Friday, February 25, 2011

Kurunjal and Gangadikal trekking

Going to Kudremukh is always my dream. I had already seen Kudremukh peak 3 times. This time I thought of venturing to other parts of Kudremukh range. So we decided to trek to Kuruinjal and Gangadikal. Initially tentative numbers of people were 5-8. Just before the day we were suppose to trek, count reduced to 2. Vikram(KG) and myself (Hari). I was very much reluctant to cancel trek. I asked Vikram whether he is ready to trek, if only we two are suppose to trek, he said he is ready. I was very happy and Latter Vikram's friend Vadiraj(Vadi) also joined for this trek, we 3 started our trek.

  • Reach Kalasa. Complete breakfast and morning rituals in hotel.
  • Reach Kudremukha, get permission from RFO to trek Gangadikal and Kurunjal.
  • Trek Gangadikal. Visit Hanumana Gundi or Sutanabbe water falls.
  • Stay in Bhagavati nature camp. Start trekking Kurunjal on Sunday.
  • Start back to Bangalore.
Trekking Place            : Gangadikal, Kurunjal.
How to reach              : Bus is best mode of transport.
Number Of Days        : 2 (Saturday and Sunday) days and 3 Nights (Friday, Saturday    and Sunday)
Accommodation/Stay : KIOCL Guest house, Bhagavathi Nature Camp, Lodge in Horanaadu
Food                            : Available in Kudramukh town, else better to carry our own food.
Nearby Places            : Kudremukha peak trekking, Bhagavathi Nature Camp, Hanumana 
                                     Gundi/Sutanabbi Falls, Horanaadu.
Contact Numbers       : Kudremukh RFO-08263255998/08263254311/08263255704
Trek Distance             : Gangadikal – 5 km one way (10km totally),
                                      Kurunjal – 7 km one way (14km totally).
Trek Difficulty Level    : 2.5 out of 5
Trekking Attractions    : Waterfalls, Beautiful River, Wild animals like Bison, Deer etc, and
  Beautiful greenery.
Best Time To Trek      : Oct to Jan and early June. Best Greenery could be seen in

Due to highly fluctuating numbers I did not book ticket. Vikram, Vadiraj and I all gathered in KSRTC bus stand. We asked seats for all of us in Rajahamsa bus. We couldn’t get it. Finally we decided to take ordinary KSRTC bus to Kalasa. Got 3 seats just beside driver, with great difficulty we managed to sit in first seats. Early morning just before reaching Kalasa KG’s front gate had opened (Vomiting). Reached Kalasa in the morning. Had breakfast in the Kalasa hotel and completed our morning programs in same hotel.

Next we started to Kudremukh for permission from RFO for trekking in Gangadikal and Kurunjal. We got down in kudremukh, got permission from RFO for trekking to Gangadikal. We planned to stay for the night in Bhagavathi Nature Camp, due to unavailability of room we were supposed to stay in Kudremukh itself. Went to KIOCL guest house to check for room availability. Room was available in KIOCL guest house. We need to provide ID proof to get a room. It costs 350 Rs/room. The room was very good; we kept our luggage in room and started to Gangadikal trekking. Gangadikal is approximately 5 KM trek (One way). Guide also joined us. We started to Gangadikal trekking point stop by bus. Almost every half an hour bus is available to Gangadikal trekking point.
We saw free moving deer during our trek to Gangadikal. We felt very happy at least in Kudremukh National Park animals can walk freely on their wish. Almost all animals on earth are living for humans (Either as food or serving humans). It was cloudy weather. On top of Gangadikal LAKYA dam was visible, it was majestic view from top of Gangadikal. Path to Gangidikal was infected with leaches. It was not much. Had Lunch of chapathi and chatnipudi on top of Gangadikal.
Beauty of Kudremukha range..
KG's managed to turn it with his inherited skills.

Small worm protected by woods.
Started back to Gangadikal trekking starting point. Visited Hanumana Gundi waterfalls. It is as usual good.  We walked for 1 KM opposite side of Kudremukh road, we saw view point. It was nice place to watch. We observed some wooden pieces moving. When we observed closely wooden pieces were surrounding a small insect. Since we had permission to trek in Gangadikal we did not take ticket in Hanumana Gundi waterfalls. We saw an ape, Vadi and I tried to get its attention. We could not do it. Then KG came and told he can do it, and he succeeded to turn it towards him.

Next destination is Gangaa moola. Gangaa moola is the place where River Tungaa and Bhadra starts. Both flows in different direction and joins near Shimoga. Our guide also had not seen Gangaa moola.  This Gangaa moola is situated few KM from Hanumana Gundi water falls and 1KM from main road. So we have to walk for 1 km from bus stop to see Gangaa moola (2 km totally).
Tungaa and Bhadraa Moola.
After we saw Tungaa and Bhadra river origins, we had lunch of chapathi and chatnipudi then started towards main road. It started raining heavily. Road was filled with water. Every vehicle going used to sprinkle some water on us. Vikram started signaling every vehicle to slow down. He was not ready to move from the place he was standing, rather asking fast moving vehicles to slow down. Finally got a bus to Bhagavathi Nature Camp. Bus driver stopped the bus after moving some distance far from us. Immediately behind us is hill, we can never move behind. Since it was raining heavily, when bus moves it is obvious that water on road falls on us. When bus moved ahead of us, to avoid sprinkling water from bus we all moved back. Bus was stopped we moved towards door. When I saw my friends and guide, our guide was missing. His umbrella was floating on water. Everyone got shocked; slowly our guide started getting out of water stream. When bus moved in front of us he tried to avoid the water from bus by moving back and fell in to water stream.
Heavy Downpour in Ganga Moola.
 It was already 4:00pm. My longing is to swim in Bhadra River which flows in Bhagavathi Nature Camp. When we all reached Bhagavathi Nature Camp, It was 5:30pm. Due to heavy rain Bhadra River started floods. My desire of swimming went in vain. Since we had trekking permission it was not necessary to take permission to enter Bhagavathi Nature Camp. If we do not have permission we have to pay entry fee.
Floods in River Bhadra in Bhagavathi Nature Camp
Now we have to reach Kudremukh for stay. We missed the 5:15PM bus towards Kudremukha, next bus is at 6:15pm. Bus did not come at 6:15pm. It started getting dark. We were in the wild, no bus is available and it is drizzling, no place to halt and unheard sound from the forest made us scare. Place was filled with Minchu hula (Kannada word)(insect which emanates light) Vikram was suggesting to walk till Kudremukh, it was impossible task according to me. Bus came at 7:45PM, reached Kudremukh and had dinner in KIOCL guest house.

Next plan is to take permission from RFO and meet our guide for tomorrow trek to Kurunjal. They suggested us to give fees money to our guide who comes with us for Kurunjal trekking. We planned to start trekking to Kurunjal early morning at 6:15AM. First bus to Kurunjal trekking point starts at 8:15AM. Latter we talked to an auto driver to get ready by 6:15AM to drop us to Kurunjal trekking point. He agreed for that. We slept for the night. I got up early morning 5:15AM. Got ready. Vikram was not ready to get up. Unless strong coffee goes in nothing comes out from Vikram. So we went to drink coffee, coffee was available, but it was not strong coffee. Vikram asked for strong coffee 3 times. All 3 times KG was not satisfied. He ordered one more strong coffee, owner told no more milk left. So we left from guest house. 
Sunrise view seen from our KIOCL Guest House.
All of us got ready by 8:00AM. Met our guide and reached Kurunjal trekking point which is few KM after Bhagavathi Nature Camp. It was very dense forest. It started raining early morning 9:00am. We saw nice birds in the very start of our trekking. It was very much cloudy, so birds were also not clear in our cameras. This trekking is approximately 7km one way, 14km totally. Leaches did not trouble us.
KG playing Hide And Seek on top of Kurunjal..
I can lift KG..

Due to heavy rain our guide wanted to climb down early. We started climbing down at around 1:30PM. Today also I had hope of swimming in river Bhadra in Bhagavati Nature Camp. Vadiraj also wanted to take bath. We have to cross Small River during Kurunjal trekking. It was nice place to take bath; Vadiraj was willing to take bath in that river. I insisted them that Bhagavati Nature Camp is very good to see and take bath, they were commenting about it. Basically they were first timers, never knew the beauty of Bhadra River in Bhagavati Nature Camp. Fortunately floods in River Bhadra have come to normal. My dream came true. When KG and Vadi saw it, they stopped commenting about Bhagavati Nature Camp.
Dressed with beads of rain drops.
Heaven may not be better than this
Vadi enjoying

Reflection of the tree in River Bhadra..
Vadi and I did swim in Bhadra River. It was very amazing. Beauty of Western Ghats decorated with rivers and streams and waterfalls is uncomparable.

We started towards kudremukha. Took our entire luggage and started towards horanadu. We had booked our tickets from Horanadu to Bangalore. Visited Annapoorneshwari temple, had dinner and came out of temple. We could not spot our bus to Bangalore. Somehow one mini bus was going to start. We thought of asking them for our bus arrival. Fortunately that itself is the bus we have to travel till Kalasa, and it is our linking bus to Kalasa. Our reserved bus starts from Kalasa. We reached Kalasa and started to Bangalore.

Back in Bangalore for “hottepaadu”.