Trekked Ombattu Gudda (OG) in 11 hours!!!
Yes even it was difficult for us to believe! Started on Saturday (Nov 26th 2011) morning at 6:30AM from Gundya and reached OG at 5:30PM :-) :-) Even pushed ourself to reached Lakshmi Estate on Saturday night itself by 10PM! We trekked more than 30km in a day.
Ombattu Gudda (nine hills) Trek is very famous for its mysterious route! Its in Kabbinale reserve forest, at the height of 971m. OG is a trekkers paradise, and can scare the daylights out of even a hardened trekker. No trial to follow and in dense vegetation its damn easy to get lost. May be only 3 out of 10 team will conquer OG. If lost its not even easy trace back trial to reach the start point. Many teams have spent even 2 days to come back after getting lost on day1. Also wild elephants, bear, bison, poisonous snakes and blood suckers (leeches) add more toughness and challenges to OG trek.
OG is about 20-25km trek to peak depending on the trial we take, and to Hosakere its around 10km. Starting point is Gundya, around 38km from Sakleshpura or 260km from Bangalore. Dharmasthala and Mangalore busses will go via Gundya. Trek exit is through Hosakere in Mudigere. Last bus to Mudigere is @ 5:PM. From Mudigere there are many buses to Bangalore.
Usually Bangalore ASCENDers (BASC) gets huge response for OG trek events! Its really a tough task for organiser to select a team. Ours was a 13 member team (Abhishek Sooda, Ambareesh Karanth, Anitha, Avinash Kodikal, Naveen A, Naveen Mallesh, Rahul, Rajesh P Nayak, Samudyatha, Sanketh Shetty, Somashekara, Sri Harsha, and Vikas) with 3 trekkers experiencing first trek! and 2 guys never did 2 days tough trek. But they had tremendous spirit to summit OG.
We reached Gundya very early in the morning, so slept in TT itself for more than an hour waiting for the sunlight. We got down near Kabbinale bridge, took our trekking gears and all were ready for the tough trek. One can easily make out the excitation and eager in every faces to climb OG. After crossing Kabbinale bridge (1.5km from Gundya Forest checkpost towards Dharmasthala) we followed a mud road to the right which takes inside the Gundaya village. Houses are there on both sides of the road, but after about 15 walk no civilization, its dense forest. Still a jeep track continues till the point where Kabbinale joins Adda Hole. Its around 3hrs easy walk with crossing few small streams, experiencing beauty of dense forest. We saw fresh & old elephant dung on the way! We need to be very cautious as there are chances of deviating from jeep track as many paths will be joining (both left & right) and also due to tree falling on path. Always we need to follow wide trail and never trek off the track.
In the Kabbinale river crossing point, we relaxed and had breakfast. Water was crystal clear and very tasty. After spending half an hour we left @ 11AM, we crossed Kabbinale river and continued to walk on the jeep track. We were clearly hearing Adda hole river flowing to the right of us.
After about an half an hour walk, track will join Adda hole (near big rocks), from here there is no jeep track, we need to move along with narrow foot path. Now the path is inside dense forest and is scary as we saw few poisonous vipers.
Ahead we got a 'Y' junction, right goes to Devara Gundi falls (below) and straight path is OG trial. We were not interested in going to falls as it was full of slippery rocks so very risky, also water was very less.. We continued to trek straight. After walking for 15 minutes again we got a 'Y' junction, right goes to Devara Gundi falls (above) or joins Adda hole and straight goes inside dense jungle. Right path is what is mapped in Survey map in red dots, which goes on the bank of Adda hole (which we followed in OG/3). But we went straight, can't justify why, but I always try a different route. As we moved further, path became very narrow and often interrupted by fallen trees. Around 2PM we reached a small stream, and decided to have lunch there. I was really surprised by the first time trekkers as they were walking without much difficulty, also didn't ask for breaks in between! and I should thank Rajesh & Naveen Mallesh who were sweepers till now were motivating & pushing the whole team.
Finished lunch and filled water now ready to move forward. Crossed the stream, went ahead slightly towards right as it was going towards top of a hill. We all climbed the hill, now forest was not dense and trees were very straight and tall. Rajesh checked GPS location in his iPhone, we were on the verge of the forest which will open up in OG range. All were happy that we were on right way and also didn't get lost in jungle. We continued further it was an uphill climb, by 3:30PM we were out of jungle and reached grassland of OG range. Actually we directly reached 2nd peak of OG from its south side (normal route is to take left from Addahole and reach OG range from its east side). All were so happy that we will be climbing OG on day1 only!
Now challenging task was to climb rest 7 peaks to reach OG that too under hot sun and heavy wind. This time Rajesh & Naveen Mallesh were leading the team and I & Somashekara were pushing the team as sweepers. It was not an easy task at all, wind was literally pushing out of the hill if we don't hold the grass for support. Now the pace has drastically come down. Finally @ 5:30PM we were on top of OG! It was a great feeling for all of us, after very challenging climb. We have climbed OG in only 11hours! This was supposed to be a 2 days TOUGH trek in Jungle, but the team made it a single day trek! Its great team effort, helping and motivating each other.
We could clearly see Deepadakallu & Jenkal betta towards North-East direction and Jeep track (which leads Lakshmi Estate) towards North-West direction. We need to cross a small jungle patch to reach the jeep track. It was getting dark, so we hurried towards jeep track after taking few group photos. We were out of forest patch by 6:30PM and took rest on jeep track. Left (down path) takes to Saraswathi estate (may be around 1.5km) and right (up path) takes to Lakshmi Estate / Bhyrapura / Hosakere. It was already almost dark now, so we started towards Laksmi estate, its about 3hrs downhill (almost) walk on a easy jeep track. Again Naveen M and Rajesh went ahead, me and Abhishek were at the end. He was very slow and needed support to walk as he had pain in legs. It was dark night trek with dense jungle surrounding us. We were lucky to see 2 snakes on the path. It was really a wonderful experience with cold breeze and very silent jungle. First batch reached estate by 9:45PM, we 2 reached late @ 10:30PM.
We are really thankful to Lakshmi estate guys for proving us a room to rest for the night and allowed us to cook in the morning. We called our driver and asked him to come to Hosakere from estate landline as there was no mobile signal in the area. We reached back to Bangalore on Sunday night itself. Credit of this 'Single Day trek to OG' goes to the entire team. Great spirit shown by each and everyone, kudos to them.
It was amazing adventurous expedition..! It was a wonderful experience and i will reminisce it for a very very long time..! You guys just rock..!
It was a wonderful team and more than that, it was a wonderfully co-ordinated event. Kudos to Ambareesh, Rajesh and Naveen for taking the baton and making sure we got the sense of an adventure trip as well as exploring new places.
No words to express.....,
This was my first trek with BASC and definitely the most adventurous trek I love.
The experience was just thrilling, full of extreme experiences and fun in the pure nature,
away from the civilization for the time period.
Thanks to Ambareesh for giving me an opportunity and being a motivation throughout the trek.
Thanks to every single hand who lent me to move along the trek. Ambareesh was leading the group, Rajesh and Naveen as sweeper making sure that everyone is in front of him and experienced trekkers in between the everyone was motivating me to reach Ombattu Gudda.and and and and............. Its the Great team which made it a successful trek.
My second trek with BASC and a hell a lot of exciting moments this time as well. Thanks Ambareesh for the opportunity and the team as a whole for the wonderful experience. Oorige hogovaaga innodu betta torsi hemmeyinda adanna hattidini anbahudu... Ha ha... :-)
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