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Trek from MM Hills – Nagamale – Gopinatha

September 5, 2009 7 comments

It had been a long time since my last trek / trip. Sent a mail eco club of Yahoo! asking if people wanted to join me. The response was over whelming. There was a waiting list for the trek!!!! Prajwal was laughing his ass off.

After making the necessary phone calls and preparations, we were ready for the trek.

Friday night and Saturday:

So, totally 19 of us left for MM Hills on a Friday night (around 12 PM). Stopped at Maddur coffee day, had some coffee and reached MM Hills at 6 AM. The forest department was not yet open. We went and had idlis in a roadside restaurant and took VIP guesthouse to freshen up. We went to the forest office, called the ACF and made them open the office. ACF Prabhar is one of the survivors from Special Task Force. He has escaped death from Veerappan’s hands 4 times. We made the payments. We were unnecessarily charged for porters (they call it the Transportation charges) and no porters accompanied us. We were charged for 3 guides and only one came along. So kindly be wary about that.

We bought some vegetables and curds so that the villagers could cook for us. The TT then dropped us at the starting point of the trek, which is 2km from the forest office. The vehicles went back to the Forest Dept office. The trek was moderately difficult. We were walking to Nagamaale, which was around 12 KM from MM Hills. Nagamaale is a village with no motorable road connections. The villagers have to walk 6 to 15KM to MM Hills, Palar or Gopinatha for any transport. Naagamale has a Shiva temple. The specialty of the temple is that a huge rock has split (most probably because of an earth quake) and looks like a Snake’s hood is right above a Shiv ling. A lot of local people go this temple and as a result we find umpteen number of Tea shops on the way along with small kids selling buttermilk for Rs 2 per glass. Half way to Naagamale is a village called Indignatha. There are jeeps, which go to Indignatha and charge Rs 30 per head. We reached Indignatha at around 1.30 PM. We had multiple cups of tea and glucose biscuits. It was lunchtime and the teashops would prepare food on request. The waiting period is one hour. I had carried around 30 dry chapatis and chutney powder, pickle along with me. These chapatis and Nataraja Rajagopalan’s (nraja) obattu was our lunch. There is a sweet water well and well is dirty. Luckily I had carried enough water and others filled up there bottles.

Naagamale is 4 KM from Indignatha – we had to cross just one hill. We picked some buttermilk and raw mangoes along our way. The route is a stone way to avoid the walking path from getting screwed due to rains. Luckily for us the whole day was cloudy and we didn’t have to face the harsh sun. At the top of the hill, the rain god showered his blessings. We pulled our raincoats, clicked some amazing photos and reached Naagamale by 5. We had a big temple choultry for us. Gopalv pulled his sleeping bag out and dozed off. I thought poker to Manish Chauhan, Rajesh, Sanchit, Bharat, Madan Epuri and others. Some of them were playing rummy, which is not so interesting. The dinner was served at around 7.30. The menu was very simple. Rice, sambar and curds. We finished 2 buckets of rice and sambhar along with curd. Most of them slept off and later in the night Gopal, Pushkar, Rajesh, Karthikay and myself started playing with Gopalv’s camera ( Nikon D 300, I wish I could buy it right now). End of day one and we dozed off like babies.

Sunday

I got up at 7 (cos of lack of sleep in TT) and was the last one to get up. We washed up. The water looks like as some phenyl has been added to it. We went to the temple. It is 1 KM from the village and on top of another hill. The sun was playing hide and seek with us, hiding behind the clouds and showing itself to us. We came back and had Chitraanna for breakfast. We decided to go to Gopinatha (10 KM) from Naagamale as it was closer to Hogennakal falls. The route is downhill and was easy. Our guide Veeranna had left a message with the Forest office using his walkie-talkie, asking the vehicles to come to Gopinatha. We reached Gopinatha at 2 and the TT’s were waiting for us. Gopinatha is the village of Verappan and his lands can be seen. We bid farewell to Veeranna and headed to Hogenakkal falls. We had lunch near Hogennakal falls (Karnataka side) – Omelet and meals. The coracle ride costs Rs. 150 per head for 2 hours and it is expensive compared to the Tamil Nadu side. The boatman / coracleman took us near the falls and the water was spraying on our faces. Hogennakal water is very dirty from the Karnataka side. He avoided taking us to the Tamil Nadu side where the main falls exists. We forced him to take us on the TN side. A body massage on Karnataka side costed Rs 200 where as on the TN side it was Rs 100. Around 7 of us got our whole body massaged and took bath in the falls. We were good as new and could have trekked for another 10KM 🙂

We left Hogennakal at around 6, had dinner in a dhaba at 12.20 near Maddur and reached home at around 2AM.

Overall, it was a good experience and gave us a break that we wanted.

Details: Website: http://www.mysterytrails.com/MMHillsToNaagaMale.htm

Contact details: Deputy conservator of forests, Kollegal Division

E-mail: dcfkollegal@mysterytrails.com

Phone: 08224-252027 Fax: 08224-252027

Cost: Talk to the clerks not to charge you unnecessarily and it should not cost you more then Rs 500 per head for both the days including everything. Best time to go: Post monsoons so that you can see wild animals Safety: The guide carries a gun and it it pretty safe

Distance from Bangalore – MM hills – 260 KM

Trek difficulty: Moderate

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