Bramhagiri Trek- Of Monsoon Madness, Leeches and Some Wildlife Experience

9/28/2010 11:38:00 AM

Sep 25-26th, 2010

Whats so good about Western Ghats / Southern Himalaya Weeekend Treks is that, these are quick refreshers.  You pack you bags, reach the starting point in absolutely no time.. (overnight to the max) hike the peak by evening, enjoy the wilderness and climb down, get back home the next day. so what the sun you see rising and setting in Tadiyandmole, is the same sun in Agumbe or Mulliangiri :P after all, every sunset is a different experience, every sunrise makes yet another day of your life blissful. well, this could be the reason, we might get bored of "our daily routines" but not as well of Nature's. :) Still if ones feels the same way as I do sometimes, e.g. every jungle looks the same, or so is every picture brought back,  and we might not have much variety, but you do have plenty of options not to repeat the same trek in atleast 2/3 years span and believe me every trek is a new experience in itself. 

So our group, Trekmaniax, though had been scattered all over Himalayas last few months, exploring Ladakh to climbing Auden's Col, we finally get back in town and soon head out to this peak in Kodagu district called Bramhagiri, bordering two states karnataka and kerala, and surrounded by few other famous trekking points like Irupu falls, Narimalai peak, Munikal caves and wildlife destinations like, Pakshipatalam wildlife sanctuary and Nagarhole national park.

This is probably the only trek till now, I had been least bothered about, not even looking at maps or doing my regular research of the place and route, and leaving every details on the other members of the group, and I really doubted my travel until the final day. Then just thought it'd hopefully freshen me up and give me some energy to move further and got in to tempo traveller at 12 AM the  friday night heading to Srimangala.

We took the Hunsur, Gonnikoppal route, and since we somehow missed the diversion towards srimangala, we almost reached the kerala border early morning, on that very straight road. we returned back to gonikkoppal, took a right. it should have been another 10KM or so to Srimangala forest office, which is a small village with few houses, eating joints and a forest rest house where we freshened up, had our breakfast (dosa, puri, tea/coffee) and started to Iruppu, adding a few more kilometers of bumpy ride this morning.

Did I mention we had called up the forest office already and booked the guest house as well, the guide Narayana accompanied us from Irupu, the starting point of the trek, has one temple, rest rooms and a restaurant. the guide, guest house, and the forest trekking permission was to be paid here and for 12 of us, it was 3800/- i guess.

I dont remember seeing many photographs of this place, and for a change the trek was seemingly unknown. Irupu falls is just 1Km from the starting point, we dint stop there for long thinking we'd get in while coming back, if at all we wanted too, since its been full of leeches this rainy season. the climb was pretty easy I should say, and I actually had n't got any leech bite till this view point which was just half kilometer from the guest house. View of the valley was indeed engaging, with blue blooms all over the mountain and the rain in the valley and oh not to forget view of a fall. I dint carry my camera this time, so took a 360 degree shot in my friend's cam (letsee when I'd be able to post it) we set there for a while, had a quick lunch and reached the narimalai guest house soon which was crowded by trekkers inside and leeches outside, we couldnt hate it enough..

2 groups, (one of 'em I guess was called wild wanderers who later told us that they couldnt' trek to the peak as it was 70 then 80 degree steep and they had to crawl to cover that 80 percent) of 19 and 8 trekkers respectively had occupied 2 rooms available and we were left with the Hall. we wonder how those 19 managed 'emselves in that small room, we decided to chill out for a while, and then climb Narimalai this evening.

So we had to all. 3-4 jumps in the stream and walk in the mist, and leech attack. by the time we were half way, most of us had our legs bleeding..including me. few of us stopped right on the rock and decided to spend some good moments, others went to the adjacent peak. which I really doubt if was Narimalai (may be it was) another round of snacks and once the fellow trekkers came back, we headed back to the guest house, prepared maggi, played a single game of UNO ( the longest game so far) and settled for the night,  while our neighbors were enjoying singing while eating their chicken curry and naans.. ( full fledged cooking eh? :((( )

There wasn't a sunset, though we had a good valley view, the morning sun was awesome. as I said earlier, it always brings a new bright day in our lives and so did this one though we were a bit late (6:30AM or so) around 7:30 AM we started from the peak.

Contrary to what our neighbors had said, the the 5KM or so walk was rather easy and flat though full of leeches, half way through and we had a diversion towards the forest, towards the left had been the right way, but one of us ( THE LEADER, 50+ trek experienced trekker -Mr Chandra Shekar) takes the right to the forest. while rest of the trekkers were already ahead, it takes more than half hours, 100 shout outs, and some wildlife disturbance to get him out of the forest. I am still wondering if those 4 creatures running out of the forests were scared by him and what were those, deer, or sambar.. anyways atlast could  saw some wildlife in a trek.. and oh, there was a rabbit too and few strange looking birds we encounter.

Peak was just a walk away there. and the steep climb everyone talking about was just the last hill and few 100 meters long. we spent few minutes at cloudy peak (no visibility) came back to the guest house and were on our way back to the end point of the trek, few minutes that we spent at Irupu falls, (No bathing :( )

Around 3:30PM we were ready to leave  after a quick lunch of puliogiri rice with tea/coffee and minimal freshening up. this time we took the route of Kutta-Nagarhole national park -Hunsur which turned out nice as we spotted herds of deer and barahsinga, few peacocks, and elephant on the way. Dinner at a Dhaba somewhere b/w maddur and ramanagaram and we got back to Bangalore around 10:30.

"Bramhagiri is a easy trek perfect for beginners, beautiful in monsoon only if you can handle the leeches well. the total trek distance up n down is not more than 20-24KMs. Both guest houses are nice, specially the forest bunglow in Srimangala. if you plan to stay around there, do it.. it could be fun. forest permission is necessary and you should book your place /guide etc in advance."

Enjoy Trekking, shall post the few pics I clicked later. (above shots all by a trek mate)

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