Monday, July 9, 2007

Kemmanagundi, the slumbering hamlet

Kemmanagundi, Derived from the kannada word Kempu Mannina Gundi which in English means, The land of Red soil. This place also gets its name from the presence of Iron ore which makes the soil look red in colour. Kemmanagundi or The Krishna Rajendra Hill station is a weekend break from Bangalore and is around 260 Kms.This slumbering hamlet is at an altitude of 5000 Ft above sea level. This place has always been famous as hill station and the Iron ore mines, though the mining doesn’t happen anymore.
While I have made around fifty or more visits to this place but, it’s only now I decided to pen down about this place.
This place is well connected and navigable. The road traverses the entire stretch upto an altitude of 4700 ft. This Spectacular Mountain Vista is clothed in unexplored region.
This is one of the places in Malnad where one comes across a vast canvas of Geography and avifauna, of botanical and forest types. The most interesting journey begins from Kalhatgiri where the Deep forests begin. On either side of the roads are the continuous Coffee estates shaded by Teak, Silver oak and the Orange trees and of course, the numerous streams which come into life during monsoon.

With the vast presence of Massive trees, rarest orchids and ferns Kemmanagundi is a veritable paradise for nature lovers. There are number of trek routes and grasslands around Kemmanagundi which can be explored. My all time favorite has been the trek to z-point. It gets its name because of the Z Shaped route. The Road to this place is quite narrow and treacherous. In the mid way is the tiny Shanti Falls. From the tip of Z-Point the View of The Bhadra Dam is simply breath taking. Apart from the trek to z-point, one can also enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the Rock Garden and the rose garden near Rajbhavan. The view of Sunset from Rajbhavan just cannot be missed. The entire hill station is covered by landscaped gardens. The view of tanigebailu valley is pictureperfect. This area resounds with hoots of wide variety of Birds and insects.
One can ensconce oneself in one of the modest accommodations provided by the Horticulture department guest house. The Dattatreya Bhavan and RajBhavan are decent and quite comfortable.
It’s a Perfect destination to savor the exhilarating experience. There is certain vibrancy in the air and charge that gets one going.

Reaching there:

Drive from Bangalore via NH4 and later at Tumkur take NH206 and continue on the NH till u reach Birur. At Birur main circle take the road which goes to Lingadahalli and at Lingadahalli turn left to go towards Kemmanagundi.

This place can also be reached from Tarikere which is beyond Birur on the NH206.At Tarikere , take a left turn towards Lingadahalli and keep following the signboard to reach Kemmanagundi.

One can also take the Janshatabdi Express (Bangalore-Hubli) at 6AM from Bangalore city Railway station and get down at Birur. From Birur hire a Jeep or catch a private bus or a taxi to reach Kemmanagundi.

The nearest airport is Bangalore 260 Kms.

For detailed information on the route contact me.

Stay @ Kemmanagundi:
The most popular is the Horticulture department guest house. One can do the booking at Kemmanagundi Horticulture department guest house by calling 08261-237126 .At the hill station there are no private resorts or lodges or any home stay. But, there are many home stay near Kemmanagundi. Believe me, spending the night at Kemmanagundi is totally a different experience and don’t miss out on the night walk in the hill station.

What to carry???
Good pair of Floaters and non-slip shoes, so that you are prepared for the rain. Of course the Umbrella and water proof jacket. The temperature changes and nights are quite cold. It’s advisable to carry warm clothes with good torch with charged Batteries.

No comments: