Date: March 1 – March 3, 2008
No. of People: 8
Best Season to Visit: Post monsoon – July-Sept
Bangalore – Shimoga : KSRTC Volvo – Online Booking (various other modes of transport are also available)
Shimoga – Sigandur : Local bus (to Nettur) -110 km – 3 hrs – Includes a ferry ride across Linganmakki lake – The bus comes in the ferry to continue with onward journey to Nettur. Sigandur is first stop after the ferry ride.
Sigandur – Nettur : Local bus – 25 km – mud road
Nettur – Kollur : Jeep – Rs. 450 for 6 people – 22 km. (Bus is also available)
Kollur – Kodachadri : Nataraja service (Trek) – 9 km – 4-5 hours. (Jeeps available – Rs.1300 per one way trip, capacity – 6-8 people)
Kodachadri – Kollur : Jeep – Rs. 1300 (Negotiable till Rs.1100) – Very bad roads – not advisable for people with back bone problems or slip discs
Kollur – Kapu : Local Bus – 2.5 – 3 hr journey – Nominal fare – fairly frequent busses available
Kapu – Mangalore : Local Express bus – 1.5 hour journey
Mangalore – Bangalore : KSRTC Volvo (online booking) – Other buses at lower rates available without booking as well.
Food & Accomodation
Sigandur : Temple provides free rooms – no furnishings. Few mats available, clean. We used the toilets and the bathrooms which had cold water (freezing literally), rested for a few hours, visited the temple, had lunch at a local hotel.
Kollur : First night halt – Guest house was booked from Bangalore – via phone. Many guest houses available – RNS Guest house etc. Mobile phone connectivity – Only available for BSNL and Reliance for now. Food at the guest house – decent enough (Poori’s were rather awesome). Free lunch and dinner is also provided at the temple for devotees. We dined there that night which hosted a speacial Rathothsava.
Kodachadri – Guest house on hill top – booked via phone – food is prepared at the guest house (we did not try food here as it was mostly non-veg and drinks) – cell phone connectivity – nil. Water and electricity – scarce. Generator runs for about 3 hours every evening. A temple near the guest house also prepares food for a nominal price – decent meals. Accomodation was decent – all 6 people preferred to stay in one room(hall rather). Since electricity is a problem, taking candles and powerful torches is advised. Also would need torches for visiting the sunrise and sunset points as no lights are available (and the sun is either still not in the mood to shed his light on the world or he has finished his day’s work and is napping)
Places & Tour Guide
We reached Shimoga from Bangalore which was a 6 hour journey. From Shimoga, we boarded a local bus heading towards Nettur to go to Sigandur. The ride includes a ferry ride across linganmakki lake in which the bus and other vehicles too hop on. We continued the bus journey after the ferry ride and hopped off at Sigandur. Sigandur is famous for its temple. Free rooms, toilets and bathrooms are provided at the temple. We freshened up there, visited the temple, rested for an hour or so, had lunch at the only hotel available there. Food was bearable but the hygene concious may find it hard to digest.
We then boarded a bus to Nettur. From Nettur, buses & jeeps are available to go to Kollur. Since we had to wait a long time for the next bus, we hired a jeep which took us to Kollur in a jiffy for Rs. 450 – a 22km journey – decent price for 8 people one would say. At Kollur, we went directly to the guest house we had booked and got our rooms. Rooms were decent and toilets were pretty clean. Mosquitoes may be a problem, hence carrying coils is recommended. A small stream flows through Kollur where we spent the evening spashing in the water.
We visited the mookambike temple, which Kollur is famous for. Mobile connectivity is available only for BSNL and Reliance for now. Hence we made calls to our homes from STD booths. We had dinner at the temple which was excellent for all of us. There was a special Rathothsava (chariot pulling) also on the night we visited the place. We went back to our rooms for the night and woke up at 7 AM, cleaned up, packed all our luggage into one room, checked out the other room, had breakfast in the guest house cafeteria ( me and DJ downed 6 plates of pooris each!) and hired a jeep to drop us to the trekking start point.
Thus started our 9km trek to the Kodachadri hill top. We were here in the wrong season. What should have been a cool walk in lush green meadows turned out to be a sweaty tiring trek in hot sun through sun dried brown tall grass and dry paths. What should effectively be climbed in less than 5 hours took us more than 8 hours – thanks to the girls!
We made our way back to the guest house, thanks to few other visitors who had thoughtfully brought torches with them. Otherwise we would surely have gotten lost on the hillside that night. We settled in the room for sometime. It was hot and we thought we will spend some time sitting under the stars outside. It was a beautiful night sky there. I spent time telling Mrudula stories about the cosmos, black holes, comets and parallel universes etc. The place slowly became crowded with shady people having drinks and non-veg food and we were a little perturbed at that. Thus we moved down to the temple and had dinner prepared there. Then we came back to the room, locked ourselves up, played some games and few of us took bath in the cold water. The toilet didnt have a light, hence we resorted to candle light baths! There were strange crawling caterpillars on the sink and on the bathroom floor which scared the girls and they did not enter the bathroom.
We had to get up early to watch the sunrise. We trekked to another point for it in pitch black darkness, fearing snakes, insects and other creatures in the dense forest. But it was well worth the effort.
After enjoying the sunrise thoroughly, we climbed down, packed our bags and hired a jeep to take us down. The road is so bad that it has to be a jeep to take that road. If you were thinking of bringing your car since a jeep can go, plan for a one way trip for your car only! We reached Kollur and went back to our room in the guest house. Since we had only one room now, we all cramped onto the same bed. We made plans for the evening to go to Kapu beach and enjoy the evening before we go to Mangalore to board our bus to Bangalore and the drudge of a life we have in the city.
Being the biggest water and sea fan in the gang, I had to take a dip in the sea even if it meant I dont have a change of clothes till I reach Bangalore. And that was what happened. Sat with wet undies all the way to Bangalore. Hope the KSRTC wont sue me for making their volvo seats wet! We had good fun at the Kapu beach and had to hurry to the Managlore bus stand in the end. And luckily for us, it was a bus and it was waiting for us, while we ended up 15 minutes after its scheduled departure time.
After that, all I remember was I was in the office track meeting the next morning. Ciao!
More photos at : Kodachadri Trip