Kolukkumalai Kerala

Kolukkumalai – One Amazing Sunrise trek.

kolukkuamalai
The Colours of Sunset

It was the start of summer. The climate was ready to show off its hotness. I was in search of destinations to go on a trip, but the summer had already started to roast every place out there. And then comes this paradise, made in heaven.

A shivering temperature at the start of summer. Finally, I got to a place, at the borders of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, The high peaks of tea plantations spread across the hills, The Kolukkumalai Tea estate.

Kolukkumalai – Where it is?

Situated at the border, Kolukkumalai is a place in Theni District of Tamil Nadu. The tip of Theni, that a few steps here and there in Kolukkumalai can make you move between states!

Kolukkumalai tea estate

At an altitude of 7130 feet above sea level, Kolukkumalai produces one of the finest tea in India with a flavour of freshness. It is around 32 Kms from Munnar.

Due to the rugged and uneven pathway, Kolukkumalai can be reached only via Jeep from a Suryanelli, Idukki which is around 6 Kms, 2hours of liver and kidneys trying to come out of the mouth-journey or by taking a trek via Kerala named the Meesapulimala trek(will be covered in later blogs).


What to do in Kolukkumalai?

The Kolukkumalai tea estate is known for its sunrise viewpoint up above the clouds with a small 45 minutes trek from camping spot. Owned by the estate, they also offer camping packages which include Camping, Sunrise Trek, campfire, Dinner(NV), Breakfast and lots and lots of fresh amazing tea.

Kolukkumalai sunrise

This place suits to be a great vacation place for families, friends or even solo travellers. Kolukkumalai is an amazing place to spend your weekend away from the hustling and busy life that you can even escape from mobile networks.

The best months to visit are from November to April.

Kolukkumalai
The Cloud Show

How to reach Kolukkumalai?

Situated at the border, Kolukkumalai can be reached via Theni in Tamil Nadu and Munnar in Kerala, both being the easiest to commute. You have Public transports especially buses between Munnar and Theni with Suryanelli – the starting point to Kolukkumalai, in between them.

So any bus between them can help you reach Suryanelli and then Kolukkumalai estate from there.

Kolukkumalai
As the clouds pass by.

Cost for the vacation

The trip to Kolukkumalai would cost you an approximate amount of 3000INR/head.

The camping and trek package will be around 1800-2000INR while the jeep ride from Suryanelli to Kolukkumalai will cost you 4000INR/Jeep(fixed) for to and fro transportation irrespective of the number of people.
Point to Note: Only Jeeps are allowed uphill and any other Vehicle will have a parking space in Suryanelli.
If not Jeep, you can go on a trek into the tea plantations of 6-8kms which will cost.
around 300INR/head for the permission.

Public Bus fares between Munnar and Theni depends on the bus which might range from 100-200.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning to make this weekend a naturally memorable one up above the hills with your people at a lower cost!

Kolukkumalai
Clouds

How was my trip?

Started by early morning in Trichy, I reached Theni in 4 hours and boarded a bus to Munnar from Theni. All alone travelling through the mountains interacting with different people.

Kolukkumalai

The travel was amazing with picturesque views of green agriculture lands everywhere in Tamil Nadu, while mountains and risky roads and clouds in Kerala. As I reached Munnar the view of Anayirangal Dam along with lush green plantations, the Mountains in the background and the clouds floating over the mountains was just a mesmerizing frame to be held in our houses.

After reaching the stop near Suryanelli, I boarded an auto to Suyranelli and in another 20 minutes, I reached there. Met my new friends with whom I enjoyed the whole trip, and started the jeep ride.

It was well and good for around 15 minutes and then started the real thrill of bumps and rocks bringing our every internal organ out through the mouth. The Jeep ride was fully surrounded by the lush green, 106-year tea plantations planted in the British reign.

The speciality of the Tea plantation is that they grow for a hundred years only that it has to be cut then and there in order to get fresh soft leaves for better tea.

Kolukkumalai

After the ride, come the borderline of the states and the Kolukkumalai Tea Estate. The camping site was set in a way to get the view of the Western Ghats and its plantations.
Tasted the tea of Kolukkumalai with its fresh aroma rising the soul from in-depth. After getting to know each other in the camp, we started to explore the place shivering all around.


Singapara is a rock in Kolukkumalai which resembles the face of a Lion. This is known for its view and its placement is like that during the sunrise the sun seems to come out of Lion’s mouth.

Singapara

Pictures with green backgrounds were also so good that it can make great Display Pictures. XD

Then came the Dinner. A special appreciation for the Dinner at Kolukkumalai, with tasty, unlimited non-vegetarian food to fill your stomach and heart.

The campfire was set by then singing multi-lingual songs and getting the warmth of the fire surrounded by very low temperature. Tired but heartful people went to sleep in the tent so that they can wake up for the early morning Sunrise trek. No one until then knew that we were going to witness something beyond life the next morning.

Early morning before the sun was ready, we were ready, shivering with every part of the body possible, not feeling where my fingers are. Started the trek with no fingers literally, it was an easy and small trek to reach the Kolukkumalai Peak.

Slowly we were able to see the lines, the rays of sunlight, ray by ray the sun came outside giving me the best sunrise view ever. While the excitement didn’t stop with the sunrise, as next on stage was the clouds to perform. Moving with the flow of the wind like the clouds were floating everywhere moving up and into the mountains just like my life.

kolukkumalai sunrise
Kolukkumalai Sunrise

The beauty of the cloud show gives motivation to the lives of people who go with the flow. After all the excitement and picturesque, we trekked back down to have Unlimited Tamil Breakfast until the tummy gets full. And we packed our bags and started our ride back to our places.

This trip was not only filled with the rejuvenation of nature but also with the excitement of new people and their friendships.

Kudremukh Trek Karnataka

Kudremukh Trek

Where it is?

Kuduremukha or Kudremukh is a mountain range located in Chikkamagaluru district, Karnataka, India. It is also a small hill station cum mining town situated near the mountain, about 48 kilometres from Karkala and around 20 kilometres from Kalasa, and 335 kilometres from Bangalore.

Starting from Bangalore, we didn’t imagine what a day it was going to be the next day at the Kudremukh trek! All we knew was the Kudremukh trek distance was 21km, to and fro, with some super-awesome experience is waiting.

Kudremukh peak
My co-trekkers

It was a good start with an interactive session with all the other in our group. According to our trek guide, named Jolly, Kudremukh has also topped his list of best treks!


My Experience:

Our travel with the van from Banglore ended at Balegal, from there we took jeeps to reach our homestay at Mullodi. The temperature there at that time around 4:30 AM was around 10°-15°C, chilling our body through the jerkins we were wearing. We reached our homestay, refreshed, had breakfast with tea, and then started the trek.

We were checked for plastics at the Kudremukh forest department office first. It’s actually better to take no plastics as they are plastic free zone.

Into the wild


Now starting the trek at around 7:00 AM, we started walking into the Kudremukh National park’s forest area. It was a mixture of both hiking and trekking. The path was filled with water streams, Plains, grasslands, jungles, and inclined hills.

My most favourite part was the water streams and the forests raised around them. The best thing was that I felt like a forest tribe, into the forests with no network or social life other than your own fellow mates of the Kudremukh trek.

kudremukh trek

Getting into the Kudremukh forests, it is a total off-city place far away from every city culture including the network. The trek starts from the forest department office near the home stay.

First, it was very small inclinations with a water stream parallelly coming with us. After some hike, we would come to cross the same water stream, which will give you an amazing feeling of contentment.

As you continue back on track to the peak you can see the peak from there, and that you will never believe that you will be reaching there in around 5 hours which some 3 mountains away! All through the way, nature will never lack peace and serenity.

Western Ghats

You’ll get to see around 13-15 water streams and the forest surrounding it because of this reason of plants get dense where water is abundant. Out of those 13, around 3 streams are pure and drinkable that you can refill your bottle with the sweetness of nature.

Kudremukh Water stream
Drinking water from Nature

Then comes the hardest part of the trek, the mountains and its inclinations marking the start of the real trek. After crossing all the mountains you get to reach the peak, I just finished it in one line but you will have a great experience that you can get only on backpacking.

At the peak, have lunch, packed from homestay, at 1894 metres above the ground with the company of ever running clouds with its moisture and chillness. With a view of the western ghats, the lush green mountains, the forests and its water streams, with the experience of 1o km trek.

Now getting back down you have to start early, as you have to reach the base before it gets dark, as you will get lost once it gets dark into the forests. Climbing down the mountains is as hard as climbing them up. Slowly and steadily you will have to climb down simultaneously storing memories of all the picturesque views. In all these never forget to socialize yourself with all your trekmates to make the trip more beautifull.

The next day you can go to the Somavati river near the homestay. This will refresh you from all the tiredness of the 21kms and 11hours of trekking, with its ice chill water straight from nature. You can never get the refreshment that waterfalls and rivers give anywhere else! So, never miss it at any cause.

Itinerary:

Day 0(Night) – Start from Bangalore to reach the Base by Early morning.
Day 1(Morning) – Start of trekking to the peak.
(Afternoon) – Reaching the peak and having lunch.
(Evening) – Reaching the base camp after the trek down.
(Night) – Have a campfire session and let your soul get its warmth from totally different people and your body from the fire.

Day 2 (Morning) – Refresh your soul and body with a bath at the
Somavati river.
(Evening) – Reach Bangalore again to the routine life.

Sounds like a perfect Weekend plan right! 😀

Kudremukh trek - Traveloguer

Other Details :

Difficulty – Moderate to Difficult, So is life, just give it a try!

Best seasons: If you want a dry, sunny trek with no insects and slippy paths – from October to December.

View in October to December

If you want to see the lush green beauty of the Kudremukh with insects – months of June to August.

View in June to August

Note :  Kudremukh trek will be closed from January to May.

The Kudremukh forest department will allow only 50 people per day for trekking.

Average cost: ₹3500-4000 / head

Package link: Get Beyond Limits or you can also search for some other package!

Skandagiri hills - traveloguer Karnataka

Skandagiri Hills – Weekend Getaway from Bangalore!

Skandagiri hills

Here I am, with my next post on a stunning viewpoint near Bangalore. This place called Skandagiri hills is situated approximately 62kms from Bangalore, 2-3 hours travel from there. Skandagiri hills host a moderately difficult night trek of 5kms with forest cover around. This trek would surely give you a wholesome night trekking experience and a perfect Weekend Getaway from Bangalore!

Skandagiri hills

Starting at nearly 1 AM at Bangalore, start your journey and reach the base camp in around 2-3 hours. The trek is permitted by the Forest Department only after 4 AM. So, the earliest you reach, the more you’ll have to wait. After getting permission from the Forest Department, you’ll start the adventure with just a torchlight, which is a must because you’ll have no light around there other than your torch.

Starting off with simple pathways of normal walks, the trek intensifies, with distance. With more and more kilometers you cover, the temperature starts to decrease and the fog will welcome you with mild shiverings. Still, as you trek, the exercise of your body will keep you warm.
Ultimately you’ll not get even a drop of sweat after 3 hours of exercise!

At the first break of your trek, where you get tired and rest, just lie and look above at the sky. Let your soul reach to those amazing stars on the clear sky with eternal silence.
Now get up and start trekking as you have less time that you have to reach the hilltop before sunrise.

The trek becomes more difficult as you reach halfway with steep and sloppy rocks, slippery stones due to fog, wet mud, brushing wet plants, and many more. Also as the height increases the fog increases, that now you can play shadows with your torch!
Trek and trek and trek to reach the hilltop before 6 AM.

When you reach the top all you will see is fog and dark human figures. Be careful with your steps as you can’t see much. Enjoy the chillness and calmness of the place while waiting for the sunrise.

When you see the tiny dotted sun, move out take a seat at a place with a view of the sun.
As the sun rises and rises, as the fog clears and clears, as your shivers calm down, there you will see the heaven on earth! The sea of clouds, the sea of floating cotton candies, the white Smokey shapes.

Stop, Get astonished.

Skandagiri hills

Shout as much to your excitement, get amazed looking at one of the marvelous creation on earth, one stunning view on earth!

Skandagiri hills

Doesn’t this seem alike to those Heavens from Bollywood movies?

Now let the clouds pass through you, and watch out for tiny droplets of water from the clouds sticking to your hair on eyelids, beard, hands and all over.

Skandagiri hills

Spend another 2 hours with that beautiful creation.
The breathtaking view will leave you mesmerized! Capture every moment with your eyes, to relive it later.

Now get back to senses and trek back down, as the clouds dispel.
The trek back down is also another unbelievable adventure, where you get to see all those views you missed in the darkness of night.

Skandagiri hills

With greenery everywhere, the trek takes you into the forests, grasslands, barren rocks and viewpoints of Skandagiri hills, making your trip more adventurous.

Skandagiri hills

You can also see the passing clouds as you trek down from the Skandagiri hills! Scattered and smaller but as beautiful as floating cotton!

Skandagiri hills

After you get down with your tired legs get back to the base camp give some rest to your legs before starting back.

Post Script:

It’s a Weekend Getaway Night trek where you start around 12-1AM at Bangalore and reach back to Bangalore around 12 PM the next day.
Forest Permission charges will be around 250INR and it’s a 365days/year show!
You can self-drive to the base camp and get permission on your own or get into a package like below for around 1200INR and enjoy with peace.

Click here to register yourself in the next Night trek to Skandagiri hills with 365hops.

Check out my other travelogues!

Architectural Hampi

Comeliest Gokarna

Tamil Nadu

Kolli Hills

You are not going to waste this weekend with junk foods, binge-watching or crying self to sleep after reading this!
Get along to make your weekend adventurous and memorable to Kolli Hills!

A ride along the hairpin bends of Kolli Hills would give the contentment that would consume the body and soul of every bike rider. Such will be the ride to the Agayagangai falls of Kolli hills at around 1300 rise above the level of plains.

I would strongly recommend for a bike ride if you are a rider. If you’re from other districts you can get a rental bike from Trichy or Salem or Namakkal. The ride from Trichy along the banks of River Kaveri is a bliss, with greenery all around and fresh air, that comes passing the mighty Kaveri, carrying the bijou droplets of the river giving the feel of a natural air conditioner.

Ever felt the cool breeze smooching you on a 38°C hot noon with the scorching sun smiling broader till ears?
That’s what is the feeling you would get in this bike ride along banks of Cauvery.

An early morning ride with a bracing atmosphere would give you the feel of the countryside ride in the middle of noisy cities.
As you go along the banks of the river, cut into the city halfway around and get back to the journey to the mighty Kolli Hills!

After getting to the hill, starts the venturesome ride with menacing hairpin bends. Not just 10 or 20, but with fricking 70 hairpin bends, Kolli Hills holds the record of having the highest number of hairpin bends in the country.

I mean just look at the map below of the roads to Kolli Hills. So if you are a bike rider, you should have started by now!

Kolli Hils

After reaching the top with amazing memories of mountain bike trekking, there comes the Agayagangai falls! There are 5 more other falls around Kolli Hills but this falls is perennial all around the year and is as majestic as possible.

And yes, you will get those picturesquely green fields all along the mountain bike trek!

Kolli Hills

At the top of the hills, will be the livelihood of a cluster of shops and other, buy something from them whether it helps them or not, you’ll definitely need something to eat after a trek down the rugged way with huge 1200 steps to reach the ever-flowing tremendous falls.

Stop. Get amazed.

And take a refreshing bath in the elixir of medicinal herbs of the forests!

I urge you to look at the top of the hill standing down below the falls, getting that grand vista of the enormous number of tiny droplets falling from apex straight to your head. That moment, that spectacular moment will be worth every kilometer you came for.

After the bath, get ready for another tiresome trek of 1200 steps, while you can eat the things you’ve bought without getting robbed by monkeys! And then Gear up to start back with another tremendous downhill ride, also don’t forget to watch out for wonderful views nearby cities from the top there!

Do share this with your friends with the circles nearby!

Here for some of my previous posts!

Architectural Hampi

An Adventurous trip around Gokarna

Hampi Karnataka

Architectural Hampi

“The land of seductive ruins” are the words that could best explain the panorama of Hampi. Located at around 13kms from the Hospete, a town in Karnataka, Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in India.

Hampi

Alluring temples, ruins of palaces, remainings of aquatic structures, prehistoric market streets, royal pavilions, bastions, royal platforms, treasury buildings… and on and on. Hampi is literally a backpacker’s paradise, cum a pilgrim’s delight.
The tranquility that prevails in and around Hampi gives every visitor a peaceful mind.

Some main activities to do in Hampi include, taking an auto ride around the town of ruins, of course, with a casual talk with the driver delving the history of the architectural astonishments. He would take you through ancient civilizations including the marketplace, the temples of Ganesha, picturesque mountains of boulder stones, aquatic storage structures, other architectural temples and along with the delightful vistas of agricultural lands featuring viridity. Now just sit back in your seat with casual talks, enjoy the peace that Hampi would give you, the peace with the power of a drug.

Hampi

Among the temples, the special one is the Veerabhadra Temple at Nimbapura nearby, for its architecture. The whole design of the temple may also replicate the Brihadeeswarar temple of Tanjore. But this surrounding is protected seriously from the poisons to the environment, especially plastic and air pollution. Getting down their, nearly 2km away from the temple, people are allowed in only via ticketed electric cars to avoid the air getting polluted. Such is the peace Hampi would give you, off from the cities. This ride around the ancients of the town would take about half a day, plan accordingly so that you can also take a visit to Virupaksha temple situated along the banks of Tungabhadra river.

hampi

Also, don’t forget the beautiful sunset from the high point of sunset point at Matanga hill, a walk away distance from Hampi bus stand, if clouds give you the permission. Some other activities include mountain climbing, that the difficulty level is high as they are boulders. Across the Tungabadhra River to the other side of Hampi, where you can stay in the cottages on the rice fields, do cliff jumping along with the rumors of crocodiles. The best places to stay in Hampi are located across the river, with various qualities. A cottage, thatched huts in the fields, or even hotels.

Hampi

October to March are the peak season to visit Hampi as they are cooler. A visit during the monsoon season (mid-July to Sep) is also good, that you would have to be careful while walking on the boulders since they become quite slippery during these months.

Karnataka

An Adventurous trip around Gokarna

Ooty, Kodaikanal, Shimla.. etc etc. These names are the ones which come to your mind for a Hill station trip on a summer vacation.
But There is this place of heavenly beauty just beneath the Land of parties, Gokarna.
Gokarna is a small temple town in Karnataka, frequented by backpackers and tourists for its pristine beaches and rich culture. It is a quieter version of Goa, with lesser crowds thronging the town.

Beaches sandwiched by the mighty green mountains and the infinite blue sea is definitely an alluring scenery with a quiet and calm environment.

Om, Kudle, Paradise, half moon and Gokarna beaches are 5 main beaches to visit most probably via trekking into thick green mountain forests or via boats around them.
Om beach, the most visited of them all, get its name from its shape which resembles ॐ, and half moon is in the shape of a half moon!

Gokarna also gives the best experience of staying with its shacks(a type of small, often primitive shelter or dwelling. like huts) over the beach sands! Yes, this would give you the waking up with a view experience. Namaste Cafe and other hotels near Om and Kudle beaches give a pleasant stay for a peaceful vacation. These rooms will never miss to awe-inspire you with its ambiance and vistas.

The next best place to stay is the Zostel which every backpacker would know! But this Zostel in Gokarna gives an awesomazing view of the Gokarna beach right from the mountain next to it! Sipping a cup of tea with the new friends of Zostel along with the view of infinite blue mat spread all around is definitely a never-to-be-missed bliss ( Check out for availability in Zostel at least a month before).

 

The foods available here would be a little exorbitant, yet they serve different amazing cuisines. Both Zostel and Namaste Cafe offer a Banquets and beers with a view of its own Gokarna’s beauties. You can get frugal foods at Shacks though.

Some of the main activities to do in Gokarna includes the trek to different beaches along the beaches with divine small temples in between.

Then comes the paragliding against the acoustic waves that run towards the mountains! And then get a bike from a rental near the Gokarna bus stop and take a drive from the beaches to the 16th-century Green paradise called Mirjan fort. This drive will take you through a pulchritudinous village which has a breathtaking view of ponds and agricultural lands alongside the majestic mountains. Every moment of the drive would be picturesque.

This 4-century old Mirjan Fort offers a grand vista of all the agricultural land around it, the Agnashini river flowing tranquillizingly, the palm tree plantations and the viridescent floors of the fort everything is just a panorama to be captured with your eyes. The fort has its own impressiveness with the secret pathways in and around the fort.

Mirjan Fort

 

A glass of tea or coffee and a talk at Namaste cafe with the view of Om beach is another not-to-be-missed lifetime delightful thing to do with your friends!


And then exploring all the mountains around the beaches is another breathtaking experience which would give you various panoramas of the beaches, mountains, infinite sea and its indignant waves beating up with the mountain bases. Also, hunt for the Shiva Caves which is situated in one of the mountains, the search itself gives its own thrill.
If not bike, take an auto drive from the bus stop to the Kudle beach, which will take you through the streets of Gokarna. Stop for a minute on the way from Kudle beach to Om beach which gives this great picturesque of a beach from a mountaintop.

Gokarna has its own seasons to visit with various people. If you want to enjoy your vacation with gangs of Foreigner, the best months are around October and November. If you are to enjoy solitude and calm, drizzling environment, it’s better to plan your trip around May.

The streets also sell a variety of bongs, chillums, and OCBs except for the weed! XD Look out for artistic walls around the streets of Gokarna.
Don’t obliviate to buy the beach clothes, and other Gokarna traditional outfits from the streets of Gokarna, and also to share this blog, comment on your thoughts about this writing.