It had been almost 2 months since I had been on a trek with the climb to roopkund being the last. It was rainy season by the time I came back from roopkund(After completing the trek in rain there too) and increase in work meant there was no treks could be done.
Srikanth had also registered for Roopkund trek due in Oct and he wanted to acclimatize himself to the rigorous of trekking in the himalayas, so this prompoted us to discuss a trek. We zeored in on kudremukh as it was going to be converted to a tiger reserve shortly n this was our last chance to scale the peak.
We had last trekked to kudremukh in 2008 and in January. The landscape was barren when we had visited then. We could see nature at its best now, as it would green everywhere.
Kudremukh in January
As usual tickets were booked and we set off to kalasa on Friday night. To our bad luck the bus developed a snag which meant we reached kalasa later than the planned time.
Day 1: Trek to Kudremukh
Kalasa in the morning
The bus to kudremukh has just left and the next bus was not due for another hour. After finishing our morning duties we waited for the bus to arrive. A couple of buses passed and the bus to kudremukh had still not arrived. We waited for some more time to see if the bus would arrive. Even after waiting for another hour,when the bus didnt arrive, we inquired again only to find out the bus has been cancelled.
Time was running as the permission to trek to kudremukh is given only for a single day. Overnight camping is not allowed and one has to return back before nightfall. It was already 8.45 and we decided to hire a auto to mullodi as time was running out
Wet roads all the way
We began the climb to mullodi and to satish(guide’s) house at 9.45. The jeep track was covered in slush and we passed a bridge with the river flowing in full force.
Muddy roads and full rivers
The scenary improved as went higher. Clicking snaps went proceeded. Kiran who had been to satish’s house earlier had asked us to take the jeep track till the top as satish’s house was the last one. We reached a fork in the track n took a wrong route and reached a house. Upon inquiring there we came to know we had to proceed along the same road further and we would reach the house. This excerise cost us another 15 min and by the time we met satish it was already 11.
The scenary had improved dramatically by the time we reached satish’s house. With the rain still continuing to come down, the surroundings looked even more breathtaking. More amazing scenes was in store for us.
Scenary enroute to sathish’s house
It was 11.30 by the time we reached satish’s house and chances of reaching the peak looked bleak. We still decided to go ahead and see how much we could cover. It was 12pm by the time we left for the peak. Passing somavathy falls we began the ascent with the guide sathish had appointed leading the way.
The lush green carpet had spread itself everywhere, the scenary was mesmerizing everywhere we turned
Crossing a couple of overflowing streams we continued on our way to the peak. The current in a few streams was high and we crossed them taking the help of the guide. We continued the climb while taking snaps. Soon we reached a flat place and stopped for a short while to take in the beauty and a few snaps. It was already 1.45 and the guide told us it was already late for us to reach the peak, as it was raining intermittently and the water level had gone up. The guides worry was that it would be evening by the time we reach the peak and crossing the streams at nighty t would be a problem.
With the possibility of reaching the peak ruled out, we decided to go till “OntiMara” which is the half way point to the peak.
As usual I was busy with photoshoots, as we continued the climb
Meadows and Mountains
It was 2.15 by the time we reached “OntiMara” and it was already raining. We spent some time there getting soaked in the rain before heading back.
We left ontimara around 2.30 and started the trek back to satish’s house. We took it easy as there was enough time left for us to get back. A couple of shots of the overflowing streams and a longish break to empty the snacks we had carried with us and we reached satish’s house around 5.45-6.
Evening was spent discussing options for the next day. The guide had gone us thirumaleguppi peak which he said could be done as a day trek. Speaking with satish we decided to keep our options open for the next day
Day 2: Somavathy Falls and Trek to Thirumaleguppi Peak
It was raining continously throught the night and it was still raining by the time we woke up. We were pondering what to do as we were in two minds as to whether to continue with the trek or go for a sightseeing. Srikanth was keen on doing rafting as we had seen a board indicating rafting on our way to mullodi. However with our finances, rafting looked a bit bleak.
I was however keen on trekking to thirumaleguppi, as we couldnt come back here again and this may be our last chance to climb a few peaks in the Kudremukh NP. We decided to head to somavathy falls which was flowing very close to sathish’s house and then decide on next course of action.
The weather was beginning to clear as we were returning from the falls and this prompted us to rethink our decision about trekking to thirumaleguppi.
We informed to satish that we could like to trek to the peak and he arranged a guide for us. It was estimated that we would require about 2-2.5 hrs to reach the top and the same amount of time to get back. After having breakfast we began the trek
Crossing the overflowing stream like yesterday we proceeded towards the peak. It was drizzling intermittently as we climbed. The paths to kudremukh and thirumaleguppi peaks diverge after we cross the stream. While we had to cross a lot of streams on the way to kudremukh there were relatively few of them towards thirumaleguppi
First look at thirumaleguppi peak
The path towards was relatively flat with a few elevations along the way. We were proceeding at a fairly good pace, and after an hour of trekking we were at the base of the peak.
The lush green mountains at the distance looked like a picture perfect setting as we climbed the steep ascent to reach the peak.
Mountains, Mountains and More Mountains
Finally after hour and half of climbing, the guide n I reached the peak with srikanth following us.
Hurray!! We reached the Peak
The weather which was sunny suddenly turned misty and it began to rain. Kudremukh peak was briefly visible before the whole area was engulfed in mist. We spent some time atop the peak waiting for the weather to clear, before heading down.
Another couple of hours of descending and we were at satish’s house. Packing our things and settling the final accounts with him, we bid goodbye to them and headed back to the main road, thus concluding an amazing monsoon trek
Kudremukh Fact File
Distance from bangalore: 350kms
Places to trek in KNP: Kudremukh Peak, Gomukha — which is a detour from the peak. The path deviates from the church which is present near the peak
Thirumaleguppi Peak, Kurinjal and Gangatigal Peaks — These can be trekked from bhagavathi nature camp.
Note: Permission is required to trek to all these peaks. One can obtain permission from RFO paying a nominal fee of 275 per head.
There is a proposal from the govt to convert kudremukh national park to a tiger reserve. This is already in the implementation stage as the trek route from belthangadi has already been closed as that part has already been turned into a reserve. From our conversation with the guides we have come to know that the main trek route through mullodi may take a while to be turned into a tiger reserve as there are houses in the vincinity and it may take a while for this part of the woods to be turned into a tiger reserve.
Those interested in trekking to Kudremukh Peak can still do it as long as the route is open.
Satisha Kudremukh Contact No
Snaps can be found here