Karnataka has a plethora of options for trekking. It is truly “One State Many worlds”. Not only trekking, the state has beautiful beaches, dense forest ranges, tall mountains, gushing waterfalls, and peaceful rivers. It caters to all audiences, be it adventure lovers , history lovers, nature lovers and even city lovers.
Being my first trek, my friends planned an easy trek. Nishani Motte is one of the lesser known mountain range in Coorg. Easily reachable from Bangalore by roads in 8 hours. Nishani Motte comes under the Tala Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary and is home for several wildlife including elephants and leopards. You would need an authorised Forest Department guide to take you on the right route.
This is ideal for a weekend trek as you can cover the whole trek which is totally about 12 kms. Along the way, you will come across several small peaks and clearing which deliver a good view of the surrounding mountain ranges. It is not a steep route. It is a pleasant hiking route for about 4Kms.
Walk another 2 kms and the route starts to ascent. I was deadbeat by then as I was not prepared for this kind of physical activity. But I kept pushing and then I saw the peak. Not a very high peak. But tougher one for me as I had to climb uphill. The name Nishani motte comes from the shape of the peak. Does it not look like an egg? Motte in Kannada language means egg. The last stretch of the trek is a 60 degree ascent and it just gets spectacular once you have reached the peak.
The other side of the peak has great views. We had to walk on the narrow ridges to find the next peak where we could descend. This bridge of long ridge was the exciting part of the hiking. When you are standing here, you are one with nature. The winds blowing past you whisper countless secrets of nature. The air is full of life. The clouds stoop down to kiss the blue mountains. This was my first poetic experience of a what it feels to be on a trek, long away from the madding crowd.
The mountain range borderlines kerala and karnataka. Sometimes you could spot elephants crossing the region.Occasionally, you might notice Bamboo fences, which is constructed to keep away Bisons. Be cautious of the route chosen by the authorised guide and stay the path strictly. There is no way to return back to the back other than walking ahead to the next camping spot at the end of 12 kms.
I never thought walking downhill could be so strenuous . I must have cursed and abused anyone who thought it was a good idea to take me on trek. But on the way, we walked past some coffee plantations and I met this amazing little guy-Kariya. The Dog who walked beside me for 2 or so kms. We had made a quick pitstop at one of the villagers house to get some water. This little guy accompanied me till the end of their locality. I Suppose, the people and animals close to forest are more hospitable than city dwellers. The nicest thing about this dog was he sensed my exhaustion and would wait for me when I was slowing down or resting. He did not do it for anyone else in the group. My friends were well ahead of me. But this dog, he was there. He inspired me to complete my journey. When I was reaching the exit of forest department, this guy sat like this for several minutes. I kept looking back and wanted to see him leave. But it broke my heart to see him sit there. But he sat there majestically, as if he had accomplished something. He truly had. He became a part of my first experience of trekking.
I have not been an active person for half of my life. Planning to start something after 30, yeah, that was evolution. I was introduced to trekking by 3 of my friends who are insanely in love with trekking. My first experience at trekking turned out worthwhile. This trek inspired me to travel 2 more times by the end of the year. Now I am one of the people who is insanely in love with trekking and I strive to stay fit for the sake of treks.
How to Visit:
You can travel by road to Coorg from any place in Karnataka. Place is accessible by bus, car and bikes. Closest bus stand would be Baghamandala.
Mode of Transport:
Private and Government buses are available. KSRTC buses travel regularly and are reliable
Best time to visit:
January to early April is ideal.
Summer time – climate is hot and the forests are dry. Not advisable as there are no water resources available
Several homestays are available in Bagamandala and Coorg.
Mode of Payment: Cash only.
Other attractions nearby:
TalaCauvery, Brahmagiri, Mysore