It was end of February 2020 my cousin and I were planning to meet up over the weekend for a drive, that is when I remembered a good friend from the Forest Department mentioning about a trek near Bhagamandala.
I made a phone call post lunch and voila contact number of the Forest Ranger incharge was shared and off we went. It was late night when we reached Bhagamandala settled down for the night and made another phone call, it being a weekend, the officer was not available, but he made some arrangement for the trek and we called it a night.
Next morning we woke up early, had our coffee listening to the music of Birds.
A forest watcher who was assigned to us was ready, the trekking trail of 15 Km began from the untamed woodlands of Tala Cauvery forest range, which is home to exotic wildlife including rare species of trees, animals, and birds. The journey on foot began right after the jeep trail amidst the Shola forest and passed through soft ridges, sprawling meadows, water streams, and thickets of varied plantations.
We spotted plenty of birds, including signs, and tracks of animals throughout the winding path. The last ascent was when it got interesting, our watcher spotted fresh signs of disturbance on the ground and on plants and went into high alert and I being a trained eco-volunteer immediately became aware, I followed the thumb rule of the jungle: listen, smell and then see.
Ahead of us on the ascent to the hill was a herd of Elephants gently making their way up a steep incline, it was a sight to behold, we sat there watching the animals in amusement, what a spectacular sight it was. Ten minutes later they were out of sight and we continued to the peak.
From the peak is a 360-degree view of the Brahmagiri forest range and from up there we spotted Indian Gaurs and Deers (Chitals), spent a good hour taking in the beauty of the surrounding area until we could not bear the sun's unrelenting heat. We clicked some memorable photos and headed back making sure to leave behind only our foot prints and taking back only the memories.