Back to Thadiyandamol

People always look for excuses to do things they love. I am no different and is always ready to travel at the drop of a hat. And when the trip is to Coorg, there is never any dearth of temptations. Full moon night, camping on a peak, friends, guitar, harmonica, fried pork, campfire, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a little singing, a little dancing.. you get the point! After waiting so long for a full moon night to coincide with a weekend, the moment finally arrived; 28th February was a Sunday and a full moon too. So after much planning and discussions, the four of us - Rob, Jai, Chevy and myself - started for Thadiyandamol, the tallest peak in Coorg, last Saturday evening. This was my fifth trip there, and second for us as a team.

The Bakrid processions delayed our exit from the city by an hour or so and we reached Kings Cottage, our destination, only by 11 in the night. Jai had pushed the car to its limits that almost every part was rattling by the time we reached there. The credit partially goes to the bad roads as well. We had some hot rice, chicken curry and fried pork waiting for dinner and with a couple of shots of Jack Daniels, we soon forgot the tiring journey. Discussions soon started on the next morning's trek and possibility of a long trip to Leh & Ladakh. When Jai and Chevy are around, no conversation is complete without a SWOT analysis of at least one automobile. So after much deliberations, Mahindra Getaway was chosen as the best vehicle for the ride to Ladakh and the responsibility of getting one was passed on to Rob, the reigning prince of Mavileri kingdom in North Kerala.

It was a serene morning the next day and the fields and cottages were all drowned in the morning mist till about nine. After a breakfast of idlis, a short walk in the field and a couple of beers, we finally packed our food and started the climb by afternoon. The initial 3 kilometers of the trek is through the coffee and cardamom plantations and has got good tree cover. After a couple of hours we reached "the rock", the terminator of many a treks. This place is so beautiful with all the mountains and greenery around, that many a treks die a premature death here. The trekkers stop at the rock to admire and enjoy the beauty, and then simply refuse to move ahead. This is the place where the same gang once sat for half a day, drinking vodka and requesting God almighty to grant us rebirth as leeches that inhabit this beautiful landscape; not to mention aborting the rest of the trek. So we were cautious not to get lured by the beauty of the beast this time, when we stopped at the rock for lunch. We decided to keep the fried pork and whiskey for dinner; another motivation to complete the climb.

Once the stomachs burped out their satisfaction and the water bottles refilled from the nearby stream, we resumed the climb. After a couple more hours we reached the top, minutes before the sun shut shop for the day. We decided to camp just below the highest point as it offered a great view of the valley. Soon we gathered enough firewood for the campfire and the tent was also pitched in no time. We chanced upon few decaying logs with big white worms inside them. A juicy worm is always a good meal, especially as we had no starters to go with the whiskey. Jai and myself pinned them on a sharpened stick, cooked in the fire and had a yummy snack; much to the disgust of Rob, for whom it took a few more shots of whiskey to realize what he missed. The moon was high up in the sky by then and the valley was slowly getting filled with snow-white clouds. As the Feb light turned to moonlight, Sherwin started singing 'Country Roads' with the guitar and harmonica providing the harmony. The singing session went on for a while till the thought of the roasted pork inside the bag became too overwhelming to ignore.

We soon unpacked the rotis and pork and sat at the edge of the cliff, watching the valley bathed in the moon light. The combined effect of altitude, whiskey, full moon and pork on body and mind is better experienced.. another of those moments you feel limited by the vocabulary. This was undoubtedly one of the best nights of our lives.. how often do you get a chance to stand above the clouds, stare straight at the moon, listening only to the whisper of the air in your ears, all in the company of good friends! If the evening sky was all clouded and misty, there was nothing hampering the beautiful views of the valley in the night. We sat there savoring the grandeur of the landscape for a few more hours, before the cold winds finally forced us to retire for the night. As we had just one tent for the four of us, myself and Rob slept outside, wrapped in our sleeping bags. The uneven surface initially made it a little uncomfortable to sleep, but the satisfaction and serenity of the experience soon overcame the discomfort and we were soon slipping and sliding into a dream.

The morning was as beautiful as the night with all the bird songs and the orange hue of the horizon. We got a fire going and sat around it watching the sun come up the clouds and mountains; a daily chore maybe for him, but a breathtaking rare moment in life for us. Waking up to such a glorious sight is probably the perfect prescription for a joyous and energetic day. Soon we climbed to the tallest point of the peak and clicked a few pictures, pixellating all the amazing scenes we had around us. As the stomach started complaining for food we packed up the tent started the descent and reached back at Kings Cottage in time for a late breakfast. After a refreshing shower, a small nap and another tasty lunch we started back to Bangalore by 4 in the evening.

Though the legs were paining and back was aching, something told me that there will be a sixth time... and I know that is something to look forward to!

Some pictures from the trip here


Ashraf said...

Im planning a trip this month end and we would love to camp close to the peak!
Do we need to take any permissions for this? If yes,do you have any idea where and how?

attiDuDe said...

Hi Ashraf,

You don't need any permissions to camp at Thadiyandamol. Take your tent and sleeping bag, its cold out there even now.
Have a great trip! :)

Arjun said...

Hi There.., i have read this blog about 10 times now.. it is very inspiring and urges us to do something similar.. I have a few questions,, kindly spare some time to give us suggestions..

1. what is the best time to scale Thadiyandamol?
2. what are the measures to be taken?
3. Can we camp at the summit for a night? if so, do we have to take permission from the forest dept?

Awaiting a speedy response!!

Thanks and Regards

attiDuDe said...

Hey Arjun,
Glad that you liked the post. Thadiyandamol is a wonderful place. - Better to climb when its not raining much.. that helps to avoid leeches as well.
- Carry tent, enough water and food, some tobacco/lime for leech bites and a lot of enthusiasm :)
- You can camp at the summit, no permissions required. Be a responsible camper and enjoy !

Arjun said...


I appreciate your prompt response!!
I thank you for the suggestions and we will surely do as you said!! and yes we will be responsible climbers!!!

Thanks and Have a great day!!

Rob said...

You spoke of a full moon night on Fat Man's Daughter. And we were there. We spoke of a Mahindra Getaway - I've got a You Know What. And we did speak of Leh - Ladakh. GAK. or VK2. Am waiting man.

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