Thursday, 12 March 2009


I had heard about Amedikallu when I first started trekking. People had told me that the best of trekkers had given up and this was one of the toughest treks in Karnataka. Once before the plan to trek there had failed and when the group suggested we do this I was excited. All our planning was done through mails. Everyone was advised to carry 4 litres of water (a must); ready to eat meals, sleeping bags and sleeping mat. Aravind had taken on the responsibility to call the Guide (Chenappa- 9379081785). This turned out to be a difficult task, till two days before the trip we had not been able to get through to the guide. When Aravind finally managed to talk to the guide , he agreed to organize for breakfast and packed lunch from Vishnu Gokhale’s house. This was a good thing as we got some yummy food.
Our bus was scheduled to leave for Dharmasthala at 9:15 PM. 2 people were supposed to join us at Dharmastala as they were coming from Mysore. The trip till Dharmastala was uneventful except for bad roads. At Dharmastala we were to take a bus or jeep to Kokkada. We decided to take the bus. The conductor convinced us that he would drop us at the right stop. The distance, we were told, was about 7 - 10 Kms (its actually 15). But it felt like we had been in the bus for long. Aravind walked up to and checked with the Driver as well and he said the stop had not yet come. Finally after 15 more minutes the conductor realized he had passed Kokkada. He said it was just around the corner and asked to get down. Just around the corner turned out to be one and a half K.M walk.
At Kokkada we were told that since road construction was on we had to take a different route to Shisila (the village where the trek was to start). Decision was made to hire a jeep as the bus ride would take longer.
11 of us stuffed ourselves into a jeep that can seat 7. The driver was almost sitting out of the jeep and driving. Dhimoy was standing on the footboard at the back and was covered with red soil by the time we reached Shisila.We were dropped off at the beginning of the village since the road was under construction. Luckily Vishnu Gokhale’s house was hardly .5 KM away. He saw us walking and called out to us.

While we waited for our guide we were served yummy Idlies and tea. For someone who hates Idly I took second helping. We were also given our packed lunch
We started off from there at about 9:30 am. A jeep had been organised to drop us at the starting point.

The initial trek was through bamboo growth and then the forest starts. The humidity and heat got to some of us. We took lots of breaks along the way. Our first major stop was to be the waterpoint, the only one in the whole trek at this time of the year. It was a welcome break. We open the packed lunch (Chitranna) and finished it in a jiffy. After that we filled all our bottles and carried on. After this came the tough part, a steep climb and that too in the grasslands.
There is no forest cover. The sun was beating down on us mercilessly. The only shade was between the rocks. I kept looking out for them and taking short naps wherever possible.
After the grassland came one more walk through the forest and then the rock climbing. By now mist had started to form and we could see clouds at a distance but not the camp site. Finally the first team made it to the camp site. By now our hopes of seeing a sunset had vanished.
We hoped the clouds would clear out in the night and we could see the stars.We sat around for some time and decided we can eat at 8. The guide started the camp fire and Aravind became the cook. He boiled water for our entire ready to eats.Dinner done, each of us were fighting for a place to sleep. Most decided to sleep in the open. Just as we settled it started to drizzle. We didn’t know where to go for cover. The place around where the guide slept was already occupied. Some of us decided to brave the drizzle and take action only if it rained. Good decision coz later in the night the skies cleared and it was a beautiful display of stars.
We were woken at 6 to continue our climb to the peak and see the sunrise. This was a scary climb but well managed by our Guide.
And guess what… the clouds were at it again. All we could see was clouds. We waited for a while only to be disappointed and we climbed down to get ready to leave. Just then, the sun came out and we saw an ocean of clouds. The hills at a distance were slowly becoming visible. After a photo session we started our climb down
For breakfast we were back at the water point and we cooked noodles. We quickly finished and started out decent. By 1:30 pm we were at the starting point. Initially since we could not get through to the jeep driver some of us took a ride on the Dumper Lorry that was working on road construction.We reached the village, had some tender coconut and walked to Vishnu Gokhale’s house. Hot lunch (Rice, Sambar, Jackfruits Palya and yummy Payasam) was served. After that all of us took bath, slept for some time and set out to Dharmastala stuffed in a jeep again.In Dharmastala some of us went to the temple and the rest loitered around. Dinner was at the temple. This was the fastest dinner i had eaten. In 10 mins after we had entered dinner was done.Took the local shuttle to go to the new bus stand, boarded our bus and was asleep. And next thing I knew we were in Bangalore. All in all it was a good trek after a long time. The only disappointment was that we didn’t get to see the Charmudi range from the peak.

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