Bedaguli to Bylore thro Jodigere

What - This is a trek through the Chamarajanagar Forest Department area, the details of which are available in painful detail at The trek is moderate if done in one day and pretty easy if u stretch it over two. The most irritating part of the trek is all the cash u shell out to the Forest department. That goes like this ...

Forest Entry fee --- Rs. 100/-
Trekking Fee -- Rs. 100/- per day!!!
Night stay fees -- Rs. 150/- (WTF!!!!)
Vehicle parking fee -- Rs. 50/- (Thats pretty much the limit!!!)
Lunch -- Rs. 90/- (They mite actually serve in a gold plate!)
Guide Fee -- Rs. 300

and so on ........

Once you get over the hit on the wallet .... its all nice and dandy!!

The Blah - As usual, me and Sirish decided to head out 'anywhere' over the weekend - even spending a day doing nothing at Bandipur was fine with us. And then, came in the suggestion by Tarsh about the Bedaguli - Jodigere - Bylore route and no one had any problems.

But then .... whats a trek without problems!! Those things started with Jitu having a meeting with a client at eleven on Saturday, when we were supposed to start the trek at 1430!!! Tarsh, in his usual ways, conned us into starting at noon and it would be 1300 hrs when we reached Mysore road!!! The 'we' comprised Sirish, Tarsh, Jitu, Sunaad, Paddy n myself joined by Subbu and two of his friends - Deepak and Sunil.

Just when we thought we could start the trek a couple of hours late, we were diverted off Mysore Rd onto Kanakpura!! Not that the extra 30 kms made a hell of a difference. What made the difference was the pathetic excuse for a National Highway that was the road connecting Kanakpura and Malavalli. We probably spent a couple of hours traversing the forty odd kms and the Qualis could have pretty much pulled the journey off with just first and second gears on it!!

After reaching Malavalli and passing thro Kollegal, we reached Chamarajanagar at 1730 hrs!!! Phew!!! And Subbu had been watiting there since One pm!!! :)) Couldn't help but chuckle!! After stopping at a roadside shop for bajjis et al, we put in a further 60 kms towards Sathyamangalam and reached the Karnataka - TN border at Punajur gate by seven pm!!! By then, we had forgotten that we were there to trek!!!

After permissions from the forest office to venture into the forest area towards Bedaguli, we started what turned out to be a 18 kms Night safari!! And the sightings started - the Sambars, the Bisons, the Hares ... the usual!! Some guys were lucky to see a huge owl flying across too!! By then, the driver who was really pissed with us loosened up a bit and even tried to catch a hare!!! The best sight tho, was of a beautiful stag, which, finding itself trapped in front of the Qualis, tried jumping a ten foot high barrier!! Wish I had a better camera!!!

When we finally reached Bedaguli after 2100 hrs and woke up random ppl to get ourselves into the Inspection Bunglow, junta were highly excited and wanted to have a night trek!! As they were trying to convince a reluctant forest guard about the same, all I could remember was my Mudumalai experience!! When the forest guard says it ain't safe - take his word!!!

The team -- Two forest guards, Deepak, myself, Sunil, Sirish, Sunaad, Paddy, Jithu, Tarsh, the other forest officer ..... and Subbu who took the snap!!

As we started the trek around half past seven and saw the green grass on the trail .... the mist covered surroundings and the greenery all around - we had pretty much forgotten the fight of the previous day!! As soon as we ascended further above the trees, we were greeted with this spectacle .... Have a look!!

The lump of concrete at the far end was the Guest House at Jodigere with a spectacular view all around and a breeze that would lift you off!!

I believe I can fly ..... I believe I can touch the sky ....... I think about it every night and day, spread my wings and fly away!!!
I believe I can soar ... See me running through that open door ... I believe I can fly!!!! :-)

After all the flying ........ and admiring the views around us ... we got down to breakfast. When that proved insufficient to fill up our hungry selves, we decided to dig into the lunch bounty! But Voila!! The lunch had disappeared!! We had forgotten to carry along the lunch packets!!! Sooooooper trekkers we were!!! :-)

A hungry stomach and Subbu's company together are just too difficult to handle!! No wonder Jithu tried pulling off this stunt!!!

It was around half past ten when we left Jodigere - there was ample time for lunch! Trekking on a hungry stomach is another challenge altogether ... and we started walking faster so that we wouldn't miss lunch by too long a time!! But the monsoon setting in, the cloud cover, the cool breeze, the grass-laden hills all around and our enchanted minds would all conspire to make us walk a bit slower .... enjoying every moment of it!

When the time came to descend from the hill-tops towards Bylore, Paddy, Sunaad and Myself were just too reluctant to leave ..... And we probably shouldn't have!! Coz the rest of the trek was plain descent - though in the shade of the trees marking the Karnataka - TN border - was devoid of the breeze and the views..... :-(

In the snap above, the right side is Karnataka and the left was TamilNadu!! And we were walking along the border ..... Before we knew it, it was time for the trek to end!! By 3 pm, we were battling the humid conditions down in the plains at Bylore .... and we were glad the trek was over!!

Animal sightings during the trek included a family of Sambars (which included a small doe) and a hell lot of bisons - all on an adjoining hill. We just got a glimpse of a bear ambling under the forest cover and avoided stumbling over a green snake ....

Disappointed at the lack of sightings, we were cribbing at Bylore, when our very enterprising driver walks up to us with a story of "Four tiger sightings on the road - Two large and two cubs" which then expanded to include "four elephants by the side of the road". People bought the story. Even I did.

But when the number of elephants and the sizes of the tigers began to vary every minute, me and Paddy exchanged glances - we both knew that this was a big time bluff. After that minute, we listened carefully to note every minute detail that changed version to version - I couldn't help but sing = "M-TV Subbalakshmige bari ooLu .... bari ooLu!!!" :-))


Arvi said...

You seriously should consider freelancing for some of the dailies and their metro sections! Or maybe even Outlook traveller! You've got an excellent blog, and I'm going to pass it on to a few friends.

Anonymous said...

xcellent PJ ;)


Anonymous said...

Hit up on this over google. Going here over the weekend!

Somehow the forest watch tower at the top reminds me of a trek i had done long ago about 14 years ago(dont remember the name). At that time we went trekking during a cyclone and the whole top of the watch tower was blown off. We were dead wet for a full two days and leeches to boot till we hit Punjur. We did it from Kollegal side. Thanks for the blog though