This weekend, one of my long-pending wishes came true: I finally trekked Kodachadri.
Kodachadri is a mountain in the Western Ghats, in Karnataka. It is a famous trekking spot.
On Saturday morning, we reached Nittur, grabbed some breakfast and then proceeded towards Kumble, the starting point of the trek. Right there, I could see clouds playing hide-and-seek among the mountains and I knew it was going to be a good trek.
What I didn't know was how awesome the 14 km of terrain was going to be. At one moment we would be trudging in the mountain avoiding branches and forcing through thick vegetation, the next moment we would be crossing a stream of water...
... Some time later we would be climbing up very slippery stones right next to flowing water, then suddenly in an open area and then walking along the edge of a cliff while it is raining and then walking in the clouds, literally. This was easily one of the best trekking spots I've ever been to, and I was so happy that I finally got to be there. We even got to drench ourselves in a freezing cold waterfall.
We stayed at the government guest house for the night. I didn't get any sleep because of a broken window which made the howling winds and pounding rain make me feel their force even though we were inside four walls. Also, the combination of freezing cold weather and lack of a sleeping bag made me repeatedly mentally note not to repeat this mistake next time.
I also happened to do enough blood donation to our good ol' friends - the leeches. I have become so used to them that I was almost completely unbothered by them, even though I have 3-4 bite marks on each leg. There were some new trekkers who were freaked out about the leeches and one of those girls even had nightmares about them that night and cried during her sleep.
On Sunday morning, we climbed up even higher to visit the Sarvajna Peetha where it is said that Sri Shankaracharya had meditated. After paying our respects, we went and sat down on some stones next to the cliff. It was a contrasting feeling to feel good to have scaled the mountain and be sitting on the peak and at the same time experiencing the power of Nature - the winds were blowing so hard that it was difficult to even stand!
We also visited the Ganesha Guha. The guide said that there are tunnels here that go all the way to Kashi and Gokarna! It was a little unbelievable but then again, who knows what the reality was thousands of years ago.
We started our descent and after an hour or so, I saw a remarkable thing. We've seen rain and clouds all our lives but to see the rain actually coming out of the clouds was surreal. And more so, when you're walking around the edge of the mountain and you can't see the ground below the cliff...
The fierce intermittent rain prevented me from taking snaps, especially when we were seeing the best scenery. In any case, photographs would have never done justice to what we were experiencing.
After we reached Kareghatta, the endpoint of our trek, we travelled to Kollur. Almost immediately, we dived into a hotel and feasted on dosas because we hadn't had lunch amidst all that 10 km of trekking. Then we prayed at the Mookambika temple and headed back to Bangalore.
I couldn't stop smiling because it was such a satisfying trek. I guess this was one of the last few trekking spots that I've really wanted to visit in Karnataka. Of course, there are hundreds more, but I think I have covered most of the major ones so far.