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Monday, December 26, 2005

Trek starting points -
1) Gowrikerre:- This is the place were there is a left deviation to kodchadri , its approximately 3 kms before Nittur also called as kodchadri cross, this is the only motor-able road up to the kodachadri temple it’s 15 odd kms from the main road half of the road has tar & the other half is a mud road. Also one can go to Hidlumanne falls from here, for this one has to walk approx for 1.5 kms from the main road to get a school on left side ,here take a mud road to your right this road leads u to Yemmehonda junction.(here this road meets the approach road from Marakuttaka)
2) Marakuttaka:- Get down at Sigundur cross 3.5 kms after Nittur again trek back towards Nittur for 1 kms, just before the bridge, at your right u get Marakuttaka bus stop follow the mud road to reach Kodchadri via Hidlumanne falls.
3) Karrakette: - This is approx 1.5 kms after Sigundur cross towards Kollur. Take left from karrakette which goes via Valur it’s roughly 9-10 kms to the temple, up to Valur it’s motor-able road from there it's a narrow trail uphill, Valur to temple it’s 1hr ascend. One can even go to Arshinagundi falls from Valur but only with an local guide because there is no trail at all.
4) Kodchadri Stop: - (as the locals call it) This place is after Nagodi check post towards Kollur .One can see two pillars at the start of this trial wch goes tru the forests and meets the trial from Karrakette at Valur. This trial is shorter and shady then Karrakette route
5) Mookambika wildlife sanctuary:-This place is very near to Kollur, after Daali
One need to have permissions to entre here, but can even manage without it, as there is no one at the gate of the sanctuary. This is the trial wch takes u to the Arshinagundi falls, but there is no trial after the falls to the Kodchadri peak hence it’s not possible without a guide.
We a group of 6 after lot of planning, re planning & mail exchanges, met @ KSRTC bus stand which began our expedition to kodchadri. Let me have the privilege to introduce my friends Mahesh Patil (Timken), Satish Kittli (Sat yam), Jaylokanath (Scan dent) & Rahul, Nixon & myself (Think3)
Tickets were reserved much before as there were Christmas holidays.We boarded Rajahamsa bus to Kollur at 8.30pm.After considering all trek routes which were not very c
lear to us at that time and even there were many misconceptions about the routes. We opted for the Marakuttaka route as it was more adventurous than the other routes. KSRTC bus driver/conductor were of no help to us in deciding were to get down at. We got down at Sigundur cross 3.5 kms after Nittur at 6.00 am. We had to walk back 1 km towards Nittur, just before the bridge at our right was Marakuttaka bus stop which was mentioned as the trek start point in one of the write up which I got on net.
From Marakuttaka follow the mud road there are lots of smaller routes connecting this road ignore them and follow the broadest road, after 1km or so u get a “Y” fork both the roads are almost same in width, here there was a bit of confusion but eventually we took the left route which is bit ascending, after 2kms from here u get a stream cross it, 1.5 kms after the stream there is a village called Yemmehonda ,few minutes of walk from there lead us to Yemmehonda junction take a right turn here and after few yards u get Yemmehonda school this means u r on the right trail. After few yards there is another “y” fork keep left, u also get a kette here written 2 kms to Hidlumanne falls in Kannada continue straight for another few minutes and the road ends at Hidlumanne (house) here contact GURURAJ for further directions. One has to cross Hidlumanne fields and take the forest trial from there. This trail lead us straight to Hidlumanne falls.
Hidlumanne falls can be divided into 7 smaller falls. 1st & 2nd falls are very small, one has to scale them which is easy but slippery task, somewhere here at the left side is the route to Kodchadri but finding it is just close to impossible. 3rd fall is of medium height at the right side very close to the fall there is a small trail to reach the top of the fall its not easily noticeable follow instincts, after reaching the top of the 3rd fall move further and cross 4, 5 and 6 falls and after few yards (slippery zone) one can find the awesome Hidlumanne main falls which stand 50ft high one has to go to the top of the falls and take a left route to Kodchadri. From the base of the main falls follow the trial which is at your right as u ascend few feet trial disappears. (here we got confused and took further right deviations but found no trial anyhow we ascended further only to climb the false peak) Here the trial is blocked by a boulder one has to cross the boulder and resume the trial to reach the top of the falls, after reaching top follow the stream until u get a pakka trial at left side there are many trials here and to pick the correct trial is very difficult. I personally suggest taking Gururaj of hidlumanne till here to avoid misadventures (gururaj is a gentleman of 27+ years and never demands any money for his services) follow the correct trial which goes through the forest, this trial leads u to main jeep track approaching from Gowrikerre. Take right at the jeep track and 2kms latter u finally reach the peak.
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Economics:-

PWD Guest house:-
Double Room -350/day without electricity. (electricity is available at an extra cost)
Dormitory -25/day with out electricity
Apart from this temple rooms and hotel (mookambika) rooms provide basic accommodation.
Hotel Mookambika: -
Meals -25/- (boiled rice and papad only)
Breakfast-10/-
Tea/Coffee-5/-
the other hotel is cheaper than this one, quality not known
Jeeps: - Normal Tariff:
150/head from Kollur to Kodachadri and back
100/head from Nittur to Kodachadri and back
Waiting charge:-free for 1.5 hrs
Night halt charges are approx 300/-
Kindly note the charges given above are availed by the local tourists.
For ppl from Bangalore charges are directly proportional to their bargaining skills
Plz do bargain, we end up paying 200/head from hidlumanne village to temple.

From the temple the peak is roughly 1.5 kms, peak can be approached from two different routes , right one been shorter is more steeper compared to the longer left one. On the way to the peak from the right route Ganesh Guha & Agastya Theertam (small water fall) are worth a visit. At the peak u can see Shankara Peetha which is an ideal spot for night halt.One can even camp at a Mantapa which is just above the PWD guest house.

Just behind the summit on the western side, a path precariously leads u down into the forest (1/2 hr) to the holy, Chitramoola Cave.
Mesmerizing landscape and breathtaking sunrise, sunset will be etched in your minds the rest of your life reminding u of KODCHADRI.

Notes:-
Ø I personally feel that this write-up will help guys planning to trek Kodchadri.
Ø Lot of other details regarding Kodchadri have been written by many others which can be found on net , I have stressed more on the details not mentioned in other write ups.
Ø Carrying one’s own food will be more rational option
Ø I suggest taking Marakuttaka route to ascend and coming back tru Karrakette
Ø There are only two main routes up to the temple, one is the motor-able jeep route and the other is Karrakette route via Valur all the other rou
tes intersect these two routes at some or the other point.

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Written by: Mudassar
Organized by:Mudassar
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Mudassar,Rahul

Saturday, October 1, 2005

We 16 from Bangalore ASCENDers planned to spend October 1st and 2nd  at Honnemardu, with The Adventurers who organize water sports in the back waters of Linganamakki dam.Honnemardu or  Golden Lake has some of the most spectacular views of the sunrise and sunset. Deep in a forest, without the slightest trace of civilization, it’s a haven for die-hard outdoors fanatics as well as those who want a complete break from the City life. Some of the water sports activities All Crew members ready to go back-1here include coracling, canoeing, kayaking and wind rafting.As planned Train tickets were booked to Shimoga and all boarded 11.10pm train (train no 6277) at platform 9.The journey was comfortable.Train  reached shimoga at 5.00 am covering a distance of  300kms. Next destination was Talaguppa which was 110kms away. Even there is a train to Talaguppa from Shimoga.This train is one of its kind in India because it runs on ASHOK LEYLAND Bus engine and takes around 3 hours to reach Talaguppa.Honnemardu is 12kms from Talaguppa by road or a trek of 8kms crossing paddy fields and streams will take you there but in the process will cost you two more hours.Zeeps are  available from Talaguppa costing anything between 150/- to 200/-.We wanted to have more fun in water rather than on land so decided against trekking to Honnemardu.Harish being a native of Shimoga had managed to hire a Tempo Traveler from Shimoga.Our driver was waiting for us at Shimoga railway station and we hurriedly boarded it.Nearing Sagara we stopped for breakfast and tried the whole menu of a small hotel.We continued again along the mist-kissed muddy roads to reach Honnemardu at 7.30am.

We were welcomed by Nayan and Ganapati from The Adventurers, after introduction we finished our morning ablutions in the decent toilets of the club.Luggage's were dumped into a small cottage which is on a small hill,climb to the hill was a bit difficult for few as it is very steep but the view from top is splendid.Vast expanse of water with many small islands,it is been said that after the LinRowing 1-2ganmakki dam was built many villages were submerged in the back waters and left 147 small islands though the number is not sure.After the breakfast (actually second) all headed for the water.We started with swimming this was a perfect activity for non-swimmers as we were wearing life jackets.After an hour of swimming and diving started coracle-ing followed by canoeing lessons. We had competitions, photography shoots and  all kinds of fun in the water. At 1.30pm we headed for lunch and emptied all buckets of dishes.Organizers provide good quality food at this remote place and that is  appreciable.After resting for a while again we were in water at 3pm.Canoeing single/double,balancing on wind surfing boards and playing water volley ball were the activities that went on till 4.30pm.

After drying ourselves and collecting back our luggage from the small hill we had high tea. Then we were asked to trek to a nearby hill to watch sunset.There is a clear path up to the peak and it’s 20mins decent climb;Standing alone in water the last 200 yards stretch is v.steep.Few could not scale the last stretch.After sunset we were back at the club,collected our luggage and started for the night stay at the island in Coracle’s.Here myself and Baby who were coracle-ing decided to go slow and started to eat carrots which we were carrying, Manju and Manavalan were with us.This delayed us very much rest of the coracles had already reached island and we had still half way to go it was already dark we cld not see any thing and tides increased.We panicked as we were not sure which way to go and tides were increasing we had a torch and fortunately some one who reached island also had a torch we started coordinating with torches and after 15 minutes of grueling we managed to reach the exact point on the island.

This was a small virgin island we pitched tents and collectDSC00203ed fire wood for camp fire.After spending some time singing, dancing we had  dinner .After dinner we slept in the tents, Ganapati stayed with us on the island .If anyone has energy left organizers will take you on a night trek up to the other part of the island.We got up early at 6am and disassembled the tents and started back to the club.The whole place wore a mystic look sun rising at a distance and we were wading through  the calm and cold waters of sharavati.We quickly finished morning rituals and after breakfast had photo sessions with the organizers and bid good bye to them.

Our next desJog fall at its best during afternoon_1tination was Jog Falls after 2 hours of travel we reached Jog but as usual the water was very less.For most of the year Jog Falls has little or no water as the water is diverted for power generation.After spending some time here and taking lots of photos  we visited Mahatma Gandhi power station.Again Harish managed to get  permissions for our visit as his father works in the same department and had sent one of his colleague to guide us.This elderly gentlemen took us tru all the stages of electricity production explaining them.He also discussed the problems faced during the power plant set-up.Photography is restricted here so we could not take any photos.We came back to the Jog view point and had lunch at the KEB canteen which serves a decent food.Jog Falls is one of the prominent tourist attraction of Karnataka but the government as done nothing in providing facilities to the visitors,lots of tourism development opportunities lay here to be tapped.As thought we were not able to go to the base of the falls as we were running short of time and left Jog around 2pm.

On the way back to shimoga there are many interesting places which are a worth of visit.But we had a flat tyre and lost some of the precious time.As some of us helped the driver to change tyre’s others had a good time playing road volley ball.Next we visited the Tavrekoppa Lion Safari which is 10kms before Shimoga.After the lion safari which was a small trip of just 15mins we visited every cage of the small zoo eagerly and enjoyed like small kids. Sakrebayalu Elephant Camp,Keladi,Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary,Gajnur dam are other places of interest around shimoga.By 6pm we reached Harish’s home at shimoga and had high tea.After a while we bid good bye to Harish as he was staying back and walked to the railway station to board the train to Bangalore. Train was on schedule and left at 10.10pm and we were back in Bangalore at 5am.This ended a beautiful weekend spent amid splendid landscapes watching mesmerizing sunrise and sunsets.

Notes:

  1. Do not take a two day package as all the activities can be enjoyed and completed in a day.
  2. Hire a vehicle from Shimoga or take a zeep from Talguppa,do not waste time in trekking  as it takes more than two hours to cover the stretch.
  3. If you have been to a Lion safari anywhere before,then you may not like this one.Try to avoid.
  4. Tents provided by The Adventurers are very old and are stinking also they are not water proof.If you own a tent remember to carry it.
  5. Food provided is excellent.
  6. Contact details: 
  7. The Adventurers
  8. Mr. Swamy, Ms. Nomita
  9. 142, 69th Cross, 5th Block, Rajajinagar,
    Bangalore INDIA 560 010
    Phone: 91-80-3305508 or 91-80-3409712

Economics:

Train fare to Shimoga and back-sleeper class 294/-
Tyarekoppa Lion Safari entrance fee 5/-
Tyarekoppa Lion Safari vehicle parking 50/-
Lion Safari 25/-
The Adventurers(organizer) 550/-
Total cost per head (including tips) 1030/-

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Written by: Mudassar
Event organized by: Mudassar/Harish
Image Gallery:

Vishnu,Rahul,Gurudas

Saturday, June 18, 2005

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