Sunday, November 15, 2009

Clouds over Kodachadri!

On the trail back from Kodachadri

Last time I wrote about The Astronomy Club, Manipal's trek to Kodachadri, it was called "Stars over Kodachadri", but this time, at the peak of the monsoon, it was the turn of the clouds and the rain... It has become a routine practice of the Club to repair to this amazing hillock (all of 1350m altitude)that is a backdrop for the famed Sri Mookambika Temple at Kollur quoting any excuse ranging from stargazing to nature retreat ("While we reach for the stars, we do not ignore the flowers at our feet!"). This time too was no different - we set off for Kollur one evening, with hostel "perms" and frantic calls to wardens and all the resultant delays. Once in Kollur, free of all the worries that Manipal inflicts on us and mostly free from the constant harassment of our mobile phones, we soaked in the atmosphere of the quaint little temple town, before retiring to our rooms at the Lalithambika Guest House.

Next day, early in the morning, our vehicle deposited us at Karanakatte - the starting point of the trek. The first part of the trek is a long walk over flat and gently sloping forest tracks, and the newcomers were "blooded" to the Cult of the Leeches! The usual pit stop at Hotel Rajesh - the tea shop run by Madhavan in the forest, facilitated de-leeching and allowed the tea-addicts amongst us to tank up.

Ankit, Arushi, Pramit and Parth during the trek

The next part of the trek is the most strenuous and the most rewarding part. We trekked through mist and rain over steep paths and grassy slopes and stands of trees to ultimately reach the temples atop Kodachadri. Here there are temples run by Brahmin priests as well as other temples where worship is in the Sakteya tradition. It is at this latter place that we stopped to refresh ourselves. There is a tall iron pillar which is believed to be the haft of the trisul with which Mookambika killed Mookasura - the terrible demon.

Refreshed, we pressed on to the hilltop, with precipitous slopes to the left of us and ultimately reached the top, with the Sarvajnya Mantapa - where Adi Shankaracharya is supposed to have meditated. We spent time at the top and, after the customary Club photo in front of the Mantapa, reluctantly returned...

The customary Club snap with the Sarvajnya Mantapa as backdrop


Prachi said...

The place remains the same only the people change Sir. Rememeber we had a similar pic in front of the stone structure on the top !! .. I miss Manipla and Astronomy club.. I hope u every batch goes to Kodachadri !!

smm said...

I also am the constant factor in these images... :( Me and Sarvajnya Mantapa...