Thursday, 3 March 2011

Brahmagiri Revisted

Brahmagiri has always been close to my heart, maybe because it’s in my homeland. The last time I attempted this climb one of my friends got bitten by a snake. We had to return from Narimalla.
This time I was keeping my fingers crossed and hoping I would reach the peak. Based on the driver’s suggestion we decided to drive through Nagarhole Reserve Forset. This meant that we had to wait till 6 am for the forest gates to open. Since we reached there at 3, most of us caught up on our 40 winks. As it neared 6 vehicles started piling up.
Since we were the second vehicle to pass, we hoped to spot some wildlife.Unfortunately the only wildlife we saw other than cheetals


were some wild boars and a fox. The next stop was at the forest office in Srimangala to get permission. This took a while as we had to wait for the officers to come by. Our first meal for the day was supposed to be at this tiny restaurant/schack, but by the time we reached there we were told that all breakfast items were over. We had to make do with bread and coffee.
At Irrupu Falls our guide was waiting. He was the same person who was with us the last time we attempted the climb and remembered us only too well. We filled our water bottles at the falls and started the trek.
The initial 3 kms was through the forest and we didn’t feel the harsh rays of the sun on us. Since I was out of form, the climb was tiring and I took multiple breaks. Most of the streams along the way had dried, an indication of the summer creeping in. Once in the grassland, fortunately there was cloud cover and we didn’t get burnt.

By the time we reached the camp site (Narimalla, forest guest house) it was 12:30 pm. We decided to take an hour’s break for lunch and then head out again. Lunch was some yummy gojju and chappati. 30 mins of rest and we were on the move. Most of the trek was supposed to be through flat grassland from here. Midway we spotted a bunch of Nilgiri Langur and spent time taking pictures and observing them.
After about an hour of walking, we were at the base of Brahmagiri. The climb looked steep and once we started our ascend we realized how steep it was.

I had to use my hands as well to climb. This stretch of 1 kms took about 45 mins to climb. The view from the peak was breathtaking. How I wished that the hills were green instead of the brown though.

After some photo sessions we headed back. The descent was as tough as the climb, with some of us sliding down to avoid major fall.
As we neared narimalla, there was a sound of hoofs, before anyone could react we saw a Sambar running in fear. Excited we waited for a while to see what had caused the animal to run like that, but there were no signs of anything. Disappointed we continue walking.
By about 6 pm we were back at the campsite.
Some of us went to the stream nearby to freshen up, while I heard dogs bark, lucky few saw a pack wild dogs run across the stream. This was topic of discussion for sometime and kept us occupied.
Soon the boys went about cooking dinner, while the girls learnt how to Jive from Abhi. It was 9 when we started the campfire and ate dinner (Upma and Payasm). We sat around for a while chatting and then decided to sleep. The other group, which was awake for longer, was noisy and at some point few from our gang had to go out and warn them. Other than that the night was uneventful.
The plan next day was to trek Narimalla, but by the time we got up and had breakfast, most of us didn’t want to climb, so we decided that we would head to the waterfall near by and spend some time there. After that we headed back to Irrupu Falls and from there to Bangalore.
As we drove through the national park again we saw, langurs, Gaur, cheetals and Malabar Squirrels. We stopped at Hunsur for a late lunch and reached Bangalore by 8 pm. With that my dream trek to Brahmagiri could be ticked off my list.
More Pics in the link below:
List of Birds seen
White Cheeked Barbet
Black Bulbul
Jungle Myna
Jungle Crow
Sunbird
Spotted Dove
Laughing Dove
Woodpecker
Rose Ringed Parakeet
Plum Headed Parakeet
Flacon
2 kinds of BOP (unable to ID)
Whistling Thrush
Asian Blue Fairy Bird
Red Whiskered Bulbul
Red Vented Bulbul
Pond Heron
Cattle Egret


6 comments:

  1. Very Informative & Nice account :).. TFS

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  2. Nice account, appreciate a bigger size photo though :)

    hills in Coorg - they have eluded me... every plan goes in vain for one or the other reason...

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  3. Thanks Saandip :D

    Prashant: Big fan of your blog, someday I hope to cover the places you have mentioned. Maybe we might end up doing one of the hills in Coorg together

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  4. Very nice account, Aishwarya. And good photographs too.

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  5. Nice writeup.
    Did you not visit Munikal caves?

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  6. Nice writeup, brahmagiri has been eluding me since long and I wonder when would I really be there... waiting for that day!

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