Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Backpacking through the Western Ghats – Day 6: Mangalore – Kollur – Kodachadri Forests

My friend and I had visited Kalahatti falls the previous day and had jumped umpteen number of buses to reach Mangalore late in the night. But, the comfort of a hotel room allowed us to get up early to catch the first bus out of Mangalore and towards Kundapur.

Our first bus took us to Kundapur. Then we took a bus to Kollur. Had our lunch here and then paid a visit to the Kollur Mookambika temple. This temple, which is nestled in the Kodachadri hills is an important religious place in the district. The 14m high, centuries old, iron Dwajasthamba (flag-staff) in front of the temple has been compared in quality to the iron pillar of Delhi, for it has withstood the vagaries of time without corroding.

We took the late afternoon bus out of Kollur that took us to the Karakatta gate. There were only 2 buses per day plying towards Karakatta gate. We were planning to enter the Kodachadri forests from here. It was raining heavily by the time we got down at Karakatta gate and we were drenched in no time. And owing to the heavy rain, darkness set in real quick. And to make matters worse, we could hardly see our way through the jungle in the heavy rain even with our headlamps in the brightest mode. Leeches will feeding on us in large numbers. We were right in the middle of the real WILD and had no sense of direction.

Our only source of direction was the lightning strikes that illuminated the entire forest and our path. And that helped us locate a small flat where we decided to camp for the night. After setting up camp, we removed all the leeches clinging onto us, got ourselves dry, had bread and cheese for dinner since we couldn’t light a fire and crashed for the night.

Total Distance Trekked: 8 Kms
Trekking Time: 3 hours

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