A couple of weekends ago, most of the trekware gang met up for a weekend trek. This time we headed to Brahmagiri.
To reach Brahmagiri, take the bus to kuTTa (Madikeri district) but get down in Srimangala. Meet the forest officer (they come in at around 10 am) and it is better if you have called them up in advance and notified them. Enquire shops for guest house to freshen up and also for a jeep to take you to Iruppu Falls.
At Iruppu Falls, we met the forest guard who would accompany us during the trek.
The guest house that we stayed at was in the middle of a field where pepper and coffee was abundant. We plucked a pepper corn and ate it - it was deliciously spicy.
We then started the trek from Iruppu Falls and came across many interesting flora and fauna.
The good ...
... and the ugly.
Yes, that's right, leeches! Creepy, crawling things, they were such a nuisance. I had a routine of stopping every 45 seconds to remove how many were crawling up my shoes and socks. Towards the end of the damp covered forest area, I think I had a count of 40-50 leeches that I had pulled out and thrown. Many of us had donated quite a good amount of blood. Once we were back in the open fields, it was just smooth walking.
It turned out to be one of the easiest treks we have done, but the scenery was breathtaking. This was the first time I saw so much endless greenery that I actually got to walk in, and that too we crossed from hill to hill so quickly.
We reached the guest house just in time to grab some food, and then run out to watch the sunset. It was very peaceful and serene. One of those rare moments where the whole group tends to be silent because they're just in awe.
We came back to the guest house, took out some chairs, sat in the open in a circle, and had a long fire-side chat without the fire.
We slept in quite early and then I realized why. It got very very cold in the night, and I didn't get much sleep in the night because of that. Next day morning, I got quite fed up, and just went out for an early morning walk, and I'm glad I went.
After I came back from my walk, we had breakfast which was mostly snacks and bread and then we started our trek downhill but on the other side, which happens to mean getting down in Kerala!
We could clearly see the two lines that distinguish Karnataka and Kerala states. I was joking that I could kill someone here and wouldn't get caught because either state police would claim it's not their jurisdiction.
We were slowly getting into our descent when suddenly our forest guard shouted at us to get down and hide. Why? Wild Elephants! Although they were in the adjacent hill, he said it was still dangerous because the younger of the elephants get curious easily and can charge towards us humans. He asked the people in bright colors (even white) to cover themselves with jackets so as to not attract attention.
It was amazing to see how fast these elephants moves, their sizes are quite misleading. The guard said that they can jump up to 2 metres at a time. Wow. I must mention that the forest guard was a gentleman - he always guided us, but never said a word or interfered in what we did or discussed, and made sure we are safe at all times.
We waited for quite a while, but the elephants were confused on which way to go since we were in one of the routes they frequent, so they went back and hid in the forest. Not willing to take a risk, our guard took us through a different route but we had to go through the same hill. As we were walking, it was both exciting and worrisome to know that wild elephants are just there on the other side of the hill.
After that excitement, we took some rest at a spot. Because of the elephants, we hadn't actually climbed the Brahmagiri peak, so some of us who still had energy ran back to climb the peak and take in the sights. Then, it was the start of a long walk downhill.
When we got down, we discovered we were in Thirunelly, Kerala. We went to a lodge and relaxed for an hour. Then, we changed some 5 buses to get back to Karnataka and finally come back to Bangalore.
All in all, another good weekend :)
P.S. Some of the above photos were taken in my mobile phone camera and hence have low resolution and clarity.