Chembra peak


Reaching Mysore…

This short trip from Bangalore to Mysore turned out to be really exciting. A group of six (Pradeep, Dinesh,Tarun, Rajesh, Inigo and myself) started at around half past four and found our way through the bustling traffic of Bangalore streets. On our way to Mysore we halted at 24 hr coffee day for a while and raced towards Mysore. The Ride was planned to a strategic precision, where we maintained a formation of bikes in such an order that we ensured bikes registered with Tamil Nadu numbers stayed in the middle of the roads with its head lights off while its Karnataka registered counterparts were on both sides forming a v-shape. All in all it proved to be a great technique because we were crossing a very sensitive area by the name Mandiya, where there were constant clash between farmers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka

After reaching Praveen’s house, we immediately set out to buy groceries for the actual trek. Praveen and I decided that each person will carry his own set of grocery so that the dependability factor is nullified. We planned in such a way that each person had his own share of water, juices, chocolate bars and biscuits. By this time “Chinki” dinesh joined the gang who set out from Bangalore a little later than we did. That night we stayed in Praveen’s house after an elaborate dinner hoping to get a good night sleep.

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To Wayanad and beyond…
At half past five in the morning the group got ready (surprise!) to start our journey towards Wayanad. The total journey itself lasted about three and half to four hours. The Road was fairly decent till Gundelpet the last major town in Karnataka. After about 55km from Gundelpet we reached Sultan Batheri in Kerela. We had the most memorable ride into the jungle roads of Bandipur forest range and Marthunga wildlife sanctuary. The Roads were pretty bad and crooked. The View was splendid and we witnessed hoards of tensed elephants trying to cross the road and hide quickly into the woods.

We reached Sultan Batheri at around quarter past ten. Another 15km into Kerela led us to Kalpetta where we halted for our morning breakfast. (Dins debacle with his stomach indigestion was about to begin!!) As soon as we finished our breakfast we rode towards the foot of the peak and reached it in thirty minutes. On our way to the hill we entered into beautiful tea plantations that stole our breath away.

The Mighty Chembra…

After a preliminary halt near the base to recheck our bags and groceries the group of eight started our onward trek towards mount Chembra. The Chembra is of colossal 7100 feet. At 2100 mts above sea level, Chembra is the largest peak of Wayanad and probably one of the tallest of the Western Ghats. The climb was gruesome at 60 degrees all time. The climate was hot and humid. The trek starts at the foot of the hill near a watch tower (base 1) and goes up towards a small tea plantation (base 2). From the tea plantation we were Advised to keep right which led us to a small forests area (Base 3). The team tired by now, took short breaks. Dinesh due to his excessive binging of parotta for breakfast started puking and quickly got dehydrated. He couldn’t continue further as he started developing cramps in his lower stomach. Inigo and Tarun on the contrary decide that the trek is taking its toll on their body (thanks much to their smoking habits),decides to stay put near the heart shaped lake.

The rest of the team continued to march forward while Tarun, Inigo and Dinesh slowly followed us. After a while we reached an open area, a small valley with a heart shaped lake in the middle of it. It was one of the most beautiful hill-side valleys I have ever seen. We halted there for about forty five minutes till the time it took Inigo, Tarun and Dinesh to catch up with us. We emptied our bags to bare minimum of edibles and drinking water and marched further.

We continued our trek and came across some plains and forest areas. After the lake, the climb was pretty steep approaching 60 degrees. During that time climate was pretty chill and we slowly left behind the humidity and heat of the plateaus. We marched on further and met a group of school scouts finding their way back down from the hill. We met them on our way, took some snaps and proceeded till we reached some rocky surfaces. The rocks were quit edgy and slippery. One needed extreme caution while climbing those rocks. At around late noon we finally reached the top of the hill. It was one of the most Exhilarating view I have ever enjoyed. Reaching the top gave us a sense of Accomplishment like none other. Every where we turned; we witnessed beauty. From the top we could zoom into the group of our friends we left behind using my trusted digital camera. Reaching on top we howled and shouted victory slogans disbelieving that we had actually scaled one of the largest mountains of the Western Ghats.

The way back...
The descend was comparatively effortless. While on top we opened up our groceries and exhausted it. The way down was very slippery and pretty steep. Extreme caution was taken to place the foot where the grip was good. After a short while we reached back the heart shaped lake. Our friends were relaxing under the shades of the trees and chilling out. We stayed there a while and exhausted our groceries furthermore and started our descent one and for all. It took us about two hours to reach the base tower and back to the foot of the hill. Exhausted and yet with full of energy and enthusiasm we chuckled and Patted one everyone’s shoulder for making that wonderful trek a success!!.