Saturday, December 15, 2012

Crossing the border - Waynad & Chembra Peak!

Sometimes we feel it is a pity, that, the ruling party has to prove its majority!!!

In our alemaarigalu group, everytime it needs to prove its majority,  But unlike in dirty politics, here the constant Yes-No, Yes-No is due to their professional commitments than any other bull reason!

This time, we seven decided to cross the border in search of God in his own country!

Sandeep, Prashanth, Raghu, Kishor, Nagesh, Me and Ritz found zipping on the mysore road in the mid night of friday. A brief pit stop near Maddur Coffee day, filled the required energy to Kishor who was in a empty stomach almost from the noon.  After that he was at his best! 

Early morning Sulthan bathery looked beautiful, and spectacular, i got a chance to smoke the misty cigar.  After a brief photo session, we started to tread the roller coaster ride on the Kerala highway! Prashanth's perfect plan worked out very well for our accommodation, a good,  kind of brand new RI residency provided a perfect shelter for our tired limbs. 

After a nice breakfast in Hotel Taufeeq, we headed towards Edkal caves.  This is the location and the name used in the kannada classic "Edakkallu Guddada Mele" directed by Puttanna Kanagaal. It is about 30kms from Kalpetta. 

It is a long walk rather trek from the parking area on a upper gradient. But it is worth the effort, considering that you will be walking in to piece of history dated almost 7000 to 10000 years ago. It is a nice feeling to stamp your feet on a pre-historic era.

The twin cave like structures formed by enormous boulders supporting one another, offers a spectacular show of light and shadow.  For photographic buffs this is the place to play with light and shadow. The etchings on the walls of the rock is impressive, even though the guide doesn't seems to be have a fair idea about the carvings, but still we got glimpses of what is what.  You will not be satisfied, but still, amazed to see the creativity of the pre-historic people who used to etch their identity in a spectacular fashion with out harming the mother nature, unlike the civilized people who write somebody loves somebody on everything except their heart!

After a stressful trek up to the cave, the pine apple, butter milk, ice cream, and fresh lime filled the required energy level to drive to the Karapurza dam a good 16kms drive from Kalpetta.  As per the information available, this dam is formed by number of lakes.  It is a kind of dam created by the mother nature, with lush green mountains, fields, it throws a perfect place to be in the evening for a spectacular sunset.  

It is an interesting water body with green ink spilled everywhere!.  Walking on the bank of the dam, and a walk up to the flood gates, a majestic landscape will give you a high,  and of course a good sleep as well, like me and Prashanth did.  We two had a very sound sleep, because of that we missed glorious sunset :-(.

We returned back to our hotel, before that, we got in to Taufeeq Hotel, and had a wonderful dinner.  The veg biriyaani being the best. Wanted to give tired soul a rest, but laser lights in front of the hotel,sprung the energy level in us, and started to capture or rather trying to capture the laser light proved good.  Sandeep, man always wants to try something different, mooted the idea of light painting.  First Alemaarigalu painted, then Prashanth, Kishore, and Nagesh became the models for light painting.  What a amazing effort..Superb.

We geared up to trek the highest peak  in Waynad the next day morning, The Chembar Peak.  Standing close to 6900 feet from the sea level, this is the first time the alemaarigalu team standing wanted to stand on a high altitude.  The earlier  records were Mullayyana Giri, Z point in Kemmannu Gundi, Kumara Parvatha. Now we were keen to improve the altitude. 

The drive to the Chembara was a nightmare.  The roads were looked like a high way in MOON, filled and scattered with craters everywhere.  It gave me a world of good in driving in this path, it tested my skills as well, and i feel, I passed this litmus test :-).

After paying Rs.500/- for a group of ten people, and 25/- each for 5 cameras, somehow we managed to squeeze the mandatory guide in to our Ritz, the number in the ritz stands at 7, and started driving with great care on the winding road to reach the base of the Chembara peak for trekking. From here it is a 4KM trek, 1.5Kms to reach the famous heart shaped lake, and 2.5 Kms from there on to reach the peak.

Guide was always hinting that, we can't make it to the peak as we were slow, and also we are spending quality time to freeze the nature in our memory card.  Somehow we decided not to hear to the guide's chatter box.  We continued in our unique style, enjoying every bit of a second.  

When we reached the  heart shaped lake, we found we were the only souls.  We understood, most people will be misguided by the guides, and they will take photo sessions near the lake, and with a disappointing look towards the peak, and will walk down to the base.  

But we made up our mind, as we had time till the evening to be on the route to the Bangalore.   Nagesh succumbed to the uninteresting syndrome, and he decided to stay back at the base of 4th peak, and guide also decided to call the shots, and he stood back with Nagesh.  

Prashanth, and Sandeep with high on enthusiasm, and energy levels, went past peaks after peaks, yes one has to cross 7 peaks, on the summit by 12.00 Hrs on windy Sunday.  Raghu followed close, then myself.  We celebrated peaking the highest altitude by distributing chocolates. 

I called Kishor, and he responded saying you people keep going, i will join you on the come back trail.  On the peak, we kept sometime for photo session, and a quick nap as well.  We were shocked when we woke after a quick nap of 15 minutes, Kishor is on the 5th peak with his steady approach.  We were amazed to see his guts, and determination.  We decided to give him enough time to make it to the peak as he was just two peaks away from the crowning glory.  

Kishor made it, we hugged each other, celebrated the wonderful moment, and am sure this team huddle will be etched in our memory for years to come just like the etchings in EDKAL CAVES. 

With out wasting much time, we started getting down, we were at the base of the chembara by around 5.30. Kishor suffered from cramps, but high on enthusiasm joined us as the last man. We should thank the guide Girish for accompanying Kishor all the way till the base.  

Lunch ordered at the hotel, almost turned to be freezing cold, but we didn't had any choice, but the food taste was too good (rather we were too hungry).  After a super  stomach filling lunch, the clock was showing 6.30PM, I took the responsibility of surpassing the Bandipura forest checkpost before 9PM. It was a good drive considering single road with two way traffic in Kerala highway, and driving through the forest in that darkness.  

After reaching Gundlupet, I gave up, and Prashanth was on the wheels, and he drove like a Schumaker, and safely reached Bangalore at 12.30AM.  So the trip to Kerala came to an end. 

Link for the few snaps!

The highs;
1. Kishor the man of steely nerves, his determination, approach 
    worth weight in gold.
2. Prashanth's zipping the road style with effortless ease
3. Nagesh, who didn't showed any glimpse that he was new comer 
      to the group.
4. While Edkal showed us the history dating back to more than 
    7000 years, the debate between Raghu, Sandeep and Kishore  
    took us more than that.  What a wonderful debate it was!
5. Driving in the night, that too crossing the border boosted my 
6. Sandeep's light painting skill, a must in our all future trips!
7. Nice Masala Dosa in Woodlands Hotel on the way to Chembara 
    in Kalpetta.
8. In Sirsi trip we found Hotel CA...In Waynad trip we found Hotel 


  1. I shall appreciate ur Alemaarigalu group for your love towards traveling and trekking.

    Dear Sriman, "From here it is a 4KM trek, 1.5Kms to reach the famous heart shaped lake, and 2.5 Kms from there on to reach the peak." such a lines itself makes me afraid. hahahaha...

    I will go through the photo link.

    I liked your summery in the end as high lights.

    1. Thank you Badari sir. You come once with us..fear will fly away. thank you very much for a nice commpliment and wishes.

  2. Ah finally the Blog is here. You are loosing your reputation of being a Superfast blogger Sri. :D

    Anyways super duper blog. Literally re-lived all the moments in the trip.

    I can still taste the Woodlands Masala Dosas in my mouth. LOL

    1. Haha...We should pull the trigger to move the bullet forward. This is one time slump hahaha...Thank you for your compliment buddy..yes thats true..i too liked the masala dosa very much.

  3. Replies
    1. Welcome to my blog world and Thank you Ravi that you liked the post!

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you Krishna. Welcome to my blog world!

  5. Dear Srikanrh,
    Very nice to go through with your Dairy. Alemaarigalu title may not suits to your adventure group. But it may be Trekking Soldiers.
    Quite systematic planning and execution. Very interesting. Where are the Photographs? Eagerly waiting for those photographs. A nice trip!!

    1. Thank you Chikkappa. When soul fillings mates are there planning and execution will be apt for any adventure. Am fortunate to have frequency matching mates. Facebook Photo link had been provided. Have a look. Thank you once again for your nice suggestion regarding the tile :-)

  6. Very informative...Detailed rout map..
    Thanks for sharing very useful details..

    1. Thank you Rakesh for your lovely comments..and welcome to my blog world!

  7. Hey Srikanth,

    An excellent read. This is Subhrajit from and we would love to have your blogs listed in our website. We have also launched a credit system for contributions by which contributors can reimburse the points for cool travel stuffs ( The credit points are a way of saying thank you for your sincere effort and time for writing.

    0091 8378997510
    Education: B.Tech (IIT Bombay) & MBA (IIM Lucknow)

  8. Good one. Its really useful for people to know every details. A heart-shaped lake is situated about halfway from the peak. This picturesque little lake is a popular tourist attraction and a halt for the trekkers on their way up. The trek beyond the lake goes through dense forests for about 2 more km. Check out more about Chembra Peak.