Pushing your own limits is considered a worthwhile experience. You are doing something more than expected and what you think your body and mind are capable of achieving. Trekking offers you the liberty to be fit and test your limits at the same time. Be it for fitness or trail purposes for the next Everest destination, each trekking experience is considered to give you better aims and happy realizations. You go into a zone where everything is decluttered and clarity comes to life. Less pollution and population, fresh air and greenery, moving forward to an unknown destination with an unmatched purpose, and once you are at the top of that journey, everything is crystal clear in front of you. You learnt, experienced and decluttered.
Facing B12 and Iron deficiency problems I avoided long haul treks for a while because I was scared to faint or lose my breath along the way. But this time two amazing friends Neha and Mani promised to be there and Neha motivated us to be a part of the Kodachadri Trek organized by Nature Walkers. This trek is considered difficult for beginners and challenges each potential of yours. But Nature Walkers made it an amazing and unforgettable experience. They take you to unexplored places in Karnataka, which are not only unheard of, but untouched by human race, therefore you can find the quiet that you are looking for. Simple and sweet itineraries that do not look complicated, less hidden costs, a personal touch and most of all concern for all the travellers and trekkers as one common family.
Kodachadri is the tenth highest peak in Karnataka and yes one of the challenging treks too. The total distance that you cover is 13km. It has all to offer, that you can think of while going on a trek. Breathtaking views of scenic panoramas along the way , rugged and rough terrains that test your limits, adventurous and challenging there is an element of surprise with the Hidlumane Falls situated 5km on the route of the trek. The cold, fresh and liberating water falling upon your body is divine and makes you wait for that chilled moment that you have been waiting for all your life.It is secluded from the mainstream mountains but I would say is a jewel in South Western Karnataka. We started our journey from Bangalore and reached Kodachadri in the wee hours of morning. Got ready with a quick breakfast from our homestay and got going for the trek. Noteworthy is to mention that the homestay lived up to its expectations of being simple and sweet and offered us a homely feel and home made meals that were piping hot. Village life experienced to its fullest potential at this spot. We were a group of around 20 people and in no time all of us jelled with each other like we were friends from before. The passion for trekking and love for nature kept our group connected for the whole trip.
The first two hours were pretty entertaining with Anupam clicking such awesome pictures over the stream, Mani being his usual self and teasing along the way passing sarcastic comments for every conversation that happened, Neha at her energetic best, Mohan Uncle figuring out his stamina, Amrita leading the group and caring for everyone and then there were the chatterboxes Pradnya and Trijanya, hungry for selfies and pictures of every mountain they saw. We trailed slowly and steadily and caught pace with everyone. We travelled as a group and not solo trekkers. There were so many hurdles and situations where each member gave a helping hand to fellow trekkers and prove that the learnings in the journey were more important than the destination. Nature Walkers does an awesome job of not only keeping everyone together but also checking the fitness levels and stamina needs from time to time. After completing half the trek, the power packs that were provided to us made way for renewed energy and with gushing adrenaline rush we set out for the next leg of our trek. The second lap of the trek was full of stunning landscapes that made you wait even at the steepest slopes to take in the beauty. Ask me what I did not do at this trek, and I have just one answer, I missed a tent, that is all. Apart from that everything was done, falling and slipping down at the waterfall, crawling from the branches of trees and rocks, balancing yourself along the steep slopes, jumping over broken gates and tree trunks, the rock climbs were really terrific. Food stops are planned at such careful intervals, you stumble upon buttermilk shops and cucumber stalls serving everything fresh. Lime juice at turning points was a refresher. The most sweetest ground water was tasted on this trek. As we moved ahead towards the sunset point from Mookambika National Sanctuary, confidence came back to my heart and I started believing more in the power of dreams. Once again the Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani moment of life was coming to picture. This point is a picture painted impeccably on the canvas of nature. You need those precious two minutes to sink in the feeling. As we sat at the backdrop of the sunset, the powerful and glorious orange rays of the sun reflected upon our faces and the whole sweat that went in for trekking was a price that I gave the mountains for giving me such a priceless gift.
We ended on a hilarious note because of Mani of course and satisfaction was experienced after we ended the trek. As we reached our homestay from an unforgettable and awesome jeep ride that moved every inch of my muscle and veins for 9km, going humpety hum and bumpety bum, taking irregular and even irreversible turns, squabbling on our seats for the right place, hitting every nook and corner of the metal pods in the jeep, it was a roller coaster ride from Essel World or Wonderla at the helm of the mountains. Extreme emotions were felt from squeaky laughters to fibble cries of fear. The night was spend with a scrumptious, yet simple spread of dinner, waiting for turns to take baths, especially Anupam and then the usual melodrama of electricity that made us wait. The day ended with a camp fire and we were sleeping like logs till next day. A well deserved slumber I must say.
The next day we made a brief visit to Nagara Fort, around 27km from Kodachadri, and just jumped around like monkeys clicking pictures in weird poses on top of the fort. We had a proper group clicking session here. The fort is situated at good height and is built with much thought. What fascinated me the most was the entrance. As we drove back to Bangalore with mixed feelings, one of happiness to go back to my own bed, and the one of sadness because we were leaving the pollution free village, I took back immense learnings and the motto to stay fit after this wonderful trekking experience. Each and every moment during the trek made me ponder over my capabilities and fitness. What I learnt was sportsman spirit matters too!..There are some treks that test your endurance and determination, this served both the purposes not only for me but for all. Take up that gut-wrenching adventure on your next agenda!
Until next time.
Rucha Sudhir Khot