Escape-Green Route Tunnel Trek-Sakaleshpura

9:19 AM

Sakaleshpura is a small town in the Hasan district of Karnataka. It lies on NH-48 which connects Bangalore with Mangalore. Im not sure how this trek idea occured but it was Naveen who planned this trek. We were a group of 16 from bangalore, only guys.

Preparation of the trek:
It was the month of Feb 2011, and the college had just started after vacation. Naveen came up with this idea of trekking to Sakaleshpura. The green route tunnel trek soon attracted 16 guys from our class. We didnt reserve any tickets in the train. Stuffs we carried was basic, food, clothes and torch.We reached Yeshwantpur Railway station from where the train starts with a hope of getting seat in the general compartment since we didnt have booked tickets. We got seats as we hoped and the journey was full of fun. No one slept in the night and we were having the one of the best moments.

Trek Day:
Donigal Station
The train reached near Sakaleshpur station by 4am. we took a bus from the busstand, the driver stopped the bus near some tea stalls somewhere 2-3kms behind Donigal station and told us this is Donigal. We got down and started walking after enquiring route to some localites. The first mission of finding the tracks was quite adventurous as it took us through some tea estates, a graveyard , a small stream of water. We had finally reached the tracks. It was not our day. Here we had our second mystery of finding the direction of walk. Lot of arguements were exchanged among the crowd and finally using GPS we started walking towards our left side. It was just one km of walk and everyone started having the heat of walking on Railway tracks. Reason was quite simple, railway tracks have bars uniformly distributed which are little smaller in width than your foot. So whenever you step on a the cement bar pressure is put on your toe muscle. Little ahead was our first encounter with the bridge and it was an amazing experience for all of us to walk on the railway bridge. After walking for 3-4 kms we finally  saw the Donigal station board and we were as happy as reaching our destination. There was a small stream flowing down amid rocks, the water was freezing cool but it was refreshing for us.
We 16 infront of small stream near Donigal station

 Soon after Donigal station, we found a place to have our breakfast. We started walking again, our next anxious moment was to find a tunnel since we were excited a lot to walk through the tunnel. And the group had already split up. People walking in the front were signalling whether they see a tunnel or not. Soon, we heard the train whistle and we were excited to see the forst train moving next to us. It was a photographic moment. Finally, after walking for some time around 9:30 in the morning, the moment had arrived when we saw the first tunnel. The moment was priceless and it was quite an experience to walk through the dark tunnel. You could feel the water dropping through narrow gaps of the tunnel.

 Trek Warning

View of mountain
The next few hours went walking on the track with the paining toes and ofcourse, enjoying the scenery n both sides, we crossed numerous bridges and tunnels, met many workers repairing the railway lines. It was 1 in the noon and we were tired, we asked some workers for the water souce near by and they mentioned one stream 3kms away. We took bath in the river and had our lunch there, the bath was refreshing ad the water was crystal clear.

Bridge over a river where we took bath
Yedakumari station
All of us were tired and exhausted. The sun was playing his role.We started walking again crossing numerous tunnels and bridges It was tunnel #18 when we crossed we encountered a split track indicating a station ahead, and soon we saw the board Yedakumari. We were delighted to reach there. We lied down on the platform as if we had never slept before in our life. There was a tea stall in the station where we had tea in he evening. We convinced a localite to take us to the highway. He agreed for 800 bucks. He said the highway is just 3kms away and we have to cross a river, he agreed upon showing us the way to reach the highway. We started following him. He took us down through a very steep mud slide and we encountered a small stream of water. After crossing that, he should us a path that will take us to the riven upon crossing whch we will encounter the highway. He told us that he cannot come with us till the end of the road since it will be dark by the time he reaches back to the station. We started walking through that way and the way never seemed ending. We had split up again, me and Bharatish were leading in the front. We heard some animal sound and we started running without seeing anything till we encountered river. We waited near the river for sometime and we saw 6 of our friends coming. We crossed the river which had a current but it was not deep and started waiting for other 8 people. They were not in the visinity. We waited till 7:30pm and it was pitch dark. We were scared as we didnt know what had happened to them. There was no network in the mobile. Finally we thought of going to Sakleshpur and thought of getting help from there.We stopped 2 jeeps on the highway and when asked the driver he scared us a lot. After driving for some time we found network in the cell and we were keep on trying to call them. Luckily my call got connected to Nikhil and we came to know that they are safe and taking rest at the Yedakumari station.While following us they saw a elephant and they ran back to the station.

We were glad that everyone is safe. If booked a hotel room in sakaleshpura and we rested that night. Next day we got up late, had breakfast and caught rajahamsa bus from Sakaleshpura Bus stand.  Bus reached Bangalore by 6pm. The other group came back in other bus from kukke as they got an early train from Yedakumari to Kukke.

Trekking Details:
Starting point: Donigal
End point: Yedakumari(1day), Kukke Subramanya(2days)
Connectivity from Bangalore: Well connected by bus and train
Journey hours: 7-8 hours
Trekking Distance: 30+ kms

Trekking season:
October-March (adviced)

Difficulty level:
Diffiicult (Just because of the hurting toe after walking on tracks)

Must carry:
  • Water
  • Good trekking shoes
  • Food
  • Sleeping bag if you are planning to trek till kukke
  • flashlight, forst aid kit and knife

Important guidelines:
  • Dont trust locals as these people actually dont know the correct distance they will always misguide you saying its nearby
  • Start trekking early in the morning and reach Yedakumari before 4pm
  • If you are going in rainy season the current in the river will be high and you will not able to  cross it to goto Highway. So better camp at the Yeadakumari station and request station master to stop early morning train.

Total trekking time:
8 hours to reach yedakumari

Trekking rules:

  • Do not carry alcohol. Do not smoke in the jungle
  • Do not throw anything during the trek. Keep the trekking place clean for the following trekkers.

Happy Trekking :)

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