Travelling to Nishani Motte and hiking there was on our bucket list for a long time. We had heard that the place is also called the 'Leech Kingdom' as it is surrounded by a large number of leeches during the Monsoon.
On a Saturday early morning, I left Bengaluru with four of my friends for this interesting journey. We took the Hassan Road which is good to drive during the Monsoon months.
The first stop we planned was the Devarakolli Falls, which is a few km after Madikeri on Madikeri-Mangalore Road.
The Falls lie parallel to the main road and there are some shops for the travellers to have snacks. You can't take bath in the Falls but it is a great place to shoot some good pictures.
After the short break, we hit the road for beautiful Devaragundi Falls, which is exactly 13 km from Sampaje, and located in a village called Thodikana. You need to park the vehicle two km before the Falls and do a small trek of two km on a flat jeep track to reach the Falls, which is so majestically placed inside the forest and is easily accessible.
To say the least, it was beautiful and gushing at the peak of Monsoon. Until January end, there is water for taking bath in the Falls but it gets dry during the peak of summer.
However, one should keep an eye on the kids as the water gushing area is steep. We were informed about this by the local villagers.
After a refreshing bath, we reached Mayura Cauvery in Bhagamandala to stay the night over.
The rooms were decent enough. We had our dinner in the small village of Bhagamandala.
Next day morning, we visited the forest office in Bhagamandala and got permission from the department to trek to Nishani Motte after paying a nominal entry fee and guide charges.
There was also another group who joined us in the trek. The Nishani Motte trek is around five km in total. One has to hire a jeep or travel in their own vehicle to the base from the forest office. The base is around five to six km from the forest office. We started our trek around 9 am.
The initial trek was a mild climb through estates and huge trees. In 20 minutes, we could see the grasslands and the leeches too. No wonder this place is called the 'Leech Kingdom' as thousands of leeches jumped over us.
Two hours through the trek, we reached the peak which was misty and foggy. We enjoyed every minute of the trek exploring the greenery and escaping from the leeches.
It started to rain during the last leg of our trek but it was an amazing experience to completely get drenched and enjoy the walk with friends.
Finally, we reached the other side of the base. We had our jeep waiting for us to drop us back to the Forest Department office. We reached the forest office around 2.30 pm, had a great lunch and finally visited the Thalacauvery Temple which is just a 15-minute-drive from Bhagamandala.
After visiting the Thalacauvery Temple, which is interestingly the birthplace of river Cauvery, we started our drive back to Bengaluru with lovely memories to cherish forever.
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