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Are you looking for a weekend getaway from Bangalore with the urge of escaping the fast-paced life of the city? We are all set to take you to the lush green meadows, pristine streams and picturesque landscape that’ll leave you in awe, the cold breeze that’ll freeze the moment for your mind to register the definition of beauty and satisfaction.
And what better time to experience all this and more than on a New Years Eve! Join Plan The Unplanned as we head back to nature and celebrate the dawn of a new year the way it’s meant to be celebrated.
DAY 0: Leave from Bangalore by 7:00 PM
Day 0 (29th Dec) – Depart for Kudremukh
An overnight bus journey commences from Bangalore to Chikmagalur. We shall have a brief orientation followed by a fun-filled ice-breaking session where you will get to know your fellow trekkers better.
Day 1 (30th Dec) – Trek to Kudremukh Peak
After an early grab and quick freshening up, everyone now gears up for a bumpy jeep ride to the Kudremukh Trek Base. The ride is adventurous as one crosses coffee plantations, muddy roads with waterfalls and streams as well on the way.
The trek to Kudremukh starts of the Forest Department Office after collecting the permits. The Trek needs to start off as early as 6 AM with strict policies of return time and leave no litter.
Our trek leaders shall now brief you about the entire Kudremukh Trail and certain tips on ascending and descending. We then hit the trail with our Tempo being high and with Plan The Unplanned’s traditional cheer dance.
At the beginning itself, after a few minutes of walking there will be a stream crossing. In monsoons, the flow and depth of the streams would be quiheate vy.
After the stream crossing, there is a slight ascent on a muddy path surrounded by ferns, several shrubs and lush green grass. This continues for around 1 to 1.5 km and then there comes an elevated plain and a stand-alone tree which is called Ontimara. (Lonely Tree)
On the left on Ontimara, the trail becomes flat for some time, on the right one can see the Kudremukh valley and Somavati river flowing below. The trail soon converts into a forest trail- dark shola forests with water streams. There are a lot of leeches at this point, be aware, but it’s difficult to actually avoid them. After another stream crossing, there are open meadows. It is an amazing feeling to trek through dense forests, with open meadows in between. The transition of scenery keeps the thrill till the end.
Kudremukh peak becomes visible after some point. The clouds will come closer and nearer as if to kiss and hug you. Amidst the open meadows, after further walking, there is a board by Forest Department Office stating the direction and distance (7 km) to Kudremukh peak.
After another dense patch of trees, is another stream of water, and the last water source before the peak. After stream crossing, there is a steep ascent. On the right, the view is mesmerizing, clouds passing over rolling lush green hills. Try taking few time lapse videos here. After further ascend you reach the second Ontimara.
Before reaching the Ontimara, be amazed by the Kudremukh range all around. From the Ontimara, the view on the right is enthralling- rolling vibrant green hills, full of energy passing all their energy on to you. After the Ontimara, the trail is a mix of narrow paths between dense forests, bamboo shrubs and steep ascents.
The whole of Kudremukh valley opens up after some point. The structure of the mountain and resemblance to horse can be understood and clearly seen from here. The left-most part of the mountain which resembles the face of a horse the front portion like the stomach and the top like the back of a horse. We will now climb the “horse’s back” part of the mountain and the climb is steep and zig-zag.
The zig-zag steep climb is difficult comparatively but the views encourage to keep going. In monsoon, it usually rains much, along with winds that one will feel as if the raindrops are slapping you. This part of the trail will surely give you the thrill of a monsoon trek.
After the end of the zig-zag point, pause for some time to look and appreciate how far you have come. The rolling hills, lush green and full of life, the open meadows, the grasslands everything on the trail is just perfect, why go to Scotland when you can experience this in India itself.
At the end of zig zag point, there is a rock cluster with a blue arrow mark showing the direction to the peak. One the left there are some ruins which used to be a British Rest house. The last part of the trek is not a steep climb because of the shape of the mountain. It is a level walk past green fields.
At the peak, there is Forest Department Board as well showing the details of Kudremukh peak and other peaks of Kudremukh national park.
Wait sometime there to see the hills and clouds play peek-a-boo. After some time start the descent, capturing and soaking in as much as possible. Leech bites, heavy rains, gusty winds nothing can stop you conquer the peak if you really want to. Come back rejuvenated with a thousand memories, a lot of epic captures and a bunch of new friends.
Day 2 (31st Dec) – Hike to Elniru Falls and Kyathanamakki Hills
Elniru means Sweet coconut, it is said that water is as sweet or tastes similar to coconut water. The ride to Elniru is through muddy roads and one can drive till the motorable area. Then one has to descend down a little to reach the waterfall. On the way, there comes another beautiful waterfall, which looks like wallpaper. Don’t be overwhelmed by that waterfall itself as that isn’t our destination.
After further descend and a then little hike, one can hear the sound of falls in full flow and birds chirping. In some time, the Elniru falls become visible. It is a huge waterfall full of energy, feeling the water on your face is a bliss. Taste the water, it actually tastes sweet Wade your way over slippery rocks and find the perfect spot right underneath the gorgeous waterfalls and experience all your worries melt away along with its pristine waters.
Next, we head towards the Kyatanamakki hills which is a hill station with spectacular landscape and views located near Horanadu and about 20 Km from Kalasa. A short hike towards this viewpoint offers some jaw-dropping views of the Western Ghats surrounding it and is one that simply cannot be missed.
After an adventurous day of exploring and waterfall showering, we finally head back to our homestay right in time for the real party to begin. Celebrate new years eve the way its meant to be celebrated- under the open skies, around a campfire, dancing to some good music and in the company of some amazing people.
Day 3 (1st Jan) – Depart to Bangalore
Today we bid adieu to our cosy homestay and the stunning Kudremukh Range as we board our buses and head back to Bangalore. We expect to be back by around 5 PM.
All this sound exciting? Well, what are you waiting for? Book your seats now for one of the best new year celebrations of your life!