Charming Hillocks of Charmadi
Situated in thick forest of Banjarumale region these are considered the highest hillocks in Charmadi range. Unique Topography and accessibility makes it one of the sought destination for a avid trekkers. Journey along the hair bends in the ghats makes travel memorable.The valleys are dotted with Perinneal waterfalls and swift flowing rivers.Thick forests are also home for the Malekudiya tribal families.
Twin peaks after descending from Ghats beckon and challenge adventurer. At the top of the hill lies a huge bauxite stone, which attracts lightning during monsoon. With this, the hill gets its name ‘Minchukallu’ which means the stone which attracts lightning. For trekkers, who love adventure and challenges, this is their ultimate paradise because there is no short cut and easy route to reach this peak. Apart from tedious trekking route, what adds to the challenge is the herd of elephants making frequent appearances here.
Kumbakallu is another hill which is worth seeing in the vicinity. Trekkers will come across two dense forests namely ‘Banjaru Male’ and ‘Ambati Male,’ which are like safe abode for pachyderms. The elephants are seen even on Minchukallu hill and if locals are to be believed, elephants follow a corridor from the foothill to the peak accelerating themselves in zig-zag movement. At the top of the hill, these pachyderms get their staple food, which is called ‘Aane Hullu’ in Kannada. With the fight between man and elephant increasing over the years, the number of elephants coming to this area has increased.
A journey to Rain Land
Agumbe, at an altitude 826m, is a small village in the Shimoga district of Karnataka. This is the same enthralling location which offered an idyllic setting for R.K Narayan’s Malgudi Days. Agumbe is famous for its spectacular sunsets and also its numerous trekking paths which are truly breathtaking. The forests of Agumbe are home to rare species of animals like tigers, leopards, lion tailed macaques, Sambar, malabar giant squirrel, barking deer and a host of other flora and fauna. It is also home to the King Cobra, the largest venomous snake in the world. Agumbe receives the highest rainfall in South India which makes it the ‘Cherrapunji of the South’. Narasimha Parvatha is the tallest peak in the Agumbe range of the Western Ghats and is about 1,152m (3,780 ft) high. End your trek at Kigga, a small village at the fringes of the forest, at the foot Narsimha parvatha, with a refreshing bath in Siri mane falls.
The Grasslands of the Sky
Bandaje Arbi ( Arbi - waterfall in local dialect tulu ) is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Charmadi ranges of Western Ghats, falling from a height of 500 feet. The trek uphill passing Ballalarayana durga ( fort ) is surely an uphill task for the trekkers. The flowing streams, the rolling velvet hills, sight of elephant herds, wild boars if one is lucky, and is a feast to the eyes. Passing through Ballalrayana fort overlooking the town of Sunkasale. Not much remains of the fort except the ramparts. Ballalarayana Durga, is a secluded fort atop a mighty peak in the dense jungle of Western Ghats. All that remains of the fort are its dilapidated traces, but the lush green forests with the steep slopes surrounding the fort gives it the aura of mystery and a sinister charm. The view of hillocks Amedhikallu , Minchu Kallu and Kumba Kallu , Kode Kallu , Jamalabad or Gadayi Kallu and Kudremukh Ranges in the distance. View of sunset from here is a riot of colors and a memorable experience! It beckons every wandering soul. So indulge in this unique adventure and come explore the enigma of this long forgotten place.