Hello all, after my amazing journeys/adventures in Sharavati's, Brahmagiri, now it was time to explore The shola's, so here i am penning down my experience of trekking THE KUDUREMUKHA, the adventure was again organized by me, with group size of 20 people.
Some facts about the Place :
The Kuduremukh National Park (latitude 13°01'00" to 13°29'17" N, longitude 75°00'55' to 75°25'00" E) is the second largest declared Wildlife Protected Area (600.32 km²) of a tropical wet evergreen type of forest in the Western Ghats. Kudremukh National Park is located in Dakshina Kannada and Chikkamagaluru districts of Karnataka state. The Western Ghats is one of the thirty four hotspots identified for bio-diversity conservation in the world. Kudremukh National Park comes under the Global Tiger Conservation Priority-I, under the format developed jointly by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and World Wide Fund-USA.
The name Kuduremukha (as it is known by the locals) literally means 'horse-face' (in the local language Kannada) and refers to a particular picturesque view of a side of the mountain that resembles a horse's face. It was also referred to as 'Samseparvata', historically since it was approached from Samse village.
Some Facts ab the trek :
Its the 2nd Highest peak in Karnataka after Mullayanagiri/baba Budangiri.
Trek Distance(To n Fro) : 20 KM
Peak Height: 1892 Mts
Difficulty : Moderate.
Plan : Bangalore-Hassan-Belur-kalasa-Kudremukha-Hanumana gundi WaterFalls-Sringeri-Chikkamangalur-bangalore.
When i have been to Kumaraparvata last July, trek mates i have met there described ab their experience in kuduremukha, that was the moment which inspired me to trek Kuduremukha and i was waiting for proper season as i knew that the landscapes wld look more beautiful in june since the mountain wld jus start turning green, my plans started with web, gathering info as much i could ab the habitat, climate, home stays, etc, the challenge was to get appropriate Climatic conditions, after analyzing few weather reports i zeroed my plan on 29th of June where the Pours were least expected, and believe me it worked since we encountered pours only while descending last 5 KM's :D, so i fixed a plan and posted on meetup(where i get my adventure group usually), my itinerary included Trek to Kudremukha Peak & Visiting Hanumanagundi Waterfalls, i got my group in no time, we departed in a Mini Bus on 28th Friday Evening by 11:00PM from majestic, journey time was passed with usual Antyakshari's, Intro's n some sleep, we reached kalasa by 6:30AM, we followed the kuduremukha route, after 12KM from kalasa we can see a sign board stating ''Way to Kuduremukha peak'', thats where we need to take a turn and hire a jeep to reach Base Camp as only Mahindra jeeps can drive in those tough up hill conditions where we don see any roads, we were 20 in Nos and had only 2 jeeps, so thought of sending all ladies in one with few guys, and we 11 took another jeep, but 11 in one jeep was a challenge, i chose to hung at the back door, the route tested my stamina we reached our BC by around 8:45AM, we finished all our routines including breakfast(Rice Kadubu+sambar) and started our trek by around 10:00AM, the trail looked more beautiful jus for a reason that there were heavy rains throughout the week and trail was filled with various water streams, falls and o course LEECHES-how can i forget them ;-), all of us were looking our shoes more than the beautiful surroundings, after a hike of 3KM, we found an open green land and that's where we had our first glance of peak, wooooaa it was resembling a perfect horse face n so the name Kuduremukha ;),
further hiking we found some bones lying on the grassland, yeah it was of some deer, which has been badly hunted by Tigers/Wild Dogs,
after crossing couple of forests, mountains we could actually see a perfect landscapes all around us, tat was a treat to our naked eyes as well for my lenses,
further ascending in between those fantastic landscapes,
just before some 2 odd Km's to the peak, we got a sight of waterfall which was flowing from the adjacent mountain, the fall looked a perfect one, as water was falling in between the mountain covered with lush greenery
we spotted the group of sambar deers as well on the same mountain but they were too far to get a perfect glimpse off,
we broke for a lunch jus half a KM b4 the peak where we could locate a water stream, upma was packed for us, its always the food will be more tastier when ur stomach is totally empty, the upma never tasted so good ;-), it was 2:30PM, we started our hike towards the peak which was jus 200Mts away, we 21 of us got positioned on diff spots on the peak to feel the atmosphere, Clouds, Breeze, Some drizzle, waahhhhh never can describe such experience but can only feel it,
we started our descend by 3:30PM as our guide insisted us to move since we have 10KM to cover and it will be dark if we dont push now, so we started our descend, we reached the point where we located Sambar's, n that's when me along with my Friend Thought to trek to the waterfall which we could locate on the adjacent hill, so we stopped One of our guide(Shiva Kumar) and asked him, was there any way to see tat watery beauty, he said yes, how many KM? it should be 3KM to n fro, so we 5 along with Guide diverted from our group n started hiking to that Waterfalls, the trail got pretty difficult since the land was sliding as soon we step on it, and the leeches were exorbitant here, running from leeches and tat too on the loose soil was not an easy task and the land got steeper n steeper as we ascended, we tried to hold the branches and cross the steep, but the branches were not grounded well as well, finally after 15 Min we managed to reach the Waterfall,
we had some shoot and moved back in the same way, we literally started running down the hill to catch group fellows and jus b4 5KM, the pours started and it was quite heavier, we located our group and started our descend together again, managing 20 PPl was a task as we had PPl with all pace, Fast, Medium n slow, so being an ORGANIZER i had to wait till i get my Slow fellows, and worth waiting for them as on the way we could locate a dark green Scorpio which was very unusual,
so finally we reached BC by 7:00PM, everyone was looking for leeches in all possible parts of their bodies and i was lucky to escape from only 1 bite, the best thing ab the BC was they provided Hot water, so few ppl opted to take bath and many of us spend Chit Chatting on various topics sipping hot tea, always a pleasure sippin tea in such climatic conditions, some yummy Dinner to rest our day, accommodation was more than expected, Blankets, Mats, Cots so it was semi luxury in Jungle :D, so ppl left to have their sleep apart from few of us, n its ususal, few of us cannot spend time sleeping when we are in nature, coz those moments cannot come back even if u want them tooo..........our debates included belief in natural and super natural powers, black magics, ghosts etc, we finally decided to doz off as it was pretty much chilled out there, we went for sleep by around 2AM, and slept rejoicing on the spectacular day spent.
i really don kw y, but my eyes came alive at 6AM, tea was ready, cherished beautiful atmosphere sipping tea, and i see already few ppl who slept early are beside me as well, so few of us decided to explore plantations near by, but disappointed as we couldn't locate the proper route, i took my camera and started a walk inside the nearby jungle along with 2 pals, searching for some treat to my lenses, and found an amazing scenery of few small waterfalls grouping together making an amazing picturesque,
we couldn't locate anything apart from that and we came back to BC, so now everyone was awake, we had breakfast and it was time to move, so rather than suffering in 2 jeeps, we Insisted Locals to get us 3, he had only 2 with him and advised that the first one will drop them and pick the last batch, we were ok with that, so 14 ppl went, and we 7 started debates on numerous topics again and it was 12PM and we never noticed how time flew as we were enjoying each other talks, finally as it was time and we had to visit hanumanagundi Waterfalls, so i asked Rajanna(owner of the BC) to make a call to one of the driver, jeep arrived finally and we managed to reach our vehicle by around 12:30PM which was parked in mullodi Village, so we had a quick coffee and departed to Hanumanagundi waterfalls which was 45Km from mullodi, we reached the waterfalls by 2:30PM and pours started, we never cared for it and walked towards the waterfalls, there was the Majesty, the fall looked stupendous, great treat for my lenses, but due to rain i couldn't capture what i really wanted,
many of us dived into water, its always a splendid experiencing Rain when ur in natural waters, we had great time singing, playing in water, all went awesome, so finally time to depart for Bangalore where our busy weekly schedule was waiting, so we departed rejoicing the entire 2 days adventure, as we were hungry we stopped for a brunch in Shringeri, rain rain rain is all we had on our way back till we reached some dhaba after Chikkamangaloor, we finished our Dinner and started our journey back to Bangalore, at-last we arrived Bangalore around 2AM, we bid goodbyes to one another and back to our respective nests, i was very happy to organize for such a great group again, few are my best buddies now, i wish to get such group every-time i plan/organize for any adventure, will see u all in my next blog soon :).
My Group : Karan, Hashi, Yogita, Nitiraj, Utkarsh, Pandu, Sukumar, Sunny, Anjul, Sarika, kamal, Jasmine, Rajath, Mukund, Burhan, Yunus, Arjun, Chandrakant, Shruti, Anuj.....
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Shravan Kumar E P.