Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bidurthala Trek

I should have written this post a long time ago...
Trek to Bidurthala, (Charmadi Ghats)
I was there at home when my friend gave me a call and asked " Dude, what plans for the new year's eve?" I said" Nothing's decided yet". He said" How about we go on a trek?". without hesitating I said " Yes". Then went to the KSRTC booking counter to get tickets for the journey on the same night. The last row of seas in the last bus to "Kottigehara" was available. Had to settle for the same. we thought. Atleast its not that bad when we went to KP. we had put our bags in the aisle and slept on that... :P.
Never mind, got the tickets, stuffed some food and clothes in the bag and left to the bus stand on my bike. As usual got stuck in traffic, my friends some how managed to persuade the bus driver to wait. Finally after a lot of struggle reached the bus stand, ran to the bus. (Got blasted by the driver for being late... :P).
Whatever, I had boarded the bus now. We hit the tumkur road with was clogged. Since KSRTC buses have to maintain time of arrival, they are equiped with experienced rally drivers... :P. First of all the bus left late because of me and now the traffic jam. The driver fuming like a furnace... We hit the empty road near Nelmangala and that's it... The wild ride had begun. The bus stopped near Yediyur for dinner. We had idlis and stuff and then we were off. Midnight we reached the ghat section, remember i told you that we have experienced rally drivers, all of us were juggling in the last seat of the bus. I have no clue how drove through huge potholes and most of the time off the road. He made up all the lost time and we reached Kottigehara at 4:00 in the morning.
All of us got out bags and tents. The moment we stepped down the bus it was like stepping into ice age. it was freaking cold and most of us were in shorts.... The very first thing that we did is run to a road side shop (which is open 24 /7) ordered hot hot tea. Wore jeans, jackets and caps.
The shops here make hot hot "neeru dosa" (Water dosa), chikkamaglur special. awesome stuff for a super cold morning to keep you finger licking.
Now to reach the spot to start the trek, we took a bus to place which is 12 kms from Kottigehara. There is a half broken bus stop on the right and a sign board named "Bidurthala" on the left in the middle of the ghats. (Busses stop here only with request. pay up like 5 -10 bucks per head).
We reached the spot at 5:00 AM, no light, no vehicles, not a soul in sight. With our 3V torches we get wait for the slightest of dawn to break in.
We start the trek... (I know, Finally!!!)... Its 2 kms from the road to a small village where 5 brothers reside. After 1 km we get a fork, 2 ways seperate out, take any of them. We reach the village, there's a cool water fall near the village. Chilled mineral water always. Played some UNO cards, went to the water fall, took bath. Time to get some energy boosters in. We unpack the bullet proof chapathis from our bag and have it with MTR ready to eat currys (Life packets for a trek).

We start the trek by 8:30 - 9:00 AM, 2 dogs from the village accompany us on the trek leading the way. The four legged trek machines lead the way with ease and we on the other hand drag out heavy butts above the mountain. Carry a sickle to cut through weeds and creepers.

We reach an open pasture and we decide to take an alternate route to the summit which is shorter but a little steep (Atleast that's how it looked from far away). We start the short cut trek, now half way through we realize that the mountain face is much steeper than it actually looked from below. Like we had a choice but to climb, we climbed inch by inch keeping every step carefully as the terrain was filled with thorns and pebbles. The awesome mountain has only grass land on its steep faces. :P.... now we are thinking, we are simply screwed.

It was fun.... :) we walked through and and reached the top of the sighted mountain. We were about to take a deep breath and relax.
Guess what, Bingo, That is not the summit, we have another peak about the same distance sneaking behing this one.

We took a break for like 10 -15 mins and started climbing again. This streach proved even more tiring. And finally we reached the summit at around 12:45 PM . and for our relief there were no more surpises. (For that moment).

On the other side of the peak, there's a small stream that flows through, we happily went there to drink some cold mineral water. and boom, no water.... just a small trickle flowing through the roots of one tree. we spend 10 mins filling one bottle of water and spend 2 mins drinking from it... :P

Now comes the other challenge of pitching tents... The sun scorching and the soil had no grip to hold the pegs. We somehow manage to pitch 2 tents. Now what? we have reached the summit, we started playing the UNO cards. We had our lunch. The air was still, it was not even moving at 1 m/Hr. All of us were pouring. I and my friend decided to take a nap, we slept in a tent hoping that there would be some breeze. (come on we were high up the mountain). Nopes. Nothing of that sort ever existed that day. We were pouring and literally sleeping in a pool of sweat. We couldn't sleep, so we went into the woods to get some firewood for the camp fire. (Sickle needed here, very imp.)

Thankfully after the sun set the breeze started. This was the best feeling that we had. Cool breeze kissing your sweat. Amazing. We walk up to the summit again, have a lot of fun, scream whistle and try to spot what is not.... :P

At the tip of the mountain towards the valley, if the sky is clear we can see the Mangalore harbour. Made some phone calls to home. That's the only place where your cell will catch the network. It was becoming dark, so we decided to go light up the camp fire. (Get newspaper and petrol to start the camp fire). We had a good time around the camp fire singing and teasing each other. Telling all college and office stories. This was fun. The sky filled with millions of stars, fantastic view.... take a DSLR camera, get the pictures. Worth it....

The new year was approaching. We were dead tired to welcome the new year with all energy, went to the summit again at midnight, we had taken few rockets along, lighted them... had a blast... Came back to the tent, woke everybody up who ever were sleeping.... :P

Got a sound scolding and we went to sleep..... :) Now the breeze had turned into a tornado.... :P

Super sonic wind speeds, one of our tents flew onto the near by trees.... Thanks to one of the guys who hadn't hit the peg properly...

The dawn breaks in... we wake up to the mist.... awesome weather.... Put on the camp fire again... Pack the tents. Pack the bags... Leave from the summit towards the village.
Now getting down the mountain is fun, remember the grass land and pebbles... :). Exactly! We have a falling competition.... Who ever walks down without falling many times... Nice joke....

Mid way down the mountain we find a bison dead and rotting. Time for a photo session.... :)

We came down to the village, had a good time... had breakfast...

We left the village at around 11:30 AM. Walked down to the road... No buses stop here.... We wait and we wave at every possible vehicle that comes along....
After an hour of waiting, a canter comes... thankfully this dude stops the vehicle... we get on to the rear side of the canter... Have a bone breaking drive till Kottigehara.... Have dosas... Catch a bus to Bangalore.... :)
End of trek...
Tips & Facts:
1. Reserve the bus tickets well in advance. Direct buses ply from Bangalore to Kottigehara.
2. Take a bus or a lorry to the spot to start the trek.
3. The people in the village are very helpful. Ask for help if required.
4. Dogs bark and run towards you as soon as they see you. Don't get scared and don't run.
5. There are 3 peaks / mountains. Namely, Kodekal gudda (umbrella shaped stone), Jaenkal gudda (honeycomb texture) and Balekal gudda (The summit).
6. Cover Kodekal gudda and then go to Balekal gudda... You'll have ample amount of time...
Things to carry.
1. Carry only cash. Cards are not accepted anywhere and there are no ATMs.
2. Carry warm clothes.
3. Carry petrol.
4. Carry plenty of food.
5. Carry a lot of water. (if you are not going in the months July - Nov)
6. Carry extra pair of socks.
7. Carry woolen caps. (Gets very cold in the night)
8. Carry sleeping bags / Mats.
9. First Aid kit. Volini a must (Pain relief spray) :P

Happy trekking....


Pratap Sikdar said...

Hi..It was a nice read. Can I have some details of bidirutaLa village, how to reach and contacts if any?

Pratap Sikdar said...

Could u pls share cell no of this guy who came with you as a guide...