Monday, 4 June 2012

Green Route: Trekking along the Railway Track

Green Route: Trekking along the Railway track

Overview:
Trekking along the "Green Route" was always on my mind and I got a chance to do that with a friend. We decided to keep it a low budget trip as we were fresh from a 3-day trip the previous week. So we decided to go by ordinary KSRTC bus.
We reached Kempegowda Bus terminus and enquired about the last bus to Sakleshpur. Finally boarded a Karnataka Sarige bus at 12am. We reached Sakleshpur at 5am in the morning. We started off for Donigal in sometime which was the starting point of our trek. We hired an auto and it took around 15 mins to reach Donigal railway station. We freshened up at the station. Normal passenger trains don't halt at Donigal apart from technical halts. There was one station master at the station and nobody else when we went there. We started our trek from Donigal knowing that it would not be an easy one with over 15+ kms to cover. The beginning of the trek was not too exciting but we had read in other blogs that it gets interesting as the trek advances.
Green RouteGreen RouteGreen Route  
The beauty of the place suddenly increased as we saw the first bridge. The only noise we could hear was of the birds chirping and trees swaying with the winds. As we moved on we realised why this place is called the Green Route.
Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route
Further ahead we came across many people working on the railway tracks. They are assigned some daily tasks everyday and the inspection officer from PWD takes daily rounds to make sure everything is in place. We talked with them for sometime. They even warned us that the PWD officer might ask us to go back as he is very strict so advised us to think and proceed. We decided to take the plunge and proceeded further. A few meters from there we saw the first tunnel which was 239m long. It was like entering a huge cave, with droplets of water falling from the ceiling and eerie sound made by bats. It was a curve so light abandoned us from both sides and it was pitch dark. And our normal torches could light up only a small distance. We walked slowly and finally could see light at the end of the tunnel. It started drizzling and suddenly began to pour down heavily. Luckily we came across a small lonely tent where we quickly went inside for shelter. I carried a portable stove so we decided to prepare some tea for ourselves. It has a small stove with a camphor-like thing for flame. We lighted it and put the water to boil. We prepared the tea and it had stopped raining as well. So we decided to march ahead. The scenery kept getting better as we were walking and the cloudy weather and pleasant breeze added to it. We came across lot of waterfalls and words cannot describe the feeling. Then after covering about 12 kms we saw a small railway station called Hangarahalli. We crossed it and then decided to break for lunch with a huge tunnel ahead of us. We saw the Mangalore-Yesvantpur express coming out of the tunnel and was nice to watch. We noticed that all the trains heading towards Donigal from Subramanya road have to be pulled by one engine in the front and pushed by 2 engines from the back. This is because of the elevation which we were told that there is an elevation of 1 feet after every 100 meters. After lunch we took a 10 minute quick nap and continued towards Yedekumari. We crossed 2 small tunnels and 2 big ones before we saw someone guarding the tracks with a red flag. On asking him he said that some maintenance work is in progress on the other side of the tunnel so he was supposed to stop any train from entering it. We entered the tunnel which was around half a kilometre long. As he had told some work was going on the tracks at the exit of the tunnel. And unfortunately for us the PWD officer was monitoring the work. He stopped us from proceeding further and didn't allow us even after pleading. Finally disappointed, we came back to the guard and asked him for a solution. On his advice, we decided to head back towards the Hangarahalli railway station which we had left a couple of kilometres back. We started backtracking and finally reached the station in 30 mins. It was around 4pm and we got a waiting room to rest and spend the rest of our day and night. We immediately crashed to sleep and woke up at 7pm. In the evening after dinner we met a couple of villagers who worked for the railways who were telling about the nature of their work. They were supposed to work in shifts and it involved going 6kms and back on the track to make sure everything is fine. This person Hemanth was having his shift from 1am to 5am in the morning. He suggested that we take the 4am train to Subramanya Road and get a bus to Bangalore from there. We did exactly that. The train came at around 4:20am and reached Subramanya Road at 6:10am. We took a jeep to the bus stand. At the bus stand we decided to go to Gundya checkpost as the number of buses to Bangalore would be more. We reached Gundya at 8:10am and immediately got a bus to Bangalore. The journey back was also very pleasant with lot of waterfalls on the way near Shiradi Ghat though the roads were pathetic. We finally reached Bangalore at around 3pm in the afternoon.
 Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route  Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route  Green Route Green RouteGreen Route Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route Green Route
How to reach: Plenty of KSRTC buses available from Bangalore to Sakleshpur. At Sakleshpur, hire an autorickshaw to Donigal Railway Station. Start trekking from Donigal, to Yedekumari or Hadagarahlli. Halt at either of these places. Take early morning train 16517 Yesvantpur-Kannur express and get down at Subramanya road. From Kukke Subramanya plenty of buses available to Bangalore.
Alternately, travel from Bangalore to Yedekumari by train by 16517 Yesvantpur-Kannur express. The reservation has to be done till Subramanya Road (SBHR) as there is no official stop at Yedekumari. Watch out for Yedekumari station between 4:15 to 5:00am. The train halts there only for 2 mins. Get down and relax till day break. Start trekking by 6am and reach Donigal station at around 4pm. Hire a jeep or auto from the main road outside the station to Sakleshpur bus stand. From Sakleshpur, plenty of buses available to Bangalore.
Things to remember: Carry sleeping bags as it is not convenient to sleep at these places. Carry plenty of eatables and water, Raincoats in case of rainy season, a powerful torch. 
Map:

View Larger Map

28 comments:

  1. Thats a wonderful experience. Well narrated and nice photos too. The wet green look is magnificent. I definitely want to do this trek. Let me know if you are heading there again.

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a fantastic account of what must have been an even more fantastic trip. I have never done anything like this before and I am quite tempted to do something like this from Karjat to Khandala, along the Western Ghats, during the monsoons.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Arun,

    Shall we do it this monsoon? I'm envy with green reading this, never got a chance to do it!
    drop me a mail if you can accompany...

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is dream life:-)
    A pretty scenic route, making us asking for more.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow!! Your post brought back the sweet memories of Donigal-Siribagilu trek done four years ago. Monsoon is a great time for this place.

    Since it is 'live' track there are restrictions for trekking on this route now.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks everyone for the comments...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice adventure! Didn't have the chance till now to trek in those areas.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's a great experience to trek on this route. Awesome pictures too!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow What a trek u have done...your write up and pictures are making me to do this trek if could get chance...

    ReplyDelete
  10. As far as I know, trekking this route has been banned for a few years now. But lucky, you got to see at least a part of it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. wow excellent photos and narration

    thanks for sharing and visiting my blog

    ReplyDelete
  12. That's one great trek. I'm jealous of people who get to trek in tunnels. :) Nice pictures Arun, Your pictures are always good.
    Nice write up too, although I wish you'd break that paragraph starting 'further ahead' to a few more paragraphs to ensure easier reading.

    Where's the next trip to?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Fabulous trek - amazing pics of the track & tunnel, greenery & waterfalls and of various creatures.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Traveled by train last month and yes was very beautiful. But to do a trek is just wonderful and I am yet to do one. Nice photographs Arun!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very nice write up. Photos are too good. I am tempted to do this trek.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi it looks very tempting and the scenery is wonderful i just wanted to know that is it legal to trek because i had read somewhere that it is prohibited under the railway act or something..?so i was just wondering if someone could enlighten me.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm proud of the kids. We didn't reach the ultimate goal, but the journey was wonderful. We played one really poor game. Other than that I'm really proud of these kids.

    Flights to Santiago Chile
    Cheap Air Tickets to Santiago Chile

    ReplyDelete
  18. hi we planning for the trek... need your help to know some details... please assist

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shruti,

      Do you know the restrictions to enter this route.. We are planning to go there on 29th Sep.

      ??

      Delete
    2. Hii... We are planning for this rail trek for Last Week of Oct'12. Can anyone help with more details? We are from Hyderabad (A.P)

      Delete
  19. Beautiful pics! Thanks for sharing.. Ticketgoose provides best travel packages and cheapest online bus ticket booking.. if you want to know more about travels in India, please visit: www.ticketgoose.com
    mgm travels

    ReplyDelete
  20. ShamaTravels are specialist in handling tourists and creating a seamless grid with customers. Shama Travels is known for its commitment and excellence in customer satisfication. Shama Travels Online Bus Booking is now easy through Ticketgoose.com. Book your Bus Ticket Online by selecting the seats and type of buses available in Shama Travels. For discounts and offers visit this page.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Neeta Tours And Travels was founded in the year 2000 by Sunil Salva. Neeta Tours and Travels is a popular inter-city bus service provider more than 20 destinations with about 200 schedules daily across 5 states in India.Neeta Volvo has service staffs professionally and certified by Volvo group. Ticketgoose is trusted brand in Online Bus Reservation since 2007. Ticketgoose.com Launched in August 2007 has been a leader in Ticketing Web Portal for Book Bus Tickets Online.They operate over 3000 Destinations in South India and have collaboration with more than 250 Travel Agents.

    ReplyDelete
  22. WOW!! Well Written! Thanks for sharing your experiences Arun! Nice Pics!
    Book Bus Tickets through TicketGoose.com which is just a click away!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hey you enjoyed lots... if you want to take countless trekking experience then go with Experiential Tourism Company in India Travel Themes

    ReplyDelete
  24. I had a similar tracking (walking on or beside the tracks) experience 15 days back. From castle rock railway station to Dudhsagar railway station. It is a very famous and unrestricted tracking route. A memorable experience.. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey can anyone tell me if the Sakleshpur trek is still doable? we are a group of three and planning to do it in Sep. Also, can you give me more info about the castle rock to dudhsafar trek?

      u can contact me in vaise89@gmail.com

      Delete
  25. Wow what a nice post...!!
    Beautiful pics.....Felling very good to seen this beautiful scene..Seriously i never traveled i train but it's my dream to to travel in a train or see the beauty of all these lovely places...

    ReplyDelete