Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A mystery trail story!

Here is one more photo blog on my recent trek, for a change, in the Eastern Ghats. There were four reasons for my excitement to choose this trek. One, it was the last trek for few of my trek buddies. Two, I had not trekked much in the Eastern Ghats and I was eagerly waiting to see some dry deciduous forest landscapes. Three, it was the land once ruled by the famous bandit Veerappan and it is a thrilling experience to go through his trails. Four, it was raining heavily all over western ghats. So, dedicating this trip to my friend Suz, who will very soon be a long term immigrant in the most happening country, we chose the Mystery Trails trek from MM Hills to Palar. Mystery Trails is a set of planned eco-treks through the deep jungles of Chamarajanagar range of forests.

12 of us reached MM Hills on Saturday morning and were all set to start our trek. It was not raining so we thought it would be a real good trek. We paid the permission fee and they arranged for a forest guard to accompany us to guide the route. And we started.

As we started, we could see the beautiful valley view of the whole mountain ranges. We were all set to walk for 15 kms on the first day and this was the view we encountered to start with.

I could see the signs of dry deciduous forests just by watching those shrubs alongside the route. Most of them were the Lantana shrubs. And ofcourse they make the beautiful habitat and attract a lot of birds. 

Even though we were told that this was a very difficult trek, we did not find it that difficult because there was nothing to climb. It was just a walk in the forest path. We were actually climbing down the valley and the altitude level was lesser when compared to Bangalore. But I did encounter some of the beautiful sights of the villages/hamlets all along the way. They were looking very beautiful with the backdrop of those huge mountains. 

We were not just enjoying the beauty of the mountain landscapes, we were also getting to see some of the village life and the people who were working hard on the fields. We also go to meet some of the kids on our way who were curious to see crazy trekkers and at the same time excited to pose at our lenses. 

After crossing all the villages, it was just us and the dense forests. Atleast for the first 10 kms, the whole region was covered with lantana and I did not sight any other wild flower or ground orchids that I was expecting to see. But we did see a lot of birds and ofcourse the big one -Elephant. The view all along the way was just breathtaking and a feast for eyes. 

After walking for about 15 kms, we reached Naagamale where we were supposed to rest for the night. We climbed up the Naagamale hill and paid our respects to the famous god Maadeswara and the trademark rock of Naagamale. After which our lenses were busy capturing some birds and to end with the beautiful sunset. 

There was a forest guest house that was big enough to accommodate 12 of us. But most of us were out spending some quality time having fun and playing cards. We started playing cards at 10 pm and ended up sleeping at 2.30 am. The next morning was an absolute delight with some MTR ready to eat food which got finished within seconds. Just imagine one packet of delicious pongal in a plate and 12 hands in the plate. After one more round of the cards game, we were all set to start our second day trek. The second day turned out to be the most beautiful because of the rain showers throughout the day. It was a beautiful route going down to the Palar. 

Interestingly, there was a sudden change in the habitat and it felt like we were in the western ghats for the rest of the day. There were no lantanas anymore and I started seeing some interesting wild flowers and interesting trees. Forest guard helped me to ID some of the trees (ofcourse in Kannada) and I ate good amount of his brain asking for more details. 

We reached Palar by 2pm and that was the end of our trek. Out TT was waiting to pick us up and we headed back to Bangalore. The highlights of the trek were the most beautiful dry deciduous forest landscapes, Lantana camara shrubs, Rains on the second day, the Malai-Seven cards game and those beautiful countrysides. 

Birds sighted: Laughing dove, spotted dove, Indian roller, Treepie, Jungle babblers, Red-whiskered bulbuls, Red vented bulbuls, White-browed bulbul, Common mynas, Coppersmith Barbets, Whistling thrush, Purple-rumped sunbirds, Great tit, Long-tailed shrike, White-throated Kingfisher, Asian Koels, Wagtails, Indian Robins and Common Iora (got the ID after coming back). Even call of Peacocks and bubo bubo. ( Some more which I could not Id them)

Butterflies sighted: Blue Tiger (Lots of them), Plain Tiger, Daniad Eggfly, Crimson rose, Grass yellows, Tawny coasters, Limes, Orange tip, Bush brown, Common sailer, King crow. (Some more which I could not ID)

More pics here: 



Manjunath Byadigere said...

Hi Srik,
Nice write up there. I'm sure you have enjoyed it. Nice photographs of wonderful hills and the sky and the rusty kids too. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Typical blog style of urs :) .. loved it :) .. thanks for the last 2 para abt birds and butterfly ,..its quite informative :)

T S said...

Short and nice write up..!! Really it was great time with all friends after long time. Ughe..!! Ughe..!!


Narasim said...

Great story backed by even greater photographs.

It was my understanding that such gentle gradient treks were meant for only 69 year olds. Now i know that even 26 year olds enjoy the joy of communing with nature on easy treks.

Vaishnavi Vittal said...

Nice to read abt one more of your adventures!

Manjula said...

Nice one.... :)