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Old 16th January 2016, 18:21   #1
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Default Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)

Hello fellow BHPians, this is my first post in the forum for I have been a mute spectator here for over a year. There were multiple instances where I thought about writing, but never really had the patience to do so. Thanks to the long weekend, I finally decided to share my experience about the trek I had been to, last weekend, i.e. on 9th of this month.

Its been a year since engineering days were over and pretty much all my friends were busy with their life, including me that is. The idea of going on a trip though planned several times, never really happened because of reasons that mostly happened to be lame! And then, everything changed when a friend posted this image in our whatsapp group!

Tadiyandamol peak. Source: Google images

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Having spent 4 years in Mysore for Engineering with numerous trips around that place, Coorg was no stranger to us. We had covered almost all the places in Coorg district in those 4 years, but Tadiyandamol was one place that we hadn’t conquered. So after a long discussion, ut of the 9 of us, only 4 agreed on going on this quest and the rest chickened out, but nevertheless, we didn't want to cancel the trip and so, the planning phase began.

From a reliable web source, we came to know that the trek was supposed to be relatively simpler compared to other destinations in Karnataka, like the Kumara Paravatha trek. If one were to trek from the base (there's an old palace called "nalknad palace" for reference), it is about 7-8kms to the peak, but it also said that the roads were still motarable for 2-3 kms, provided you had your own vehicle, so the actual trek would come to about 4.5kms.
We initially planned on renting a car, but soon realised one of us had bought his car, tallboy WagonR from his hometown! Phew, Lot of bucks saved! Rented a tent suitable for the four of us, sleeping bags, a portable burner, bought some ration required, chocolates, glucose, lot of packaged mineral water, yep, we were gonna camp there! The route to the base of tadiyandamol from Bangalore:

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-capture.jpg

Plan was to leave Bengaluru at 0600hrs on Saturday, the 9th of January, reach Mysore at 0900hrs, refresh our memories from the engineering days, leave at 1100hrs from mysore, reach the base at 1400hrs, trek 4.5 kms, reach the top at around 1700hrs, camp there, spend the night, get up, watch sunrise, snap some pictures, descend from the peak, return Bengaluru at 2000hrs on Sunday after taking a slight detour towards Cheluvaraya falls near the palace! But things don’t always go according to plan now, does it? More about that later.


We left according to the plan. First checkpoint: Mysore. The Bengaluru-Mysore road is all too familiar to us, crowded roads with tons of speed breakers, but to our surprise many of the speed breakers which were previously there, were now removed.

Fun fact: What happens when you catch you the best people after a long time?
Answer, Music system never turns on in the car, instead endless catching up for hours together!

We reached mysore on time, couple of stops here and then, finished up the work we had there, and headed back towards our destination. The road from Hunsur to Virajpet was simply marvellous! Two lanes, smooth tarmac, non-existent traffic and excellent surrounding view to sum it up! Here are some shots of it:

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-road1.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-road2.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-road3.jpg

The tallboy!

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-road4.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-road5.jpg


Since the road also goes via a reserve forest, Nagarhole i guess, we were lucky enough to spot a number of elephants. Boy, they are majestic and magnificent creatures.

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-elephant.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-elephant2.jpg

But 20 kms to Gonikoppal, and 50kms to actual destination, this happens:

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-car_broke.jpg

About 2 kms before our car broke down, we could sense a foul burning smell entering the cabin, but chose to ignore it as there were parts of forest which had burnt and we thought of that as the source. But then, smoke started coming out from under the bonnet, over temperature MIL lamp suddenly starts blinking in the instrument cluster!! We parked the car, and tried to assess the situation, opened the bonnet and to our horror, the engine coolant level was absolute ZERO! The engine bay didn’t look wet, nor were there signs of any leakage, and yet, the coolant was nill. Luckily, there was a petrol bunk nearby and we purchased suitable coolant, started the car, and refilled the coolant, waited for several minutes to check if there was any leakage, but there was none!! It was really weird, what had happened to the earlier coolant.
Anyways, we start our journey back and to our surprise, the same thing happened after just 5kms!! This time however, there was massive spill in the engine bay, the coolant was splashed literally everywhere on the engine, but even after checking for a long time, we couldn’t spot the source of the leak! It was clear the car couldn’t go anywhere without help.


We called up Maruti customer care and they routed us to the nearest service station, i.e. Mandovi motors in Gonikoppal (15kms from our position). Upon checking with the service station, they assured us they would send a towing vehicle in an hour, (Called up at 1310hrs, it was lunch break until 1400hrs). We waited till 1340hrs, and it was then that we realised we had lost radio reception on all our phones and no matter what we tried; we couldn’t get the reception back and there was no way we could contact the service station. The trek was already looking in jeopardy. But we made a pact among ourselves, ”No matter what happens, we are completing this mission ” and so we start the engine, fill good old coolant liquid; the water in the coolant bay, and slowly start moving the car, kept the speed as minimal as possible while continuously checking for over heat MIL lamp in the instrument cluster. How we missed having a proper temperature gauge in that situation! Sad most OEMs choose to not include this on all their cars! Anyways, the roads also helped as there were a lots of ups and downs, the latter being more, we would switch off the engine if there was no oncoming traffic and if the roads were straight. After a couple of rounds of warning lamp --> stop the car -->let the engine cool --> fill water -->drive, we finally reached the service station at 1500hrs with the car in one-piece.


The service guys checked for the leak by using water as coolant and they were able to spot it. Apparently, the pipe hose around a joint had developed rust and it had resulted in a small crack. I could not take a picture of it, as it was very difficult to see for the naked eye itself in all that mess.

It was difficult for me to understand the situation: How can a coolant pipe fail in a vehicle which was 4 years old, just 42k kms on the ODO, sure my friend had missed the routine 40k service interval 2k kms and the car was mostly used in the coastal region, but still it was unable to digest the fact that a coolant pipe that too in a Maruti WagonR had failed!
Gurus, can you enlighten me on this?


To add to our problems, there was no stock of that part in the service station and they said they would have to get it from Mysore. Errrr!!! We told them our situation, and they promised to get the part from Mysore by that day and get the vehicle ready by Sunday afternoon. So we bid adieu to our companion, the tallboy and continued towards the destination at 1530hrs. And after lot of stress and trouble with all that luggage, we reached the base near the palace at 1700hrs.


Since, we had no vehicle, we had to trek the first 3 kms on the tarmac! It was sure that to reach the peak, we would have to do it without sunlight in the night! Risky, true, but we were desperate to reach the peak! Half an hour into the trek, we get lucky and get a ride to the actual base for trekking in a Mahindra Jeep! But turns out, they were working for the forest department and they said no one is allowed to trek or camp at the top after 1800hrs! This was a new rule which was enforced recently they said, we couldn’t argue with them, but at least the view from the base was good and we found a nice place to set up our tent and we decided to do the trek early in the morning and reach the top by sunrise.

The jeep: Damn that FZ, of what would otherwise have been a perfect shot

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-jeep1.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-jeep2.jpg

View from the camp:

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-base1.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-base2.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-base3.jpg


We partied hard but enjoyed the view better. It was so beautiful out there, to simply sit and watch the beautiful sky, see all those stars shining at us, so many falling stars as well, (saw atleast 5 or 6), I wish I had captured the night sky with all those wonderful stars, but decided not to ruin the moment, for I was completely indulged in that moment to actually go and get the camera. Finally at about 0000 hrs Sunday midnight, decided it was time to sleep in order to get up soon. It was very cold, mind you, but the tent and the sleeping bag did a pretty good job cocooning the four of us.

The bonfire:

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-fire.jpg

So we got up at 0300hrs in the morning, packed up all the stuff and started ascending towards the peak at 0345 hrs. It was obviously dark and we had no idea what lay ahead of us, except for the path enlightened by the torches. The first km was like walk in the park, the inclination was literally non existent, but past that it started to incline at an exponential rate! The inclined path just wouldn't end, but because it was night and cold, the tiredness was kinda controlled. Had it been trekking under direct sunlight, the case would have been different. Finally after 2 hours of trekking, we reached the peak at 0545 hrs, still dark, no hint of Sunlight yet, Perfect! We had made it despite of all the problems faced, it was a great feeling of accomplishment. However, it was freaking cold out there, mind you, we were all tired and our muscles were aching, yet the cold had forced our natural thermostat to switch on, our muscles though tired were twitching continuously, only making the pain worse. Setting up the tent was the only solution, which we did amidst all that wind (which was crazy fast), but in the end, it did help us to keep our body temperature controlled.

Slowly yet surely, the light begins to take over the dark sky, we all come out of the tent, I run around to set up the camera! And then we see it... the view... the mesmerizing sunrise.. the mountains.. the clouds.. the fog.. it was all clear to us.. to our eyes.. When you trek for hours, reach the peak and end up seeing such breathtaking view, you realize that your fatigue is all but gone and what remains is a wide grin on your face. We didn't speak to each other, we didn't shout, "wow" or "awesome", we just stood there, smiled at each other, and became one with the nature! And suddenly we also realized, we were no longer shivering, it had stopped, it was still very cold, but the twitching has stopped, 'Mind over matter' people! I will now let the pictures do the talking, these pictures though good, cannot possibly portray what our eyes had seen!

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-peak1.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-peak2.jpg

Couldn't figure out of that is a star or a planet, nevertheless looks stunning!

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-peak3.jpg

The tent!

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-peak_camp_sun.jpg

My phone Oneplus 2 also sees pretty well

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-peak_oneplus.jpg

The four idiots:

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-peak_team.jpg

The sun then took over entire night sky, we made tea and maggi, had it, yep, pretty much the best breakfast I have had Because of the hunger that is. Couple of shots in the morning:

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-peak4.jpg

Clear view of the tent:

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-peak_camp.jpg

And then there was this wonderful companion!! He came to us looking for food the previous night where we had camped, we gave him some food. The next day when we started to trek, he followed us to the peak!! Dog is truly a man's best friend.

Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)-dog.jpg

It was 0900 hrs when we started to descend the peak, and only then we could see the path we had taken, some being extremely dangerous! Thank god, we couldn't see that while climbing or our confidence would have come down.
We encountered a lot of fellow trekkers while coming down, and I actually felt sorry for them, as they wouldn't be able to see what we saw at that time of the day. Anyways, we reached the foothill i.e. at the nalknad palace at 1100 hrs. But all this time only one thing was running on our mind, please God, let tallboy be fine and ready!! We called up the service manager at 1200 hrs once we got network, and nope... the vehicle wasn't ready. They were still waiting on that part to come, we told him our situation, on how we had to travel 200 kms to reach bengaluru, our home. He assured us he would get the vehicle ready somehow.We reached the service station at 1400 hrs after finishing lunch. The service manager personally comes to us, tells us they couldn't get the part but they were providing an alternate solution i.e. they welded the part and got the crack fixed. He assured us again, that we could take the car at max 1600 hrs and asked us to rest up in the customer lounge.

As promised, we got the vehicle at 1600 hrs. Truly Maruti suzuki is known for their customer service! we were happy with the job done, and it didn't cost much for the repair as well! We thanked the technicians and the managers profusely for fixing the car on such a short notice. And then we headed back to Bengaluru, to the same old traffic ridden city!

It was about 2330 hrs when I reached home and as I went to bed, I couldn't help but thank the higher being, for having made me born in this wonderful country, a country with such diversity, surrounded by countless places filled with absolute beauty, places which will take forever to cover in a lifetime. It is truly worthy of the name, "Incredible India"!

Thank you for reading.

Regards,

Niteesh Midlagajni a.k.a Teesh@BHP

Last edited by Technocrat : 21st January 2016 at 01:44. Reason: Removing Extra Smileys
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Old 17th January 2016, 19:24   #2
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Default re: Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)

Wonderful.
The beauty of the morning rays up there is so nice, and thanks for the pics.

I have been up there, but never dared so early
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Old 17th January 2016, 22:13   #3
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Great trek Teesh. Good that Tallboy accompanied you without any further hindrance. Tantalising pictures indeed
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Old 17th January 2016, 22:28   #4
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May be you should to try it once that early, the experience is totally worth it
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Old 18th January 2016, 11:06   #5
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)

Mesmerising beauty, what a location! Very well written too. Thanks for sharing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teesh@BHP View Post
How we missed having a proper temperature gauge in that situation! Sad most OEMs choose to not include this on all their cars!
I hear you, I hear you - related poll (Good 'ol Temperature Gauge : Yes or No?).

Quote:
It was difficult for me to understand the situation: How can a coolant pipe fail in a vehicle which was 4 years old, just 42k kms on the ODO
Poor quality, nothing else. Has to be a bad batch as the WagonR is otherwise known for impeccable reliability.
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Old 18th January 2016, 16:18   #6
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)

Teesh@BHP, fantastic depiction of your conquering of Tadiandamol.

The build up to your story is also quite nice enough suspense, esp the failure of the " Tall Boy" & all that.

The jewel of the crown are the photographs at the peak. These are absolutely stunning & gives the viewer an idea of the divine sight on offer. Many Congratulations to you on this !

Keep trekking & clicking !!!
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Old 18th January 2016, 16:24   #7
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)

Welcome to TBHP Niteesh. Brilliant hues of colours. Great photographs. fresh writeup.
The challenge the car posed makes the trip even more sweet i presume.
All the best for many more.

on a lighter note - in one of the snaps, the comrade's pants are slipping down. maybe a belt would help hold it steadfast
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Old 18th January 2016, 19:31   #8
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Originally Posted by FuelInjector View Post
The challenge the car posed makes the trip even more sweet i presume.
It indeed did! We did miss tallboy at the camp though. Could have captured him in that awesome background!

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Originally Posted by FuelInjector View Post
The comrade's pants are slipping down. maybe a belt would help hold it steadfast
Well, we at least got him to wear the seat-'belt'!
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Old 19th January 2016, 00:22   #9
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Originally Posted by Teesh@BHP View Post
Anyways, the roads also helped as there were a lots of ups and downs, the latter being more, we would switch off the engine if there was no oncoming traffic
Excellent T'Logue and beautiful pictures. A bad break in a road trip like this is definitely a turn off! Glad that you were determined to continue.

However, I felt its dangerous to turn off engine on a declining road as the brakes and steering become tight. Given your situation, I can sense that this might have been your best option at that point of time, but still...
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Old 19th January 2016, 10:57   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabrielthomas View Post
Excellent T'Logue and beautiful pictures. A bad break in a road trip like this is definitely a turn off! Glad that you were determined to continue.

However, I felt its dangerous to turn off engine on a declining road as the brakes and steering become tight. Given your situation, I can sense that this might have been your best option at that point of time, but still...
Thanks a lot!

And yes, it was dangerous, but it was more like taking 'calculated risks', considering the fact that we would switch of the ignition only in straight roads. Also, the brake booster generally has enough vacuum to assist braking for two times when the engine is switched off, that was also carefully used Quite an experience it turned out to be in the end!
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Old 19th January 2016, 12:20   #11
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)

Very well written travelogue with beautiful pictures. Rightly said, our great nation has so many hidden gem of places.

Thanks for that "temperature gauge" pointer as well.
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Old 20th January 2016, 12:19   #12
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Excellent write up and beautiful photos too..

Tadiandamol is indeed a beautiful place and still relatively untouched by the tourism boom that Coorg is witnessing. May be because its a trekking spot and is not easy to access. Only enthusiast like us appreciate the hard effort.

I had been to Tadiandamol in 2002 and can't stop comparing my trip to yours.

We had hired a TT and started from Bangalore at 09:30 PM and idea was to reach Tadiandamol base at 3:00 AM. TT broke down and got it fixed, driver lost the way and found the way again. Finally reached the base at 5:00 AM and literally ran up all the way to see the Sunrise. Beautiful it was and damn cold.

Did you encounter any problems with insects there. When I went and also few others have told me. There were hundreds of thousands of very tiny flying insects in the air, especially in the fog. It was literally entering into our mouth, ears and nose. Had to run down to safety.

Regards
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Old 20th January 2016, 20:29   #13
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)

Hi Teesh,

Indeed a simple yet wonderful travel log.

My friends and I are now planning to visit the place.

Is there anyway I can contact you to get more details about the travel and stay etc ?
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Old 21st January 2016, 10:12   #14
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Excellent write up and beautiful photos too..
============
Did you encounter any problems with insects there. When I went and also few others have told me. There were hundreds of thousands of very tiny flying insects in the air, especially in the fog. It was literally entering into our mouth, ears and nose. Had to run down to safety.

Regards
Quite interesting indeed. And no, we didn't face any problem with respect to insects out there. I am guessing you did the trek during rainy season, is that right?

Quote:
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Hi Teesh,

Indeed a simple yet wonderful travel log.

My friends and I are now planning to visit the place.

Is there anyway I can contact you to get more details about the travel and stay etc ?
Sure, you can search for Niteesh Midlagajni on facebook, and drop a message there. I will be happy to help you out!
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Old 21st January 2016, 12:48   #15
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Tadiandamol Trek (Karnataka)

Teesh, for a first travelogue very well written indeed. Wonderful pictures of the Sunrise and the surroundings. Write more often.
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