Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Kudremukh

A road trip to Kudremukh and a trek. Before I forget:

Day 0:
We were supposed to meet at a friends place by 10:30 and start by 3:00 in the morning. We managed to delay the meeting time to 1:00.

Day 1:
Bangalore - Kalasa : ~320 Km
We started off at 5:00 in the morning. Not only did we manage to screw up the sleep, we also delayed the starting time by 2 hours. We managed to reach Kalasa by afternoon around 14:30. The route we took was:
Bangalore - Nelmangala - Hassan - Belur - Kothigere - Kalasa.

The ~50km patch after Kothigere is horrible. Avoid taking that, if you can. It might be a better idea to go via Chikmangalur, as we did on way back.

Kalasa - Kudremukh town - Kalasa : ~40 Km
Since the trekking route comes under forest reserves you need to take permission from forest officials. The permission are for 6:00-18:00 (yep, you are not allowed to camp) The charges are nominal, (you can also get a guide) and people are friendly (Not rob-the-tourist kind). One of the forest officials (the guide), offered to host us at at his place in Mullodi (on the route). This is useful as it is best to start the trek early in the morning.

Day 2:
Mullodi - Kudremukh peak - Mullodi : 21 kms
I managed to finish it. Phew.

We started at 7:30 in the morning and were back by around 5. Ideal time, I would say.

Kudremukh peak is supposed to be ~6000ft above sea level. It derives the name from Kudre(Horse)Mukh(Faced).

Mullodi - Kalasa: ~15kms
Returned back to the hotel we had booked on day 1 (Yatri Nivas)

Day 3:
Kalasa - Sringeri - Kalasa: ~150 kms
We had initially decided to head back to Bangalore on the third day. Some of us pondered on the definition of a vacation. It was democratically (in a group of 3), decided that we should de-stress on third day. What followed was the drive to Sringeri through Kudremukh National Park. There are quite a few places, where you might want to stop. Lovely Bends.

Do note that, you would need a 'ticket' as you start from Kalasa towards Kudremukh (on the way to Sringeri). This ticket is to track the vehicles that got in the forest area and left it, just in case someone tries to act funny. You get it when you enter from either of the side.

This also happened to be New Year eve. By the night, no one was in a position to greet new year, a rare new year eve.

Day 4:
Kalasa - Horanadu - Kalasa : ~8kms
A temple of some kind. Some offered prayers, blah blah.

Kalasa - Bangalore : ~320 Kms
Initial plan was to start by 6:30 in the morning. As with all the plans, we managed to delay it sligtly, to 11:30. This way we could enjoy driving on the snake of the road in the night, we concluded.

One of the unsaid rules is, we dont race. I broke that. In my defense, it was clean, straight stretch and a random Pulsar guy was showing off. Well, well. Anyways, I conclude, Pulsar is the most powerful bike in 150cc segment. At full throttle and 110, when I just managed to level him, he _actually_ accelarated, with a pillion! Grr.

We were back in Bangalore by 10:45 (Thanks to flat tyres). Tanned and tired.

Awesome and unforgettable trip, this has been.