Sunday, August 17, 2008

Trek At Muthati

After week long anticipation of the trek at kodachadri (near shimoga) that was planned 1 month in advance, the air was filled with disappointment. We learnt that shimoga was flooded due to heavy rains and trek was not possible. The long awaited trek had come to an end even before it started. We had 3 days to kill and no plan in place. Sensing this few of my friends decided to head home rather than wasting their time in bangalore doing nothing. We were down to just 4. We decided to drive down to nandhi hills near bangalore. We knew it was not a trekking spot, but at least it took us out of the city. Nandhi hills trip proved to be a good time pass, but there were far too many tourist to actually have fun. In matter of 15 mins we decided that we shall trek Muthati the next day. Raja and Joe were the people who worked out the logistics for the trek. I took the responsibility of driving and kicha, hmm sleeping. We started from bangalore at 6:30 AM on Saturday. We had enough food and water, as there would be nothing available there. We left the city via kanakapura road. The roads were very good, so we cruised at around 80kmph.

Raja, Me and Joe before we left bangalore.

It was decided that we shall have our breakfast at some restaurant in kanakapura. We reached there around 7:45 AM. We found it difficult to get a decent place to eat. Even though there were small hotels on the way, we could not park our car. Finally we found one small hotel for breakfast with a good car park. By 8:10 AM we were on our way to a small village called Sathnur. The road at this stretch was bad and narrow so we decided to slow down. Once we reached Sathnur which was around 16km from Kanakapura, we took a deviation to head towards Muthati which is around 18km. The roads were narrow so we had to be careful. We were a bit surprised that most of the journey from Sathnur to Muthati was downhill.

Road from Sathnur to Muthati

We reached Muthati around 9:15 AM. It was told that Muthati was a dirty place. But we did not find it that dirty. We found the forest department and payed Rs.150 per head for the trek. For a guide we had to pay Rs.150. The forest dept guy took the money and didnt give any receipt. On asking, he said if receipt is needed it will cost us more. We knew he was cheating us, but we decided to let go as we had to park our car in their camp and didnt want any trouble. Our guide's name was Nagaraj. He took us through a small hill to mark the starting point of the trek. We were told that there are various hills that can be covered in the trek depending upon difficulty and time. Joe had to catch a train at 10:00 pm the very same day, so we decided upon a trek route which would get us back by 3:00 pm. The route we decided was Muthati Base camp - Devanamundi Hills - Kalibetta - Mannabetta - Bheemeshwari - Muthati Base camp. We started our accent to reach Devanamundi which was the hardest part. It was very steep and by the time we reached our first destination we were exhausted. We rested for a while during which we saw the beauty of river cauvery flowing through the hills.

River Cauvery At Its Best

The next destination was Kallibetta, and way to reach it was a slippery rocks, untamed thorny bushes and tall grass. We had difficult time walking through these obstacles. Our guide was very helpful in clearing the way for us. He even offered to carry one of our backpacks as kicha was struggling. The most difficult stage of the trek was to jump to the other side of a huge inclined rock with a cactus plant exposing all its thorns at us. Our guide did it with ease. I was a bit nervous and i approached with great caution. Our only grip was the rock and nothing else to hold on to. In the end it was successful manoeuvre and all of us got to the other side safely. I managed to get a thorn embedded in my palm.

Me relaxing after the thorn incident

Our next stop was Mannabetta. This stretch was not as tedious as the previous ones. It was more like a stroll in the park. At this point we started noticing fresh elephant dung. Our guide cautioned us that an elephant had just crossed this path and we were to remain silent until we cross this stretch. Initially we were scared as none of us had seen a wild elephant. Soon fear gave away to excitement. We wanted to come face to face with a wild elephant. Suddenly we heard a noise near the thick bushes. We were sure it was an elephant. On further investigating we found that it was a lone woodcutter. Dismayed, we asked our guide if we can follow the elephant trail. He talked us out of it as it was very dangerous. We finally reached Mannabetta which had a watch tower. The scene from the watch tower was astounding. It was great view. It would have been good if we had an SLR.

A View From The Watch Tower

We rested in the watch tower for few minutes before we continued our trek to Bheemeshwari. This was a piece of cake and we reached Bheemeshwari at 1:15 PM. We had tender coconut water and walked to the river bank for lunch. We saw a funny "No-Plastic Zone" sign on the way.

A Funny Notice
We ate our full near the river cauvery. We decided to head back to the base camp. The route to base camp was not tough but we found it hard after the heavy meal. We went to another watch tower and rested there for sometime. The main problem was the number of accents and descents in the trek which tires a person quickly.

Pretty Tired Kicha :-)

Our guide promised us that route to base camp was very easy. It was easy and we managed to reach the road to base camp. We had to walk 6km on road to reach the destination. We were thirsty and tired. We walked as fast as we can to reach the camp. On the way we saw police patrol question the lorry filling up sand. We were not sure if it was illegal. We were also stopped by forest dept officials and inquired about our whereabouts. Our guide spoke to the officials and they let us go. We finally reached the base camp at 3:10 PM.

Wow!! its finally over.

There was a concern if i could drive back immediately after this tough trek. I decided to drive down without a break just to get away from a some IT folks who have gathered in the base camp for some team building activity. The drive back was tougher than i though due to exhaustion, but good old classic rock n roll kept me going with me singing "Highway to hell".

Total Distance Of The trek : 20km
Difficulty : Medium


Chirag said...

good short trek !

Anonymous said...

Very nice story and pictures. :) Thanks for sharing.

Sachi said...

Great guys! atleast u did not waste the long weekend.

varun said...

Yeah!! iam happy about it

Anonymous said... green!!;)