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Monday, November 30, 2009

Backpacking through the Western Ghats – Day 3: Baba Budangiri to Kemmangundi

Our tent and us somehow withstood the ruffian winds that tried to blow us over in the night at Baba Budangiri. But, surprisingly, the morning wore a very pretty look with the entire world around us gleaming in the bright sunshine.

The morning wore on slowly for us as we had hardly slept in the night. Somehow, we managed to get all packed up. Had breakfast at a nearby shack and started our trek towards Kemmangundi. This was one of the trickiest stretches as there were no trails.

We got directions from the locals and the cattle herdsman and started our trek towards Kemmangundi, which was towards our north west. We went anti-clockwise around the shrine and then headed south west. The trails led us through lush coffee estates and scrub forest through large bare crevasses made by strip mining. We crossed a couple of streams and then headed north west towards the Kemmangundi hill station.

Thanks to the heavy rain the previous night, the terrain seemed to be teeming with leeches. But, it added to our thrill. We reached Kemmangundi by about 2 pm and headed straight towards a small shack for lunch. Kemmangundi is a pretty popular tourist spot and hill station in Karnataka and hence there is not trouble finding food here.

We had learnt our lesson after getting battered by the winds the previous night and hence this time around we chose our camp site with caution. We chose a site that was surrounded by trees and which would protect us from the heavy winds in the night.

After setting our camp site, we went on a short hike to some tourist spots nearby. Most of the trails were in bad shape owing to landslides from the previous night’s rain. Both of us slipped at many places, but, the tough climb was worth it once we reached the view point. The views were phenomenal. The world around us was completely washed in green and it was a very soothing sight.

Post our return to our campsite, we collected some firewood, set up a camp fire, cooked our dinner, planned for our next day and turned in for the night.

Total Distance Trekked: 32 Kms
Trekking Time: 9 hours

To view the entire set of photos, click the album below.
Backpacking through the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India

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