Never before has a place beckoned me to return so many times. My second visit followed just a few months after the first. The third and fourth did not take very long either. I had made six visits at the last count and yet, each time I think of Thadiyandamol Peak, I ponder on making another journey soon.

At an altitude of 1745m, Thadiyandamol is the highest peak in Coorg. Its windy peak offers unhindered views of impressive mountain ranges and valleys of Coorg and beyond. Neatly stacked layers of hills align one behind the other, extending to the horizon and gently merging into the blue sky. Sensuous curves of the ridges lead down the peak and further up to the next one and the next, eventually disappearing into the mist somewhere faraway, inviting the beholder to walk along them and lose themselves in the mystery that the depth of the hills seem to convey.

Thadiyandamol

Thadiyandamol

 

The long walk to Thadiyandamol’s peak is as appealing as the vista from the top. Starting from the quiet village of Kakkabe, I soon leave the tarmac behind and walk on a jeep track that goes past lush paddy fields and occasional houses hidden behind trees.

Thadiyandamol

Thadiyandamol

 

It begins to climb gently through coffee estates alternating with thick forests.

Life in the woods keeps me occupied through the trek further. A blackbird flies past, parakeets chatter incessantly on the canopy and drongos whistle as they hop from branch to branch. Sunbirds chirp continuously as they look for nectar in the flowers.Colourful yellow browed bulbuls whizz past me into a neighbouring bush in a hurry. As I climb up to leave the forest and the village behind, the jeep track shrinks into a bridle path that leads into undulating grasslands.

Thadiyandamol

Thadiyandamol

 

Stepping into the open grassland, I am suddenly greeted by bliss – unspoiled hills, thick shola forest and green mountain grass as far as the eyes can see. It is difficult to find fault with this world encompassing a few rocks here and there, a few flowers breaking the dominance of the green grass and a stream running down from the shola forests.

Thadiyandamol

Thadiyandamol

 

The slopes are gentle and the trek looks easy till the half-way mark – a small plateau above the coffee estates. From now, the distant hills start appearing closer to reach and views expand into the panorama of the peaks.

After some steep climb for an hour, the last bit of the walk goes through a dense forest, undisturbed but for the small hiking path that bifurcates the thick undergrowth. Another steep ascent and I am at the top, ready to indulge in the endless views.

Thadiyandamol

Thadiyandamol

 

It takes no more than four hours of walking to get here, ending with the vistas that make me desire for nothing else for a moment.

Thadiyandamol

Thadiyandamol (Sunset)

 

And later, as I retreat from the hills, I walk down thinking that it won’t be long before I make another visit again.