I usually plan my trips after reading blogs. The commercial travel websites which fill your first page of google search will not tell about these non-commercialized places. I went through lot of blogs and planned this trip.
We took this blog a print out and went ahead which helped us a lot. If anyone searches in the internet for Narsima Parvatha trek same story (Height of the peak, where to start, where to end, trek difficulty and so on.) repeats. I don’t want to fill the internet again with same details, rather I will fill in with my experience and how my first time trek was.
This is my first trek and was happy to see that it is a trek of moderate difficulty. There are two routes for reaching the peak, one from Agumbe and another one from Kigga. We took the Agumbe route as the friends group which I joined had lot of experience in trekking. Only thing I was afraid of after reading blogs was the snakes and Naxals, but the leeches over there taught me a lesson that be afraid of them too (too many bites ) .
We were 5 in number. As planned the trekking was on Saturday morning, we want to take good rest while travelling there. KSRTC Volvo buses got filled; we can’t choose non Volvo as it will be tiring. Doing all the calculation (5*700 one way + travel inside town using Auto) we concluded to rent a car from Bangalore.
Treks are usually started early to have lot of time to reach the top. Unfortunately we missed the route to Agumbe and we reached the place by 9.00. We had our breakfast, from a restaurant in Agumbe bus stand, took parcel lunch and went to the trek starting place, Malandur. With our guide we started trekking by 10.30 and we entered the forest. We then remembered that the iodex, salt and lime we bought were in the car. First mistake!
Along the way we entered the bushes which had no trail. These are not trees; these are shrubs that are above our heads. For the first time we entered the dense forest with no sunlight and obviously any trial.
We saw couple of water streams on the way. It gave me the enthusiasms to walk faster. I know for the fact that first stop is a waterfall and it is 7 Km away. Good part of it, it was a nice view to see the water streams in middle of forest. Bad part of it, we had to drench our shoes.
After trekking inside the forest for about 2.00 hrs. we reached the Barkana falls. (I do not have the exact distance, people give different numbers, so let’s have the average of 7 Kms.) Time ticks 12.30 PM. Our guide said you can have a bath and take rest, you have 30 minutes. Sadly we did not carry any extra cloths because of weight. First regret!
“For occasional trekker will not carry anything in backpack other than eatables and water.” that’s how I consoled myself, still a regret.
The First 15 minutes we spent in removing the leeches that we carried on the way. These guys went inside my shoes and socks and sucking my blood with no trace of pain. There were 4 of them inside my left shoe only. Of course we removed the leeches when ever we saw them jumping upon us on the way, still there are lot of these culprits that will escape your notice.
The next 15 minutes was the relief. We were on top of the falls. One side it was a narrow opening and you can see a big hill opposite, other side water was coming from above somewhere inside the forest. Lot of pics, jumped over the rocks and went till a point here we could go. We spotted a rattlesnake over the rock. Just imagine you stamped the snake and it bit you, your blood clots in a place where the nearest house is 7 Km away and you are already frothing at the mouth. That was really scary. Never forgot to capture this guy.
The water was so clear here. This was the first water source and the next water source will be at the peak. . We started after filling our bottles with water. Till this point ascend was not very steep or tough.
From the falls ascend was steep and I felt my calves sore. Being inside a dense forest which is called cherrapunji of south with lot of wetness all over the place, I was excited to go ahead with each step. Actually I had to go ahead with each step without any breaks in between. Leeches were our motivation. Whenever we stop to remove one leech, there will be three more leeches climbing on us. They catch your shoes and then get into your socks. I pulled out at least 50+ of them on my way (you can’t stop your instinct/reflex of removing a leech at sight). Climbing was made easier in this phase with the help of a pole. Do grab a pole when you are starting from waterfall.
Finally we reached the grassland. I remember my sixth class geography when I studied about evergreen forest and grass lands. I laid down and looked onto the sky saying, “oh yeah! Sixth class geography is for real!” seeing the googles photos is one thing experiencing it with your own eyes,ears, nose etc.., is another. We had our lunch there. We had shared 3 bottles of water for 5 persons and we ran out of water when we had our lunch. We should have carried at least one liter for one person. One more mistake to be corrected.
Walking on grassland with the sun above, with a breeze on the face and with the gentle touch of the grass was amazing. It lasted for about a kilometer or fifteen minutes. Then guide said, “OK climb this and we will reach the peak in another one hour”. Horror! till now the cool sun turned on the heat, we are sweating more and the sky went dark! We literally climbed the mountain that we used to draw on our school days like this /\/\/\. But the tickle feeling inside your stomach on climbing the scenery that you drew 18 years ago was amazing. Each step climbing upon with two mixed feeling was WoW. Everything was real, Mountains, grass, sun, cloud and river. Let Alone the sun, you can see only green and blue colors all around you.
Final stretch before the peak was a small forest. Our leech buddies were also there inviting us. This forest was having some different share and shade of green. There were lots of green hangings between the trees.
Joy was overflowing. We could see the peak at our sight. The abandoned house on top of the peak was one classic place to take photographs. We can see the traces of people who had enjoyed tenting here. Now the trek is allowed only 6-6.
When you see the house from a distance it will take away all your tiredness. You know you have seen the spot from where your 5hr journey comes to an end.
We get only BSNL signal From Agumbe onward, but at the peak we get Airtel Signal. We could make a Facebook check in from the peak and we did!!!
Sight from peak was not the best sight that we could get; there are lots of beautiful places for a view point in lot of hill stations. But the trek showed me reaching here by walk was the best thing, as the saying goes ‘It’s all about the journey, not the destination’.
Getting down through the Kigga route was “break” less. I mean with all tired legs I couldn’t even apply breaks to my legs. Like free flowing water we ran down quickly the six kilometers in an hour. No stopping for pictures and no halting for rest. We saw the Kigga temple at our sight and we took our breath. On our way down I just took one leech on my leg. It was the safest route and shortest route. But you don’t get to see the falls. You can see the grass land but you don’t get to climb the scenery that you drew for your drawing competitions.
Night stay at Sringeri devasthana lodge. Next day morning visited to Sringeri temple, followed by Kigga temple. By noon we reached Sirimane falls.
Sirimane falls is a full commercialized place with ten rupee ticket we can visit the falls. We wanted to enjoy the falls but it was too crowded . Then we remembered about the MagheBailu Falls.
We had our lunch in a fruits shop near by Sirimane falls. Pineapple, papaya, orange and cucumber we ate each fruit two rounds and paid 200. As cheap as you can expect. Talking to the shopkeeper led us to the right direction for the MagheBailu falls. Here is the direction “From Sirimane on the same route back to Kigga, you will find a circle. There will be school near to the circle. Just near that will be a mud road that leads to ‘Battara Mane‘. From there you need to walk for a kilometer to reach the falls”
Reaching there in our sedan car was a bad idea. Our driver was cursing us saying, why you are taking my car a trekking. We again missed the battar mane and went ahead. By luck our car survived the forest route. We did miss the right ‘Battara Mane’ and went ahead, fortunately we were saved by a family on the way. Alert: we came to know that that road leads to a small village which is 25 KMS away inside forest. God only saved us.
We reached Battara Mane. This guy was so kind and gave us lime for the leech and showed us the route to the falls. This is a 15 minutes trek inside the damp forest again. You get a lot of small leeches that will feed on you. But spending some blood is worth the visit to the falls. The nature is best at its own, mesmerized with the beauty of the falls. We spent more than one hour in this freezing water.
From falls we reached back to Battara Mane and had a good evening snack. Family treated us so well. They even showed us how they are generating hydro powered electricity. They also offer homestay. I even thought, let alone the trekking, I can spend a good weekend in this homestay visiting the falls and Sringeri, it will be nice for sure.
Pics from Battara mane.
Started to bangalore after having dinner at some random hotel and reached at 4.00 in the morning.
Things I learnt:
- Do not forget anything in your car 😛
- Take lot of leech precautions. Salt, oil etc. anything. Google it.
- No, leech will not kill you. Yes, the itching it makes after that night will kill you for a week. Some are allergic and it continues for even long time.
- Everyone carry small bag with water and snack. Carry dress if you really want to take bath in falls. A rope bag will do the trick.
- Find a good stick. It will help in climbing steep areas.
Accounts: Planned and executed as expected 3k per head. Including Guide 500 , Trek Permission 200 .
Contacts: Guide :8277411618. Battara Mane : 9483559548.