Monday 27 February 2017

Travel diaries : Kudremukh trek

I can't believe it has been 3 months since this trek, and being the master procrastinator that I am (read A procrastinator's mind to know why), I am finally considering writing about it today.

Well as I already mentioned, three months ago, on the 25th of November, I set out for a trek to Kudremukh. As was the case with my last trek to Tadiyandamol (Travel diaries : Tadiyandamol trek, Coorg), I was with the Bangalore mountaineering club again. Their bus reached the Lifestyle signal at around 10:15 PM, and we were off. The number of participants were considerably more this time around (around 25 I think, as compared to around 13 to Tadiyandamol), and hence, we were 2 mini buses full.

We reached Balagel at around 6:45 AM. From this point onwards, jeeps took us to the Mullodi village through a raw trail, which is the starting point for the trek. 

It was actually quite cold, and my pullover wasn't proving to be enough. Fighting cold and the bumpy ride, we reached Satish's guest house in Mullodi in about half an hour. 

This is where we would spend the night after the trek, so we dumped our luggage in a couple of rooms, freshened up a little, changed into lighter clothes, and sorted out only the bare necessities to carry with us to the peak (stuff like ample water, flashlight, rain coat, lunch provided by BMC, and my camera). The temperature was still below our comfort zone, and the water very chilled. But some hot tea and idlis helped a great deal. By 9 O'clock, all of us were ready. We gathered at the frontyard or a brief intro amongst ourselves and a few instructions by the trek leaders, and we were off!

The initial 3-4 kms was just like walking on flat land. We passed through patches of forests and waterfalls. After about an hour's trek though, the vegetation almost disappears, and we were under the open sky, with only calf length grass at best. Meanwhile the sun was beating down on us harder every passing minute, and there were no traces of the cold morning air whatsoever. The landscape was beautiful though, and that kept me going all through out.

The path gets gradually steeper from here. Even though it is moderately steep, the harsh sun was draining us quite fast. Thankfully, patches of forest cover with waterfalls, even though quite sparse now, keep appearing as if by magic, and the cold water feels like an elixir, rejuvenating us from time to time.

A couple of hours into the trek, the vegetation thins further, and there are hardly any trees from here on.

Even though the landscape is barren, the view is stunning from any point in the trek. A few of my companions were obviously tiring, and honestly even I was. But at every point, I would push myself to go a little further, telling myself that the higher I reach, the better the views I'll be able to capture. So I soldiered on.

The most exhausting was probably the last 20 minutes of the trek. From this point, we could see the peak, tantalisingly close, yet ominous, as something in us made us realise at that point, how tired we were. I knew that if I sat down then, it would take me ten times the effort to carry myself through to the end. So I didn't stop, and kept going, and sat down only when I reached the top, 3 and a half hours after starting from the base point.  

As I was there before the others, I clicked a few photos from the peak, and it was beautiful. Add to it, the feeling of conquering the peak, and it all felt surreal.

Well, there I am posing at the top!

About a dozen others reached soon enough, and we had lunch sitting at the top. The other dozen or so were far behind, so we had a lot of time to kill. There was no respite from the 1:30 PM sun, but I decided to just lay down for a bit no matter what. 

The descent was pretty smooth too. We stopped a bit for water wherever we would find a source, but kept marching on. Just before reaching the homestay, we found a stream, where we relaxed for about half an hour. By the time we reached the base point, it was almost 5 PM. Tea and snacks were ready for us, and we gobbled up everything we could lay our hands on. We freshened up one by one and soon it was dark.

Dinner was served a couple of hours later, and the food was pretty good. A campfire was also set up, and we warmed ourselves sitting close to it (ya, it was that cold again!).

A few tents were set up for us to sleep, but thinking it might be cold outside, I decided to sleep in the homestay's attic, without a sleeping bag. BAD DECISION! It was really cold at night. The people sleeping in the tents spent the night comfortably.

The next morning, we woke up at around 5 AM and freshened up before there would be a rush to us the bathroom. Plan successful this time! Then we made a trip to a nearby waterfall about 5 minutes walk away. The water was too cold in the morning, so I decided to utilise the trip to click photographs instead. I did not have a tripod then, so I clicked a few hand held long exposure shots. They came out pretty good, but I do wish I had a tripod.

Soon it was time to leave. The jeeps again dropped us to Balegal. By around noon, we made our way back to Bangalore. We had self sponsored lunch on the way, and reached Bangalore by around 8 PM.

This trek was a great experience for me as it further enhanced my love for treks. The sheer, raw beauty of nature is so invigorating to the soul, that I now I feel compelled to go for more and more treks. A couple of weeks later, I went for another trek to Top station, Munnar. A post about that will come up shortly.


  1. The third picture is stunning. such expansive views...looks like a postcard. Beautiful

    1. thank you so much. love your work on Jaipur :)