Monday, 28 January 2013 15:27
Surmounting the Tortoise Peak
Amedhikallu (height 2,800 m), near village Shishila in Dharmasthala, is one of the significant peaks of Charmadi range. The name Amedikallu is a combination of two words: Ame - Turtle and Dikkel – the Tulu word for Stove. Amedhikallu has a huge monolith at the top which appears like a giant turtle and three large stones which give an appearance of a stove. This peak is surrounded by many other important peaks of Western Ghats. Amedhikallu is considered to be one of the scenic treks in Karnataka and is a two day trek if one wants to make it to the peak comfortably. The starting point is Shishila village from where the trail starts. The initial trail is through a fairly dense forest, but the trail itself is pretty wide. Then the forest cover disappears slowly and beautiful grasslands appear which continues to the three stones, the dikkels at the summit.
Friday, 18 August 2017 13:54
The scenic hilly regions of western ghats have trails suitable for hikes with velvet green rolling hills , shola forest and perrineal streams flowing through them. Kudremukh known for its exotic beauty and flora - fauna has variety of trekking options inside the National Park. The beautiful part of Baamikonda and Kaltikki Trek is trekking on the outer fringes of Kudremukh national park is a less known getaway for those seeking less trodden trails. Surrounded by hilly ranges and enjoying the view of the adjoining peaks one can savor the beauty of Nature.Breathtaking view of Thirumaleguppe , Hirimaleguppe, Durgada betta , Gaumukha and Kudremukh Also, a beautiful ridge walk towards the peak makes it more than just a trekking experience to cherish for a life time.
Monday, 28 January 2013 16:11
The Grasslands of the Sky
Bandaje Arbi ( Arbi - waterfall in local dialect tulu ) is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Charmadi ranges of Western Ghats, falling from a height of 500 feet. The trek uphill passing Ballalarayana durga ( fort ) is surely an uphill task for the trekkers. The flowing streams, the rolling velvet hills, sight of elephant herds, wild boars if one is lucky, and is a feast to the eyes. Passing through Ballalrayana fort overlooking the town of Sunkasale. Not much remains of the fort except the ramparts. Ballalarayana Durga, is a secluded fort atop a mighty peak in the dense jungle of Western Ghats. All that remains of the fort are its dilapidated traces, but the lush green forests with the steep slopes surrounding the fort gives it the aura of mystery and a sinister charm. The view of hillocks Amedhikallu , Minchu Kallu and Kumba Kallu , Kode Kallu , Jamalabad or Gadayi Kallu and Kudremukh Ranges in the distance. View of sunset from here is a riot of colors and a memorable experience! It beckons every wandering soul. So indulge in this unique adventure and come explore the enigma of this long forgotten place.
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 11:50
A peek into heritage and nature
In ancient times, forts were considered as an ideal defence system. Forts that have survived today are representative of the engineering talent and strategic defence of ancient India.Today it is one of the wonders of the bygone era. Scholar Kautilya, popularly known as Chanakya the renowned author of his Sanskrit Arthsastra ancient Indian treatise on statecraft and Military strategy has classified forts into following types - Giridurga ( Hill fort ) , Jaladurga ( water fort ) , Shiladurga ( Rock fort ) and Vanadurga ( Forest fort ). Among the hill forts, Jamalabad is a hilltop Giridurga fortification in Jamalabad Village near Belthangady in Dakshina Kannada ( DK ) District of Karnataka. It is located in the Kudremukh range of hills. The fort lies at an altitude of 1700 ft.
The fort was formerly called Narasimha Ghada, which refers to the granite hill on which the fort is built. It is also referred locally as Jamalagadda or Gadayikallu. Originally a mud fort existed on the hilltop. The fort was reconstructed over the ruins of an older structure by Tippu Sultan in 1794 and named after his beloved mother, Jamal Bee. Tippu Sultan kept the fort in his possession for over 50 years.Though a local chieftain called Thimmappa Nayaka took possession of fort for a short period. The fort was captured by the British in 1799 during the 4th Mysore War. As per legend, those who are not favorable to Tippu were hurled down this fort to their death.The fort is inaccessible other than via a narrow path, with around 1876 steps to the fort that are cut out of the granite hill and lead all the way to the top with the help of french engineers.This strategy would mean that through a narrow passage small but well-armed group could indefinitely block a much larger force from entering the fort. Inside the fort, there is only one tank to store water. Remains of a single cannon lie at the top
The fort is accessible via a narrow path with about 1800 steps cut out of the granite hill. Inside the fort, there is a tank to store rain water. Remains of a single cannon lie at the top. Nothing much of the fortifications remain but hints of the fort wall with parapets are visible. This hillock fort has one room at the top. There is also an unmanned microwave repeater station on top of the hill.The Summit afford superb views of the surrounding landscape with paddy fields ,temples plantations , water bodies and the Kudremukh range of western ghats.
Note : Since it is a Heritage Protected Monument under ASI , one is not allowed to venture into fort without permission. And stay inside atop is prohibited.
Monday, 06 January 2014 15:46
Tresspassing the Hills
For those who had a glimpse of the horse mane kudremukha , finally summited it and would like to go on a ride in the National Park , there is option of going on for Trans Kudremukh Trek.
Kudremukh Peak is the one of the highest peak in Karnataka and highest in the Kudremukh national park also known as Kudremukha National park. This peak lies about 1892 meters or 6,207 feet above sea level. ‘Kudre’ means horse while ‘mukha’ means face. As the name suggests, it looks like a horse face hence called Kudremukh or kudremukha. This peak lies in the forests of Kudremukh National park. Kudremukh peak trek lies on the list of popular trekking trails in the national park. Kudremukh national park amidst Western Ghats has a very rich biodiversity and home to certain species of wildlife which is nowhere else found on this planet.
Trans trek is a misnomer of exploring the park while summiting the nearby prominent Irumalaguppe peak 4500 ft next to Thirumalaguppe peak 5000 ft. While walking on the steep slopes amid grass lands having a grand view of west face of Kudremukh peak ,adjoining peak Durgada Habba and valleys. Sliding rather than descending to Lobomane or house crossing grasslands. Lobomane or “Lobo’s house” was a house made by Simon Lobo, a priest who made the Kudremukh ranges his home.Passing through the shoala forests in the shadow of Kudremukh peak one reaches a point which serves as re - entrant to park. The Majestic view of twin peaks and view of Irumalaguppe dwarfed under the gigantic Thirumalaguppe makes trans trek memorable. The grandeur of vertical rock face and conical shape of Thirumalguppe peak playing hide and seek with mist visible from the conopy of forest makes one crane his neck often.The trails is home for amazing orchids Seethale hoova and if one is lucky one can spot a Indian Gaurs and Sambar grazing on slopes.
After a long walk and descents brings one to fringes of Kudremukh park thus entering district of Dhakshina Kannada in Navoor . Numerous streams flow interminently and waterfalls dot the landscape here.
Friday, 25 January 2013 11:51
Scaling the Horse’s Mane
There might not be any individual in India who has not heard about Western Ghats. The gorgeous assembly of mountain ranges, flora, fauna and magical misty beauty that gloriously resides in the Western Ghats of India might not have escaped the eyes and ears of holiday planners. The Western Ghats appear to be parallel to the western coast of the Indian peninsula and is a go-to destination during free weekends. Karnataka is a state with immense beauty and natural splendour which often remains unexplored even by native people. There are many gorgeous mountain ranges, splendid peaks and breathe-taking waterfalls in this state. One such mountain peak is Kudremukh. Located at a distance of 360 kilometres from Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka State, it is 7 hour journey. It derives its name from the hilltop that resemblance a horse’s face. Surrounded by dense forests and rolling grasslands, Kudremukh offers a nerve-numbing sight to its visitors.
Your first stop in this province while coming from Bengaluru will be a small hamlet of Samse. It has nothing but a few shops and crossroads remaining. You can stock up essentials and arrange for a vehicle towards your journey to Kudremukha peak. From here you will be driven on a jeep safari for the first ten kilometres until you reach Mullodi. You can set up a camp in this location for an early morning trek. Kalasa is basically the main town of Kudremukha. But the town of Kudremukha is almost deserted after the closure of mining business. The forest department office is held in the Kudremukh town, which is 20 km after Kalasa. If you have not attained a permit for your trekking, this is where you need to go to obtain a permit.
The local residents of this region are warm and extremely friendly. There are many houses and families who welcome unknown strangers into their house and let them rest during their trekking expeditions. One can enjoy the fantastic hospitality of these families during the trip. The food served will be cooked out to local ingredients and the taste is unparalleled.
During this trip, you will come face to face with most refreshing lush green patches of grasslands. Greenery will be redefined in your minds as you will see different shades of green while in here. The calm open meadows will offer you peace that you always crave for in a city life. The bewitching sight of foggy clouds touching the feet of this intense green land will be a memory of your lifetime.
The Kudremukh National Park is heavily populated with wildlife that is unique to this geographic location. Visitors are mesmerised by the exquisite collection of flora and fauna in the park which includes casuarinas, acacia auriculiformis, eucalyptus and Grevillea Robusta. The wide array of wildlife of this region consists of Malabar giant squirrels, sloth bears, gaurs, common langurs, tigers, leopards, wild dogs, porcupines, jackals, giant flying squirrels, sambar, barking deer, spotted deer and mongoose. You will easily find birds like Malabar whistling thrush, imperial pigeon, great pied hornbill and the Malabar trogon.
Tuesday, 25 December 2012 20:53
Kumaraparvatha, also known as ‘Pushpagiri’, lies in the backdrop of ancient shrine of Kukke Subramanya. ‘Giri’ in Kannada means Peak. Kumara Parvatha is the third tallest peak in western ghats of Karnataka.Mullaiyanagiri in Chickmaglur being the tallest and Tadiyandamol in Coorg being the second tallest. The peak, almost always plays ‘hide and seek’ with the clouds, and is one of the most beautiful places of the Western Ghats. Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary or Pushpagiri Forest Range spreads from Subramanya in Mangalore District to Somwarpet in Coorg district covering an area of 102 sq km. This range is abode to many gigantic peaks in the Western Ghats and home to various species of medicinal plants and flora and fauna. Kumara Parvatha Peak stands the tallest amongst the peaks in Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary at an altitude of 5136 ft (1712 mts) above Sea level.
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 12:36
Among the prominent peaks around Kudremukh Horse Face peak Kurinji kallu 3802 ft Altitude ranks the best for its magnificient views.The magnificient cone shaped rock face cliff derives its name from Kurinji flower Strobilanthes kunthiana. Neelakurinji.The shrub that is found in the shola forests of the Western Ghats in South India. The purplish blue flowers of Neelakurinji blossoms gregariously only once in 12 years.
Located about 20 kms from Kudremukh sharing border with Dakshina Kannada district. The point where you start is about 9kms from kudremukh colony.The trail meanders through open grasslands and under canopy from village called "MaLa". where the former route takes you in a jeepable track the later is through thickets of the jungle typical to Western Ghats.
There is an old abandoned structure station here at the top, but the water is available at 1km distance downhill.The place is abundant with variety of fauna and flora. The Kudremukh National park houses variety of wildlife such as tiger, leopard, wild dog, Malabar giant squirrel, common langur, sloth bear, gaur, porcupine, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, jackal, giant flying squirrel and the mongoose.
The park also has about 195 species of birds which are Malabar trogon,Lion tailed Macaque, Malabar whistling thrush, great pied hornbill and the imperial pigeon.Reptiles like Snakes and tortoises are also found here.
Monday, 19 August 2013 17:06
Land of the Whiskered Tigers
Nature has bestowed wonders upon mankind in the form of scenic beauty. But flowers blossom for those who want to see them. The famous American athlete Wilma Rudolph once said, “The shining of the sun makes a man to do anything for neither the mountains are too high to climb nor are his troubles too difficult to overcome”. Exploring this magnanimity and beauty of nature could be an amazing experience given the length of trekking man makes right here at Meesapulimala.
Centuries ago, Lord Murugan had made this place his abode and blessed it with prosperity and abundance in natural resources. A perfect blend of blue sky coalesced with luscious green mountains, Meesapulimala, has its own story to tell. The vast stretch of grassy pastures giving a person the clear sight of white snow-capped mountain peaks creates positive vibes and a sense of calmness. This natural beauty is favourable, today, to many trekkers to go on a trekking spree here and climb to the highest peaks in the southern region.
Meesapulimala is a name of the Tamil origin that literally translates to ‘Mountains of Moustached Tigers’. The place houses many species of flora and fauna. This naturally occurring snow clad peak has managed to attract tourists from all over the place. The beauty of Meesapulimala lies in the fact that it is situated on the confluence of three divine rivers of Mudhirapuzha, the ever flowing River Kundaly and the blissful Nalathani. Trekkers and travellers here are welcomed by Munnar- a priced destination in the Malabar Coast - before ascending this gigantic 8,661 feet tall wonder. Munnar is considered to be the creation of Lord Murugan. It is at the Tamil Nadu - Kerala border as it bestows us with the richness of medicinal Nilgiris and the colourful rhododendrons irrespective of the languages spoken here or the region to which people belong. To summarize, this place knows no bounds and gifts the tourists with a pleasant environment to thrive upon. The exceptional rhodo valley brings blissful joy with its wide carpet of Rhododendrons. Munnar has been one of the rarest locations which have reserves to some of the endemic species of India.
Some of the lesser known animal species rife to this region include the Nilgiri Pigeons, Sambars, Giant Grizzled squirrels and have increased the inflow of tourists from all over the world. Also, don’t me amazed if an elephant, a gaur or a Nilgiri Tahr visit you on your way.
Love is always in the air at Munnar as it holds the coveted title of the Honeymooners’ Pride.
Meesapulimala is a high mountain peak in the south and competes with her look alike sister, Sahyadri, in the west. The largest tea plantation of Kolukkumalai finds its base here at the Meesapulimala peak. It is an amazing trek that takes you across shoals (or mountain rain forests) that are at a considerable altitude. This leads to the other name that the jungles get, as they are rightly referred to as the ‘cloud forests’.
While ascending this peak travellers have to literally watch over each step they take, as the vast carpet of grasslands are homes to the breeds of leeches. First aid kits are a must have list of things to carry in your backpacks. This mighty peak is one of the nine peaks of this region and unfolds many hardships during its climb that is so tiring to man for a little more than 8,661 feet. One of them could be the lack of oxygen while at the top. But once you succeed reaching atop, you will be swaying over the clouds that engulf you. Your heart will surely skip a beat at the scenery that finally is achieved by this feat. Meesapulimala leaves us speechless with its generosity in bestowing calmness, joy and the beauty. The mightiness of this peak is not just due to its physical appearance but also due to its magnanimous pleasure.
Monday, 16 December 2013 12:52
Charming Hillocks of Charmadi
Situated in thick forest of Banjarumale region these are considered the highest hillocks in Charmadi range. Unique Topography and accessibility makes it one of the sought destination for a avid trekkers. Journey along the hair bends in the ghats makes travel memorable.The valleys are dotted with Perinneal waterfalls and swift flowing rivers.Thick forests are also home for the Malekudiya tribal families.
Twin peaks after descending from Ghats beckon and challenge adventurer. At the top of the hill lies a huge bauxite stone, which attracts lightning during monsoon. With this, the hill gets its name ‘Minchukallu’ which means the stone which attracts lightning. For trekkers, who love adventure and challenges, this is their ultimate paradise because there is no short cut and easy route to reach this peak. Apart from tedious trekking route, what adds to the challenge is the herd of elephants making frequent appearances here.
Kumbakallu is another hill which is worth seeing in the vicinity. Trekkers will come across two dense forests namely ‘Banjaru Male’ and ‘Ambati Male,’ which are like safe abode for pachyderms. The elephants are seen even on Minchukallu hill and if locals are to be believed, elephants follow a corridor from the foothill to the peak accelerating themselves in zig-zag movement. At the top of the hill, these pachyderms get their staple food, which is called ‘Aane Hullu’ in Kannada. With the fight between man and elephant increasing over the years, the number of elephants coming to this area has increased.