Charmadi a trekker’s dream

The author at Ballalarayana Durga

It was my first weekend after I quit my job so that I could travel full time. I was super free and had no clue about how to start my new journey. That’s the time my ex-colleague came up with a random plan of driving to his estates which is located in a village called Charmadi. It lies in between Chikkamagaluru and Kalasa in the Charmadi Ghat ranges of Karnataka.

One of our friends, Sanchita also joined us on this adventure. We planned to depart from Bangalore on a Friday morning around 4:30 am. It eventually, turned out to be 9 am because we stayed up all night just talking.

Finally we left and the drive was beautiful. It nearly took us around 5-6 hours of driving time to reach the farmhouse. The place was surrounded by huge lush green mountains and hills filled with coffee estates. It was beyond my definition of beauty. I never knew that such a beautiful place existed in Karnataka and was just a few hours away from Bangalore. So, we unpacked and freshened up. Since we were tired, we decided to relax at the farmhouse. Late in the night, we put up a bonfire and had a barbecue party. We danced our hearts out to good music and some drinks. The best part being, we don’t remember when we fell asleep!

Next morning, we were up pretty early (though our early means 10 am). The plan was to hike up a small hill called Hyrebile or Ballalarayana Durga to camp over night. But the weather was not on our side as it started pouring cats and dogs washing away all our excitement. So, we waited for the rain to subside which happened around 6 pm, by which time, it was quite dark making hiking more difficult. But, we were pretty determined to camp that night itself, so we left the farmhouse and drove till the hill.

It started drizzling around 7:30 and the place was pitch dark. The darkness notwithstanding, we took out our torches and started to hike. Now, the only person who knows the route was Shreyas which was our bad luck because we got lost, took three different routes and always ended up at a similar point. The drizzling and the leeches moving all over our bodies along with the creepy noises in the darkness annoyed us every bit. After an hour or so we found the right route, hiked up the hill and managed to pitch our tent too. It rained all night and was super windy. We have no idea about how we survived that night. We were up by 4 am the next day. As I stepped out of the tent, I realised that a few more steps and we would have fallen down the hill.

All that patience behind waiting, then the leeches on our body, we getting lost and camping through the stormy night, was all worth the view. It was more than satisfying as we were at peace. We just sat there mesmerised by the magnificent view and were lost at the beauty of nature.

(The author can be contacted on 85539 80880)

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