The last time I went to TaDiyanDmoL, I described it as "Heaven ..... or the closest I'll get to it". That was last October .... October 2k5. Since then, I've travelled quite a lot - including a trip to the snow-laden landscapes of the Himalayas .... but I still can vividly remember the panoramic views that I had so immensely enjoyed from the top this peak.
With nothing planned for the weekend till Friday evening, KP's call for a one-day trek to Madhugiri was instrumental in me suggesting that we put in two night journeys and go to TadiyanDmoL!! And a few messages and a few phone calls sealed the plans. After we watched the penalty shoot-out which kicked Argentina out of the 2006 FIFA world cup, we were off ....... KP, Shruthi, Sindhu, Shruthi's colleagues - Manish and Sandeep, Bhatta, Subbu and myself ..... off to the highest peak in Coorg.
The peak still was where I had left it the last time around. You can read about that at this link, which gives the general location and route info for the trek.
If we had any doubts if the monsoon had set in, they were dispelled as soon as we entered Coorg. And thanx to the rains, the streams flowing enroute looked all the more pleasing to the eye. :)
The team -- Bhatta, KP, Sindu, Shruti, Sandeep, Manish and Myself ... Subbu clicked the snap.
After breakfast at Madikeri, we reached NalknaD palace and proceeded towards the peak. Just after the palace, we were forced out of the Qualis by the small stream which ran across the road. A km or so on the road led us to the trail which would take us to the top of TaDiyanDmoL. Frequent spells of rain were interspersed with the sun making its appearence and some cool mountain breeze ..... as refreshing as it gets!!
Progress was slow .... painfully slow. What with two reluctant trekkers who were gotten on the trip without a warning as to what lay ahead!!! But then, TaDiyanDmoL doesn't require you to be in the best of physical conditon too .......
Within an hour and a half of embarking on the trek, we were at the most famous milestone of the trek -- the huge boulder across the path ..... We climbed atop this and announced our arrival .... The winds grew stronger and tried to topple us over .... We clinged on, barely.
From my memories of the last time I was here, I knew the peak was a more than an hour away .... But then, Bhatta and KP (both of whom had been here before too) insisted that we were less than half an hour away!! Knowing better than to argue with them [:)], the peak was now less than half an hour away for around an hour!!! [:)]
That part might have helped, actually, to get Sindhu, Sandeep and Manish to trek till the top. 'Just fifteen minutes more' helps reluctant trekkers to finish the trek!!! Finally, around six of those 'just fifteen minutes' later, we were at the top!!! Bhatta was the first one to reach and I very well knew where he would be -- a flat rock which offered a spectacular view of the hills below. As expected, I found him there.
However, this time around, there was no view to enthrall us. It was white all around - we were in the clouds - typical of the monsoon here. After everyone had turned up at the peak, it was time for the feast!! Pooris and Idly's packed from the morning were waiting for us and we pounced upon them in such a way that destitutes in interior Africa could take some pointers!! As soon as the first guy touched the food packets ..... like an IED triggering an explosion .... it started to rain!!! Pour, in fact!!! Everyone scampered for shelter under their raincoats or umbrellas while KP huddled under his rain gear and chomped on his food!!! It was one sight to behold!!!
And so, when the rains did subside, most of the food had been devoured by Kpoooo (for some, also known as Cheepu in certain other circles!!) . The rest of us then sated our hunger with the leftovers ....... Bhatta was so engrossed in the same that he didn't realise that a gust of wind blew his bag over the ledge he was sitting on (see the snap above!) onto GoodnessKnowsWhere!!! Big deal ... it didn't have many things anyway -- Just his Camcorder and an expensive RayBan!! :-)
And what more, the Camcorder was a prize for some 'Rajesh' chap thro an online contest!!
But then ..... Bhatta's greed prevailed and three of us set off on a search and rescue mission - Me, Subbu and Bhatta .... After fifteen minutes of combing through the grasslands, risking our limbs, I finally found the bag -- the treat for which is still pending.
The descent was pretty uneventful - only that we were joined by two more groups and it looked like a procession coming down from the hill ...... Thorough leech checks were done at the end of the trek and we got to Mysore just in time to watch Brazil get kicked out of the World Cup!! After the match got over at 3 am, we rushed back to Bangalore -- Home Sweet Home!!