Saturday, December 26, 2015

Kodajadri - Entering in to the graduate school of trekking

Oh, dear you are too long to walk for a day
Pilgrim's progress 
Last time when I was in Mookambika, I went to Kudajadri by Jeep. This time before leaving itself I made a pact with Jithu that we will trek to Kudajadri – to and fro. He was a bit apprehensive in the beginning. After searching a lot in internet we finally found out that, bus is available from Mookambika temple to Tarekatte. From there we need to walk close to 13km through forest to reach the top. First bus to Tarekatte from temple junction was at 8.15AM. Not to miss the bus, we skipped breakfast. By 9.15 we reached Tarekatte.

It was hardly a bus stop; in fact, it was just a turn in the middle of forest. At one side there was a sign board indicating the path to Kudajadri. Thus we started our walk.

Kodajadri Peak

You need more blood? Sorry, I can't give it to you
Located in Western Ghats, this peak is the 10th highest peak in Karnataka (Shivamogga District) with a height of 1,343m from sea level. From Kollur it will take around 21 km to reach here. This peak has significant importance in Hindu religious system. It is believed that sage Adi Sankara visited this peak and meditated here. A small temple called ‘Sarvajna Peeta’ is there on the top in his memory. Some 2 km down, there is one more temple which is considered as ‘Sri Moolashanam’ (Original location) of Mokkambika Temple. It was Sankaracharya who built a temple at Kollur for Mookambika Devi. A large group of devotees, mainly from Kerala, visit Kudajadri (most of them prefer Jeep) alongside Mookambika temple.

Growing - We leave the past behind and accelerate towards the future

On that day we were not alone for trekking. Some more people got down from bus - one group and another two guys.  These two guys – Subhash and Rajesh – joined with us and we together started our long walk. For few kilometers trekking path was wide and forest was shallow. Except for a number of snakes and numerous leeches we hardly saw any animals. Buy the way, leeches were efficient in locating human blood and drinking it. One won’t even know that these little creatures are doing it so smartly. Fortunately, we saw snakes before they saw us!!!

On the way...
After trekking for a while we reached at the edge of a small plain surrounded by green hills. A minor village with not more than 20-25 homes were located there. We had our breakfast from a small hotel and then started our next phase. From there, we had to travel close to 10-12 km through dense forest. I was the first one to climb the hills but energy didn’t last long. Last one week’s hard work and tiredness quickly caught up with me and took more rest than all other combined!!! Without doubt, the journey was a fascinating one.

On the way we met many who were on their return voyage after spending one full night at top. After a while we reached a mountain side and sat there for some time. From here we could see Kodajadri temples and peak on the next hill; however, there is a gorge in between. Hence we need to take a L shaped lengthy path to reach there. While sitting here we met another group (Shiva Yogi and Co.) who are also on the way to Kudajadri. For some of them, it was their second or third journey through the same path. For rest of the journey we were together. By the way, if any one likes to stay at Kodajadri at night then they can use inspection bungalow or preist’s home.

After taking 5-10 mins of break in an open area watered by a small creek we started our final ascend. Soon we reached inspection bungalow and temples. From there Sarvanja peeta is another 2 KM.  If it was not for friends, I would have stopped there itself. But they persisted and finally I also started climbing. But, I was so tired that, I had to let them go at an open area from where one can see two peaks and a valley. I spent next one hour there enjoying the sights of small yellow flowers and a pats on the back by white colored cold wind coming from the valley. That one hour was probably the best experience I had in the entire trekking.

Without reaching Sarvaja Peeta I can’t claim that I reached the top. Feeling rejuvenated after the cold wind recharged by energy cells I started walking towards ‘Sarvajna Peeta’ and soon reached there. During my last journey I went to Chitramoola Cave (located down but on other side of the hill), hence skipped that part and walked towards the edge of a cliff and sat there waiting for Jithu and others to come back.

While coming back we took the jeep. For one way they charged 250 INR/person (for complete journey they are charging 350). It took one hour and 45 minutes to reach Kollur by jeep. By the way, this jeep is going through probably one of the roughest motor-able path in the world itself!!!  After having a Masala Dosa from Vasudev Adiga’s at Kollur we were ready for return journey.

Memories captured by lens,

Subhash, Rajesh and Jithu - Four men in a boat
Here we stand and saw all of you
Caught people on the way and enlarged the group

Some place to sit in between.

I too need some honey
Meditating is good for health
In the name of Adi Sankara - Sarvajna Peedam
I, Me, Myself
Dear Sweety, don't fly away
Hmm, let me see what is on the other side
Hmmm.... not so dense, siblings are far away
I too have a story to tell
Temples at the top of the hills, article of faith.

Hills don't frighten me

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