Tag Archives: trekking

Wayanad – A Trip To God’s Own Country!

I, along with four of my friends, planned a two-day trip to Wayanad and when the day arrived we were more than excited! We had booked an Innova and started off from Bangalore by 4 pm. We couldn’t take the shorter Bandipur route as it was almost time for closing. So, by the time we reached our homestay in Wayanad, it was almost 1 am, including the time we lost taking wrong roads. But, we hardly realised it as we were deeply involved in enjoying the exhilarating views of the winding roads through out the journey. We even spotted elephants on the sides of the road!

Homestay:

The homestay ‘Marsim Holiday Homes’ was in Vythiri and the care-taker Ismail gave us a warm welcome even during those late hours. He took us to the cottage we had booked, which was a 2BHK that costs around 3500/day. The rooms were neatly maintained, cozy and gave us the warmth of staying at home. We woke up early next day to check out the views around the homestay and were astound to find lush greenery and a river flowing its way beside the homestay! The fog, the green environment and the chillness reminded us that there was a reason for calling the place as God’s own country! There is also a hotel managed by Marsim Holiday Homes, which is very close to the stay with reasonable pricing.

Marsim Holiday HomesMarsim Holiday HomesMarsim Holiday Homes

We spent few minutes to capture memories of the place and finally got ready by 9 am to start our adventurous trip to Chembra Peak!

Day 1:

Chembra Peak:

It was approximately 27kms away from our stay and it took around one hour to reach the car parking. It costs Rs.750 for a group to trek and they also send a guide with us. Trekkers are not allowed after 2 pm. It takes almost two hours to reach the peak which is a 2.5km trek. We are initially welcomed by a trek through forest and the path becomes steeper as we go. And, at the end we were almost climbing our way through the rocks in the mountain. Everything, from the short fresh water stream that crossed our way to the astounding views from every direction, helped us get back our lost stamina. Yet, water bottles and glucose are a must! There is a heart- shaped lake which is a picturesque spot and once we climb a little more we reach the peak and we are presented with a breath-taking view, that gives instant peace to our mind and helps us forget the rough trek! We spent half an hour completely immersed in the view and finally started our trek back down to the place we started, which took around 1.5 hours. This was equally challenging considering the steep paths we had taken while climbing! On the whole it was one of the best trekking experience we had ever had!

Chembra Peak Chembra Peak Chembra Peak Chembra Peak Chembra Peak - Heart shaped lakeChembra Peak Chembra Peak

We had our lunch in a hotel at the entrance of the peak and started our travel towards our next destination – Soochipara falls!

Soochipara falls:

It took an hour for us to reach Soochipara from Chembra Peak (approx. 13 km). We have to take a really steep and a km long path from the parking and through out the way we hardly get a glimpse of the falls. Once we reach the end of the tiresome walk we are gifted with the appealing view of the beautiful falls. We can spend hours by just watching the falls. As it falls with a great force, girls are not allowed to get close to it and were allowed to spend time in the pools created by the flow of the water. The water is super-chill and the rocks inside the pools are  too much slippery. One cannot come out without falling even once. It also has sharp rocks, so one should be very cautious while walking their way across the water, especially towards the falls. We spent an hour in the falls until the closing time. It was yet another wonderful experience for the day! There is a room for changing clothes but it is nowhere near to the falls. We need to walk back to the entrance for it and is also poorly maintained. So, we had to reach back our homestay with shivers.

Soochipara Falls

Day 2:

Pookode lake:

The next day we planned to visit Pookode lake which was very close to our stay (approx 3 km). It was a pleasant place to spend time. It took around twenty minutes to get an entry and wait for our turn for the boat. They give us thirty minutes of a memorable experience around the approximately 40-feet lake. The greenery, water lilies, water birds and the stunning view of the lake takes our mind off from everything else. Few other attractions include an aquarium, magic mirrors, children’s park and a fish spa.

Pookode Lake

After spending an hour over there, we started our journey towards our final stop in Wayanad – The Edakkal caves!

Edakkal Caves:

It was an hour’s travel from Vythiri (approx. 40 km). It was another trekking experience, except that this had steps after a particular point. The path was overall quite steep, but even aged people were walking enthusiastically. After a 20-minutes walk over the steep path, it takes another twenty minutes to take the stairs and reach the caves above. It is quite a big cave with pre-historic carvings nearly all over the walls. We can spend a maximum of 15 to 20 minutes. It takes around twenty minutes to reach all the way down to the entrance. The main attraction was the cave, the trek experience and the historical importance of the place.

Edakkal Caves Edakkal Caves Edakkal Caves - Pre-historic Carvings

And, with that we made our way back to Bangalore, took Bandipur route and reached around 10 pm. We were lucky enough to spot bisons, deers and elephant enroute, which gave us an experience of a safari ride!

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Important points to note:

1) Try starting early in the morning and finish the trek before afternoon to avoid a sunny trek.
2) Don’t carry too many luggages
3) Carry water bottles, glucose and snacks
4) Have your caps and sunscreens
5) Carry a first aid kit, though may not be necessary all the time.
6) Wear shoes

Marsim Holiday Homes:

1 km-Pozhuthana Road (Banasura Sagar Dam Road)
Vythiri, Wayanad.
Contact: Ismail N.P. (091-9744584240)

Happy Travelling! 😀

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Antaragange Trekking – An adventurous trip!

I, along with three of my friends, planned to visit Antaragange after a few positive reviews and suggestions from our colleagues.

On 7 Aug 2016, we boarded a bus to Kolar around 10 am from Kempegowda Bus Station (Terminal 3). Kolar is approximately 60 kms away from Bengaluru. It was a normal boring journey until we entered the Kolar district. Kolar invited us with beautiful hillocks which looked more like pebbles glued together, unlike regular range of mountains. We were looking at them awe-struck and hoping how adventurous would it be if we could climb or trek on one of them, completely unaware that the rest of our day was on one of these beautiful hills!

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We reached Kolar around 12 noon and took an auto to Antaragange, which was a short 5 min journey. Once we get down at the entrance, we climbed a few hundred stairs (approx. 10 min walk) to the temple at the top. Though the pathway was steep, we never realised it, thanks to the lush greenery and with beautiful butterflies distracting us. There are few benches and rocks where we could rest.

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At the top, we were warmly welcomed by a large troop of monkeys. People around there had spoiled the monkeys by offering snacks. So, they had started mugging from everyone who doesn’t offer them any. Particularly, if you happen to wear a bag or have something in your hands, be prepared for an attack! The older monkeys hardly move. But, the area has an alarmingly large number of young monkeys, which most often, play among themselves but occasionally tries to jump on us when they get bored!

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The temple looked quite small but with a powerful deity, Lord Siva.

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There was a poorly maintained temple tank/pond and near that was the main attraction of the temple, a perennial water flow in between two ‘Nandi’ (Bull) statues. The water is pure and drinkable. We loaded our bottles with the water and prepared for the awesome trek!

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The entrance of the trekking path was guarded by trees and we started our journey with nature by walking beneath the low branches.

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With a few steps and a climb over a rock, we arrived at an open space. From there, the path was completely filled with rocks. We had to carefully climb on the rocks to move forward. There were few stone steps now and then, but only near the mouth of the mountain. The path was also filled with thorny bushes everywhere. So, better take necessary first aids! It is impossible to trek at one stretch. There are many big boulders near which we can rest and have our snacks. Good thing was, there were no monkeys in the entire trekking path. The mountain was very steep and careful steps are required to avoid accidental slips and leg sprains. Though it is required to concentrate on moving forward, it is also equally important to look back and get stunned by the awesome city view. The scattered hills, literally, look like floating islands. There are many such view points and picturesque spots which are worth the tiresome trekking.

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It took around 45 minutes to reach the main attraction of the trek – Caves! There are two caves which could be explored ONLY with the help of a local guide. A guide offered to help explore the caves for Rs.200. For the first cave, there were two entrances. One, was a two-way journey – we enter and exit through the same path and the other was a one-way journey which would bring us out to the place we started through a different path. We took the latter. When I say caves, never assume it as a dark open walk-able area! These caves are a formation by huge boulders stacked upon one another.

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Every step needs ourselves to be squeezed and stretched. Sometimes, we have to climb few rocks and sometimes we have to slide across them. The most important part was to know where to place our legs and where to push ourselves into as there were only small spaces. Luckily, our guide helped us with clear instructions. Every step through the cave was challenging and adventurous! It grows dark once we get deeper into the cave. We could only see the silhouettes of the rocks with the very limited sun lights gushing through some holes in the cave. So, a flashlight is a must! After squeezing ourselves through the rocks, we finally reached the centre of the cave – a relatively bigger place to stand! From there we again climbed through the rocks and came out of the cave and it was great to see the scenic view again after long periods of darkness! It took almost 1 hour to complete our journey through the first cave, mostly due to the fact that we were four members.

Then we made our journey to the second cave which was near to the first one.

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This cave is very small and narrow. Only three people at a time can go inside. People who had already explored the cave warned us that once inside, it is either do or die and there won’t be any place for second thoughts. We took their words as a challenge and entered into the cave, thirsty for a new challenging adventure! We had to squeeze ourselves even more than the first cave. There was only one place where we were able to stand and after that all we could do was either bending or crawling. It becomes pitch dark within moments we enter into the cave. Without flashlight there is no way to move forward as even the rocks disappear in the darkness. With few crawls and climbs, we were able to get to the main attraction of that cave – a small water body. This is actually the water that flows to the Nandi (Bull) statues in the temple. It is difficult even for two people to sit near that water flow. The silent pitch darkness with only the sound of the water flowing, gave us an inexplicable experience! The water was refreshing and even more tastier than the one at the temple.

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After spending few minutes enjoying the moment, we had to squeeze ourselves back to the mouth of the cave. We completed the second cave in less than 20 minutes.

We started trekking downhill and as the hill is quite steep, we need to have a control over our pace. We reached the mouth of the mountain in 25 minutes and successfully completed our adventurous trek!

We took an auto back to the Kolar bus stand and boarded a bus to Bengaluru.

Points to remember:

  • Try starting early in the morning and finish the trek before afternoon to avoid a sunny trek. It takes approximately 4 hours for the trek & cave experiences. So, plan your trip accordingly.
  • Don’t carry too many luggage
  • Carry water bottles and snacks
  • Have your caps and sunscreens
  • Carry a first aid kit, though may not be necessary all the time.
  • Wear shoes
  • A flash light is a must
  • Not many shops are available near Antaragange. So, bring your own food or get a parcel at the Kolar bus station.
  • Come in groups, especially someone strong should be there to help pulling others up the boulders inside the cave. If you are a group of girls, it is always better to bring few guy friends to feel safe.
  • Most important! – Never forget to enjoy the views and take snaps! 🙂

Antaragange trekking is a must see and I’m always going to suggest it to others.

Please post in your comments and let me know if you have any queries or experiences to share.

Happy Trekking! 🙂