Photoblog: Trek to Kudremukha

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Photoblog: Trek to Kudremukha (Nov 2016)


Kuduremukha is a mountain range and name of a peak located in Chikkamagaluru district, in Karnataka, India. It is around 330 Kms away from Bangalore. 

We started our journey around 10pm on Friday night in Nov 2016 after a very hectic work week in office. We were anticipating a great weekend of Trekking, Travel with friends and Adventure in nature. We were not disappointed, even for a bit! 

The roads are good for first 220 kms and then there is around 100 kms of mild ghats section. Keep your medicines handy if you are suffering from motion sickness. 

From Bangalore, we went to Hassan and then to Kalasa. From Kalasa town after around 10 kms we reached Samse village around 7am. Till this point a regular Car or bus will take you. From here we have to reach Mullodi village, which is around 6 kms from Samse pickup point. Currently only the local Jeeps are allowed to ply on this road. They charge around 250-300 rs per person for one way. 

The road is currently under construction. Around 50% of the road is already cemented under Atal Gram Road Yojna. The rest 50% is really bad and hence only 4X4 Jeeps are allowed.

View from Arun’s House in Mullodi. Mullodi is a small settlement and our basecamp for Kudremukha Trek. There are around 4-5 houses which provide boarding and lodging for the trekkers. They also provide some of the best local delicacies and home made chicken! The views are stunning from this village. We can see beautiful green peaks all around, hear various insects noises and hear subtle sound of a waterfall nearby. Truly surreal experience
The finger licking authentic village Set Dosa, Coconut Chutney and Sambhar at Arun’s House Mullodi
Arun’s House, Mullodi. We stayed in Arun’s house, which is around 700 meters from the Forest Department office and official trek starting point. Arun and his family are great hosts and we felt like staying with our relatives. They provided us with rooms to stay (one can stay in tents also in their house compound). The house has basic amenities with 2 rooms to sleep, 2 toilets and 1 bathroom. They will construct more rooms in coming months. There are around 250+ trekkers visiting Kudremukha every weekend!
We started our trek around 8:45am after freshning up and finishing our breakfast. We had packed lunch (Lemon Rice) which we planned to eat at the peak. We were already late by around 1 hour 30 mins as we had taken too many breaks once we left. It was already around 12am when we hit the highway (Bangalore traffic and too many pick up points).
The Forest office and official starting point of the trek. By the time we reached here (which is around 700 meters from Arun’s house), we were all huffing and puffing! We decided to stretch before we start our trek. We did not know what lies beyond this office. The charges: There are forest charges – around 425 Rs/person + they charge the guide tip of around 200 rs. The guides are helpful and saves you from dangers of the forest if you manage to walk at their pace! This may change from year to year.
The trek just after forest office. For most of the first 5-6 kms, the trail is muddy and easy except for few stretches where it is steep and slippery. Do not walk on stones, else you may slip and fall.
The few patches which are steep and through forests. Watch your step and always be in lookout for something which may be lurking nearby where you are about to step. Fortanutely we did not encounter any snake or other wild animal. But this place is full of snakes (Cobras, Vipers), leeches, scorpions and more. It is always better to poke with a stick before stepping on grassy patch of place where there are too many leaves
Our first views of the mountains nearby. Tip: Please do not talk too fast and try to complete the trek. Trekking is not racing. Yes there are time restrictions but still a modest speed of around 2.5-3 kmph hour is a good speed. The idea is to enjoy views, take photographs and breath fresh air. I have seen many people trying to prove how fast and fit they are by completing the trek, or reaching the peak faster then others. That is completely missing the point of trekking. So relax, enjoy and have fun!
The trek is full of wild Elephant Grass. We were walking on a trail which was on the side of the mountain, so one side will have a steep fall. It is better to walk little towards the hill side. Keeping your eyes on the trail is also helpful, while enoying the stunning views.
Our group during the first 5 kms of the trek. We are insignificant infront of the Nature!
The small patch of Jungle.
Patch of jungle and beautiful and tranquil stream.
The trail. It gets slippery if it rains.
The trek is around 10 kms one way. The first 5 kms are relatively easy. Most of the climbing is in the second half of the trail. Last 4 kms are steep and takes toll if you are not fit enough or not used to trekking.
The 5 km mark. The real trek starts from here.
Wild Flowers. If you are lucky you can see barking deers. We saw one at another mountain around 2-3 kms away.
Beautiful views in our route.
Once you are out of the jungle patch, the views are simply stunning
The monsoon added a different kind of beauty to the landscape. This trek is very dry and brownish in summer and winter due to heat of the sun. Sometimes in summer this route is closed due to forest fires.
The patches of jungle. Suddenly it is darker, damper and scarier inside these patches while walking through them. Watch out for leeches, snakes and other insects/animals.
This is how we walked for lat 3 kms! “It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop!”
Finally on the top. “It is not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves” –  Sir Edmund Hillary

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