Nethravathi Peak Trek

I had two weekends off, before a new batch would begin at the University. I wanted to make up for all the missed opportunities to trek or travel in the past 5 months. Normally, I trek on my own in the western ghats. But this time, I chose to go with a trekking organiser. I had no time to make the arrangements and gather at least four people to trek with me to make it economical. It therefore made sense to go with a group. That would also allow me to meet new people. I decided to do the Nethravathi peak trek arranged by “Planned the Unplanned”. My friend Mir decided to join me.

On Friday night, the 17th of February, we reached Cubbon park metro station ahead of time. The mini bus arrived at 10PM. The group contained 22 trekkers. Our guides for the trek were Prateek and Tauseef. While waiting for the bus, I met three boys (Pragadeesh, Rahul and Nitish) from Coimbatore. It was nice talking to them about the city that I have close connection with. My wife hails from the city and my in-laws live there. I was soon nicknamed “Coimbatore Mapallai” (Coimbatore groom) by them. That name isn’t new though, I had been referred by that name by some colleagues from TN, back in my office days. 

Once everyone was on board, Prateek initiated the trip with an ice-breaker session. Each one of us had to walk over to the front of the bus and introduce ourself, share our trekking experiences, mention one super power we did like to have and name three things we would carry if our bedroom was on fire. Oh also, we had to introduce ourself with a prefix that is derived from a food item. 

The session played a key role in bonding the members almost immediately. The bus journey to Kalasa is around 6-7 hours long. We reached Bella Homestay, near Samse, at around 6:30AM. Bella Homestay is a neat place to stay at. The rooms and bathrooms are clean. Their food is exceptional. 

As soon as we were ready, the breakfast was served. Apart from us, there was another team doing the same plan. While we waited for the jeeps to arrive, the team played some leg touch game. 

In two jeeps, we drove off to the forest checkpoint that is located around 2-3 km from Samse circle. Here, one needs to take the permission for the trek.  

The trek began at around 9:30AM. It is a fairly easy trek. The views are amazing. You will cross a few waterfalls along your way. However, at this time of the year, they were mostly dry. A trek here during Monsoon would be amazing. 

After several false peaks, we finally reached the summit. You can see Kudremukh peak from here. 

The forest department burns the dry grass during this season, so that fresh green grass grows back with the rains. The neighbouring hill was on fire and it was fast approaching us. We got orders from the base to return quickly. 

Back in the jungle, we stopped to have our packed lunch. We relaxed by the stream for a while before heading back.

Back at the homestay, we took a shower relaxed a bit and took a walk around the farm. Some chose to play cricket. At night, we assembled around a campfire and played Dumb charades and Mafia game. After a tasty dinner, we took a walk up to the road to view the stars. The team began to share some scary ghost stories. Back at the campfire, while the others played Antakshari, I decided to call it a day and hit the bed. I was exhausted. 

Next morning, I woke up early, got ready and took a walk around the farm. The farm at the homestay is filled with bay leaf trees. I collected a few to take home. 

We left from Bella homestay at around 9AM. Our next stop was Kodige /Durgadahalli falls. The group danced to some music  and played Mafia along the way. To get to Kodige waterfall, you need to reach Durgadahalli village. From here, you have to walk about 1.5km to reach the waterfall. Despite a laryngitis, I chose to go under the waterfall. It is okay to speak less for a day. 

After a refreshing shower, we headed back to the bus and drove towards Mudigere. We had lunch at a local dhaba and continued our journey to Belur temple. While others took a look at the temple, I sat by the mantapa. I have been here so many times. I never get bored of this place. It was here that as a kid I had seen an artist sketch and had decided to do the same. I often take day trips to the temple to sketch. 

On our drive back to Bangalore, more Mafia and Antakshari games were played. This team and the trek were incredible. The team was very energetic and positive. The trek was well organised and I had a great time. It indeed was a good break from my routine. 

Here is my Film on Nethravathi peak trek -