Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Thadiyandamol Trek II – Apr 27-28, 2007

It had been more than 1-1/2 months since I went on a trip, and so naturally I was desperate for one. It happened so that the Monkey Squad (Andrew, Rohan, and Shreelesh) was also planning for one, and so we thought it would be a good idea to go on a trek together.

A little info on the Monkey Squad first. Monkey Squad and I worked in the same team in Bangalore, and those 3 guys lived up to their squad name. These guys are easy going, bright, a good company to move around with, extremely funny, and very good at their work. I really had a very good time the 6 months I worked with them. Now, all three have gone up their career ladder and are doing well.

Coming back to the trip, after numerous discussions on the time and place, we finally zeroed in on Thadiyandamol. I had been to that place already a year back, but who would want to miss the beauty of Thadiyandamol. Thadiyandamol is the highest peak in Coorg at an altitude of 6870 feet. And with the company of Monkey Squad, I knew it was going to be one great trip. In fact, the trip turned out to be so great that we visited one place that we never intended to go – a hospital, but that happened later on.

As per the plan we met in Mysore on Apr 26, with me coming from Coimbatore and Monkey Squad from Bangalore. After a very bumpy and dusty ride (the bus driver was unpredictable, on good roads he was slow and on bad roads he was fast), we reached Madikere, the capital of Coorg, in the evening. The squad had come well prepared, Shreelesh with his high-funda SLR and Andy and Rohan with vodka.

We went to a place called Raja’s Seat on the same day itself. It has beautiful viewpoint a nice little garden. While returning, luckily we found that we can hire bikes for a day or two (it costs Rs.300/= per day), and so we decided to hire bikes to reach Thadiyandamol and for sight seeing.

Thadiyandamol is around 34 km from Madikere. Roads are pretty good till the foothills. Route: Madikere = Bettagiri = Napoklu = Kakkabe = Nalaknad = Thadiyandamol. You have park your vehicle if you go in a 4-wheeler at Nalaknad (there is also a palace at Nalaknad which is open till evening). If you go in a 2-wheeler you can drive another 1.5 km uphill till the road ends. From there you have to walk around 7 km to reach the peak.

It takes around 2-3 hours to cover the entire distance to the peak. Luckily for us, we were the only group that day. The weather too was cool and nice. It was the first trek for Monkey Squad but it never seemed like it. They enjoyed it thoroughly. We had brought ready-to-it meals with us and had a late lunch on our way back. After a very tiring day, we crashed to our beds and had a good sleep.

The next day, Shreelesh showed his true colours, i.e., he showed his murderous instincts. In fact, he took me to a place I have never visited during all my trips – a hospital. Ha ha, jokes apart, it was just an accident. The road took a turn, but we didn’t take a turn, and we fell. Luckily for us, we had only lacerations to our arms and legs, but for no reason Shreelesh kissed the road and got a wound on his lips. After dressing our wounds, we left to Kaveri Nisargadhama (a small island formed by the river Kaveri). Our trip ended with a visit to Kushalnagar, where the famous Golden Temple is situated.

All in all, it was a great trip and I had a great time with the guys. I am sure this is the first of the many trips to come.

Route: Coimbatore = Mysore = Coorg (Madikere).

Cost: Rs.1400/= per head including food, accommodation, and travel.

Thadiyandamol Trek II – Apr 27-28, 2007