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Old 3rd November 2010, 16:19   #91
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The Grassland

After some precarious climbing, we reached a grassland surrounded by rocks on top of the ridge. There was no let up from the mist and visibility still remained low. We were supposed to look out for a BSNL Tower located near Manikyadhara Waterfalls. This was supposed to be our landmark and we were to be heading in that direction. But, how do you see a tower some 5-6 kms away when you cannot see even a few feet in front of you??

Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-mbgiri-59.jpg
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We walked for a few minutes and then suddenly realized that we were not walking on any trail. Uh oh!!! Which side do we go now? We completely stopped in our tracks and pondered over which way to go. The other team which knew the route had gone far ahead of us and were not to be seen. It was already 4 pm and it would be dark soon. There was some man made structure to the left of us. It looked like some sort of wall. We first decided to follow the wall and it would have probably led to some sort of civilization. But, then we decided to push ahead and find the actual route.

A little ahead, after climbing a hill, we found the trail. But, this time it was even more confusing. There was not one, but lots of trails parallel to each other. Since all the trails seemed to be going in the same direction, we decided to follow it. These trails were all animal trails mostly frequented by deer (we saw hoof marks all through the way). All this time, we were waiting to catch a glimpse of the BSNL tower so that we could verify that we were on the right track. But, in reality, we had passed close by the tower without even noticing its presence. The visibility was that bad.

This screenshot from wikimapia shows where we passed by the tower. The blue line is the trek route.
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-bsnl.jpg
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We kept on walking and entered a small thicket where the ground was really slushy. Soon after we came out of the thicket, it seemed to us that we had rounded the mountain and made a ‘U’ turn when actually, we did not. We had passed the other group by this time.

Slushy ground near the thicket. Notice the multiple trails
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-mbgiri-71.jpg
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-mbgiri-72.jpg

We spoke to the guy who had come here before and he pointed out that we were on the right track. The other group did not stop and moved on while we took a small break. Meanwhile, the dog which had been following us all the way from Mullayanagiri had ditched us and started following the other group. Well, who would follow some guys who gave some biscuits rather than following people who give chips along with biscuits.

We chatted for a while and had a few dates and were set to reach Manikyadhara in a few minutes. As we moved ahead, the problem of plenty came back. Lots of trails going in all sorts of directions. We kept on going straight when suddenly a few trails started going downhill. The ones going straight were getting narrow. We went a bit ahead and found that the trail was going left. We thought it is just circling back to where we started and came back to where another trail was going downhill.

This was a bad mistake as we were actually on the correct trail, but left it to get on the wrong one. So, downhill we went on the wrong trail. A few minutes later, a dead end!!! Now what do we do? It was almost dark now and we were thinking of pitching our tents there itself. But, the problem was the availability of firewood for cooking food. So, somehow we decided to move on. We came back to where we left the main trail and checked the maps. But, nothing came of it. We simply moved on to and fro on the same trail, but could not find it.

We passed these stones around 4-5 times trying to find the way
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-mbgiri-73.jpg

Then, we decided to move on the trail which went straight ahead and finally hit another grassland. Here too, there was no trail but we could hear the sound of the Manikyadhara waterfalls. Somehow, we went towards the sound and finally found the stream which formed the Manikyadhara Falls. We crossed it and we could see trash, bottles etc on the trail. Now we were sure that we had reached the falls

Just after the stream, we found this snake. My guess is that this is the Indian Shield Tail. Can anyone confirm?
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-mbgiri-74.jpg

We reached Manikyadhara falls shortly and there was a small canteen which was just closing up. We had some tea over there and took some rest. Meanwhile, I went down to see Manikyadhara falls.

Manikyadhara Falls
Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-mbgiri-75.jpg

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We still had to trek 4 kms on a tar road to Bababudangiri and 4 kms from there to Gaalikere (as per our original plan). But, as I have said earlier, nothing ever goes according to plan. It was already dark by the time we left Manikyadhara and our sole aim was to reach Bababudangiri for the night. We thought that if our condition was any better the next morning, we could start for Galikere en route to Kemmangundi.

On the way to Bababudangiri. Oooh, Scary!!

Experiencing the Monsoon - On the Horse Face and on top of KA - A Trekkalog-mbgiri-83.jpg


Continued….

Last edited by addyhemmige : 3rd November 2010 at 16:22.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 16:47   #92
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Thanks Star. These words coming from an accomplished writer such as yourself really mean something. I really admire the way you write your travelogues.

Sure, we can do some shorter treks sometime.
Dear Addy,

I think you too have been very generous with your comments (similar to Laluks). read my thread on "My personal experiences with Social Media" to know a self appraisal of how successful writer i am. I will write about it shortly (before next week end) when i write about my experience in Team BHP.

thanks for your confirmation for shorter treks. let me know when you are planning next time, i can try to include it in my schedules. i will have to pre-warn you, you might have to drag an OLDER (than you) guy along.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 16:47   #93
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A very lovely and tempting travelouge .. Will surely refer this thread when i do a trip to kudremukh. Keep posting.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 18:11   #94
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Awesome pics and very good narration to go with it!! Makes us feel the mist and the chill in the mountains.

You have really had fun in the rain! Getting lost in a misty mountain trail when its getting dark should have been scary.

Waiting for part 4 eagerly!
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Old 4th November 2010, 12:40   #95
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Dear Addy,

I think you too have been very generous with your comments (similar to Laluks). read my thread on "My personal experiences with Social Media" to know a self appraisal of how successful writer i am. I will write about it shortly (before next week end) when i write about my experience in Team BHP.

thanks for your confirmation for shorter treks. let me know when you are planning next time, i can try to include it in my schedules. i will have to pre-warn you, you might have to drag an OLDER (than you) guy along.
Nice info you have put in Star. I'm sure most of us would have had a similar experience with 'social media'

Sure, will do that.

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A very lovely and tempting travelouge .. Will surely refer this thread when i do a trip to kudremukh. Keep posting.
Thanks Mohsin, I hope this travelogue can help you plan your trip.

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Awesome pics and very good narration to go with it!! Makes us feel the mist and the chill in the mountains.

You have really had fun in the rain! Getting lost in a misty mountain trail when its getting dark should have been scary.

Waiting for part 4 eagerly!
Thanks again Abhinav. It was not that scary actually, but it was kind of exciting. We were ready to camp at that very place, but somehow decided against it and moved ahead.
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Old 4th November 2010, 14:45   #96
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We reached Manikyadhara falls shortly and there was a small canteen which was just closing up. We had some tea over there and took some rest. Meanwhile, I went down to see Manikyadhara falls.

Manikyadhara Falls
Addy, the place looks clean as compared to the last time when I visited (or is that because of dense fog that I see it clean).

Clothes, Plactic bags and what not. Though I enjoyed seeing the falls, there was no chance that I could take a shower due to the sheer number of tourists on that day who had already made the place a mess.

Did you try Tea/Coffee along with some hot menasinakaaya bajji at the canteen you mention?

Last edited by paragsachania : 4th November 2010 at 14:58.
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Old 4th November 2010, 15:27   #97
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Addy, the place looks clean as compared to the last time when I visited (or is that because of dense fog that I see it clean).

Clothes, Plactic bags and what not. Though I enjoyed seeing the falls, there was no chance that I could take a shower due to the sheer number of tourists on that day who had already made the place a mess.

Did you try Tea/Coffee along with some hot menasinakaaya bajji at the canteen you mention?
I think the place was clean because the number of visitors during this season is low. Also, I saw that all the plastic bags and cups and other trash was dumped behind the tea stalls. And this trash was pushed till the stream which formed the falls. Basically, the visitors were bathing in water which was mixed in trash.

We reached there almost when it was dark. So, the canteen guy had almost closed up. He prepared some tea for us after we requested him. He also told that he would tell the hotel in Bababudangiri to prepare some food since we were going there. So, no menasinakayi bajji
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Old 4th November 2010, 15:46   #98
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I think the place was clean because the number of visitors during this season is low. Also, I saw that all the plastic bags and cups and other trash was dumped behind the tea stalls. And this trash was pushed till the stream which formed the falls. Basically, the visitors were bathing in water which was mixed in trash.

We reached there almost when it was dark. So, the canteen guy had almost closed up. He prepared some tea for us after we requested him. He also told that he would tell the hotel in Bababudangiri to prepare some food since we were going there. So, no menasinakayi bajji
IIRC it was in 2007 that I went here when the Neelkurinji bloomed in 12 years. We had to walk almost 1.5Kms from the parking area till the falls and all I could see in there was people bathing and also disposing clothes (heard of some ritual here but not entirely sure).

The menasinakaayi bajji along with hot tea/coffee was like an icing on the cake for the kind of weather we it was. Though I hail from Malnad I could still not resist the chill
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Old 4th November 2010, 15:59   #99
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IIRC it was in 2007 that I went here when the Neelkurinji bloomed in 12 years. We had to walk almost 1.5Kms from the parking area till the falls and all I could see in there was people bathing and also disposing clothes (heard of some ritual here but not entirely sure).

The menasinakaayi bajji along with hot tea/coffee was like an icing on the cake for the kind of weather we it was. Though I hail from Malnad I could still not resist the chill
Yes, even I observed that people had discarded their clothes. Could be some ritual. But, the weather was awesome and I had the whole place to myself. If we had come a little early, I guess we could have got the chilli bajjis. Tea and bajjis make a good combination in this type of weather.
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Old 5th November 2010, 13:12   #100
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Nice travelogue. The best part was the local (canine) help that you got.
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Old 5th November 2010, 13:44   #101
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Addy - Been following this with all interest. Simply putting : I'm speechless. All trekkers I knew before this were a big bunch of folks who did relatively "safe" trails. Proud of folks who follow their dreams like this.
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Old 5th November 2010, 14:04   #102
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Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
IIRC it was in 2007 that I went here when the Neelkurinji bloomed in 12 years. We had to walk almost 1.5Kms from the parking area till the falls and all I could see in there was people bathing and also disposing clothes (heard of some ritual here but not entirely sure).

The menasinakaayi bajji along with hot tea/coffee was like an icing on the cake for the kind of weather we it was. Though I hail from Malnad I could still not resist the chill
Hmm I've seen the "disposing" clothes ritual in a number of bathing ghats. The most obvious is the Netravathi Ghat near Dharmasthala.
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Old 5th November 2010, 14:37   #103
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Nice travelogue. The best part was the local (canine) help that you got.
Thanks captrajesh. The dog followed us for sometime and then shifted its loyalties to the other group just because they gave it some potato chips along with biscuits whereas we only gave biscuits. The other group also got lost at one point and they let the dog lead the way, but the dog also took them on a wild goose chase. Luckily, they too found their way after sometime.

I did feel bad for the dog. It was our fault that we fed it and then it followed us. Now how was it going to go back on this treacherous terrain. That was my concern. It stayed back at Manikyadhara and did not follow us to Bababudangiri. Maybe it went back, I don't know.


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Addy - Been following this with all interest. Simply putting : I'm speechless. All trekkers I knew before this were a big bunch of folks who did relatively "safe" trails. Proud of folks who follow their dreams like this.
Well, even this trail comes under the 'relatively safe trail' category, except for the ridge climb. The second part of the trail (Bababudangiri-Kemmangundi) is supposed to be tough. But, there are more challenging treks out there in the western ghats and we intend to trek most of them. Bisle ghat is one of them and it is infamous for people getting lost and getting killed.

Actually, I've got a grand plan of trekking the region between Shiradi and Charmadi Ghats and touching most of the towns/villages surrounding this place. But, I'll never know whether I can do it or not, till I do it.

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Old 5th November 2010, 15:52   #104
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Un"canine" resemblance to the Mahabharatha, if your're familiar with a specific story in it : a dog follows Yudhishitira through Mt.Meru till the gates of the heaven and he insists that the dog be let in as it's been his companion for long.

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Thanks captrajesh. The dog followed us for sometime and then shifted its loyalties to the other group just because they gave it some potato chips along with biscuits whereas we only gave biscuits. The other group also got lost at one point and they let the dog lead the way, but the dog also took them on a wild goose chase. Luckily, they too found their way after sometime.

I did feel bad for the dog. It was our fault that we fed it and then it followed us. Now how was it going to go back on this treacherous terrain. That was my concern. It stayed back at Manikyadhara and did not follow us to Bababudangiri. Maybe it went back, I don't know.
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Old 5th November 2010, 16:38   #105
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Actually, I've got a grand plan of trekking the region between Shiradi and Charmadi Ghats and touching most of the towns/villages surrounding this place. But, I'll never know whether I can do it or not, till I do it.
A few friends did Ettina Bhuja Peak in the Charmadi area and another place around Sunkasale ( Ballalarayana Durga ), upwards of Kottigehara earlier this year and they came back gaga about it. I was still going to a driving school then Are those on your list as well ?( or perhaps no surprises as you may have already done it ).
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