Kodachadri trek: A joy walk to hill of Jasmine #NatureWalkers

2017 was about to bid adieu to all of us. Festive season was on full swing, joy and happiness was surrounding us. An adrenaline rush in the air.

Yes, it was the most awaited weekend just before the New Year…Christmas weekend. We decided to try something different this time. Something other than usual parties, loud music or a lightening dance floor. So we planned to listen to the nature’s music, to sing along with the cool breeze and to dance with the holy drizzles of waterfall. Yeah, we decided to go on a trek to feel the nature closely, a journey towards ourselves… to climb the mountain of life, to see the sunset of feelings.

Now the question comes where and how to start? Because arranging everything in such a short time that too during peak season, was quite a difficult task. It was ‘Nature Walkers’, who came for our rescue, and we joined their trek to “Kodachadri”.

Details of the trek:

  • Trekking Hill: Kodachadri – a mountain in the Western Ghats in South India.
  • Location: Shivamogga Dist., Karnataka State (10th highest peak in Karnataka).
  • Altitude: 1,343 meters above sea level.
  • Trekking distance: around 15 kms (one way).
  • Trek Level: Moderate
  • Distance from Bangalore: approx. 410 Km

Once again excitement of meeting new people and serenity of nature enveloped us. And we NATURE WALKERS embarked on our nature walk. We, a group of 19, gathered at specified pick point and left from Bangalore in a mini bus to start our journey.
Dark night, among unknown individuals/groups, having different backgrounds, gossiping with adjacent person – all in a bus and like this we took our first step of our journey. With the pace we were leaving Bangalore city, the traffic jam, unwanted and sudden brakes and jerks, noisy honks, kinky lights: all vanished steadily.

Everyone was eagerly waiting for the ice breaker in order to interact, to get dissolve …to form a new but a single group.
And it all started when our Trek leads interrupted and came up with an impressive plan, which was to introduce the person sitting next to you including 3 interesting facts about him/her. It was a fun part and at some points everyone laughed and slowly became acquaintances from strangers. We stopped at a restaurant for dinner, post which we were briefed about the trek’s do’s and don’ts by the trek leads. Further which our eyes started to close with the pace of moving bus, with the slight humps and cool winds, and we slept.

Early morning, our sleep broke due to the solid jerks of humps and road definitely our bus was not having a very good suspension :P. Though it was not that bad, as we had fun with this also.
So finally after a long bus trip we reached the home-stay in morning around 7. It was a core village, surrounded by hills. The first view itself was green and magnificent. And those refreshing sunshine were adding an extra flavor.

We got freshen up, had home cooked breakfast in the home-stay, took necessary items and water for the trek. One can see the excitement in each pair of eyes trying to capture the beautiful surrounding, and with that begins the journey of our lovely trek.

Walking a kilometer in a unmetalled road the trek trail started with a small water stream. After crossing which we took our first step of the trek. Marching further, forest started where one can smell the nature. Roads started to become muddy, covered with leaves and narrower, and finally road disappeared. Now we have to walk through the forest area which was becoming more and more dense, though more beautiful.

We kept moving, and as soon the first thirst of water strike to our minds, we were amazed to see a home-made buttermilk shop all of a sudden. It was a small place with some paddy fields and 2-3 houses. It looked so awesome and so was the taste of buttermilk – like never before. We had some rest for few minutes after this boost up drink and headed again as it was just the beginning.
We crossed the paddy fields, and then starts the trek which was no more easy. Full of rocks, narrow line, rugged road but the best part parallel to small waterfalls and streams. Though the trek was not simple but helping hands, and awesome weather didn’t let us feel it difficult. Following each other we were just going with the flow, listening to the ‘kal-kal’ sound of fresh water-stream, it was so soothing, so pleasant.

Little did we know that chasing the water stream will lead us to the mountainous waterfall ‘Hidlumane Falls’. After climbing some rocks, we were standing in front of a gorgeous waterfall. Lovely sound of splashing water, water droplets sprinkling on us, and those sun rays coming from the top of the mountain was just making it heavenly.

Reluctantly most of us entered into the waterfall and enjoyed the chilling water falling from the cascading rocks. Water was crystal clear and it seems like milk is flowing from mountain. We enjoyed the waterfall and the photo-shoot for half an hour and then started again. Now the sunshine was providing its warmth to us, after the chilling water of fall. Slowly we ascended one after another, small – small peaks which came on the way.

Time was moving with its pace and so were we… It was afternoon when the atmosphere became hot, sun was in its full glory, by this time we were thirsty and hungry. Some of us got tired, but motivation for stretching your limits works well, so did our trek lead, she managed situation nicely.

After walking through some plain, dried grass, rocky mountain we got a glimpse of road, it was a sign that we have covered more than half of the distance and it was a lunch time. We paused for some time and had lime water which was available near the road and walked along the road to reach a Jeep Stop. Yeah, if you don’t want to do trek there is this option of Jeep ride also. Near to this stop, we had our lunch which was pre-arranged by localites. Post lunch we had entertaining round of ‘dumb charades’, and really we had a fun time over there.

After taking rest we resumed our journey to claim the rest of mountain, to reach the peak. Again the path was through the forest area, and rocky mountains. It was more uphill now. But we gathered our energy and moved ahead. Little before the peak we encountered a cave temple. It was a Ganesha temple, and to our surprise a priest was also there. That small cave temple, between the mountains and the scenic place was making it spiritual in every sense.

Climbing further, we could see the Sarvajna Peeth Temple at the top. Finally we were almost there and now all the tiredness was gone as soon we saw the magnificent view, the scenic beauty of nature.

Crossing the Sarvajna Peeth, we marched towards our destination, the last peak of Kodachadri trek, the sunset view point. After climbing so much, it was a cake walk, besides it was rocky and slippery due to small rocks, which we had to manage. The small rocks there were shining as if they are welcoming you. FYI the shine was there as it contains iron and magnesium ores.

Finally the moment came, after some hurdles, some tiredness, some motivation, sun and shade, ups and downs we arrived the destined peak. And no doubt it was just awesome…like you are standing on top of the world, giving you immense feeling of calmness and satisfaction. The scenery around was mind boggling, peaceful valleys and the breeze which not only provides you the happiness but also to your inner soul… Indeed Marvelous!

We reached on perfect time; the sun was all set to take adieu. With each passing second as the sun started to set, the view was becoming more and more beautiful. It is said that the sunset view which we were witnessing is actually the majestic Arabian Sea horizon. True or not, the colorful horizon with the shades of red, orange, blue and black, was just astonishing and peaceful. One can actually feel the music in the air, vast panoramic view, the real beauty of nature which one can never get in a metro city life.

We waited till the sun was fully set, it was getting dark now. So we the Nature Walkers started marching back towards the jeep station. In was completely dark now, we took out our torch lights, but none stopped. We moved, walked and finally reached the jeep stop, witnessing the beautiful stars and that shy half moon was looking like saying goodbye to us.

Whilst boarding on jeep, we never thought that this isn’t just a jeep ride. No it wasn’t. It was a roller-coaster ride. Believe me, in those turns, and hilly-rugged road, those crazy drivers showed us their skills which were not the normal one. Waving in jeeps, listening to songs and shouting, as we do in adventurous rides we landed up in our home-stay after the thrilling ride.

We took rest and had dinner, succeeded by the bonfire. This one thing, provides you the party feeling in the midst of woods. Those songs sung by us while playing ‘antakshari’ under the open sky full of stars, next to bonfire in the chilling night gives you goosebumps. As the time passed we wished good night to everyone and had a sound sleep in the home-stay.

Nupp, the trip isn’t over yet, my friend. The next morning, after having our breakfast we checked out from the hotel stay and started towards the ‘Nagara fort’. This fort was situated around 25 km from the home-stay towards Bangalore.

We explored the fort which was kind of remains of the fort, but still a place to visit. Had a lot of fun, took our final pictures in our mobiles, cameras as well and heart.

And finally our beautiful journey came to an end. We had lunch on the way back to Bangalore. Now was the time to say goodbye but we didn’t come back empty-handed.  Our pockets might be empty but our hearts were full of memories and new friends which were just acquaintance a day back. We are bonded by the nature walk assisted by nature walkers!

Thank you, if you are still here!

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Kolukkumalai-Meesapulimala trek: A trek to remember !!

It was going to be a boring weekend when suddenly i came to know about a trek to somewhere. Place which i couldn’t pronounce at the first time until i got used to it. A friend of mine was going to that trek and hence asked me also to join. As i didn’t had any special plans for the weekend i also replied affirmative. Furthermore, I convinced two of my friends and hence the journey started with group of total twenty-two. 22 enthusiasts, with no prior acquaintances, just with the same passion to explore.
We “Bangalore ASCENDers” started our journey to one of the most beautiful treks in Western Ghats.
Details:
  • Location: Kolukkumalai-Meesapulimala trek (Highest organic tea estate in the world)
  • Trekking Distance: 35+ km (up and down)
  • Trekking Level: Moderate
  • Distance from Bangalore: approx. 480 km(one way)
  • Temperature Variation: 05-28 degree celecius
We all gathered at two places(Bangalore) and started on Friday night around 10 PM by two tempo travellers (TT). Sitting with unknown persons, thinking just – What next ?
And swiftly, somehow, no idea when but we started talking. Though it was night and everyone wanted to have a sound sleep which was not easy in TT but still we started to get acquainted. And slowly as time ticks away, miles were covered and we started to sleep.
It was a unusual feeling – dark night, highway road, cool wind and two TT’s going together towards the destination. Sometimes one vehicle will be ahead and sometimes the other. It was like two life-forms trying to overtake each other but still being together in the race of life. Lights were off, smooth music was playing, in between some honking sounds were coming and the cold breeze, we didn’t come to know we when all slept.
And finally in the morning when the sun was shining on our faces, we woke up in the moving vehicle. Took a halt in a restaurant, freshen up and had breakfast, got the lunch packed as well. Because this was our only stop before we start trekking to the awesome and giant mountain.
So after getting ready and the breakfast, we started again to base of Kolukkumalai hill. On the way we took permit from the forest department for trekking as well staying at the hill.

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The time we landed on the Kolukkumalai hill base, it was already 10’O clock in the morning. So without any delay we started our journey with the backpacks each containing at least two-three liters of water and other essentials including blanket. As the whole trek of around 15 km was not having any water stream on the way, carrying water was a clever option.
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As we ascended, we started to feel the passions, to explore, to see the real nature. View was getting more and more beautiful as we were climbing up. With the surroundings of huge mountains it was looking like we moving towards the heaven on earth. With different paces everyone was moving, stopping, taking rest and starting again. Though there were some difficulties for some persons but it is a part of life. There is no joy without pain. The scenic view after getting totally exhausted was worth millions of bucks. And the cool breeze which was making you feel calm even after full sun was something you can only feel not explain.
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Mixed feelings – pain and elation, fear and enthusiasm, tiredness and passion, with all this we reached to the mid point of trek to have some rest. We had a stop there and and our packed lunch as well. Waited till everyone joined and had some rest. Sun was exactly on top of our head, but the wind was not hot thanks to the nature. Having sun on top that pine tree below which we stopped was kind of blessing, and the view was beautiful.
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Relaxing for at least half and hour everyone again started to claim the other remaining half of the mountain. To tell we are not yet done. We got the energy to reach the top. And soon nature was with us. Sun was hiding in the clouds, cool wind started to blow and enough pace to make you unstable. With this climate those high grasses and delusional path was looking like just a equilibrium of life.
We kept on ascending and the scene was progressively getting astounding. All water was emptied till we were about to reach the top. With a thirst of reaching at top and water of course, finally we reached.
And the view of first water tap having water, believe me was the one of the best feeling we had, literally. Wind pressure was too high to stand or walk, so we stopped for few minutes had water from that heavenly water tap and then marched toward the tea shop. The tea shop was outlet of tea factory which was produced from that very tea plantation. Yes, we reached at the top of Kolukkumalai Tea estate, the WORLD’s highest tea plantation. And that tea, in the chilling weather, dusky evening and after tired of trekking was like satisfying all the thirst we had.
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It was evening now we moved to the camping place. Yes, you heard it right we were going to camp for overnight stay in the chilling cold and heavy wind at the altitude of 2640 m. Thanks to the organizers our tents were set up while we waited in a single room and after evening snacks. We had a little more introduction as we were planning to sleep after the splendid trek and the chilling winds. Though that introduction went far ahead than we thought as we were waiting for the dinner also. New people, little talks and that freshly made dinner made the moments and food was so much tasty, the cook guys were just awesome.
After the dinner then we settled in tents with our bags, below the open sky and in a chilling weather of around 08 -10 degree Celsius. But it was quite comfortable as we were provided with the sleeping bags. One part was missed “Campfire”, due to heavy winds but the wait for dinner and those small talks recovered it.
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Finally,we witnessed a new morning, totally different from the routine one. The morning view at the top was breathtaking. Suddenly everything was looking worth of the one full day trek.
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After a light breakfast we started for the Meesapulimala trek, a trek which goes through the tea plantation, then dense trees and finally to the open peak with damn heavy winds.
Going through the tea plantation and the scenic view was just dazzling.

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Slowly, talking and moving we crossed the tea and dense trees and reached to the open peak. Yet another 300-500 meters were remaining for the peak. When we witnessed something extreme, something i had never been through. It was none other than the wind, which was so much relaxing a day before. Wind pressure was so much that around 50-80 meters we had to crawl, literally crawl as no one of us was able to get up and walk in that wind pressure. It gave us a feeling that any was is going on and we had to crawl and move in order to survive. But that little distance was the thing which we are going to remember always. That high velocity wind, making you feel that you are tiny creature in front of this nature. And after that finally we were above the clouds in all the ways physically as well mentally.
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The view at the top was just magnificent and heavenly.
We waited there for sometime, relaxed while seeing the flying clounds from the view as well our minds.
It was a stress buster and so relaxing.

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Finally we started to descend from the Messapulimala peak. And after reaching the camping place we again had a solid yummy breakfast. As the breakfast finished finally we said Goodbye to the highest tea estate and same way descended from the Kolukkumalai peak. It took us around four more hours to reach the starting point. In between we had fresh mangoes from the tree.
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Once we reached the starting point of journey, we started towards Bangalore with a memorable trek in our hearts. With new friends with new hopes 🙂
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Thanks  🙂

What am I doing ??

what-am-i-doingIs this is the question you encounter every night before falling asleep, sitting alone or when thinking about yourself. If yes, then you are not the only one my dear friend.

The culture we are following now a days actually makes us think so. And to a great extent i agree, this is a real question. Really man, what the hell I am doing in my life ? Where my life is going ? What i want, but what I do for it ? What I am doing at 03:30AM and why ?

Life is becoming more and more miserable day by day. Its like getting stuck in bog slowly. Daily we see, we analyse that this is not going to help. We need a change but still, same story again.

I don’t know about your problem or what’s in your mind. But I can tell if this is the question which crosses your mind, then definitely you are not satisfied with yourself somewhere.

I’ll tell you a short story. A story of normal guy with some achievable dreams. Everyday morning he wakes up, gets ready for same monotonous job, goes and come back from office, tries to be happy and then ultimately sleeps confused mind. Dreams, deep inside he knows that he can do it. But the thing which is coming in between him and his dream is called as “Comfort Zone”. Lack of clarity, misunderstanding, certain circumstances etc. there can be a lot of reasons behind that. But comfort zone is also one of them, which if collaborated with any of other, then it has the potential to destroy you. As each and every day you will think, if what you are really doing in your life but still you cant move.

Are you not one of them ? Daily night who thinks a lot and decides that one need to do something in life seriously now. But what happens next day. Again same thing, you were not able to come out of your daily routine, your comfort zone.

Somewhere in between in our dreams and circumstances, we choose the comfort zone. Is it not your story also? I guess then you are none other than most of population today.

I am leaving the question to you only, because no one can better understand in your life. Also its easy to write something than really go through it. Its your life, your decision. Hoping ultimately you’ll figure out “What the hell I am doing with my life.”

Imagination….

IMAGINATION

Its all about your imagination..

Have you ever imagined how your life will be without an imagination ?

Question seems quite weird, isn’t it. But just give a thought. Of-course there will be some good aspect and some bad imagination. You came across a advertisement of a lavish car and you buy it, how cool ! or you got angry and you murdered the person..Oops.

Just imagine doing anything without a second thought, without worrying about the consequences, like JUST DO IT! How much easier it would be. On the other hand performing an action without an analysis, without thinking about the result, how much worse it could be.

Imagination leads you to a world you can not be sometimes. Often imagination shows us what we want, sometimes it provides us happiness, satisfaction which we might never get(not under-estimating you). I won’t argue if you say imagination is also the one which makes people feel sad, depressed or negative, it is.

But as well said what happiness is:  “Happiness is not a destination, its a journey. Happiness is not tomorrow, it is now. Happiness is not a dependency, it is a decision. Happiness is what you are, not what you have”. Happiness is not materialistic, its a feeling, its an imagination that what you really are, what are you doing,  or what you should do.

So, you can use your imagination for being happy, satisfied, or frustrated, it’s all up to you. Sometimes people feel the fear, to move on or to do something. You know what it is, IMAGINATION. Fear of things happened in past, fear of what could happen in future, it’s all imagination but you have to go through it.

Sometimes the only way to move forward is revisit the things in your past that were holding you back. You have to deal with them head-on, no matter how scary they may be. Because once you do, you’ll see that you can go further than you’ve ever imagined.

JUST IMAGINE !!!!!!! 😉

Same shit, everyDAY !

I have no idea what to write in this post. But don’t know why there is an internal feeling that i should burst this out.

Shit Happens! Everyday.

Everyday is not the anomalous thing, but SAME is something which I feel is aberrant. We are humans, definitely we are going to create some mess or might be a part of it someday. And it should be, because shit happens when people do something or try to do something. Doing nothing can not be the appropriate solution.

The thing which needs to be taken care is, when stuff happens one should learn from it. Keeping in mind the pros and cons of whatsit, one should proceed further in life. As well said “Sometimes the things we can’t change, end up changing us“.

Howbeit, what generally I or most people do (hoping I still have not been excluded from the Homo-Sapiens species yet), is we repeat same thing everyday. Knowing the consequences still we do it. Do you know WHY ? Simple, because we are lazy and irresolute. We already have idea what could happen, so we just keep it postponing. I think daily that from tomorrow I won’t do this/that. But the very next day, I just reschedule what I thought, to the next day. I am not saying, that everyone does this. Even it shows my laziness and somewhat behavior which is not much appreciable by nature. But to be true, I do this often. Every new morning I think I am going to change, make some changes but till night I end up with same routine of life. And slowly these things become habit, and worse, some become bad habits. Once these habits abode in you, my friend, believe me You are Done! It will take a more lot of energy and time to get rid of things.

Thus, as far as I am concerned, Same Shit Happens Everyday (SSHE) ! And really folks, this should not happen. One to try, not actually try instead they should apply, not repeating the same mistake again and again. Because I know and you too that you are capable of doing things, make them right. You just need a impulse. So what are you waiting for, Just do it today! 🙂

India across the lines !!

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Not an outlandish question: Is India even a country?
The founder of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, argued that, “India is not a real country. Instead it is thirty two seperate nations that happens to be arrayed along the British rail line.”

Do you agree? To somewhat extent I agree with this statement. I mean, everyone knows that India is known for it various cultures, people, languages, tribes and religions. It happens to a combination of different type of people with their typical lifestyles. But when it comes to a country, to a nation each Indian is one and inseparable. We are not arrayed along the British rail line instead we are united with the spirit of one nation. Rail line may be a mode of transportation which connects us but we are connected by heart.

A country like India, trying to emerge out economically and politically with more than 1.2 billion population, it is not easy. India has seen two good decades of 1980’s and 1990’s, with a developing economy. But if one needs to India become a superpower, we need not to copy others. We just have to use our capabilities, that’s all!

India has been typical lifestyles of most other developing countries, which reform only in a crisis and fritter away the gains when things are going well. but it need to be consistent, reformation is must.

Centralization of every sector is good but in a country like India with a diversity, it would be better to keep the competition between the states. Because every state in India is totally different,the people there knows better how to compete. And this competition overall will lead India to a place with no competition.

Although level of frustration and corruption is high in India. Even people say India grows at night while the government sleeps. Shouldn’t it grow while day also. This can only be done by fading the corruption and frustration to nill. And atmosphere change may lead to a decline in these. And the recent events like anticorruption fight by Anna Hajare and Delhi gang rape revolt shows us we have capability to stand and fight. And our current prime minister Narendra Modi shows and leads the urge to change, trying to cross the lines.

India has the potential. The question is that ‘Can the country live upto its potential?’

For the better or worse India is where the future will be made. Let’s get it right.

Reclaiming and reinventing India!

Re-imagining

India ! An emerging economy, an emerging superpower and a developing nation. India, whose name is taken with incredibility.
We often hear a lot of tags under the brand “India”. But does it really possess the potential to reinvent India? Are people of India capable of overcoming the problems and reimagining India? Let’s have a look.

India have a history better than any other nation. It was the ‘Maghads‘ of India, who made the Macedonian conqueror stop and return. Alexander the Great, after winning over Seria, Egypt and Persia was unable to get triumph over India. Our country was one of the superpower nation that time. Many world travelers have well praised the India in history. Even in British notes you can also find that India was far better and lavish than their own kingdom. Akbar and other emperors of India were the most powerful persons in that period of time.

Not only in wealth, but if you would recall, the inhabitants of MohanJo-Daro and Rakhigarhi build the world’s first known urban- sanitation systems five thousand years ago and may have been the first to use wheeled transport.

In sector of education, India had unbeatable Gurukul systems and international universities like Takshashila and Nalanda university. One can easily analyze the abundance of knowledge and literature as the 9 storey library of Nalanda was on fire whole three months, which counts as a semester today.

So, it is very clear that India has already tasted the taste of superpower in every sector. Although it has been a long time but one can be sure that definitely India has the potential.

No vision for India’s future can be completed without an awareness of India’s extraordinary past. After a long pause now again India is on the way to show its real potential, to re-invent India.

Anekta me ekta, hai bharat ki viseshta “. An abundance of life- vibrant, chaotic, and tumultuous- has long been India’s foremost asset.

Recent activities and event which took place in India shows the urge to change, to re-imagine. Overtime, Indian have embraced the notion that, whatever their differences be, they are part of a single nation.

Previous two- three years have been turning point. It was the time when people rebelled. They moved on from the politics of anger and frustration to politics of hopes and aspiration. It is now, when our nation is in the position to leverage its success as a liberal, diverse democracy. Indeed, liberisation and the burst of entrepreneuralism and growth that followed can be described as India’s first effort to “reclaim” itself.

It is the best time to show what we are capable of, to unlock the potential, to a new round of recapturing India. It is well said by Mahatma Gandhi that- “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem”. We don’t need much extra effort, we just need to use our capability and importantly will power is necessary because we have the potential. The potential to make India a superpower nation, its real tag.