It was July, the monsoons was on full rage and we were in Kudremukha to enjoy the lush green beauty of the Western ghats. Monsoon treks give a different dimension to trek experience with slippery surfaces, wet plants and trees, humid climate, leeches all around the trail, lush green surroundings and streams of water. It is definetly an enjoyable experience, monsoon treks are different and worth it.
It was a crew of thirteen from Bangalore set on the journey, headed towards the Kudremukha. All arrangements for transportation and accommodation was done. There were plans to visit Sringeri, Hornadu temples and Sirimane waterfalls along with the trek to the Kudremukha peak.
Even though we were in Kudremukha on Saturday, we got permission to trek only on Sunday due to a restriction imposed on the number of trekkers by the forest department. We knew about the restrictions and the plans for visiting nearby places were made accordingly.
The temple town of Sringeri had a serene atmosphere all around. It was a perfect kickstart for the trip. Sirimane waterfalls was another place which was in the plan for the afternoon. The cold and clean waterfall was really a refreshing experience.
Around 5 o’ clock in the evening, we reached the Mullodi homestay. Aruna greeted us, he was a caretaker of the homestay and a kind man.
I was impressed by the hospitality of his family members. We were served with Pakodas and tea. All arrangement were made, tents were set up and the barbeque setup was ready. We had requested for this prior to reaching the homestay.
With the sunset, the darkness spread all around and the temperature started to dip. The pineapples, sweet potatoes, paneer and chicken all went into the barbeque. Aruna had got all the arrangements done, tents were set up and the courtyard was lit up. We had fun late night along with some delicious barbeque and took a short sleep to wake up early in the morning.
It was a cloudy Sunday morning, all of them ready with their gears after finishing a pretty heavy breakfast. Tiffin boxes were packed and everyone headed towards the forest office. The permission was given on the first come first serve basis. Usually, the number of people trekking on weekends are more in number. It is suggested to turn up early in the forest department check post to book the slot for trekking. All the bags will be investigated. The plastic bottles, covers will be counted and checked again while returning if missed fine will be imposed. Everyone was given with the bin bag as to avoid the litter. The forest department was strict and this also makes Kudremukha one of the cleanest places to trek in Karnataka. They were doing a good job and it was worth appreciating them. They assign a guide to every team and without them, no one is allowed to trek. Nominal fees have to be paid for the entry and the guide.
We started embarking on our Trek to the Kudremukha peak. It would be difficult to trek if it rains. As it was a rainy season, it was bound to rain but there were no signs of it yet!
As we proceeded the weather changed and it started to drizzle. There was one team member which was active all throughout the trekking without even bothering the drizzles — The Go Pro.
We had reached the Lobo’s house, by the time it started raining. It was an old broken house no one lived there now. I wonder how someone could have lived here once upon a time in the remotest place where no houses are in the near vicinity. We were almost midway to the peak now.
The streams of water were seen continuously throughout the trails. At times, the trail was slippery and we walked cautiously. There were leaches around as usual.
It was afternoon, by the time we reached the peak. Everyone hungry by then, we unpacked our food packets and quickly had our lunch. Soon the photo sessions followed. We spend some good time on the peak and then started to descend.
This trek was an easy one. I would recommend booking a slot for the homestay prior to visiting Kudremukha and ensure that you are on time to take the necessary permission from the forest department. Just in case you don’t get permission to trek here, then there are other nearby peaks for trekking.
Monsoons always fascinated me, trek on the monsoons was a cherry on top. It was definitely a refreshing experience. Kudremukha is one more peak on the lap of the Western Ghats. The interesting thing about Kudremukha range — it is a tiger reserve!
Photo Credits — Rakesh Rao