Lot of us have visited Coorg/Madikeri. If not, we have atleast heard of the famous “must-visit” places there. A few to name- Kushalnagar- the Tibetan monastery, Golden temple, Madikeri fort etc etc…
A few may have been to these much less talked about, but truly intoxicating places like the ones i visited this time.
Who can decide if the company we travel with matters or the place itself? In my honest opinion, it is both – coupled together to give you a completely exotic and memorable experience.
My friends , this time, insisted we visit some trekking place and fortunately enough, we finalised on Thandiyandamol.
[Some info about it : It stands at an altitude of 1745 m, about 1.5 hrs drive from Madikeri.
Also find some info on how to get to Coorg at: http://www.ghumakkar.com/2007/04/23/coorg-coffee-country/]
How it began?
We had booked a cozy and nice home stay in the heart of Madikeri and it dint take more than an hour and half for us to reach Kakabbe- the village from where our trek began. To reach Kakabbe isnt too tough because the localites guide you till the place, or even better, take a local bus from the Madikeri bus station till Kakabbe.
We were told that the trek is an 8 km one (one way) and we were all well eqipped with food, water and other essentials for this. Good or bad, our driver ( of a 21 seater vehicle) decided to stop about 2 kms before the actual starting point coz the vehicle couldnt really go till there. So, here we began!
On your mark… get set… Go!!
The lush green surroundings of the coffee estates was very welcoming. I took a deep breath and filled my lungs with the purest air and it was so soothing and fulfilling!
We were told that the place has leeches, so cautiously, we marched into the marshy forest area- singing and howling in the group.
I wished for one thing then, that if god were to grant me a wish, I would ask him to give me the potential to capture the beauty of nature AS IS and frame it somewhere and preserve it for the rest of my life! Such was the beauty of the place- the sounds of nature fell on our ears – crickets here and there, birds chirping – oh man!!
We stopped in between because my friends got bitten by leeches and we had to dress the wound- usually it is best if we use salt to knock off the leech, and then apply lime stone on it to stop bleeding.
We had trekked half the distance and it started to rain- it was a pleasant shower, truly refreshing and it infact, wiped off our fatigue! We proceeded, unperturbed and unshaken by the wildness of nature only to explore the greener stretch of the place!
Hues of nature- mindblowing! Different shades of green on the mountainous stretch of land was captivating and there we saw the peak – our destination, emerging out of the clouds. It energized us with the thrill to reach there ASAP. So we continued.
As we continued walking, we found few small streams of water- chill cold and so refreshing, so we splashed them on our faces.
We reached a plateau like region and from there, the peak’s view was the best. From here began the steep stretch of land-not too steep though. From here, we took abt an hour and half to reach the peak- i.e. our destination.
What a splendid view it was! The clouds had formed a blanket on the mountain range and we waited as the mountains played hide-n-seek with us- only to catch a glimpse of the awesome beauty! Here as we stood, it began to rain slightly more than it did sometime back. With nothing to shelter us, we decided to descend- unwillingly.
Descent was a little more tricking coz the rocks there were slippery, but we managed with a big stick in hand for our support. On our way back, we were lucky enough to spot a small snake- my only ambition was to see one such creature atleast :) and that was fulfilled! As it poured heavily, the leeches became more active and started to show up more now. We had to be extra careful to escape from them. We stopped every now and then to check if any of them had got on to our shoes so that we could knock them off. Some still managed to get onto us and they sucked quite some blood !
We took about 2 hrs 15 mins to reach the peak and roughly about 2 hrs for the descent. So a total of 4- 4.5 hrs trek it was, covering about 18 kms!
It was indeed a pleasure to see mother nature at her best! After the trek, my mind seemed to have cleared up, and I felt fresh and ready for our next day’s event- River Rafting!!! ( more about it in the next post)
PS:First aid kit ( with cotton, some dettol/savlon, band-aid) is a must thing!!Some match box/lighter, salt, lime stone, Eucalyptus oil – all or any one atleast for fighting the leeches;light but filling food items because the trek will easily take about 4-4.5 hrs and there is NOTHING absolutely available on your way up till the peak;drinking water and some mint/chewing gum.