TREK TO BHAGATI ( EXPLORING A NEW ROUTE FROM BHAGATI TO KUKKE SUBRAMANYA)
By Yash and Shewtha
Almost 30 kms 2 days……… 18 member team……some first timers……. thick green jungle……blood savy leeches ……beautiful background of mountain peeks….. With all these it’s a pleasure writing the beautiful experience of our Trek to Bhagati……….HEAVEN ON EARTH.
Trek to Bhagati (Exploring a new route) was organized by Anand &Deepak . As per the plan we were informed to assemble at the KSRTC bus stand enquiry counter by 10 PM on 17th Nov 2006….. The Rajahamsa bus was to somvarpet was at 11.PM. By 10.30 the army was ready in front of the counter 16 guys and 2 girls………the journey to the jungle started at 11.PM every body got to their seats thinking of good sleep……….but thanks to anand and sandeep who kept everyone awake with there war of words………..and entertained all of us with the topic of Sandeep, s Party wear shirt and anand giving missed call to everyone.
The bus reached somvarpet at around 5.PM……… As all got down and started searching for place to spread our sleeping bags and take another round of rest since our travel to the next destination was to begin at 7.30 AM…………… In the mean time Deepak and Anand started distributing the sharable to the team though I was amazed to see Deepak, Anand, Malik, Sandeep……… carrying the weight…….g reat weight lifters. Some of us went in search of breakfast in that small town at 6.AM to come back only having coffee……. it was 7 every one went again in search of breakfast. This time we were quite lucky to find friend’s restaurant…….. Nice hot idly, khara bath and kesri bath. So the bus came right on dot…….. At 7.30 we boarded the private bus at somarpet to leave to Bidahalli.Which was to be our starting point of our trek….where we had to start our original journey to jungle….. It was a 40 min drive from somarapet to Bidahalli.
The journey was indeed pleasing for the senses. The early morning cool breeze could take you for a nap any moment. But the greeneries and landscapes around kept us awake. We got a feel of kodagu culture as we met many people who kept on boarding the bus making it “overcrowded” which would be an understatement. We found the people of kodagu never short of words and smiles wishing us ahead of an adventurous trek at stake.
We got down at Bidahalli Though all of us knew every other person of the army by then, we formally introduced ourselves to others. Anand gave us a small briefing on taking care of plastic and on other aspect it was a sight indeed as the battalion with each soldier loaded with a trek bag, which weighed not less than 20 kilos in all earnest to conquer the land of “Bhagati”. Ever-reliable “Gorge of the jungle” Deepak headed the troop. This guy amazes with his knowledge about these deep forests and mountains, which he is ready to share any moment. Anand was always high on energy letting his enthusiasm ooze into other members. May be he knew what this journey expects out of a trekker and he was always there providing the much needed enthusiasm. The battalion marched forward chatting all the way on the rocky terrain surrounded by dense vegetation. How can a trek be complete without some tough rock climbing? We were given a taste of rock climbing which was more than worth the effort as we were awestruck by the sight of the majestic malalli falls from the top of the rock. Anand & Sandeep the “macho man” was helping us to climb and get down of the rocks, which is surprisingly a very difficult task. The cameras were out in fraction of a second and flashes all around capturing the nature’s ballet on display. We were so unwilling to leave the place but the fact that we had covered only one third of the distance (around 4 km) to reach our destination forced us to leave the place by having the panorama etched in our memories. We were all drained though the weather was fine most of the time the ragged terrain caught us as even waking on the craggy rocks and pits required caution.
We came across a silent stream (Back water of Malalli falls) on our way where we decided to have our pit stop to recharge and refuel. Mallikarjun was the chief cook in charge and every one of us lend a helping hand. Mallikarjun did his reputation no harm by preparing lemon rice, which we felt the tastiest we ever ate. Arun with his lovely tea pepped every one of us to resume our journey.
Once again we started the march with so much of flora around fauna had to be found in all probabilities. And we did manage to find some crabs, beetles, snakes (All credit to the daring Harun Basheer) and last but never the least lots and lots of slimy leaches. Leaches were here there n everywhere. The leaches indeed had a great feast and all our efforts to ward them off turned hostile. We resigned to the fate and receded attention on these leaches as reaching our destination loomed large in all of our minds. When are we going to reach it we never knew? “Within half an hour” had become a niche. We put our heads down and moved. It was such an energy sapping experience. Some passing showers had made the terrain slippery demanding more attention. We pushed one another, sang songs, kept on chatting… all in all did everything to keep the spirits high. And at last to the relief of every trekker out there we set foot on the valley “Bhagathi” surrounded by peaks at around 6 pm which had become so sacred to all of us by now. We were all on our knees, cleaning the mess the leaches had created and we all had a sigh of relief as our endeavor of close to 15 km had ended for the day..
Four tents were pitched closed to one another and Mallikarjun was again in his elements preparing palav. Everyone were so eager to rest their heads on pillows it dint take much time before all of us moved into the tents which was such a cozy place to be. It was a moonless night with lots of bright shining stars spread all over giving us sense of the vastness of nature. We were all right in the cradle of nature hoping for a safer and enjoyable tomorrow.
As sun rose in between the mountains the trekkers came out of their tents to experience the early morning freshness savoring a cup of rich tea prepared by Ravikanth. The cameras captured the wonderful view of clouds passing the hilltops, the dew giving a glassy appearance to the rocks and the flowing stream, which was a yard away. Puliogre was the cuisine of the morning. We were all set to climb __________(view point), which was 1250 mtrs above the ground. Once we were on top of the mountain we were greeted by an overwhelming sight of surrounding mountains via pushpagiri, kumara parvatha, shesha parvatha and Kolkallu betta, Parvathagiri which without any speck of doubt became the highlight of our trek.
We came down the mountain only to start our return journey, which seemed even more adventurous as it was unexplored but one comforting thing was that it was a short route. And there we went all trekkers fresh after a bath in the stream on a return journey into the deep jungles. It was a green galore with varied types of vegetation to be found in all sizes, lengths, shapes and structures. Some itched, some scratched but we were not ready to let go our morale. Some were injured, some were dehydrated but our journey dint lose track. We kept on pegging up, we persisted to the core. Chapati with jam kept us going in the afternoon session. We crossed streams, hopped across logs, darted on the rocks, strolled on plains and finally reached a house in kumbara gadige. We were overhauled by the hospitality of the whole family as they served us with cucumbers and tea. Bidding farewell to such a gem of a family we moved on and our now long awaiting view of a tarred road was just few minutes away.
At around 5:30 pm we set foot on the road, unloaded our bags, stretched each part of our body which had taken a real beating. It was time for group photos. We as a team had a sense of achievement, a sense of pride of completing one of the toughest treks on a joyous note. Deepak, Anand, Sandeep, Mallikarjun deserves all the applause. Hats off to these guys. They were relentless in their effort to make this trek as safe as possible and to their credit they did just exactly that.
We boarded the bus to Samavarpet at around 6:45pm and took the connecting bus to Bangalore at around 9pm.We all wounded soldiers with nil casualties reached Bangalore at around 5 am the next day. All in all it was a trek to remember for each member of the army, which was more of a family by now. Thumbs up to Anand and Deepak on yet another successful trek and we as a team thank you whole heartedly for getting us so close to the nature and drilling in us a sense of responsibility of safeguarding it. (It was very much visible as the junks (plastic papers…) were all cleared in the places we had put up…plastic free is the norm). Long lives Mother Nature.