June 25, 2006

Trek to Tadiandamol

Starring : Myself, BLD, Harshad, X & Y.
Start Time : 9:45 pm , Friday 23rd June , 2006
End Time : 6:30 am , Sunday 24rd June , 2006
Total trek : 15 kms (approx)

Background :
Tadiandamol happens to be the highest peak in Kodugo (Coorg) District. It reaches an elevation of 5729 feet(1748 m).The Nalaknad palace at the foothills is an important historical landmark. The peak has some beautiful Shola Forests that are characteritic of Southern Western Ghats.

The idea was to reach the summit of Tadiandamol by noon on Saturday and start for Soma-male from there and finish the trek by Sunday evening.

Description:

Harshad came down to my place and we started from Koramangala at 9:45pm on Friday 23rd June, 2006. Before his arrival, i had tried my hands unpacking the tent and found that it was rather cumbersome to fold and place it back into the bag.We had a quick dinner and took an auto and reached Majestic at around 10:10pm. BLD and her pals X and Y also arrived in another 15-20 minutes.The bus to Napoklu was full and hence we had to take a bus to Virajpet; the same bus was later extended till Madikkeri. We got down at Madikkeri.

X and Y decided to drop out of the trek. Myself, BLD and Harshad continued. We had a quick breakfast in a hotel at the Madikkeri bus stand and took a bus to Napoklu. We again took one more bus to reach Kakkabbe. The trek was 'officially' started at 9:30 am, June 24th 2006. We took occasional breaks and kept enquiring the localites whether we were on the right track to Tadiandamol.There is a tar road for around 5-6 kms after which there is a jeep trail for around 1-2km and the rest of the trail (till the summit) has a foot-trail.

There were leeches all around. Every 5-10 minutes we had to check our socks and shoes for leeches(these slimy things.....phewwwww!!!).

At around 12:45 we decided to have lunch and took a particular trail that led us to a small waterfall. I ran towards the waterfall, as it was looking beautiful and thought that this will be the ideal place to break for lunch. But, as we were standing on one of the rocks near the waterfall, we saw that our shoes were covered with leeches - almost 5-6 leeches on each of our legs. We ran out of that place and had to remove all the leeches using the snuff powder. We had to look out for a 'safer-haven' for lunch.There was a big rock on the way, on top of which there were some trekkers who had also come for Tadiandamol. We also had to decide on the future course of the journey;as, we had plans of going to Soma-male, we had to take a call & decide fast as the visibility was dropping. Harshad opined that it was worthless going to the summit, as its going to be only mist (whiteness everywhere) and we cannot have a view from the top; we concurred.

We had 3 options in front of us:
(1) Go back to Bangalore
(2) Finish Tadiandamol and start for Soma-male
(3) Try some tourist spot in Coorg

(2) was not feasible due to monsoon, leeches and poor visibility. (3) was not feasible due to the money factor and also due to the luggage that we were carrying ( and BLD did not have any clothes to change ). Hence (1) was the solution.

After initial scepticisms, we decided to pitch our tent near the rock. It was a fun-time pitching the tent - almost took 45mins , after lots of acrobatics. I must say that pitiching a tent in such a rainy and windy whether was a great team-activity and needs equally great co-ordination among the members. We had our lunch inside the tent. Menu included Bread, Palak Paneer , and Bhindi masala. After lunch, we tried to pack the tent back into the bag - this was another helluva acitivity. The tent had become double heavy (due to water) ; we had to carry this all the way back home. I carried this 20kg tent almost till the base of Tadiandamol and Harshad was kind enough to carry it from there.[ BLD obliged us by not carrying the tent :-) ]

We continues our descent and reached the base. We had a break for around 30mins here; had some biscuits and chocolates and dried our socks and jerkins. We continued from there and reach Nalknad Palace. This was a small 2 storyed house that had no impressions of a Palace - but was good to look at. The door was locked , but Harshad and BLD managed to opened it. We went in and took a stroll. The 'inner' doors of the palace were locked and hence we couldnt go in.

We continued towards the road that would lead us to a bus-stand from where we could catch a bus back home. After halting in a bus-stand for around 15 minutes, we decided that we would go towards Kakkebbe and catch a bus to Virajpet from there. But luckily, we got a bus to Virajpet on the way and we reached there by around 7:30pm. We had dinner at a hotel nearby. Menu included steaming ghee rice, parotta and chappatti along with lemon tea.On reaching the bus stand, we came to know the that the next bus to Blore was only at 10:30 and had to wait till then. The bus finally came in at around 10pm and we all boarded the same and reached Blore at 4:45am.Myself and Harshad bid adieu to BLD and returned back to Koramangala.

I would rate this trek as a typical monsoon trek (2 out of 5) ; a pretty easy one and not quite amusing and would in no way will have lasting memories(except for the leech attack and the tent experience)

Probably, its the leeches that make Monsoon treks what they are. Mist laden mountains and dense forests with constant downpour make the trek interesting.But sometimes, the whiteness of the mists is too boring and can bother any anxious traveller who is constantly on the lookout for something interesting happening around and to find out some beautiful valleys and ridges.

[ No Photos available from this trek; 2 reasons : (i) Constant downpour that would in no way allow us to take our camera out and take snaps and (ii) No camera-
batteries]

Travel Expenses :
Bangalore to Virajpet - 173INR
Virajpet to Madikkeri - 22 INR
Madikkeri to Napoklu - 15 INR
Napoklu to Kakkabbe- 15 INR
Kakkabbeto Virajpet - 15 INR
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