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Monday, September 9, 2013

DSCF2778 Mist evening with rain; sky covering dark slowly; lost the trail and since 3 hours struggling to find out the way to reach the base camp; alas!!! We had hardly 30 minutes to reach the civilization; lost in the Jungle. These all are the wonderful and so very adventurous memories of 2 days BASC (Bangalore Ascenders) trek around Mullayanagiri – Chandradrona Parvatha on 7th – 8th September 2013.

DSC00510I had been to these places two years back with my colleagues. The difference is we had then travelled by Car. Since this was in one of my trek list, I did not make any delay to register it.  Unfortunately, it got postponed once because of the heavy rain and land sliding during August 2013.
Mullayanagiri is the highest peak in Karnataka. Located in Chandradrona Hill ranges of the Western Ghats of Chikamagalur.  With a height of 1,930 meters (6,330 ft), it is the highest peak between the Himalayas and the Nilgiris.  Definitely, Mullayanagiri is one of the best trekking places in Karnataka.
September 6, 2013
The common assembly point of BASC was Shanthala Silk house as planned. The 12 passionate trekkers left to Chikmagalur by Tempo Travel (TT) at around 10.30 PM.  Most of them were known face and very few were new ones. The introduction part and later exchanging the trek experience went on upto 12 midnight.  This time we had hired tents for camping in the night.
Itinerary
Bangalore – Chikamagalur – Mullayanagiri – Babubudangiri – Galikere (Night Camp) – Kemmanagundi – Z Point – Kallahattigiri Falls – Back to Bangalore
September 7, 2013
We reached Chikamagalur by early morning around 5AM. The city was just waking up and the weather was filled with cool breeze. 
We decided to have breakfast and get parcel for lunch. So we finished the tasty breakfast at Hotel New Food Palace and took packed lunch- Pulav.
DSCF2776 We headed towards the starting point of  Mullayanagiri. The total distance from Chikamagalur town to peak is around 18 kms.  Sarpadari is the starting point of the trek. We all got ready to fight with the leaches. Our camping site was Gaalikere where the TT would reach. Hence, we carried only the water bottles, packed lunch and the very essential things and kept rest in the TT. 
DSC00502 Our trek started at around 9 AM. Initially, we struggled little to find out the correct path. Little later, we were upto the correct trail. The weather was so pleasant and the whole environment was green. The environment looked at its best in monsoon.
It was my 4th Monsoon trek this season and each was unique in its own way. The trail was very clear and nothing was difficult to reach the peak. Taking multiple short breaks and chatting with each other, we reached the first break point at Nandi. A small Nandi temple with a beautiful tree. Took group photographs and exchanged the energy bars.
20130907_144906 Further we kept pace towards left which lead us to Mullayanagiri peak. Reached the peak at 12.30 Noon. The weather looked more pleasant. The mist appeared to be playing hide and seek around the hill and then the drizzling started. Explored the caves and took many photographs. We decided to have lunch before proceeding further.
One can find the Mullayya (Shiva) temple at top. We visited the temple and inquired further information about trail to Bababudangiri. There is a Police control room inside the temple premises. The temple priest suggested us to take the guide to show us the path as it was raining and the mist appeared thick. The chances of loosing the trail was more in the steep valley.
20130907_101245 Guide was ready to show the path till certain point of distance with a charge of Rs 120. The rain took its own pace and the mist covered the entire valley. Backside of the temple trail leads to Bababudangiri. At few places, it was very steep valley and quite slippery. We should be very careful while crossing this area. Due to mist and rain we could not enjoy the beautiful valley.  Crossing few pinnacles, we reached the open area where our guide said good bye to us and showed us the direction to reach the main road.
Enjoying the nature, with multiple breaks and with many more photographs, we reached the forest check post at 3 PM. We crossed the tar road and entered into the other zone of hills.  On the way we found the ruined forest check post quarter. The real adventurous journey started now. Till the tar road I was thinking it’s a normal easy trek! But now we were struggling to find out the path. At the left side deep valley, one small wrong step can take us to heaven/hell and right side it was a steep hill. 
DSC00549 Each time the trail took us to a wrong path. Not once, but many times we ended up with dead end without any way to proceed further. Appreciate Sunil, Sreeharsha and Santosh who were leading the group to find out the trail. The rain, the mist and the wind were challenging us during the trek. We could not see anything beyond 10 feet. 
The time was around 4 PM and we were little relaxed thinking that we found the correct trail. It was open grass land with greenery everywhere.  BSNL tower is the only navigator to reach Bababudangiri, which I had read in many blogs.  Unfortunately we could not trace out the tower due to the mist and rain.
DSC00570 Then comes the twist in our trek. Again, the trail took us to the left side of the hill. Almost 2–3 km we crossed the open grass land and ended up in deep valley. Now everyone got worried and there was no enough time left to explore the further path. We had hardly 30 minutes to reach the civilization. The sky had become so dark.  It would not only be tough but very risky to walk in the night. Our all essentials of torches, tents, energy bars were left behind in the TT. It was very challenging for all of us as we had to go back to the initial point which we had trekked almost 4 hours. We were lost in the Jungle!!!!
DSC00598 We had a quick meeting and decided that some how we should reach the tar road. Sunil tried to find out the location through his mobile GPS! However, we got disappointed as there were no signals. We had the idea of the tar road direction, so decided to go back to the same trail until we hear some vehicle sound. The pace of the trek was obviously fast. One point of time we could hear the vehicle horn sound. To the right side, it was thick forest and to left, the side deep valley.  After a km, we decided to get into the thick jungle and follow the stream. Ohhhhh!!! The path was not so easy. Thick forest, bushes, thorns, mud and dark!! We had to take the risk of going through this forest.
There was no other way to reach the civilization in that night. One by one we just rushed into the jungle and kept on following the stream.  Believe me, it was very scary. Niranjan was leading this time and everyone else just followed. Almost half an hour of the trek; I heard the voice of Niranjan and Sunil shouting, “Hey guys we got the tar road”!!!!!!!! Everyone was so happy. Luckiest part is, the stream just landed at the flat tar road. We were actually worried if it would take us to some deep location where we may get stuck.
20130907_094143 That moment of joy was unforgettable. Every faces was talking about the victory. Found out that there were leaches all over the legs. We had no time to think about them at this point. Everyone's mobile network was dead and the rain was pouring continuously. Luckily we were able to get a lift by jeep till Attigundi. Jeep driver suggested us to stay back at Attigundi and call the TT over there.
Everyone got leech bites badly. Attigundi was quite a small village with many hotels and shops. We decided to have dinner and retire for that night in the home stay. The rain was pouring continuously. We had yummy Chapathi, Omlette, Paratha, Tea and coffee. Went to the home stay and just relaxed. Home stay was really neat and at a very nice location. We were recalling our adventurous part of journey. After a long chitchat session, everyone said good night at 11.30 PM.
September 8, 2013
In almost all the treks, I get up very early and it happened here too. Woke up at 5.30 AM and finished the morning duty. The weather was cold and mist. Home stay surrounding was really beautiful. One by one everyone freshened up and headed towards Bababudangiri.
From our home stay, Bababudangiri is around 20km. First we visited the Manikyadhara, which is 4 km away from Bababudangiri.
The view of the valley was so beautiful. We spent a quality time there and had breakfast in a small hotel. Few of them did shopping of Jadi-Booti.
DSC00585 Next destination was Gaalikere. Beautiful green all around and small streams here and there. Spent some time there and took many group photographs.
Due to the closed road, we could not go to Kemmanagundi and Z point. We were helpless but decided to visit at least Kallahattigiri falls. The falls was crowded by many tourists.
It was time to head back to Bangalore. On our way we spent good time at Tarikere lake and reached Bangalore at 3 AM.  One by one, everyone said good bye and promised to meet for another trek!!!
Note:
Thanks to Niranjan for organizing such a wonderful trek and giving me an opportunity to be a part of it. Many thanks to the whole team. Each one of them were really very co-operative!!
Till date it was one of the most adventurous trek!
Join Bangalore ASCENDers @ CLICK HERE
Written by: Sagar
Date: September 7th and 8th
Event organized by: Niranjan
Image Gallery:
Arpita Misra, Sagar
The Crew: Sunil P, Govind, Venugopal, Sanju Mathrubai, Deeptangan Pant, Shanthi Prasad, Sreeharsha Aithal M, Vidaysagar H, Niranjan, Arpita Misra, Saswata, Tontri Das

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