Live interaction with BASC Team & Members - 2nd May 2020

Monday, November 20, 2006

Aim: Kodachadri Peak (Sarvajna Peeta)

Other Places of Interest: Hidlumane Falls and Arshina Gundi Falls.

Dates: November 18th and 19th 2006

Strength: 11 members (me(Ambareesh), Bhagwat, Deepak, Jayaloknath, Krishna Bhatt, Mudassar Khan, Naveen, Sachin, Shashikanth, Sujan and Vinayaka)

Grade: Moderate to Difficult

About Kodachadri:Kodachadri is in the border of Shivamogga and Dakshinakannada district and it is the highest peak in Shivamogga, about 1343m above sea level. It’s around 380km from Bangalore. Kodachadri is famous for sunrise and sunset. In top we can find ‘Sarvajna Peeta’, where it is believed that Shankaracharya did meditation.

About Moola Mookambika Temple:Just 2km before the top en route we get to see sacred ‘Moola Mookambika’ Temple. This temple with claims to be the original temple and is associated with the killing of the dumb (mooka) demon by the lion-riding Mother Goddess. Dwaja-Sthamba (flag-staff) in front of the temple, is a rare kind of pillar, only three such are available in India (Other two are at Mehrauli, in Delhi and at Dhar, in Madhya Pradesh). Allowing for a total height of 14 m, including the hidden portions in the platform and below the earth, the weight of this flag-staff can be estimated as about 500 kg. A very small piece weighing a few grams only was extracted from the projecting rough surface of the pillar with the consent and cooperation of the temple priest and was later subjected to a series of modern metallographic tests at the Materials Characterization Laboratories of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam. The X-ray examination could not reveal definite presence of any element or compound besides pure iron. It is obvious from these preliminary investigations that the Kodachadri iron pillar is not a product of modern iron making processes. The composition of the material of the pillar, viz. less than 0.05% carbon in what looks like almost pure iron, without the usual silicon, manganese and sulphur contents one associates with modern iron and steel, and with inclusions of only iron oxide and silicate, strongly suggests age-old indigenous methods for making the so-called Adi-vasi (tribal) iron with pure iron ore and wood charcoal. The fact that this pillar has withstood the onslaught of the sun, wind and rain in living memory, and perhaps also of marine air with the Arabian Sea only 40–50 km away, is proof of its high corrosion resistance, even though its surface is not as smooth and clear as that of the Delhi pillar. Acting as a lightning arrester during the rainy season, the top of the pillar seems to have melted frequently and perhaps rapidly solidified through removal of heat by iron from the pillar itself. (This information is by a Professor, Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, KREC, Surathkal).

Trek:On Nov 17th night all of us assembled at KSRTC Bus stand to board Kollur Bus.We reached Kollur at 8:30am (schedule was at 6:30am, but due collapse of one old bridge driver took a diversion). We completed all our morning tasks at a public toilet (we were lucky, it was clean). Some took bath and rest scheduled it at Hidlumane falls. We had our breakfast in a hotel and after that took a local bus to Marakutaka.After 45 mints we were at our starting point of our trek, i.e., Marakutaka. We started our trek from here at around 10:45am. Normally trekkers for Kodachadri will go through Karakatte, it is around 12km to peak in that route. But they miss out ‘Hidlumane Falls’ and beautiful grass land. From Marakutaka to Hidlumane village it’s around 6km, cart track. Enroute we have to cross a stream and we can see a small ‘Check dam’ for the stream. Paddy fields and mountain sceneries are really superb at Hidlumane village. From Hidlumane village to Hidlumane falls route is very slippery and we have to climb beside a small stream. We had our lunch near the stream itself. At around 1:45pm we reached Hidlumane falls, it’s a nice falls, water falls from a considerable height. We could not spend much time here as we started very late, so we did not waste time. We met one more team here. We all crossed the stream to the right and did steep climb in forest to reach beautiful grass land. Actually route from falls to grass land is very tricky, some local person guided us to the grassland (last time in Kodachadri Trek/1some of our team members lost track here and came back to Marakutaka, as they failed to find a route). After grass land we joined jeep track which will lead to Temple. It’s around 4km from falls to Moola Mookambika Temple.

At 4:30pm we were in Temple, here we had biscuit and coffee/tea (and also most valuable & essential, i.e., WATER J). We headed towards peak from the route which was behind the temple, en route we saw a small cave ‘Ganesha’ Temple. It’s around 2km, to the peak from the Temple. We reached peak, i.e., ‘Sarvajna Peetha’ at 5:45pm. We reached early here, still not lucky enough to see sunset as cloud cover was much. We climbed one more small hill behind ‘Peeta’ to conquer more of Western Ghats.We had decided to make night halt at peak itself, so pitched tent in front of the ‘Peetha’. ‘Peetha’ has one inner room (Garba gudi) which is fully covered and one outer room (praangana) which was open from the front. Shankaracharya idol is present inside. Everyone was tired very much, we finished our dinner fast and went for sleep. Cold was extreme and wind also had much pace. Two of us slept in tent, four slept in outer room and rest settled in inner room. It’s Very very difficult to get sleep here in cold and breeze. Later in the early morning there was thick fog and precipitation. So again due to fog we missed sunrise.Later we returned to Temple at 8am, and there we had breakfast (chitranna) and coffee/tea. We had Devi darshan in Moola Mookambika Temple. We left temple at 10am and reached Vallur (Hotel Santhosh) at 11:15am. This was grassland descend and route was very clear, around 3kms from Temple to Vallur. In front of the Hotel we settled down and discussed our next plan. Whether to go to Arshinagundi Falls or not? Because so many were tired and not ready to take adventure any more! We had two options with us. One to see beautiful Arshinagundi Falls and second was to return back to Kollur and have Devi Darshan. After much discussions and arguments, we split our self into two groups. One group (me, Krishna Bhatt, Mudassar Khan, Naveen, Shashi and Vinayaka) decided to go to falls. Rest of our team went to Kollur via Karekatte.

Arshinagundi Falls is 1.5hrs trek from Hotel, but route is very tricky and thick jungles descend. So we hired a guide (hotel people will arrange for the reasonable price). We left hotel on Karakatte road (mud road) after 5 mints we took left turn for falls. The place where we took left turn was very difficult to remember. Path was not clear and very misguiding; we just went behind the Guide. First one hour was normal descending and typical jungle track, next half hour was very slippery and steep descending. And one more real headache were leaches. Finally at 2:45pm we reached Arshinagundi Falls, one of best falls and is at a beautiful location. Very nice place to relax. We all took bath and had lunch here. We left falls at 3:15pm. Again half hour steep ascend and all this time you can’t take rest or can’t slow down because of leaches. Next one hour was normal cart track. We walked in good pace as we were already late for the bus. We reached Kollur main road at 4:40pm. From falls it’s around 5kms to main road. Except me (I went to Udupi) all went to Shivamogga to catch 10:30pm train to Bangalore.

We all completed this trek with lots of joy and off course this was my first trek with Bangalore ASCENDers. Thanks to all our team members who helped me to succeed.

Also read Kodachadri Trek/1

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Written by:Ambareesh Karanth

Organised by:Mudassar

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