Ranipuram Trek: Our Last Pre Covid-19 Hike
Continuing on our exciting road trip in early March 2020, Ranjana and I reluctantly pulled ourselves out of the cottage we had grown so fond of at the coffee plantation in Coorg, now to proceed to a secluded beach in Nileshwar on the Malabar Coast (another dream locale in our itinerary). As we crossed states from Karnataka into Kerala, we chanced upon Ranipuram in the Western Ghats, which was enroute and boasted of a thrilling and scenic trek to Ranipuram peak. Impulsively, we took an impromptu decision and stopped here to be able to mount the summit next morning.
Compelled by our strong desire for adventure and experiencing wild nature we put up for the night at a nondescript lodge, for want of any better dwellings, surrendering many a comfort and gourmet cuisine which we had gotten quite used to during the last week. Yes, it certainly was a far call from our usual choice of an abode. But that is what travel is all about – from opulent resorts to at times just a bed somewhere!
The next day sure did make up for the discomfort of our digs.
It was an exhilarating 3.5 hours round trek through rocky trails, scree slopes, canopied forest trees, open meadows and small hilltops. We ultimately reached the rocky summit at 3373 feet (high for a coastal region) and were rewarded with a breathtaking 360 degree view of the surrounding plantations, forests and hills!
Delighted to have discovered this gem, we have fond memories of it, our last hike before the nationwide lockdown in India caged all of us within four walls.
Enjoy the felicity we felt albeit only with pictures.
We were the first ones, the only couple, to enter the forest, having planned it such so that we could enjoy the soul soothing peace of the morning as we walked through the umber undergrowth. The mild sunlight, not from high up in the sky yet, formed dappled patterns breaking the monotony of the uphill trail.
The final ascent – an exhilarating feeling!
In other seasons, instead of the sand brown ground resplendent under the sun’s rays, Ranjana might have had under her soles a carpet of emerald turf
and after a fresh shower, no haze to curtail the splendorous view of the sweeping myriad vistas. Also perhaps the deafening silence broken by the trumpeting of wild elephants, the reek of its fibrous dung slicing through the sweet fragrance of the monsoon grass.
At the Ranipuram peak!
Yes, we were the first ones that day to summit having enjoyed the trek in complete isolation lost in the wilderness and beauty of nature.
Now when memories are becoming repetitive, the body wants to take over to create new ones.
Now the feet are itching to hike up another hill, trek up another mountain, summit another peak!
“You pass through places
and places pass through you
But you carry ’em with you
on the soles of your travelin’ shoes.”
Lyrics from a delightful song, The Littlest Birds in The Be Good Tanya’s album Blue Horse.
Article Authored By: Achal Bindraban.
Page Design By: Ranjana Achal.
Pictures By: Achal and Ranjana, unless otherwise credited.