( For information – Bhagamandala is approximately 284 km from Bangalore .It takes around eight hours to reach Bhagamandala. It is a small place in Kodagu district (Coorg) in Karnataka, along the banks of River Cauvery. For this trek, trekkers need permits from the Forest Department. One can obtain these permits from the FRH Office in Bhagamandala.
From Bhagamandala it take a seven kilometer to Talacauvery, which is the base camp of the trek.The trekking distance is around 14 to 15 km from base talacauvery till peak nishani Betta.)
Going for a forest trek was always in my wishlist. Nature do have some mysterious force which pulls everyone towards its beauty. We a group of nine people started our journey from Bangalore towards Talakaveri, Coorg for our ultimate adventure :).For me it was my first 2 days trek in a deep forest, which I was always waiting for. It was a 7 hrs journey. I was very happy seeing the glimpse of forest and trees on our way towards our destination. It was early morning when we reached our destination 🙂 Talakaveri (the place from where Kaveri river originated)
As we all were very hungry the first thing that came into our mind was food, we rushed to a nearby hotel and had our breakfast & packed some food for our journey ahead. As we distributed necessary things among each of us our backpacks were getting bulky, looking at each other’s bags we were just assuming, whose was heaviest and who is having the lightest…LOL.. Our first task was to get a guide who would join us on our trek. We got two guides who accompanied us & we started our incredible journey towards the hill Nishanibetta.
It was a small path leading us towards the lush green forest. Climate was very humid yet the beauty of nature erased everything from our mind. As we headed towards the top we saw hills full of green trees, valleys, smoke coming out from the forest fire and mist covered peaks .On our way we found many guava trees, for a hungry group like ours it was heaven..Those guavas were really taste and sweet.. 🙂
After going bit ahead we saw signs of elephant droppings which made us cautious about the presence of the wild animals around us. I was very excited and wished if I could see a wild elephant. After few hours of walk, the real hero of the jungle emerged the leeches .. 😦 they were everywhere… struggling with the leeches for few hours, we reached at a safe place where we had our lunch. As we were having shortage of water our guides and few members of our group went downhill to collect some water for all of us. Thanks to them as it was the most important thing to carry at that time.
After they came back we stated our journey again. Huge trees, stiff slopes, dry leaves scattered everywhere it was an awesome view. One can hear verities of noises like of insects, woodcutter bird, and many other species. This trek was quite difficult compared to others treks that I did earlier. It was quite sunny as well. At some places we saw the forest fire & smoke , we were bit tensed while crossing them. The path was never ending, with a blend of hills, green valleys, up hills and slopes.
After a few hours journey we reached near a stiff hill full of mist, it was cold and soothing. Slowly the heat decreased as we entered deeper into the forest, the atmosphere got cooler.The deeper we went the look of the forest changed, it was dark, green trees, broken branches and tunnel like paths. It was completely silent. Big trees were all around few covered with vines. The broken logs of trees were completely rotten, with wild mushroom grown on it.(I was feeling like going on a National Geographic expedition… 🙂 )
Slowly we came across hills covered with newly grown grasses, the atmosphere got foggy, and cool, there was sudden decrease in temperature due to increase in altitude.. It was quite exhausting for keep trekking for a long time, as few of us were not used to it. With the cool breeze, there was a relief among us that in sometime we are going to reach the hill top. Now the path was slippery and wet and it was misty and cold, due to the fog the visibility decreased. From there we were able to see the hill with a flag on top, it was way far.. The way towards the top was very stiff.
on our way we saw a cute wild rabbit which suddenly jumped out from some where… 🙂 making all of us jovial for a while.
After a few hours of trek we reached at the top. The view from there was beyond belief. we were on the top of a hill and the path which we need to take to reach our camp side was partly covered with greenery and mist.
It was such a view that I was completely mesmerized. Then we headed towards our camp side , due to mist, we were not able to see where we were heading , after a 2 hrs trek we reached our destination by evening, it was a small anti poaching camp . We all were so relieved seeing our camp side .After resting for a while we decided to have some hot tea. 🙂 It was for the first time I tried making tea on a chulha (stove made up of clay) and it was an amazing experience. Within some time tea got prepared and all had it.We all had our dinner and took rest in our cozy sleeping bags 🙂
Poor me I was not able to sleep as I was still wishing if I could see a wild elephant.. all night I was gazing towards the sky as it was covered with clouds, closing my eyes and enjoyed the music. Suddenly I opened my eyes looking towards the sky and what I saw was a superb view the sky was full of stars 🙂 🙂 it was amazing you could see all the constellations’ there 🙂 its true that no beauty can match the beauty of a clear sky full of stars. The small dog which was there in our camp side was sleeping near to me, guarding us.. Its cuteness made me remind of my dog (lucky) who died few years back… looking at the dog I don’t remember when I slept.
Early morning the view was awesome the hill top covered with clouds made me remind of kauravkunda trek 🙂 gradually everyone started waking up.In the mean time others were getting prepared to see a pond, where they heard that wild animals come early in the morning to drink water. They got ready and headed towards that place. We all had our tea and breakfast, chit chatted for a while and decided where to go next. As one of our friend was communicating with our guides, she informed us that we were going to leave that place and start our journey towards (The stiff valley..) 🙂
We all packed our things and started our journey… my cute dog also followed us but in half way he took another unknown route and disappear somewhere … as it was his home, I was relieved that it will not get lost any where, just one thought linger in my mind that I am going to miss him… 😦 but I kept some memories stored with me ..it was my pic with him which I took early in the morning and it is my favorite pic which I had.
Our guides were really amazing, throughout the trek I have not seen them taking rest whenever you will look at them you will find them smiling, ready to help you. After a long walk uphill and down hill we reached a place known as the stiff valley, full of long green trees the ground was full of dry leaves. The valley was so stiff that after a few hours of walk I was totally exhausted, my legs were not supporting me, due to the stiffness of the path my foot and fingers were paining hard.
The path was so long that it was not ending at all 🙂 At a certain place we decide to have our lunch ,the guide told us that, he would be coming in some time and meanwhile we people should have our lunch, during that time I got to know that the same stiff valley by which we came down, we need to climb it again to reach the top and go back 😦 😦 and it was a 4 hours long climb … for some time I felt, I will not able to do it, and I was a bit worried 😦
Meanwhile as we were resting we heard a voice from far away,the guides informed us that, these were drums used by villagers downhill,to keep wild elephants away from their fields, it was a bit of tensed moment ,We were ready to run in case we come across one 😦 After a long 4hrs of climb we reached our last point. It was a small farm house. From there we got a jeep trial and start following it. It was straight path which was easy to cover. Within some time we reach Bhagamandala (place from where we started our journey), from where were supposed to catch our vehicle.
We all reached where our destination ends took our vehicle and started our journey back .It was an amazing experience, an experience which one can never forget, it was tough but I have no regrets, as I witness a beautiful forest and deep valleys. We started our journey back towards Bangalore. We reached Bangalore early morning.
Photo credits goes to our fellow trekker who capture these amazing moments. 🙂
It was truly a trek to remember 🙂