Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ombattu Gudda

After coming back from kumara parvata i was bit disturbed looking at the amount of distruction this place has seen. Some how i wanted to visit a place which was more hidden from the common man and free from humans. Also it was quite some time since i had trekked almost 2 months and all of a sudden one fine day i just mailed the entire team shall we trek to ombattu gudda. Instant answer was yes from many people however none of us had much information nor any idea about the trek. Until the last day things were kept very low, no preparation, no information gathering nothing. However just 2 days before, one mail from vicky changed the entire scene. Vicky mailed the entire team saying its a very difficult trip and we haven't made any preparation and hence started information gathering, GPS, maps etc. Well after coming back from the trip i can say one thing without GPS its a near impossible trek. Also please don't try this trek during rains. I would say its more of a death trap during rains due to leeches, over flowing streams and river and also lots of snakes all around.

Due to all the information gathered and also due to the fact that it was summer and many had told that there would be shortage of water we had to drop all girls and also few members whom we felt couldn't make it if its difficult. At the end we booked a tempo traveller and headed towards Ombattu gudda. We reached Gundya check post at around 5.30 in the morning and immediately with our bags we started to walk along the jeep track. It was here we met Vivek one of our team mate who had come with few of his other friends in a different group. At one place vivek and his friends just over took us CSP started shouting that we have deviated from the GPS trail and told we were suppose to take left 1/2km back. Once we took left from the jeep trek it was all together different thing which i had never seen before in any my previous treks. No trail and you are entering the virgin forest making your own way along the thick forest. Here and there still you find a jeep track till me come across the stream.

I can say this stream is the last place from where you can think of going back if you don't have big heart to venture in these forests infected with snakes and wild animals. From here its very difficult to make your way along the forests, GPS is the only way out, i don't think maps could be off good use at this place until you are really good at reading and marking your location. We stopped here and took a break for our breakfast also we all got into the cold water to have some fun. Initially every one had warned us that this would be last place where you would get water and we also thought from here we would be climbing the mountain and there would be no source of water. However we walked along the water stream or probably its the Kabbinahole river all along almost till the evening. To be specific we actually reach a water falls in the middle of the forest, this is the last spot from where we need to move away from the water body.

Not many will belive the risk involved, even though we could reach the water falls by around 4 in the evening the other team which started along with us could only reach the falls by next day afternoon so you could imagine the how confusing the forest could be.

When we reached the waterfalls we could see the tiredness in everyones face, many of us were breaking down badly girish was the worst hit, he couldn't carry his bag any more and diwi and kadu had to share his luggage. Also vikrum got dehydrated badly and started to get cramps badly. It was great energy from CSP which kept us walking even when the fear of getting dark and still struck in the forest was looming large.

At around 6 we were very happy and lucky to come out of forest and see the vast grass lands. A great relief for every one. No one was ready to walk further and insisted to stop and rest for the day however CSP insisted if we could walk for few more min we would be in a better place to camp and rightly said by him we could find an ideal place to camp. However we had only one tent which i carried but we could see that it had started to rain across the mountains near by. I should say we were a bit lucky that day that i almost felt like only the mountain on which we camped didn't receive the rains. Other than me and vicky rest all slept in the open air, well i don't know but it was pretty hot inside the tent.

This was one trek where in i was so tired that i couldn't think of taking photos. Every time i needed to take out my camera i felt forget it. Before we all went to sleep we could see the peak in front of us inviting us to climb. Next day morning we started early and started to climb towards the peak one good thing was the unlike the peak summer the weather was very pleasant with clouds all along the peak. From the peak we could see the jeep track on the other side which would lead us to lakshmi estate.

On reaching the jeep track we were sure of reaching some civilization very soon and also we found a human after almost 2 days, who even helped us with some water.However rather than going to lakshmi estate we took a short cut and managed to reach Hosakere village directly.

I would also like to add the adventure from vivek in his own words over here

"The actual story goes this way……

After going ahead from the point where we last met.. we continued in search for the water fall which was the source point to take the deviation…

This we continued till the end of the day 1… and on day 2 we reached the water fall [as per the blog by “Shantanu” – the guy who trekked the route solo!!!] from there we were supposed to take the uphill route to the right of the water fall… but instead took the deviation considering it to be our right side while standing in front of the water fall.. ;-P but I think it hardly made any difference….

On reaching the top of that hill.. we cudnt get the GPS so we had to climbdown on the other side and then accidentally hiked towards the jenkallu gudda … we put in a treacherous effort to cross 4 more guddas and landed up on a hill to spend the Sunday night… we missed out on dinner and were almost out of water… 1 guy was completely dehydrated and he started puking whenever he had something to eat/drink…

Next morning, we took a blunt decision to climb the hill opposite to where we camped the previous night… almost 80% of the gang had lost the hope of making it back on Monday !!! but when we got down the hill into a valley with dense vegetation we found a water source.. it saved our lives.. and luckily one of us discovered an abandoned trail which was an unused jeep track to climb the hill… finally that was the route to lakshmi estate….by almost 2pm on Monday.. that was the point when we reached the civilization !!! :D


I would rate this trek as one the best, difficult and untouched virgin forest. Lots of risk involved, once you enter the forest there is no easy way out. So who ever wanna try this please don't try this without a GPS also please make sure not to try this during the rains. One thing i loved about this place was i couldnot find a single piece of plastic was very surprised to see that. So who ever wanna try this trek please don't spoil the beauty of this place, avoid plastics or any other harmful substance.

Trek Details:
Level : Difficult
Route : Bangalore - Sakaleshpura - Shiradi Ghat - Gundiya Checkpost - Start point of the trek is around 1km walk from the check post we reach a small bridge across the Kabbinalhole river - Take a right from here and follow the GPS trail to Ombattu gudda - Hosakere village on the other side (lakshmi estate) -- Mudigere - Hassan - Bangalore.
Must : Salt for leeches, first aid kit, lots of juices and water, GPS and maps.
Maps:Get the maps "No. 48 P/9/NW and No. 48 P/9/SW" for this trek. These maps will be available at "Survey of India, Koramangala". ( A tip - Survey of India's lunch time is 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm . So go before 2:00 pm or after 3:00 pm to get the maps)

Ombattu Gudda - Day 1

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Ombattu Gudda - Day 2

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