The Amedikallu trek can challenge you to draw on reserves of energy that you never knew you actually possessed. Then, just when you begin to think that you cannot take it anymore; it rewards you with one of the most breathtaking views. This lesser known peak, Amedikallu, is one of Karnataka’s toughest yet most spectacular treks.
An Overview of the Trek
Amedikallu is an important peak of the Charmadi range. The name is derived from two words: Ame means turtle in Kannada and Dikkel is Tulu for stove. This peak gets its name from the massive monolith at the peak that gives the appearance of a turtle at the center with the three stones resembling the stove adjoining it.
Located near Shishila village in Dharmasthala, Amedikallu is best experienced as a two-day trekking exercise. It is one of the peaks in the circle of mountains that begins with Gadaikallu at Jamalabad and passes on through Kudremukh, Hirimariguppe, Durgadabetta, Barekallu, Mullayyanagiri and Ettina Bhuja, ending with Nishani Gudda, which adjoins Amedikallu.
Activities and Things to Do
Beginning with a foot trail, the path moves upwards through a combination of shola forests and grasslands. The initial portion is well demarcated with bamboo shoots growing alongside. As you proceed, the path will get steeper and the trail will begin to meander. Although this helps in reducing the steepness of the climb, the trail grows increasingly hazy.
As you enter the area with grass that reaches up to your knees, it is quite possible that you lose the trail entirely. This is where the services of a good trek guide can come in handy for he will know the area like the back of his hand and can ensure that you don’t lose your way.
When you finally reach the top, you will witness a sight that can invoke a sense of awe: clear blue skies, lush greenery rolling away in all directions and a dreamy fog over the lower reaches of the range that gradually melts away, unable to bear the warm radiance of the rising sun. The descent from the peak will be quite steep and you’ll need to have a firm foot although the trail might be quite clear.
Getting In and Around the Region
Amedikallu is accessible from the village of Shishila. To get to Shishila, you have to get off at Kokkada, which is located on the Bangalore – Dharmasthala highway, and take the local bus from Kokkada at 7.15 am. For a higher price, you can hire an auto rickshaw or a jeep. Mr. Gopu Gokhale at Shishila (08251-269246) is a trek coordinator who can arrange for transportation, food and guides for your trek.
Reaching the peak will take around six hours, provided you move at a steady pace and don’t lose your way. Rather than setting up camp on the Amedikallu peak, try the spot about 25 meters below because it will be more comfortable. The weather combined with the exertion can make you sweat continually, so carry sufficient fluids to keep you hydrated. Although there are a few streams en route, finding them will require a detour from your trail that can set you back by some precious minutes.
Surprisingly, when you get back from the trek and get back to your daily routine, what you remember the most will be the tiny rare orchid blossoming in the midst of the dry leaves and grass and the majestic Sambar with its rugged, yet inexplicably graceful antlers.
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