Muktihole – An unfulfilled excursion :
We the V3 trekkers wanted to go for Muktihole trekking which was suggested by one of our senior colleague Mr. Srinivas, which he had trekked almost 12 years back. The team members were Manoj, Sudheesh, Ramesh, Santosh, Darshan and I. We dint had much information about this place as there was only one blog which we find from the dream route. Thanks to Mr. Srinivas who briefed us about Muktihole. How to reach Muktihole: Take the bus to Honnavar. From Honnavar take any local or govt bus to Hirebailu. (To reach Hirebailu the bus goes via Hadinbal and Gundbal) Reach Mahadeva Nayak’s house at Hirebailu and take a guide who can take to Muktihole. We started from Bangalore at 9.00 pm Rajahamsa sleeper bus, since it was festival season ( Dassahara ) we had booked the tickets 1 week in prior. I reached the platform No.4 at exactly 8:15 pm and the bus came at 8:30 pm. The bus station was filled with people with hardly any place to stand. My colleagues came to the platform 4 at 9:00pm by the time the conductor and driver were sitting on my head to call our people. The bus left exactly at 9:10 pm. Since it was a non ac sleeper we had no problems during our journey.
The bus which was supposed to reach Honnavar at 6:00 am reached at 9:00 am. We hardly had any time to relax, so we immediately booked a Hotel (Lodge) just for taking bath. We were ready 10:00 am, had some Idle and pulav (2 days old) in the nearby hotel. Then after the breakfast we enquired about the bus to Hirebailu. We were told that the only Morning bus at 8:30 am has already left for Hirebailu. Left with no choice we had to take a private vehicle paying Rs.600 which could have been done with just Rs.102. Since we were in the costal belt it was very hot and humid. We feeling tired even before we started the trek due to the heat. We reached Hirebailu via Hadinbal and Gundbal at around 11:00 am. The driver of our vehicle dropped us near the bank of a river saying this is place where we should start our trek. Taking out our shoe, we started crossing the river with utmost ease as it was just 2 to 2.5 ft deep. We found a small shop cum house just after crossing the river. Here we enquired about the route the route to MH. To our surprise we were told that to reach Muktihole we need to take a guide who is very much aware of that place and secondly we had come long way ahead of the starting point. This gave us an opportunity to cross the hanging bridge made of Bamboo by the villagers on which only one person at a time can cross. This was a really trilling experience for us the bridge was shaking and the walk way was uneven.
After crossing back the river with the help of bridge we decided to ask some more people who can help us out guide us to reach the destination. When we were coming back we could catch hold of small boy on a bicycle who took us Mahadeva Nayak’s house. At his house Mahadev Nayak gave us water to drink and told that since it was Vijaya dashami on that day it is very hard to get any guide who could take us to Muktihole. By that time a person by name Uday came near Mahadev Nayak’s house who told us that he came to show us the route to Muktihole and drop to certain distance. Later it so happened, looking at our condition he decided to take us to the final point and stay with us in the forest at night. Here we started the actual trek approximately at around 11:45 am, planned to reach Muktihole falls by 3:30 – 4:00 pm max (As per Uday’s previous experience). The route starts with the elevation, it was very steep which made compare this route with the route to Kumara Parvatha. The total distance to reach Muktihole is around 7 – 8 km from Hirebailu which is around 4 – 5 km less than KP. But the route to MH is very steep and it is very difficult to trek without taking break (sitting for 10 min). Adding to the heat we had carried lot of luggage especially Sudheesh’s bag was really heavy as he was carrying the tent and other important things!!!! Because of which we could not trek at faster pace. It was a dense forest and because of previous days’ rain we had to negotiate with lot of leeches. It would have been really impossible to make out the route if we had not taken the guide. The actual route leads to Sidhapura, after trekking in the steep forest for around 3 km we could see some level land. If we continue this route, it leads us to Sidhapura. Here we need to take a deviation and trek down to reach the konda where the water from the falls flows as a big stream. Here even Uday got confused to take the proper deviation.
Later we came back around 100 mtrs and took the deviation towards right side stared moving downwards to reach the water stream. By this time we all had shared our blood with the leeches. Even after applying oil and nesshya mix we had few leech bites. By this time we were very hungry and dint had anything after having the unforgettable breakfast at Honnavar. We had taken very little food; some 20 chapathis with eerulli(onion) gojju (for the night) and 1 pound bread (for the next day morning). This particular stretch was very steep and slippery; we were worried that how we are going climb while coming back. We reached the konda (river stream) at around 3:30 pm and had good bath at the fast flowing stream the force was tremendous. As mentioned above about the shortage of food, we had to control our hunger at this point of time. At the konda we had a nice bath which was very much refreshing. Here we relaxed for a while, then moved toward the falls and left this place at around 3:45 pm. From here we had to really struggle a lot as there were obstacles in the bank of the river. The skidding small rocks made everyone of us to fall minimum 3 to 4 times. At this particular stretch we took more than the actual required time because of which we could not reach the falls before it became dark. Here our guide Uday told us that we will not be able to make it to the falls the same as it was already 5:30 pm. We planned to stay back and started searching for a place to erect the tent for the night stay. After searching for 15 min we could find a place which was flat and spacious. Unfortunately there was lot of red ants at that place which made us impossible to put the tent. So we had look for another option, myself and Sudheesh started searching for suitable location. Sudheesh pointed out a place where it was suitable for putting the tent to some extent. Here myself and Sudheesh erected both the tents, simultaneously Darshan and others were trying to put campfire. Later we had chapaathis which I had brought it from home. It was too good and we were waiting to eat such a food for a long time. Next day morning we decided to go back as we didn’t had anything to eat for the next journey. Hence this Trek to MukThiHoLe became an unfulfilled excursion. Nevertheless we had made a very good attempt and actually we had almost made to the destination. We were just 1 an hour away from falls as told by Uday. We trekked back to Herebailu in the same route as we came. After reaching Hirebailu as we had already informed to Mahadeva Nayak, they had prepared good food (anna, kayi huLi). Then we took the 1:30 pm bus from Honnavar which came to Heribailu at around 1:50 pm. Our trekking ended here, later we continued to Murdeshwar, Udupi and St. Mary’s Island.
Usefull Information: Start from Hirebailu not more than 8:30 am. Inform the guide in advance (Mahadeva Nayaka’s house Ph No: 08387256171). Take sufficient food but do not carry much luggage. Take precautionary measures against Leech. Please take a guide for the first time as there is no proper route. Private Jeep is available from Honnavar to Hirebailu. Govt. bus comes to Hirebailu at 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm everyday. Tent is must as there is no other way to stay in the forest.
How to contact me: I am Sridhar Saligram. My mail id: email@example.com. Ph No.:9986040545
Trek to Amedikallu:
After a year long waited trek has finally come, when I called Manoj and Ramesh as it was October 2nd they will be getting a holiday so asked them about the plan, and they were excited gave a YES signal as always. Later came to know that even Santosh and Sharath are joining us for the trek. Manoj took the initiative to book the tickets in Rajahamsa.
Finally on the 1st of October 2010 we got tickets and it was scheduled to start from Bangalore at 9.48 pm. By this time Sharth had dropped out coming for the Trek, so we had to sell one ticket out of five. Now since I had reached the KSRTC bus stand early I caught hold of a person who was going to Dharmastala and we sold that extra ticket to him. Later other guys also came and finally we left Bangalore soon.
It was a horrible journey that night, none of us had proper sleep. Due to the worst road condition I suffered severe neck pain which sustained for the whole day. As we had got information from blogs on two options getting down early at Kokkada (which is around 15km to Dharmastala) and catch the morning milk van which goes to Shishila everyday. Other option was to get down at Dharmastala and finish the Morning formalities the move back to Kokkada in Bus and from there reach Shishila by Auto or Jeep. Suddenly Manoj woke me up at a point asked me to inform driver when Kokkada comes, to our surprise conductor asked us to get down there only which was Kokkada. We also dint notice the time and got down in hurry. Later we realized that we are too early and the time was still 4:20 am. As we were not having any option other than going to dharmastala, we waited for the next bus to Dharmastala which came in just 5min and boarded the Bus. At DharmastaLa we went to our usual free lodge where we finished all our basic morning works and took Bath.
Manoj had informed Gopu Gokhale who facilitates the Trekkers providing Guide and food, about our arrival and Trekking plans before itself. So we immediately started from Dharmastala took a bus to Kokkada which took roughly 15 min and had to negotiate with Auto Rickshaw driver to take us to Shishila with a descent fair at Kokkada. To our disappointment it was continuously drizzling in that entire belt. We were almost ready to accept canceling the Trek if it continues to rain.
When we reached Gokhale’s house it was around 7:45am. It was still raining and Gokhale was awaiting our arrival at his place. Even he said it had not rained the previous days but last night it has slightly started and we were prying Varuna the rain god to show some sympathy on us. We had Soft Idly and spicy chutney which was basic need of the hour. By that time as Gokhle was expecting another team of 12 for the same trek also arrived, they had come in a TT was looking like a team of good experienced trekkers. Thank god rain has finally stopped and we decided to start off immediately. Gokhale had arranged for a Guide – Chandappa (who took us to the peak) and an Auto to take us till the point where the trek starts.
We started the Trek at 8:30am since just few minutes before the rain had stopped, we had expected the path to be very slippery and it was indeed. As per the blog and Chandappa’s prior experience we had estimated time to reach the peak before evening by around 4:00pm and get down to the camping spot where we have to put the tent before it gets dark. Its thick forest full of thorny bushes and slippery route. Our team with full josh started the trek and no looking back, even the though the initial half an hour was totally tiresome. May be none of us had done any preparation for the trek as we use to do every time doing some jogging and work out at least a week before. Nevertheless guys including me dint ever felt that it’s the toughest.
Initial two and half hour is full of dense forest covered with huge trees and unbelievably uneven path to trek. By the time we had trekked for One and half km we realized that our close friends in jungle none other than leeches were after us. Starting to climb up our boots and making all possible efforts get inside and get hold of the skin to suck blood. So stopped at some spot for a while to apply anti Leech oil mixed with Neshya (sort of Tobacco powder) believe me it really works. Slightly relieved after applying this and we continued to move on. We were totally tired by the time coming out of the thick forest negotiating with Leeches. One thin I would like to remind the Trekkers is that we don’t get too many water streams in this stretch as we see in Bandaje. But we saw a small water stream once apart from that nothing much. At some places we could listen to flow of water very close by, but chandappa told us its almost impossible to go there so we dint take any risk.
After a long stretch of jungle we could see some open air to breath. Every where its huge mountains partly covered with a mixture mist, fog and cloud. It was a wonderful experience to see the beauty of nature.
We took rest for some time at this point, had glucose to get energy to climb up. It was from here we had uninterrupted trek. Wherever you see it’s the green mountain valley and grass lands. We were told by chandappa that we are almost near the camping point where we can put the tent to halt during night. To reach this place we had to trek up the hill which is very high elevation and tiresome.
We took One and a half an hour to climb up to the peak. By this we were immersed in the cloud. It was so cool at the peak and a very fast blowing breeze. At the peak its just a rocky mountain very dangerous place you have to be little careful here as you can not make out where the border is and if slipped even god cannot save.
We stayed at the peak for around 30 minutes and started climbing down the hill. It was not so tough but was very slippery and we had to carefully watch our every step. This is because the previous night it had rained heavily and muddy the path way was wet. As I was wearing Woodland hard thick sole I felt very slippery and frankly speaking I fell down at some places. Then I decided that this will be the last trek I will be wearing this Woodland shoe. Please make sure when you are trekking in a wild forest that too slippery rocks and river side wear a shoe which has got soft rubber sole.
We reached the halting place within 45min and it was not that tiresome. We were forced to move fast as there was all signs of rain. When we reached the Tent it was around 4:00pm. We had to take rest at this point of time. All of us had a sound sleep inside the Tent. We dint know when the it took us to deep sleep we were all out of the world for some time. When we got up in the evening around 5:00pm to our surprise the entire forest belt was raining heavily. The huge rocky mountain block under which we had put our tent acted as shelter and helped us to prevent from getting wet/drenched.
By this time only it was almost getting dark and we thought better to have our dinner and started arranging the resources for campfire. Our guide chendhappa helped us in lighting the fire he brought lot of dry wood. We had Ready to eat Gojju Avalakki which was prepare by my mother, was very tasty. This is the most comfortable food to take when you go for a trek or outside anywhere you won’t get proper food to eat. We had a small Foldable Camphor stove which was handy that time and the newly purchased small aluminium vessel where in we boiled the water and missed it with Gojju Avalakki mix. This time we had taken enough food which was more than the requirement, there was an extra pound bread also with us and could not finish the Gojju Avalakki fully.
We finished our dinner early and sat in front of the campfire for sometime. Forgot mention about the radio.. I had LG Mobile phone basic model which had wireless FM and at this place it use to catch only one station which is some Madikeri channel. We we re so happy that none of the programs in that channel was in the language we could understand. Though it was kodava, we were enjoying it saddest part is none of the programs were music based. Throughout the day it was either local NEWS or Agriculture based program. But always something is better than nothing.
We played cards for a while inside the tent with help of Torch, and slept early that night as there was nothing much to do. We woke up early in the morning around 6:00am J and to our surprise entire mountain range was covered with clouds. Cloud was spread over the mountains as if pieces of cotton was scattered. That was a very beautiful thing to see, and words can’t explain you have to experience it.
We had finished morning work with lot of difficulty and as there was no proper water stream we did not had an option to take bath. We had taken Maggi Noodle Cups, this is the real energy booster. Again here two of them had bought it so we had one extra for all of us. Even Chandappa enjoyed eating the cup noodles though he experienced it for the first time. Later we started climbing down the hill at around 8:00am and, we did not take much time to reach the village when we reached the road it was around 10:30am.
After we reached the road Manoj called the Auto driver to drop us to Gokhale’s house. As soon as we reached there house hot tea was awaiting us and immediately we walked towards Shishila river which just near there house. After having a holy bath in the river which was so mild and not much deep, we went Shishileshwara Temple attached to the banks of the river. Fineshed the Dharshana and stayed for maha mangalarathi. Then we had awesome lunch at Gokhale’s house. Believe it or not the Saaru(rasam) and HuLi(Sambar) was mind blowing. Amatekaayi pickle was another tasty item to be mentioned. There ends our Trek. This was yet another memorable experience for all of us we will definitely remember forever.
How To Reach: Bangalore – Dharmastala – Kokkada – Shishila – Amedikallu.
Cost: Approximately Rs.1500 per person.
Duration: Two days and one night.
Please read blogs written by others also before you start so that you may get the information which I have missed out. My sincere request to all Trekkers and Nature lovers – Please do not leave any polythene bags or plastic in the forest. As of now this place is clean. Allow the nature be to as it is.
You may contact me for any details about this Trek.
Call me on: +91 9986040545
Mail me on: firstname.lastname@example.org