Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Welcoming Monsoons in Kemmangundi

It’s a known fact among friends that I don’t like monsoon treks due to the increase in leech population and the fact that I believe if I have walked all the way to the top of a mountain or hill I should be able to see a view and not cloud cover.

So when Kemmangundi trek was announced in office I was eager to go and for this I was willing to for-go attending a wedding in Coorg (to be read as good food and pandi curry).

30 people on the trek meant a nightmare when it comes to coordination, by the time everyone assembled and the briefing was done it was close to 12. Though the first few hours were spent playing antakshari slowly heads started nodding and soon almost everybody had dozed off.

The next time I open my eyes we were at Kalhatti Falls, the starting point for our trek. As the day was just breaking, one could hear the Malabar Whistling Thrush at a distance and other birds chirping along, a perfect start for the day. While the experienced trekkers cooked breakfast, the rest of us walked around exploring the temples and the falls near by.

Since we didn’t have plates, leaves were used and breakfast was served on it. Soon after we were ready to start.

The initial trek was along a stream and through coffee estates

and if one kept a look out he could pick wild berries and fruits. Of course, one would think twice before waiting for long as there were leeches everywhere. We had light showers along the way but that didn't hamper our spirits. In about 2 hours we had reached the mid point for our trek, Manakiadhar Falls. The falls was a sight for sore eyes.

One could only imagine how it would look in peak monsoon. While some took a dip, rest sat around to regain energy. After a quick lunch of Chappati, jam, chutney pudi, pickle and mixture we were ready for the next stretch. This was an 85 degree climb and most of us struggled all the way. But when we reached the peak, we realized that the climb was worth it. The landscape was beautiful.

Clouds playing hide and seek, rain pouring down at the distance, paddy-fields elsewhere, sunlight on a distant hill, words can hardly describe the view.

After a short break, we headed to the anti poaching camp to pitch tents. (One has to take prior permission to camp here as it’s a part of Bhadra Reserve Forest. We didn’t know and had to pay a fine of Rs 200 per person) .

Once here while most of us lazed around the organizers and the experienced trekkers went about making tea and dinner.

Finally, we were done at 10 and tiring day meant that the night passed very quickly. While some of us had a peaceful night inside our sleeping bags, the rest found the night to be very cold and hadn’t slept.

The day started with some hot tea and Lemon rice. At about 10 am we were ready to head back. We scaled the hills a little more to reach the ridge.

After that it was a downhill walk towards Z point in Kemmangundi. The rain made the climb down slippery but most of us managed it with just one causality. It was late afternoon when we reached Kemmangundi and so the plan to visit Hebbe Falls was dropped. We ate lundin (Lunch and Dinner) at a Dabba near Kadur and headed back to Bangalore.

Pointers: This trek can be completed in a day and Hebbe Falls can be planned for the next day, but the stay on the top makes the whole experience more beautiful

More Pictures of the trek in the link below


  1. Hi,

    Nice trip report Aishwarya, this is initiating me to plan a trek in the monsoons. I think bigger pictures would do more justice. By the way Kemmanagundi is in full bloom during monsoons with greens and leeches all over the place :)

  2. Thanks Santosh. The bigger pics are in the Picasa Link. Running out of space and hence the smaller pics...

  3. Great trip report Aishwarya! This is one place I've never been to, so I hope to go there soon.


  4. कितनी खूबसूरत जगह है,
    चित्र थोडा सा बडे होते तो ज्यादा बेहतर रहता।