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Old 22nd September 2010, 16:30   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Kudremukha is more of a biker's paradise, especially when one bikes it up from Bajagoli. Oh man, those roads are terrific. Nostalgia. Nostalgia. Happy to see all those photos Addy.
How is the route between Mudigere and Kudremukha? Especially between Kalasa and Kudremukha? Any idea about the road condition from Kalasa to Horanadu?

Road conditions were good generally. Mudigere-Kottigehara-Baalur-Javali-Hirebailu stretch was good. Hirebailu-Kalasa was rough until a few kms before Kalasa. Kalasa-Hornadu is decent. Kalasa-Kudremukh road is very good. Overall, the route is good except for a couple of bad stretches.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 17:15   #17
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After that beautiful stretch of road we saw board indicating direction to Lakya Dam. This dam is called a Pollution Control Dam. I was thinking “What the hell is a pollution control dam?” It was only after we reached the dam did we get the meaning of that. Unlike other dams, this dam does not hold water. This was actually built KIOCL to dump the waste generated in processing iron ore. So, all it holds is the sludge from the KIOCL plant. The sludge is dumped here through a pipeline.

The 'backwaters' of Lakya Dam
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-150.jpg
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Info about Lakya dam
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View of the Plant from the dam
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Views around the dam
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By the time we left the dam, it was lunch time and we headed to the Kudremukh township for lunch. We also had to get permission for the next day's trek from the forest office which was located in the township. Once we entered the township, we headed directly to the Forest office only to see that the officer was not available. A clerk there suggested us to come after lunch and so we went to the KIOCL guest house to have lunch.

Kudremukh market
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-175.jpg

After lunch we went to the forest office and finally secured permission after paying the prescribed fees. We were to proceed to a village named Mullodi and take a guide with us from there. We are not allowed to go into the National Park with a guide. The forest dept was supposed to provide us a guide, but due to the shortage of staff, they had arrangements with localites to guide trekkers. Another alternative is, if you reach the Kudremukh checkpost early in the morning, the officer at the checkpost will issue a permission letter and you don’t have to go all the way to the office in the township.

List of wanted Naxalites.
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-178.jpg

This was pasted on the Forest office wall. I have seen this exact same poster on the walls of Mittal Towers on MG Road in Bangalore. Anybody know the reason why only Mittal Towers was selected in Bangalore?

The permission letter
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-573.jpg

Outside the forest office
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-179.jpg

After getting permission, we started back to Horanadu.

Hanging bridge over the river Bhadra. Notice the bike going on it. It was scary to walk on that bridge I wonder how that bike guy was riding there

Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-181.jpg
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Bhadra river
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We headed back to Horanadu and settled down in a lodge owned by my friend’s cousin. All our plans of staying in the estate were now changed and we had to leave Hornadu early next morning to Kalasa and catch a bus to Baalgal (the starting point for our trek). Baalgal is just after Samse and before the Kudremukh check post. We planned to leave the car in Kalasa near an acquaintance’s place. This was the plan for the next day. We still had some time to spend this day and went to the estate. After visiting a waterfall in the estate, we went on a drive on a new road which had recently been laid.

Apparently, this was a new road to Sringeri. Sringeri is approximately 45 kms from Horanadu. This new road cuts the distance by 20 kms and goes via Balige and Kyathanamakki hamlets. The road passes through naxal infested areas and is still to be completed. It was done upto a point called Vighneshwara Katte. Apparently, the dreaded naxalite Saketh Rajan was killed in an encounter at this point.

We took this road till Vighneshwara Katte. It was pretty steep in a couple of places but my swift could handle them easily.

The new road
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-201.jpg

Near Balige
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View from balige
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Vigneshwara Katte – The road is done till here. From here it is a dirt road and only jeeps can pass through
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-205.jpg

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House of the Dharmadhikari of the Horanadu Temple. Apparently, it has a three tier security cordon over it and also has watch tower.
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-209.jpg

We were quite scared at Vighneshwara Katte due to the fact that there were no police around and this was supposed to be a high risk area. The locals had warned us that if we ever came in contact with a naxalite, we just had to say that we were tourists and they would not harm us. But, we were in no mood to verify that and we scooted back to Horanadu . In Horanadu, we parked the car at the lodge and went to the temple. We had darshan and went for the Prasada in the dining hall. We had a hearty dinner and then settled for the night thinking about the big day tomorrow.

Continued......

Last edited by addyhemmige : 22nd September 2010 at 17:19. Reason: typo
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Old 22nd September 2010, 17:42   #18
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Hi da

Thanks for that detailed info on getting permissions.
How long is the total trek at Kudremukh and in terms of accomodation, are there any guesthouses/homestays that are available close to Horse Face?? Did you come across any accomodation during your visit there. Also, what are the options for food?

Cheers
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Old 22nd September 2010, 18:48   #19
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Very nice travelogue Addy, Keep it coming, I would revisit kudremukha area anytime in near future.

Ravi.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 18:57   #20
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Hi addy,

nice pictures and travelogue.
i had visited kudremukha way back in 2002, your pictures have motivated me to make a trip, but not sure when ? probably next year manoon season !
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Old 22nd September 2010, 20:38   #21
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Superb 3rd installment of pics.

For lunch you should have tried Hotel Ravi in the market area shown in your photo. A quaint little place but he serves some awesome lunch and bread omlettes for snacks!! May be the next time you visit you can give it a try.

We were tired of the unresponsive guest house staff in the restaurant of Kudremukha guest house. So we tried this place and were surprised at the taste and prompt service provided.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 22:11   #22
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addy, the picture with the Tempo Traveller with the mountains in the background is just beautiful. Shows how tiny the vehicle is in front of these tall hills.

Never visited Kemmangundi, but the pictures you have put has sure made me thinking of visiting this place shortly.
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Old 23rd September 2010, 10:34   #23
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Addy,
Thanks, atlast you have comeup with the thread.
Superb pics and equally good narration
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Old 23rd September 2010, 10:59   #24
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Fantastic snaps Addy, 35, 37, 42, 137, 142! Part 2 snaps - generally very good.

A few questions: Lot of mist snaps. Does this hang around the whole day? Did the sun come out? Because when we went around Chikmagalur/Kemmangundi (around the same area) New Year's day 2010 it was'nt like this. Maybe this is the magic of the photographer and the camera

Btw, the KA road-cribber that I am, we found Hassan-Belur - the best road we have seen in KA south of 13.6 degree. Perfect! Sorry for the OT! Please continue Addy.
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Old 23rd September 2010, 11:11   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subs View Post
Hi da

Thanks for that detailed info on getting permissions.
How long is the total trek at Kudremukh and in terms of accomodation, are there any guesthouses/homestays that are available close to Horse Face?? Did you come across any accomodation during your visit there. Also, what are the options for food?

Cheers
Subs
The trek is 18 kms from the main road, but there is a dirt road which can be used by jeeps upto a village called Mullodi which is around 7 kms. From Mullodi, it is 11 kms to the peak. You can find accomodation in a couple of houses in Mullodi. Details coming up in the next post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravibhat View Post
Very nice travelogue Addy, Keep it coming, I would revisit kudremukha area anytime in near future.

Ravi.
Thank you sir. Please do visit by next month, it will be awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Hi addy,

nice pictures and travelogue.
i had visited kudremukha way back in 2002, your pictures have motivated me to make a trip, but not sure when ? probably next year manoon season !
Actually, monsoon is the best time to visit any part of the western ghats. Please do visit once.
Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
Superb 3rd installment of pics.

For lunch you should have tried Hotel Ravi in the market area shown in your photo. A quaint little place but he serves some awesome lunch and bread omlettes for snacks!! May be the next time you visit you can give it a try.

We were tired of the unresponsive guest house staff in the restaurant of Kudremukha guest house. So we tried this place and were surprised at the taste and prompt service provided.
I never knew about that place. next time I'll surely try it. Thanks for the tip Abhinav

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamdiesel View Post
addy, the picture with the Tempo Traveller with the mountains in the background is just beautiful. Shows how tiny the vehicle is in front of these tall hills.

Never visited Kemmangundi, but the pictures you have put has sure made me thinking of visiting this place shortly.
True, even I thought so. It was a humbling moment. I think you have confused Kudremukh and Kemmangundi. Kemmangundi is in a different direction, but nonetheless, even that is equally beautiful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sushrutha View Post
Addy,
Thanks, atlast you have comeup with the thread.
Superb pics and equally good narration
Thanks Sushrutha. Somehow I managed to put something after days of laziness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeevmenon View Post
Fantastic snaps Addy, 35, 37, 42, 137, 142! Part 2 snaps - generally very good.

A few questions: Lot of mist snaps. Does this hang around the whole day? Did the sun come out? Because when we went around Chikmagalur/Kemmangundi (around the same area) New Year's day 2010 it was'nt like this. Maybe this is the magic of the photographer and the camera

Btw, the KA road-cribber that I am, we found Hassan-Belur - the best road we have seen in KA south of 13.6 degree. Perfect! Sorry for the OT! Please continue Addy.
Thanks Jeev. The mist is a common occurence during this time of the year. Usually it stays for most of the time. In higher altitudes, it stays for almost all the time. Check out pictures of my 2nd trek later (when I post them)

About the road, I wholeheartedly agree with you. The Hassan-Belur Road is one of the best roads in the state along with the Hassan-Mysore and the Mysore-Hunsur stretches.

Last edited by addyhemmige : 23rd September 2010 at 11:20. Reason: Added comment
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Old 23rd September 2010, 11:29   #26
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Hey Addy, Thanks for sharing the trekkalog / travelogue with us. The photos have come out superbly and are showing us how beautiful the W.Ghats will look in the monsoon.

one query, are there any stay options in Kudremukh / Malleshwara ? Is a day trip to Kudremukh from CKM possible ? What will be the distance from HSN to Kudremukh & back ?

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Old 23rd September 2010, 11:41   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajesh K R View Post
Hey Addy, Thanks for sharing the trekkalog / travelogue with us. The photos have come out superbly and are showing us how beautiful the W.Ghats will look in the monsoon.

one query, are there any stay options in Kudremukh / Malleshwara ? Is a day trip to Kudremukh from CKM possible ? What will be the distance from HSN to Kudremukh & back ?
Thanks Rajesh, you can do a day trip from Hassan or Chikmagalur if you leave a bit early. Kudremukh is approx 130 kms from Hassan. For stay in Kudremukh, there is a place called Bhagavati Nature Camp. You may have to contact Kudremukh Range office to secure accommodation. I think this camp comes under Malleshwara range.
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Old 23rd September 2010, 12:49   #28
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Morning in Horanadu
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-218.jpg

Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-219.jpg

We started early from Hornadu and reached Kalasa within 5-10mins. We left the car in Kalasa at an acquaintance’s place and started walking towards the bus stop to catch a bus to Baalgal.

A few good men….
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-222.jpg

Morning in Kalasa
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-224.jpg

Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-226.jpg

We know who’s fan this guy is
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-225.jpg

Distances and directions in Kalasa
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-228.jpg

We reached the bus stop and waited for the bus. The bus which was supposed to come at 8 am came only at 10 and left at 10.30. Our whole schedule was put off by this delay. We had to reach Baalgal and start the trek to Mullodi from where our guide would join us. There is a dirt road all the way to Mullodi, but in this season (monsoon), only jeeps could go on it. Our guide had asked us to hire a jeep to reach Mullodi, but we wanted to trek the whole distance and so did not hire one.


Dozing off while waiting for the bus
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-230.jpg

Where is it? where is that bl***y bus???
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-232.jpg

The view of Kudremukh peak from Kalasa
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-231.jpg

We finally reached Baalgal at 10.45 am. We purchased some arecanut caps (in Kannada, we call it ‘adike patte topi’) in a shop there in case it rained and then started the trek. We passed through many coffee plantations. Also saw a Mini Hydel power project under construction on the way. The total distance to the peak from Baalgal was about 18kms. Mullodi was 7 kms and Kudremukh peak was 11kms from Mullodi.

Trek start point at Baalgal
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-234.jpg

Starting the trek
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Views on the way to Mullodi
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Mini Hydel Power Project (under construction)
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-259.jpg
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Nearing Mullodi…
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Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-268.jpg


While walking on the road, I almost stepped on what I thought as some vine. But as I lifted my foot that vine started moving and that startled me. It was a juvenile Green Vine snake. Ahaetulla nasuta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The snake just moved away from the road and hid itself in the bushes by the road side. Somehow we managed to find it and capture some pictures. It was so camouflaged that one of my friend who came later failed to see the snake inspite of me pointing it out in the bush. That snake just froze stiff. It did not even flinch a bit even when 4 guys started searching for it. That is the defence mechanism they have. If it had moved, it would have given itself away. The only reason I could see it was because, I saw it hiding in the bush. If it just lies still, anyone will think it is just a vine or a blade of grass.

I have also posted these pics on the snakes thread

The Green Vine snake
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-272.jpg

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As we were nearing Mullodi, we saw a stream crossing the road. Just a little bit further, we saw that water was sprouting out of the road. I don’t know if it was a broken pipeline (are there any pipelines there???) but it looked like a birth place of some stream.

Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-294.jpg

Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-295.jpg

Water gushing out in the middle of the road
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-296.jpg
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-kudremukh-297.jpg


Continued.....

Last edited by addyhemmige : 23rd September 2010 at 12:55. Reason: typo
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Old 23rd September 2010, 14:21   #29
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Hey nice pictures. I've been to Kudremukh(actually just crossed it) recently and that place surely is very beautiful. How is the trek difficulty?
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Old 23rd September 2010, 14:32   #30
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addy

nice writeup and nice photos

brings back good memories - my dad was on a Tea and Coffee plantation company near Kalasa around 12-13 years ago.

Another friend of mine owns a few tea and coffee plantations near Bhadra area.

I havent visited Kudremukh area for about 12 years or so - but it is a wild and beautiful place indeed.
Especially now that the KIOCL operations have considerably come down - the environment is getting a chance to regenerate itself.

one of the most amazing engineering marvels of the KIOCL (iron ore company) is the gravity led system of pipelines that they have laid from the mines, through the forests all the way to the Mangalore port!

Last edited by shankar.balan : 23rd September 2010 at 14:35.
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