A blog coming live after 30 days, lots of transitions happening over the days, that, even I stopped opening TLT page for a while, and getting back on track was quite a challenge. August was a flood hit month for western part of Karnataka, washing out Coorg and routes of Mangaluru, the season which turns out to be the best time to visit is now a tragic. It’s now I opened the analytics page and reviewed the stats which raised my eye brows, with no activity on the page over a month and still readers proved me wrong, viewers activity was still stable and growing, this is why I like monsoon. Explored Kemmangundi on 12th August and here’s the post on it.

Kemmangundi a panoramic hill station in Tarikere taluk of Chikmagalur elevated at 1434m above sea level and it’s because of this elevation the hill experiences mix of hot summer and heavy rains during the monsoon.

Best time to visit: Post Monsoon Sep – Jan
Trek Difficulty: Moderate
Route: Nelamangala, Kunigal, Channarayanapatna, Arsikere, Kadur, Lingadahalli, Kemmanagudi

Tip-off

  • Riding on a ghat section is always an adrenaline pushed one, and a rainy day is just like a warm welcome into the incautious zone. Be cautious on the speed and braking.
  • Riding down the cliff in a bike with a stopped engine is the most dangerous act, inviting for a havoc, remember running engine is an additional brake for the vehicle.
  • Trekking during monsoon? Carry a pack of salt handy to get rid of leeches. Lighters and match sticks will stand no match on the foggy and drizzling weather.
  • Protect your DSLRs on a rainy condition, in extreme foggy weather, the effect can be seen on the camera screen getting covered with fog. Its better to remove the battery to avoid further damage.

 

NH-Emergency Contact Number
Tumkur, Pune NH – +91 8050050056
Nelamangala NH – 18004252248
Nelamangala, Hassan, Mangaluru – +91 9900074460

Day 1: 11 August 2018

It seemed like August being a trip to Chikmagalur in TLT only difference is the year.

Combination of ride and exploration. 280 Km of ride –sense of monsoon rains, dark clouds gathering, NH pit stop enjoying the tea with the sights of passer by vehicle, crystal clear Arsikere road, it was like defragmenting the memory after a month of toiling.

The last 15 Km was potholes filled ride, it was manageable in dry conditions (not the same on return journey), 12:00 reached Kemmangundi, when it comes to choosing a stay online the options is limited with only Z-point lodging, but not the same when you’re in Kemmangundi, the place is filled with lodge and homestays. Here are few of the options,

Tanvi Rest-INN (Stayed) Homestay and Resorts too available ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Contact: 9980921991, 9945231274
Brundavana Lodging ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Contact: 897156064, 8884912500
Z-point Lodge ⭐⭐
Contact: 080959 68318
Places to visit:
  • Kalhatti Falls
  • Hebbe Falls – 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (Will be allowed in batches through jeep and then 2 KM of walk, cost 400 per head in jeep, private vehicles not allowed)
  • Z-point Trek  – Open all time (Recommended to visit after 6 AM and return before 6 PM, takes nearly 1hr 15 min to reach the Z-Point, for beginners 1hr 45min to 2 hrs.)
  • Krishna Rajendra Hill Station (Raj Bhavan) (well known for sun set view point and bhadra reservoir)

Kalhatti Falls, Hebbe falls, Z-point and Krishna Rajendra Hill station are on the same way, first comes Kalhatti falls and to end with KR Hill station. It’s 10 KM to Z-Point trek and in another 2 KM KR Hill station, and the entire half day it was raining. The rain just enlightened Kemmangundi, riding in the hill on a raining day is a blessing, 5 KM of good road, 2 KM off road (in very bad condition) and 5 KM manageable road. Spared Z-point trek for day 2 as it was already 5 in the evening and almost covered with darkness.

Kalhatti Falls,

A temple surrounded with falls, better not to have this on priority, as it is crowded and not maintained at all. Cleanliness is a concern here.

Hebbe Falls,

Next to Kalhatti falls, hebbe falls needs to be visited in department jeeps and they cost 400 per person, the ride would take up to 30 to 45 mins and would drop you till the place the jeep could reach from where one needs to walk upto 2 KM to reach the falls. One can enjoy in the cold water of the falls, no restrictions.

Note: The jeep that you hire, will wait till an hour before the return journey. So make sure you’re on time else the situation gets difficult as the mobile networks go off (only BSNL available), remember you’re in a forest.

Learnt from the officer, earlier private vehicles too were allowed, but few years back people have spotted tigers wandering on the way to the falls, though none were harmed, as a precaution public and private vehicles were stopped and the ride to falls is guided by the forest department. It’s good that with minimal fee one can have a relaxing walk to Hebbe falls.

Krishna Rajendra Hill Station or Raj Bhavana and Bhadra Reservoir

Next to hebbe falls comes a check post, vehicles will be checked before moving further. In next 2 km is start point of Z-Point trek (spared for next day), and then comes KR Hill station and Bhadra Reservoir. KR hills is most renowned for sunset view point, it was fortunate that the entire scene was covered with fog that day. The rocks were slippery, drizzling, fog covering the view point and the reservoir making it difficult to view anything. Bhadra reservoir was barely visible.

Return to stay, downhill ride was a mesmerizing one. Came over few land slides too, luckily wasn’t in the scene when it happened.

Day 2: A day spent in rain

7:00 Morning peeking out of the window, it was fully covered with fog, ghost grey fog, noiseless and bloodless. Witnessing it was mirage-like as it moved.

8:30 started uphill 10KM to explore Z-Point, and the fog seemed to diminish slowly and turning into drizzles. And there was no hope for recovery in the weather, might not be the ideal season to trek but expected there was a thrilling experience ahead (including leech) 😫

Z-Point Trek
Recommended to visit after sunrise and return before dark.
No permission needed
Total trek distance  ~5 km
The trek itself keeps one interesting as it has must stop pitstop sections

  • Shanthi falls

Difficulty – Easy
Trek time – 20 to 30 mins

  • Peshi Point

Trek Difficulty – Moderate (on dry conditions), Challenging (on rainy conditions)
Trek Time – 15 mins

  • Z-Point trekking peak

Trek Difficulty – Moderate (on dry conditions), Challenging (on rainy conditions)
Trek Time – 45 mins

On a total the trek can be completed under 2 hrs one way.

The walk till Shanthi falls was a butter smooth one, it was just a 20 min walk for us. Needed to go through the hurdle where the stream of water flow was heavy due to the previous day rain. Reaching Shanti falls marks half way of the trek but, the real trek was awaiting..

One can get in the falls and spend some valuable time, be cautious the rocks are slippery on rainy conditions and one will be prone to leeches. It’s from this point the leech army are waiting for their prey.

Shanthi Falls

Note: Carry a pack of salt while trekking z-point during monsoon or post monsoon since the lighters and match box are no match for the conditions.

The rest of the trek was complete thrilling and adventurous one. Moving just 500 mts away from Shanthi falls, reached the narrow one way path and from this point till the peak the trek was surrounded by lush green exotic flora, drizzles, fog covering in front, the cold wind producing witch kind of scream, running water stream in the walkway, and emotions were combination of joy and fear, like “HedonePhobos”. And on reaching the peak, spell bound, after all the fight with leeches the view that stands in front of you is just hypnotising. Nothing more could have asked for a better start for the day.

Quality hours spent on the peak before the return trek. Apart from idle time spent at Shanthi falls, Peshi Point and Z-point peak the total trek time alone would have been around 3hrs and 15mins.

Came across a gang of trekkers with nothing in their hand, checked with them are they carrying anything to protect from leeches, NO was their instant answer, shared the experience and handed over half pack of salt to them.

Reached the stay around 13:00 hrs, lunch at red hills hotel, got the chain lubricated and at 15:00 hrs journey of 280 KM to Bangalore started, the journey which could have lasted for 6 hrs got exceeded to 8 hrs and 30 mins thanks to the bad weather, monsoon was at top. But riding in the rain is never a constraint, its then the eternal joy is felt.

In a sentence, Kemmangundi Escape into the Serene Land.

Until next time, 👋🏽👋🏽, and as you always do, keep following and supporting.

7 thoughts on “Kemmangundi, Escape into the Serene Land

  1. I always like treks which are bit challenging. This trek sounds like the same during monsoon. Isn’t it worth exploring the nature in its best natural state? I second your thought of eternal joy. Thanks for the salty Tip for leeches. That is really helpful.

    1. Thank you Sinjana. Agreed, driving in rain is scary but after a while when you relish those moments, I bet that would be the best ever. Riding in rain is challenging, dreamy and a special one. Try out riding through Charmadi Ghat if you get a chance to visit Karnataka this monsoon 🙂

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