7-8th May 2011
No. of days: 2
This was a plan that was made properly. But we didn't have a sure contact with Gopu Gokhale at Shishila about food.It on confirmed on the previous day of the journey. The tickets to go were booked on rajahamsa. We got good seats. Anil came to my place with the ruck sack. I filled it up with my stuff and after dinner we left to the bus stand. Anil and I met up with the other trek members - Suri, Anbu, Parsoon and shikhar. The bus left 15 mins early as all the other passengers were already there.
We reached Kokkada at 5:30am. We were to go to Gopu's house at the same time, but suri forgot his shoes n the bus. Anil went to dharmasthala and got it back, till which time, we were waiting at kokkada. Anbu and I played frizbee for some time after sun rise.. I had tea. Once Anil was back we took a jeep to Gopu's place.We were welcomed by Gopu. He showed us a room which we could use to freshen up. It has been built for trekkers I suppose as it had both western and indian toilets. That's professional. We had breakfast there (Nice hot sambar, chutney and idlys.. ). Guide was arranged for us by Gopu. Chandappa was our guide and he reached gopu's place at 8:15am.
After preparations, we got ready and left to starting point of the trek by jeep. This was at 9:25am. We reached the starting point and started the trek at 9:50am. Asusual, we trekked with breaks.There were a few leeches and the weather was extremely hot. We reached the top at 2:10pm. Had lunch which was packed by gopu for us - 3 chapatis for each one of us. After lunch, we took a nice nap. Oh yeah, Suri was always excited for more, he was great enough to go down to the stream and get water filled for all of us.
We pitched the tents at 5:00pm. After the tents were up, we headed up to the peak of ettina bhuja to see around from the top. Came down a little bit for the sunset and after that reached the base camp (tenting area). Since I looked like it might rain, we started boiling water for the MTR ready to eat stuff. Since I don't eat mushroom, I took pongal. After lunch, and some time at the camp fire, I retired for the night.
Early morning, our guide woke us up and asked us to hear the sounds in the forest. It seems there was/were elephants near the stream. I was able to hear the wood breaking at a distance in the valley. After capturing some amazing pictures of the sun-rise, we prepared the remaining 2 packets of pongal, ate it and then packed the tents. We left the place at 9:00am. Coming down was easy when compared to climbing up. We lost altitude very quickly. At a point, we were told that there is a waterfall and we can spend some time there. All of us went to have a dip in the water. The water was great but pretty cold, that too after sweating a lot. We enjoyed in the water for more than an hour. We were at the falls at 11:30pm. And after enjoying the water, we made our way down to the road only at 1:45pm.
We got an auto to go to Gopu's place. Freshened up and had lunch there. It was rice, sambar and rasam. Anil and I went to the shishileshwara temple to see the enormous amount of fishes there. The bus from shishila to kokkada was at 2:30pm. We caught that bus and reached kokkada at 3:00pm. Had some cold Sugarcane juice. Wait a minute, i forgot about the cashew fruit cause of which I'm still sick. We had cashew fruit that was plucked by anil and suri from the farm near the bus stand. Ok, now back to Kokkada. We caught the bus to bangalore at 3:20pm. No seats at all. We had to stand till sakaleshpura. Then we got seats. Thought we'd reach bangalore by 9 but we were wrong. We reached at 11:20pm. Had chapatis in my place and went to sleep.
Next day, i went to work asusual. But after that, I've been sick. This is my 3rd day at home. Chest congestion fever and cough, being sick is boring :P
How to get to Shishila: Bangalore > Hassan > Sakelshpur > Kokkada > Shishila.
Bus from Bangalore: Bus going to Dharmasthala (Lot of rajahamsa's, even volvo's). Get down at Kokkada and take a jeep/bus/auto to shishila. (Just say Gopu's place)
Cost: Jeep from Kokkada to Gopu's place cost us: Rs.300. Food at Gopu costed: Rs. 1600 (6 of us). Guide: Rs. 800. From Gopu's house to start of trek, by jeep Rs. 150.
Contact Person: Gopu Gokhale. Ph:+919483211246
Best time to visit: Winter.
Be-aware of : Snakes and leeches
Routes: 7kms from shishila side. 1 km from Mudigere side. (Not a trek route. Just a family outing i'd say)
Other places to visit: Shishileshwara Temple - lot of fishes there. And obviously, Dharmasthala.
Other trek spots near by: Amedikallu, OG (Ombattu Gudda)
Note: Guide required in case of first timers or not into exploratory treks (pro's :D)