soggy, and the sultry weather of the region soon was a comfort. The waterfall was in an area owned by some farmers there and they came equipped with raincoats and assisted us in moving around the waterfall, instructing us ensuring safety and also some dettol water as leech remedy. We had to pay them a fee for that, but their effort at keeping it clean and the support they provided made it worth it.
We didn’t walk up this time, but just used the jeeps to get back to our homestay. The jeeps with their 4-wheel drive had to still be maneuvered skillfully up the road, and it took quite a while. We kept wondering if it too better than walking up. It was evening when we got back, and we didn’t have much to do. After some coffee and delicious snacks by our host, we sat down for play. There was no bonfire due to the rains. We tried playing some melodies with Sushma’s bluetooth speaker, but with everyone connecting to the unsecured device, no one got more than a few seconds and all we heard at the end was a speech by some guruji on how toothpaste was lethal and could cause divorces. We all took a oath to never brush from that day onwards…
Early the next morning, we were all up by 6am. At 7:30am, we were out for an early trek. Just after our homestay was the forest office. We had to pass by it to get to the trek path. The path looked wonderful. The grass was trimmed to the right size. The colour was a lively green. All environment parameters seemed to be in their ambient state. We came upon the first stream crossing within minutes of starting. Some of the new trekkers were planning to avoid getting their shoes wet, but upon our guide’s info on having to pass over six such streams, they finally got used to walk with wet shoes in a rain trek. The trek path was 10KM one way. That seems like a lot, but the path was very gradually ascending for most of the trek, and we hardly noticed time fly by and distance dissipate under our mighty stride.
Green Carpet of Kuduremukh
Green Carpet of Kuduremukh
The path here passed through grasslands and shola forests. Occasionally, we had to get into a valley to crossover to the adjacent mountain. This is when we had to pass through the forests which generally had streams cutting through them. Rain kept coming down sporadically. Veera and me didn’t bother with rain coats this time. We were here to enjoy a rain trek and that's what we were going to do. And after nearly 4hrs, we were at the top. It a beautiful view from the top, but all we got was clouds and rain and a wind that chilled us to the bone. After a few photos to celebrate the victory, we were having our packed lunch of puliyogare. Few people who had made extra efforts to get home food were lauded - like milind for his parothas.  The winds were the heaviest at the peak and we with our wet clothes began to get badly cold, and the poncho I opened for this occasion was of no use in the gale. It was time to move.
BTCians @ Kuduremukh
Green Carpet Trekking Route --> Kuduremukh
We had the whole day and we didn’t hurry descending. We had the entire path to overself since it was a sunday. Most people would do this on a saturday to keep the sunday free. We took our time, enjoyed the view, took numerous photos, celebrated Independence day a week early, played with the leeches(yes, we did) and returned back around 4pm.
After a drive to Horanadu,  and then a long one to Bengaluru we were back in the city on Monday morning.

Written By          : Saleem and Sri
Hindi Blog           : Hindi Blg by Prince Patni
Organized By      : Subrata Das & Channabasappa Nad
Members Count  : 18 (12M, 6F)
Date of event     : 8th & 9th August, 2015
Place                  : Kuduremukha, Kalasa
Pictures              : BTC album

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