We started off enthusiastically carrying a medium sized watermelon for a break mid way... things change and the weather was not pleasant, it was hot, dry and even the hillocks were sore all thirsty and dried up desperately waiting for the rains!
Badri and his wife Anu were the slowest (I imagine forget trekking would I be able to even walk around normally another 10 years down the line? kudos to them for their agility and courage...). With a few breaks we reached the top this time quite faster within 2 hours from the hotel santhosh.
The IB was swarming with people all around and we went ahead to Parameshwara Bhat's house that is situated at the back end of the temples and the IB. No bathrooms and we were asked to go to the Agastya theertha for bathing purposes. Leaving Badri's wife there, 5 of us went ahead and somehow finally managed there to find water dripping through a small pipe.. the force of water was decent but the chillness never subsided. Turn by turn standing on the edge of the rock, we bathed in the cool water and then we came back after gulping down few glasses of Majjige.
Heavy lunch, some rest and we were off to view the sunset at the Shankara Peeta (last year we had some fabulous sunset view from here)... and we were there early as the crowd was more and we expected them all there! Our gamble worked and we occupied the balcony seat (edge of the cliff from where you can view without any obstructions in front...) but as the saying "Man proposes god disposes". It was cold and overcast weather and the clouds were playing spoilsport all along... (they were not relenting to let the sun shine through!). We were also not there to give up and slowly the crowd was thinning... and we just sat still enjoying the cool breeze and the groundnuts sold there hoping for the sun to be out! Finally just to please us, the sun was out just for a few minutes to allow us click some snaps and then vanished again behind the clouds. Badri and his wife left early as it was getting dark and chill, but we 4 stayed chatting and enjoying the cool breeze.
We left the place not till we were convinced about no chances of the sun coming out again and slowly trekked back to our resting place. The main disadvantage of staying at the Bhat's house is that you dont get any space of your own... its a common hall let out to all the trekkers and the family uses it too.. so either you watch the tv with them or sit out in the darkness chatting with your group! With the stay being not so comfortable and convenient, the next day's plans were 1. to stay back only if we could manage a room in the IB or 2. trek back and halt at Shivamogga (Badri's relatives house)... Again a heavy dinner and a heavy sleep... lazy bums... we were the last ones to wake up to find the entire hall empty.. @ 7.30 am, all the other groups were out and we were still snoring!!! Woke up finally and checked in the IB with no luck, then went again to Agastya theertha for bathing and decided to trek down back... We thanked and bid goodbye to Bhat's family paying the charges (only the food and tea were charged!) and started our trek downhill stopping for some photographs in between. Plastics were still abundant everywhere and I did my bit ragpicking some strewn plastics and collecting it to dispose in some better place than the hills. At the tea stall in between the guy offered to dispose these plastics at some better place and we reluctantly gave it to him. 90 minutes of downhill trek and we were back at the mallu hotel santhosh for more refreshments and to move ahead.
Trek route: We took the Karakatte gate as the previous year. However there are routes from Nagara and Kodachadri cross. All routes converge near the mallu Hotel Santhosh.
NO PLASTICS please... as mindless people come, dump and go! Am really thinking of alternatives on how to check this dumping!
Accomodation: IB - Mr. Rajendra - 092428 92299; 08185 290368
KK Parameshwara Bhat - 08185 295934
Next time I will ensure I'm there at the right time when there is no crowd and spend some quality time there in the heavenly abode!
Happy Trekking! Preserve Nature!
Care for the nature and the nature cares for you!