Showing posts with label Hill station. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hill station. Show all posts

A Trek in Charmadi Ghats

One Saturday early morning, we woke up to an idea of trekking in Charmadi, the priced possession of the Western Ghats. Our plan was to climb up to the nearest peak. We reached the base of the hill, and hereon had to walk up to start our trek. The trek begins on a seasonal dirt track meant for jeeps, which had become unusable due to the heavy monsoons during our visit. The driver instinct in me only forced me wish that, some day, we could do this route on a vehicle.
Charmadi Ghats
Curvy Roads of Charmadi Ghats
 Twenty minutes into the trek, we realized our jackets which meant to protect us from rain, were not of much use, as the chances of rainfall at that time were meager, and it only made us uncomfortable wearing one. We removed our weather gears and walked further, through tall green trees, bird songs and millipedes crossing our way.  After a while of nature trek, we reached a small human habitation, with few houses and even fewer people. The home was situated amidst tall green trees and we were welcomed by the owner of the house, an old man and his wife. While we walked in, a group of young boys just walked out, to start their trek. The elderly person very kindly offered us water so we could quench our thirst .Water never tasted this good, by the way!
Lucky Home
The Happy Family and the Little one 
 While we shared our interests to visit a certain peak and requested for a guide, we were told to join the group of boys who had just left, as they were already being guided by a person, who fairly knew the terrain. He then showed us directions to the trek route and also cautioned us about rain any moment in the woods, which could continue for days. We also inquired about the movement of elephants there and the reply assured their presence deep inside the forests and that there were no immediate signs of threat of any kind from them. The atmosphere there was cool and humid.  It was greenery all around. We wished to remain there all through the day, even before starting the trek! We rested for sometime and put our feet down to start the trek. We also had to catch up with the guide along. We temporarily bade good bye to the lovely family and moved on with a lot of vigor and excitement.
Initial Trek Route

Grazing Cattle
Trek Company

Tall Green Trees
Rock on Edge
Trekking along the directed route, we walked past a cattle group who were busy grazing and looked equally excited as us! Not quite far away, we spotted the group of boys and picked up pace, so we wouldn’t miss the route. The vegetation was quite dense as we walked along, at a few places. Very soon, we were at a high altitude and looking down, we had a beautiful view of the curvy roads of Charmadi, which disappeared often due to the moving clouds. After a few clicks, we went further and reached a lone rock standing at the edge, in the background of the charming Charmadi, though not sure of the name it carries. The view from here was fascinating and hard to miss. As we moved further, we were accompanied by two cute puppies having anklets around their necks. Wagging their tails and sniffing us, they refused to let go, until their owner forced them his way. A boy from the group got lucky while he spotted a snake, though it was too late for the rest of us.
Slippery Path

Germinating Seeds
Underside of The Purple Leaf
We were stuck at a junction as nobody was sure about the route from here, and since the person serving as our guide was not very well versed with the terrain, neither did he, nor us wanted to risk it, going too far and inside. As we had come a long way, we rested for sometime and started our trek back to the starting point. We reached the house and thanked the family for their support. We made friends with a little cute girl and enjoyed conversing with her. The family exchanged a few words with us and told us about how their timely guests, the elephants, entered their fields and created havoc after drinking the locally prepared liquor! With all smiles, they told us to come back again. We were touched by their kind gesture and just as we were leaving, the girl’s mother brought us a plate of freshly cooked ‘Anabe’ (Kannada word for mushroom) fried with onions and turmeric. Mushrooms thrive here during monsoons and are widely available. The art of picking the edible ones though, is attributed only to the experiences hands.  We enjoyed it to the last bit and bade the final good bye. We had to walk back to our vehicle and while driving back, had a few clicks of the beautiful Charmadi. A lot more waits to be explored during our next visit to the Charmadi.

Charmadi surely has an inherent quality to it that makes it so magical and enchanting.

A G Waterfalls, Sirsi

As we were enjoying our evening coffee at our new found home stay, our guide proposed an exciting plan of exploring another waterfall, this time it sounded more interesting as it was his first time too to that waterfall! For us, the name of the falls was very new as we had never heard of it before. And so we hit the dirt road and started following our guide's directions, which he was unsure about. As expected, we reached a dead end and decided to back track. Just as we reversed,  we met a person who on inquiring about the route to the waterfall, volunteered to send his son along, to guide us. The little guy came along confidently to guide us to the location of the waterfalls. 
After  walking a few miles  in the Areca farm, we reached a stream that was formed by the water fall.  A little further, we spotted the falls and reached its downstream. Our chances of entering the water pool was low, as none were  sure of the depth of  the water  and since the water force was quite high, we did not risk  going further. We trekked to the top o the falls and enjoyed the view from above. Standing on the rock edge of the waterfalls and surrounded by greenery, the sight was simply  was mesmerizing. Our ears were filled with the sounds made by the chirping birds and falling waters. It was late evening and the time had come for the sun to set,  giving us an indication that it was our time to head back and reach our home stay safely.
A G Falls
Kids exploring  the Falls
Our Young and Handsome Guide
From the Cliff Edge
Time to go Home

Mountain of Death Kolli Hills

Kolli Hills or Kollimalai, also called as "the Mountain of Death" is one amongst the many hill stations of Tamil Nadu.  Kolli Hills is located in Namakkal District and stands at around 1000 to 1300 m above MSL(Mean Sea Level). In the recent days, the popularity of this hill station is on a rise. It is also considered as a Herbal hot-spot because of the availability of various medicinal plants. The place is also associated with pre-historic ages and various kings and has been mentioned in many Tamil literature works.
A beautiful Veiw
Place to Visit :
1. Waterfalls - Innumerous.  The most famous being  the 'Agaya Gangai'  and  the 'Masai' waterfalls. Amongst the lesser known falls are the Falls 65, Kovil Falls, Junior Falls,  Kollimalai Falls, Mini falls and so on .
One of Many Beautiful Falls of Kolli Hills
 2. Temples - Lord Arappaleshwara Temple is the main  temple on the Kolli Hills. There are many other temples like the Periswamy temple, Ettukai Amman temple and so on.
Lord Arappaleshwara Temple
Colorful Shikara
GajaLakshmi on the Lintel
Decorative Stone Work
3. View Points -  There are two View Points - Selur View point and Seekuparai View point
4. Pre-Historic Sites - Siddhar Caves (Caves where Sages lived ), Mudhumakkal Thazhi (Burial Urns).
5. Many Trekking Routes

Places of Accommodation:
1 N P S Lake View Resort, Semmedu
2 Nallathambi Resort, Semmedu
3 Arrow Mansion, Semmedu
4 Wild Orchid Camp(Kolli Hill Resort), Vazhavanthi Nadu
5 Govt. Cottages and Rooms are also available
   We have not stayed in, or visited any of these Hotel/Resorts, the above list is an additional information to the tourists visiting this place.
Hoarding  Depicting the Places of Interest on Kolli Hills
 Peak Season : Last week of September - First week of January - Last week of March - Second week of June, though our personal feeling  is to visit the place just after the start of the monsoons (Avoiding heavy rains), as the entry to the main waterfalls can be closed for public.
Hairpin Bends
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH 7 - Hosur - Krishnagiri - Salem - Rasipuram - Left Turn - Right Turn inside Rasipuram town -After about 5 km, Right Turn towards Senthamangalam - Left Turn after 25 km (Look for directions board ) - Kolli  hills. (About 300 kms from Bangalore)

Entry fee is collected at the Forest Check Post at base of the Hill.. A Wonderful weekend getaway from Bangalore.

References and Suggested Reading :
1 Trails of a Traveler by Ram
2 Be on the road with Shankara
3 My Travelogue by Bhushavali
4 Wikipedia

A Road Trip "Karnataka -One State Many Worlds"

  Karnataka 'One state.Many worlds'
ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ'ಒಂದು ರಾಜ್ಯ.ಹಲವಾರು ಜಗತ್ತು'

1) 1514 km, including 125 km of dirt track (4x4)

 2) 22 Stone Temples belonging to 11 temple towns
3) 4 Mighty Forts
4) 6 Wonderful Waterfalls

5) A Lovely Home Stay

6) A fair or Jatre, held once every three years, a natural Water Spring, an adventurous Theppa (Coracle) ride, Jungle Trail, Sunset view point  and a Tibetan Colony