Summer was just around the corner and I was dying to do a trek before all the water sources dried up and very thing turned brown instead of the usual green around the Malnad region.
Luckily for me I am part of the adventure club at office, so when decision had to be made between the popular trekking places and new places some of us managed to convince the group to explore a place called Devaramane.
An overnight journey from Bangalore bought us to a place called Mudigere. Dawn was just breaking when we go there and some of us who were awake staggered along with the driver to the only visible coffee shop. The warm coffee woke us up and while we waited for the coffee shop owner to pack breakfast for us we took short walk around. As the sun rose in the distant hills we were ready to head towards Devaramane. Since this was an unexplored place we had to stop time and again to get directions. Finally we were at a small village at the base of the hills. When we enquired about the trek routes in one of the houses, they promptly offered to send one of the estate workers to guide us.
To start out trek we had to drive another 5 kms more, initially through coffee estates and then through breath-taking landscape. The hills sprawled all around and the raising sun had given them a different gleam.
The trek was to start from a 300 year old Shiva temple. The sides of the door were decorated with terrifying demons carving. But the interiors were cool and calming. In front of the temple there was a huge lake and we decided to eat our breakfast here and then proceed.
During the initial part of the trek our guide pointed out different peaks. Some which were familiar and conquered; and some never heard of before. Slowly we started breaking up into groups, the fast walkers leading the way with the guide and the rest huffing and puffing far behind. As we walked we would come across places where the view became even more beautiful. We would stop and take pictures. The Guide would tell us story about each of the hill we walked on.
(He told us about a man who had taken a walk down a cave (considered impossible) that led him to wise man who had granted him a lot of gifts. On return he had given those gifts to different people. When the last of person came for his gift, he was given chew betel nuts. He threw them on the floor with disgust and cardamom sprouted in the places where these nuts fell. Once can still see the opening of cave the man walked through.
Another hill (Buntkallu) resembles the walking stick he used when he walked down the cave)
As the sun climbed the skies we walked closer to Minchkallu, our destination. We were still 3 kms away from the peak when we decided to take a detour and stop by at the stream to eat lunch. The stream was by a bunch of trees between the shola forest. Water was almost drying up here. Another 4 more weeks and I doubt there would be any water left. We filled our stomach with Chappati, Chutney Pudi, Pickle and Corn Mixture Roll. A strange combination but when one is hungry you hardly notice.
While we ate our lunch the guide suggested that we head to the Gavi (cave) nearby instead of the peak. Based on our current pace he feared that if we went to the peak, it would be well past sunset by the time we got back.
Though one could not go into the cave the spot by itself was beautiful. After speanding about 20 mins there we decided to head back. Finally just as the sun was going to set we reached the temple. After some rest and a quick shower we got ready to cook dinner. The boys took charge while the girls looked on. As night descended the girls were asked to build bon-fire and help set up the tents. Since some of the sticks in the tents were broken it took a lot of time to have them up. By the time we finished dinner was ready, we had lemon rice and curd rice for dinner.
After spending some time around the fire we soon retired to bed. Everybody was up early next morning. After another round of cooking and eating we were ready to head back. Since the tempo we came in refused to drive all the way up we had to walk 5 kms. Having walked on the hills this walk on tar road was boring. After 2 hours we were back at the base.
Since we still had rest of the day left we decided to visit a waterfall near by. But when we reached there we weren’t given permission and had to return disheartened. Our final destination Horranadu, after a quick darshan and delicious dinner, we were on our way back to Bangalore.
More Pictures can be found in this link :http://picasaweb.google.com/aishwarya.belliappa/Devaramane#