Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mandalapatti Trek

The plan to trek MandalaPatti in Madikeri came suddenly. Friend Pravin asked me on Thursday if I can join he and family on a trek. I agreed immediately but took sometime to convey as my left foot was not completely healed after getting injured on a trek through forests at Anshi two weeks back.

But finally my heart won over my mind. Our intuitions are always stronger than logic. The adept say that heart is linked to soul, while mind is more interested in worldly affairs!!

The plan was to travel by Bus and take stay at Valley Dew Homestay. This is located at Mukkodlu Village, Hattihole near the town of Maddapur.

There are two possible routes:

1.) Bengaluru --- Hunsur -- Towards Abbi falls ---Right turn 3 KM before falls --- Mandalapatti
2.) Bengaluru --Hunsur --KushalNagar --Somwarpet -- Madapur --MandalaPatti

We took the second one.

Mandala Patti is one of the trekking points in Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. Pushpagiri Forest Range spreads from Subrahmanya to Somwarpet. Kumara Parvata Peak is the tallest in Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Trek to this peak is also in my list.....

 It is said that famous Kannada movie “Galipata” has been shot here. In that film they have shown this place as MugiluPete. So after that Mandala Patti became famous as MugiluPete. 

The trek was planned by Ruff Terrain Adventure Club. This was my first trek in association with any club. So far I had preferred trekking only with close group of friends or alone.

The bus started at around 11 PM Friday. I thought to sleep to get ready for adventure the next day.

There were many youngsters in bus and they had some different plans. 

Soon the Bus became a dance floor with almost all the passengers and the organizers dancing to hindi tracks. Only a few people like me were silent and indifferent to this activity.

Needless to say, could not get any sleep throughout and reached Valley Dew at about 7 AM Saturday.

Anybody who really wish to enjoy a trek, should be mentally and physically fit and that could happen if have taken proper rest before starting any such expedition.

The route after Somwarpet is adventurous, with steep curves and zigzag tracks As the roads leading to MandalPatti are narrow, It is better to drive in own car or maximum by Tempo traveler. A bus has to negotiate at many places. 

This route as well as the Trek to MandalPatti is dotted with nature’s bounty as one passes through viewing lush green coffee estates, paddy fields and mountains.  The weather was good. Rain on the last night had made the things pleasant.

Valley dew is located in a beautiful valley. I just roamed around it and became nostalgic about my college at Dwarahat.

Soon we all were ready. There was slight change in program. Earlier there was plan to strat trekking at 4 PM and to reach the MandalPatti top at around 9 PM. Then to stay there in makeshift tents for the night to enjoy the sunrise and back to Village Dew.

The rains changed all this planning and so it was decided by organizers to do the day trekking and to be back by evening after observing the Sunset.

Breakfast was good. We are given some dry fruits and Glucose, getting packed with Umbrella and Water bottles we started our trek of about 8 KMs.

Initially the things were pleasant but as we progressed further, the moisture clad rays of Lord Anshumaan soon started sweating us.

There was silence except for occasional chat that we were doing. The Chicada were in full swing singing the Jungle Lore. I have become so habitual to this sound that it looks very familiar to me now.

The trek involved mostly passing through dense rain forests though about a couple of KMs we were on road as well. I felt trekking through jungle is better than on roads.

It was my second experience in Jungle in last one month. Just two weeks back I had been at Dandeli Anshi Tiger Reserve.

Being in lap of nature is always a good experience, though trek was plain and on gradient sometimes, mostly all of us were doing good, though sweat was visible.

But jungle routes have its own troubles and soon we started facing it.

As it was a mix of deciduous and rain forest, there were plenty of leeches there. They got a good fodder this day and soon many of us got attacked.

I did not realized this until very late. On the summit, I just saw my light color trouser was soaked with dried blood.

Leeches had good day with me and sucked blood from both of my legs.

Whenever we are on any such trek we should carry salt and also should check our feet at regular intervals. Generally we realize leech bite only after they left us after getting their food.

The view from here was breathtaking. The mist soaked mountains of western Ghats were all unfolding their treasure of beauty with smile.

That's the reason why ascetics chooses such places for meditation... the mind automatically goes in peace!

The weather was hot and humid and we, after covering a distance of about 8 KMs were hungry. About 30 minutes wait trying to get adjusted in a few bushes to save from merciless heat, we got the good lunch served.

Now we had two options: First one was to return back to base camp at Valley Dew or to wait for sometime and proceed towards Pushpagiri Wild Life Sanctuary to enjoy the SunSet.

It was just over 3 PM and we were in dilemma to wait till 7 PM.

But as not many options left, we decided to wait.

At around 4, we all started to trek for another about 2 KMs to be in Pushpagiri Wild Life Sanctuary.

Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is located Kodagu district. It is noted as one of the important bird areas of the world and home to rare and endangered bird life.

This route was dusty and rocky, Mahindra Jeeps were braving the path till base of Pushpagiri Hill. A little ascend there will take one to the peak, where forest Department has erected a watch tower to enjoy the valley.

We waited there for sometime after taking tickets and then slowly ascended the hill.

The view was just fantastic.

Soon it was a bit dark and clouds descended. My hungry camera was active again.

From watch tower I just enjoyed the surrounding hills, valleys and silence. Even there many tourists were present, there was a silence.

People search peace outside and feel that sitting away from humans they will get it. This is not true. Silence is deep inside us. We just need to realize it.

The Pushpagiri topography is marked by steep terrains in all directions and perhaps with many waterfalls. Though none of these were visible from top.

Soon the Almighty Lord Anshumaan went to other side of globe and the night started descending. The clouds were playing with us and cool breeze made the environment excellent!

We spend very good time there, just watching and feeling the mother nature around us.

This pleasure is rare to get in mega cities.

We did not observed any wild animal, though I got one Porcupine quill. Thats now proud possession of my friend Pravin.

Similar I had found at Anshi.

Enjoying the nature, we descended slowly. Sometimes I feel to descend is difficult then to ascend. The tows were paining to hold my weight.

Soon the Jeeps from Valley Dew arrived and we were on way back to base camp some 12 KMs away.

There was a plan for bon-fire, though I was not much interested. Youngsters enjoyed dancing there till late till the merciful Lord Indra send them rushing to their rooms with heavy downpour.

Soon mother sleep took me in her sweet lap to get ready for the blissful and energetic Sunday morning.

It had rained heavily in late hours of night so morning was quite pleasant. I just roamed the area clicking the beauty of nature.

There were two options for today.

1.) Either to take a trek of about 4-5 KMs on a summit nearby or
2.) Walk to Hattihole Falls nearby and just relax.

I took the second option and was not feeling much enthusiastic to take trek today. Some enthusiastic guys took the first one.

A good breakfast set the day for us and we started for Hattihole Falls just about 500 meters away from our Homestay.

Valley Dew Homestay, where we stayed is in quite good location. Surrounded by thick forest and Coffee estates, this place is in midst of soul purifying nature.

The bus which carried us from Bangalore to this place was parked outside the homestay. The driver who slept in the bus overnight was not very happy with place. In the last dark night with heavy rain in midst of Jungle, he was a bit terrified to hear sound of creatures from Jungle.

I understand his logic, anyone alone being in his place would have same complains.

Walking leisurely, we reached falls in about 15 minutes. It is not very grand, but still beautiful. The rains in last week had made sure that it has enough water to enthrall all of us.

We walked behind the falls to the place from where it falls down of about 20 feet or so. At this place it was quite plain and soon many of us entered into waters.

I just roamed in the area capturing the moments in camera.

We were there for almost 2-3 hours, when the tour organizer gave the signal to start back to homestay.

On way back, we spotted Jack fruit trees, Pravin got the idea to take a few to home. He plucked a few.

Back to homestay, we took rest for sometime, meanwhile the other batch of trekkers were also back. Together all of us took the lunch.

It was almost 3 PM so time to depart for Bangalore. The dinner was also loaded in bus and soon we were on our way through curvy roads towards Bangalore.

On the way, the driver stopped the bus at a few places to pluck Guvavas, though I didn't got any share.

Before SriRangaPattanam, the driver took some rest. Dinner we took midway, I feel somewhere near Ramnagaram.

It was around 1 PM or so when we reached Bangalore. I feel we could have make early by adjusting the rest that driver and some passengers took on the way.

By 2 AM, I was at home sweat home!

1. Proper planning is needed to take a trek.
2. Carry all necessary medicines, Dettol, salt water (If area is leach infected), Cap, Umbrella and torch.
3. Get all the information before hand about the place.
4. Take full rest before trek to be in good mental and physical state.
5. Most of such places are away from mobile network, but still I feel the in such areas, BSNL works better.