My first outing after a hiatus of three months was Kudremukha (literal translation to English being HorseFace), a pretty moderate trek this. With other travel plans having gone awry, this was an impromptu trek destination, especially since we had only a days time. As usual, only 4 remained out of the 9 who were supposed to join the trek.
A KSRTC Suvarna Sarige ticket costs ₹315/- from Bangalore (at the time of writing) and it takes about 7 hours to reach Kalasa. There are two stayhomes at the basecamp, one handled by Satish Mullodi and the other being Raje Gowda (contact numbers below). Give them a call and pretty much everything will be arranged, including a Jeep ride from Kalasa, the KSRTC drop off point, to the base camp of Kudremukh peak. We had a pickup arranged through Satish Mullodi which cost us Rs 1100/-. You can however opt to take a local bus till Belagal, and then catch a Jeep or trek the stretch. The Jeep cost will reduce to ₹500-600/- depending on your negotiation skills.
The Jeep ride from Belagal to base camp was a fun as the roads were peppered with inclines, slopes, stream crossings. The route itself is scenic with fields and forests throughout the stretch. On reaching base camp, the host was courteous enough and ran us through cost of stay, guide fees etc. We freshened up, and hired Surendra as our guide. Half an hour into the trek, I realised my folly of carrying my heavy bag unlike others. You can opt to keep your bags at the base camp and only carry the essentials.The first half of the trek is relatively easy and passes through lush green grasslands and small stretches of forests. the second leg though involves a fare bit of climbing. Though we reached the peak in under four hours, I noticed my lack of stamina compared to a few months back where I was clocking close to 7 hours without much effort. That being said, it was a fun trek and I intend to checkout the other peaks here the next time. Time constraints galore, sigh. There is a small waterfall close to the basecamp and it is worth spending some quality time at the spot.
Satish Mullodi (Homestay) :+91 9481074530
Raje Gowda (Homestay) : +91 9481179008
Surendra (Guide) : +91 8277147417
Incase you wish to trek from Belagal, call up this guy. Stay will be arranged
Narendra (Jeep from Belagal+Stay at Belagal) : +91 8277279972