Trekking in South India
If you wish to explore the rugged Himalayas on foot, but lack the skill for it, then you may undertake trekking in South India to gain some experience. The Deccan Plateau and the Western Ghats that together cover a large part of the southern region of India have attracted hikers for quite some time. Their relatively lesser height as compared to the Himalayas makes them ideal for novices and those with little hiking skills. During South India Trekking, you are bound to see an incredible variety of flora and fauna that is characteristic to the region.
Though easier than hiking in the northern part of the country, trekking South India can still be a demanding challenge. The hills and plateau are considerably steep, and you will have to do a lot of work to ascend them. At several instances, you will meander through dense forests on trails that may not be well marked. Loose soil and sometimes almost-vertical and barren cliffs will make the climbing a bit strenuous. These challenges will require that you are completely fit for the activity.
Before embarking on treks in South India, you may get a doctor to deem you fit for the task. You may also start exercising some time before departing on such excursions to warm up your body and get your muscles and bones to loosen up. For the hikes, remember to pick comfortable sports shoes that would give you the optimum amount of grip on the slopes. Also, carry enough snacks and drinking water on the expeditions so that you can get nourished and refreshed whenever you want.
An important base for trekking in South India is Bangalore – the capital of the Karnataka state. Easy accessibility from around the country and close proximity to the hills in the region make it a preferred site to begin such on-foot jaunts. From Bangalore, your hike operator will pick you up, usually by bus, and transport you to the starting point of the excursion. While on the way to the trekking base, you can chat with the fellow participants. Once at the site, your group leader or guide will give you a briefing about the ensuing programme that you should not forget to attend.
If you have any queries regarding the journey, then feel free to ask the person briefing you to clear your doubts. Following the introduction, you will generally be allotted some time to exercise and warm up. Your South India trekking will begin after you have worked up your muscles enough. There are two types of hikes, organised here: day hikes and night hikes. Whereas walking during the day will be easy and pleasurable, doing it at night will be demanding and adventurous. Day jaunts are organised to spots, such as Kodachadri, Kudremukh, Kumara Parvatha, Kunti Betta, Tadiandamol, Savandurga and Ramanagara. While walking to these destinations in sunlight, you will see lush vegetation, sparkling streams, splashing waterfalls, or maybe even some animals, endemic to the Western Ghats or the Deccan Plateau.
Kabbal Durga, Kunti Betta, Narayangiri, Ramanagara, Rangaswamy Betta, Savandurga and Skandagiri are some destinations, to where trekking South India is organised during the night. You will tread in the fleeting light of electric torches, and the path will not be properly illuminated. Such tours may also include camping on the cliff itself, wherein you will light a bonfire and rest in sleeping bags. Some fun games may also be hosted while you sit around the warming fire.
During numerous hikes, you will have to ascend huge boulders with the help of others, and you will have to do the same for those, climbing the rocks after you. You may also have to lay flat on your stomach and crawl through patches, bearing thick and bushy vegetation. A good thing about hiking in the region is that the height will never be enough to induce altitude sickness.
A major reason why treks in Karnataka are favoured by adventure enthusiasts is that these are offered throughout the year. However, you can avoid hiking during the monsoons as the rains can make the path slippery, and there may also be leeches on the way.