Bavikonda Kilchikia is one of the noncommercial weekend treks from Bangalore. The trek starts from the foothills of Mullodi village situated in Karnataka. This village is surrounded by a lot of waterfalls within a radius of 15 kms. Bavikonda Kilchikia Trek is a part of the Bavikonda Forest Department which is also locally known as the ‘Revenue Forest’. The most beautiful and interesting part of this Bavikonda Kilchikia Trek is that most of the trekking here is done amidst the open face of the mountains. Also, a beautiful ridge walk towards the peak makes this place as one of the best trekking destinations from Bangalore and Mangaluru. The best way to experience and enjoy the trekking in Karnataka is by staying at a local homestay near the place of the particular trek. This way one can share time with the local people and learning their cultures. One of the major advantage of staying at such a homestay is that you get to eat their local food and in this case, it is authentic Dakshina Kannada style food.
|DAY 0||Pick up from Bangalore at 22:15 Hrs|
|DAY 1||Overnight journey till Mullodi – 6 km off road jeep ride – Homestay – Start Bavikonda Kilchikia Ridge Trek – Reach Mullodi Village Watcher – Reach ‘The Roof' – Summit Bavikonda Kilchikia – Reach Homestay – Sunset – Campfire (if permitted by situations)|
|DAY 2||Early morning hike to Somavati River – Hike around Coffee Farms – Reach Bangalore by approx by 2100 Hrs|
We start with a 335 km drive from Bangalore to Mullodi. Bavikonda also known as Baamikonda and Kilchiki peaks are one of the lesser known Bangalore Weekend Getaway destination for trekking. Once everyone boards the Get Beyond Limits Bus, a brief summary about the Bavikonda Kilchikia Ridge Trek would be done by our Outdoor Leaders along with the introduction amongst the trekkers, turning a group of outdoor enthusiasts into 1 team. We advise trekkers to have a light dinner before boarding the bus. The overnight journey to Mullodi will be very exciting to make it a perfect Bangalore Weekend Trip for trekking in the Western Ghats.
On this journey to Mullodi you may get arrested by the graceful sunrise in the thick of the Ghat section which begins from Mudigree and goes up till Kalasa covering almost 60 kms. By the time we usually enter the beautiful ghat sections, the sun decides to welcome us spreading light on the beautiful peaks. This beautiful sight may not let anyone sleep further. Also with every passing moment we get closer towards our destination which is only 15 kms away from Kalasa and is the last point where buses can take us.The only transportation to reach the interiors of the village is through a jeep ride. After deboarding the bus at Balegal we hop on to a jeep for the much awaited joyous jeep-ride. The off-road jeep ride is around 6 kms from Balegal to Mullodi.
The initial stretch of Bavikonda Kilchikia Trek starts from our homestay on a jeep track till we take a detour from the jeep trail and go through the coffee plantations to touch the foot of the peaks. The trekking trail of Bavikonda Kilchikia starts to gain height under the local forest plantations.
The beautiful Mullodi village is seen in its best glory under the shadows of the mountains surrounding it. Soon you would see the clouds casting their shadows over the nearby farms.
These farms are popularly known for step farming or terrace farming alongside the coffee plantations and Arecanut (or Betel Nut) plantations. Along the trail there is a small water stream which can have abundance of water flowing through during the monsoons contouring it into a lyrical and a rhythmic trail.
On this trek, you may witness some edible wild berries which are known as ‘ichullu’, as well as some wild animals along with the lovely nature.
These forests on our adventurous trail sheltering us with shade, water and food are preparing us for the thrilling climb to Bavikonda Kilchikia Peak.
MULLODI VILLAGE WATCHER
As we would proceed further, each step towards the Bavikonda Kilchikia Peak will leave the city life behind us as we climb higher.
The peace of mind one attains after summiting the peak, is what one will cherish for days to come after this trek. The plateau that we will come across after the water stream is a spot we like to call the ‘Mullodi Village Watcher’. From this Village Watcher, the divine village of Mullodi besides the other peaks of Dakshina Kannada in the Chikmagalur district can be spotted.
Mullodi can be regarded as a valley which is delightfully surrounded and protected by the wildlife, the river and the mountains.
The elevation of the trail increases after spending some time as a Mullodi Village Watcher. Since the best views are bestowed upon by the mountains only after the hardest climbs, there will be a couple of plateaus that we shall be mounting and crossing in order to reach to the peak.
Throughout the trail we will see how the forest cover slowly unfurls themselves and the wide open sky welcomes us with its open arms. This is one of the few treks in the Western Ghats with fewer forest covers on the trail there by giving us the chance to experience the views and the chance to connect with the surroundings whenever we feel like.
Many a times you would not be able to see the plateau or the mountains as you would find them hidden behind the overlaying clouds. Such is the beauty of this place. While trekking, we will be able see a small hut faraway on the left side of the mountain/plateau. This hut is the Bavikonda Forest Post also known as the Revenue forest post. There is another road that also connects Bavikonda which can be used in case of any emergency.
THE RIDGE WALK
The forests that we crossed on our trail, which shadowed us initially can now be seen spanning across in the vastness of the hills if we look down from this point. There is a huge mountain on one of the plateaus from where we take a left and trek straight ahead.
Here, we can spot the fine ridge that we had been walking on from the Mullodi Village Wachter till this point. This is one of the rare treks in the Western Ghats where one can trek on a ridge for such a long distance.
Moving further, we walk straight and on a left crossing we can see lots of wild grasses, shrubs, small mud patches and even a stream of water during the monsoons.
A gradual climb on this left patch will lead us to ‘The Roof’ of the trek. Once you get to stand there, you will realise why we like to call it as ‘The Roof’ of this trek. Occasionally, from this point, we would see these mountains dusted with the boundless and scattered clouds. While trekking, the wind gushes slightly drops the temperatures and it turns a bit cold even on a hot sunny day. The best views come after the hardest climb saying gets justified here. The view from ‘The Roof’ can be compared to the picturesque scenic beauty of the Bugyals (meadows) of the Himalayas.
The Roof is not the end of the trek, we have more mesmeric views to gaze around. We further trek straight on the uncovered and bare mountains till we reach on the top from where we took the left leading to 'The Roof'.
There are times when the clouds extend their hands and reach out for us on our trails which leads us to the Bavikonda Kilchikia Peak.
The last ridge walk of this trek is what separates us from its neighbour, Kudremukh National Park. Peaks like Gomukh Peak and Kudremukh Peak can be seen from the top of the Bavikonda Kilchikia Trek. The highest point on this ridge is where we can see the rocks lying on top of each other as a marking that we are not at the highest point of this trek; the Bavikonda Kilchikia Peak!
This is our time to settle down on this highest point. After you scale the heights of any mountain, the feeling of accomplishment of scaling your inner mountains is imminent. The quiet and tranquil essence of the mountains pacifies the soul and one understands the basics of life. You realise that to rise high, ‘limits’ are imaginary. Outdoors are a way to understand the limitless potential that life has to offer us. It is your time to ‘live the thrill’ in the ‘Get Beyond Limits’ way. As Ed Viesturs says that ‘Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory’ we start descending for the day.
Once we reach the homestay, a well planned dinner and a wonderful campfire is waiting to welcome the hungry trekkers. Our idea is to connect with the nature leaving behind the regular hustle-bustle of the cities. We believe in taking the mountains with us to make our cities a better place to live. We faithfully follow and observe our ‘leave no trace policy’ and ‘Project Green’ policy and we always pledge to keep our cities and mountains clean and free from any form of garbage, litter or trash. After enjoying the delicious dinner we sit around the campfire and share our respective life, horror and laughter stories. We believe in gobbling up the warmth of the stories woven in the midst of the sparkling campfire.
We welcome this day with the first ray of the Sun. Later, we will be exploring the Somavati River Waterfall which is just 1 km away from our homestay. After the first day’s adventurous hike, we shall be shedding off our tiredness in these waterfalls.
After the breakfast we shall explore the coffee farms and the other plantations in the Balegal region. Our sole purpose and idea of trekking is to connect with the mountains and bring the serenity of the mountains to the cities.
Just before we leave Balegal, one can find a shallow stream of water where one can play and connect with the water. Soon after this we start our onward journey to Bangalore which usually ends and initiates the drop offs by 2100 hrs.
The trek is only successful when the trekkers can feel a difference in their personal lives, which is to ‘Get Beyond Limits’ and conquer all the mental as well as the physical barriers of life. Always remember, ‘Bavikonda Kilchikia ka tempo high hai’, and so shall be yours.
THINGS TO CARRY
|RUCKSACK/DAY PACK||The broader the straps are the better you will feel. A frame oriented distributes the weight supporting the back. Suggested Capacity: 40L||1|
|JACKET/SWEATER||The weather changes drastically, carrying a light jacket or a sweater is required at night and morning as it is cold.||1|
|CARGOS/ TRACK PANTS||A light synthetic track pant that can easily dry when wet in case of rainfall. Cargos are rugged and are good on jungle terrains which gives it a less chance to be torn down by thorns||2|
|T-SHIRT/SHIRT||T-shirt/Shirt Carry light cotton t-shirts preferably full sleeves to avoid sun burn. Avoid carry black as it is a heat absorber.||2-3|
|CAP/HAT||A cap or a hat that can cover the head and face against the direct sunlight during peak hours.||1|
|SLIPPERS/FLIP FLOPS||Comfortable slippers or flip flops for the homestay and the return journey.||1|
|SHOES||A pair of shoe with good traction and water proof body is an ideal match. Ensure that the shoes are not old or new, get used to the shoe if it is new, as a rule you should be comfortable to walk in difficult terrain for 6 hours at least.||1 Pair|
|SOCKS||Sports or cotton socks that don’t make your feet sweat on long walks. Carrying few extra pair is always a good idea in case they get wet||3 Pairs|
|RAIN COAT/PONCHO||A compact raincoat or a poncho that can quickly dry when wet is very important considering the amount of rain-shower that happens especially in Monsoon.||1|
|WATER BOTTLE||A 2 litre good leak proof water bottle. Don’t miss the chance to drink spring water, if any.||1|
|TORCH||A small sized torch is mandatory. You would not like be in limits after the sunset.||1|
|PERSONAL MEDICATION KIT||Crocin, Combiflam, Dettol, ORS, Betadine Cream, Volini Spray, Digene, Cotton, Crape Bandage and Band Aid or any other medicine which you take frequently.||1 Set|
|REPAIR KIT||Even if you don’t know how to use thread and needle still carry them, sometimes they can be the last resort.||1 Each|
|TOWEL||It should be light and easily dry after use.||1|
|TOILETRIES||Soap, Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Toilet paper, Sunscreen, etc. for your convenience.||1 Each|
|SUN GLASSES||Sturdy, convenient to carry sun glasses for eye protection.||1|