Sunday, December 19, 2010

Trekking Guide: Narasimha Parvatha, Karnataka, India

I came across Mr. M R Krishnappa when I was on a trekking expedition through the forests of Agumbe. In fact, he was our trekking guide to Barakona Falls, a picturesque location in the Western Ghats. Mr. Krishnappa is a farmer and doubles up as a trekking guide to ensure his family gets two square meals every day of the year.

He generally guides tourists on the slightly confusing treks around Agumbe (read Barakona Falls, Vanakebe Falls and Koodlu Theertha). But his speciality is the Narasimha Parvatha trek that starts near his village (Malandur) and ends up at Kigga near Sringeri (a total trekking distance of about 27 kilometres). This trek passes through extremely dense forests and through the heart of naxalite area and hence requires expert guidance. This trek can be completed either in a day if the group is quick on their feet or in two days if they prefer a relaxed trek. In case of a night halt, Mr. Krishnappa knows forest watch tower areas where camps can be pitched.

In terms of cost, Mr. Krishnappa’s charges are pretty nominal. He charges Rs 800 for a single day Narasimha Parvatha trek and Rs.1000 for a two day trek. The trekking group share their accommodation and food with him during the trek. In our case, he charged us Rs.250 for our trek to Barakona falls and back. During our trek, I found him to be extremely knowledgeable about the forest, birds and plants. However, he converses only in Kannada.

If you are interested in availing his services as a trekking guide in his region, you can reach out to him at his home fixed line 08181 – 292021.

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