The Kingdom of Clouds | 22nd July: The Road to Khudremukh

Clouds and Mist greet the weary traveler on the road to Kudremukh

EPISODE 2012 was on. And a sunday stealthily springs up on us. Surprise, surprise: no classes or guest Lectures.  We have a day that we don’t know what to do with! [Of course assignments, projects and deadlines loom ahead but we haven’t learnt the art of last-minute-panic-time-management for nothing].

So…how to perfectly waste a perfectly beautiful Sunday? Road-trip off course.

I get a call late Saturday night from two very persuasive females: “You HAVE to come, and yeah arrange a bike and if possible your camera.” I make the initial excuses, academics, manipal blog posts that I have to write, sleep deficit to catch up on, etc . But like I said , very very persuasive females so I conceded.

But it was close to 1 o’clock and they planned a trip by 6:30 am. So I decided to make a grand sacrifice and not sleep. Out came Dell XPS and PES 2012 and at 6:30 am, all sweaty and grimy from a hard day’s football,  I call up one of them . I get a bleary-eyed response : “We will get ready in 10 minutes” Bah! Like any girl ever can.


Clouds and Mist greet the weary traveler on the road to Kudremukh
Clouds and Mist greet the weary traveler on the road to Kudremukh

So we set out at 9:30 am.  9 participants. 4 girls, 5 guys. 4 bikes and an Activa. The initial part of the drive was uneventful, except that the Great Western Ghats Roads really fired up the josh levels . There is something so mesmeric about broad, black, glistening roads amidst deep rich brown and lush green  and towering , majestic  trees. The magic literally started with the rains. At a point where we take a left from the main road after Karkala, the rains started. Not gradually, not a faint drizzle but the usual Manipal Rain : Full ON!! and for the entire trip of multiple hours, I daresay, it receded even a little.

The Western Ghats in all their Glory on the Road to Kudremukh at Karkala1
The Western Ghats in all their Glory on the Road to Kudremukh at Karkala

This turned out to be one of those trips where the usage of the camera was minimal but the views were so majestic, it was so totally worth it. I remember screaming out adjective after lofty -adjective just attempting to describe what we witnessed.

30 nostalgic photos of manipal 1997 to 2001
The Chaturmukh Basadi (Jain Architecture) at Karkala


30 nostalgic photos of manipal 1997 to 2001
Friends posing together at Kudremukh


30 nostalgic photos of manipal 1997 to 2001
Walking on the edge on the road to the kingdom of clouds – Kudremukh

The rain, the greenery, the roads, the quaint countryside, it was all so… satisfying. People say India is beautiful, and I agree half heartedly, and think of lip service, public promotion and the touristy highlights. But this, this was something else. There were no monuments, no landmarks, it was just raw beauty, just lying there, like a gold mine with veins exposed and having an almost inexhaustible supply of beauty to offer. Simply endless, the more we went in, the more we were fascinated by it. The spiralling upwards roads ( how do these people maintain the roads to such good degree of treadability? ) , the Pandora like dense vegetation, the sheer majesty of the vista that unfurled itself from time to time was like a real time Sony Bravia HD TV commercial. So clear so pristine, so detailed, so rich in its colours and variety.

Verdant greens of the Western Ghats at Kudremukh
Verdant greens of the Western Ghats at Kudremukh

At one point , it just became too much to handle!!  We stopped, parked the bikes and I took off my rainwear and just sat down, right there on the grass, amidst the rocks and shrubbery , unheeding of anything or anyone around me;  to take it all in, the rolling plains, the august mountains, the welcoming greenery and the mysterious clouds. All of them spinning this incredibly beautiful symphony which even the most ignorant of humans will not be able to deny.

The Western Ghats on the Road to Kudremukh
The Western Ghats on the Road to Kudremukh

22 July Kudremukh

Some memories remain, long after everything else is forgotten. The Road to the Kingdom of clouds is one such memory, never to be forgotten!


Soon we were in the realms , the kingdom of the clouds. The road ahead was like  our life, vague, nebulae, unfolding by the minute and I could feel my co-passenger melting in her seat and clinging on to me , slightly hyperventilating at what she witnessed around her. We all went philosophical and in a forgiving mood and I recollect at one stage , as we waited for the rest to catch up, we just sat on the road, rain water was flowing down and the breeze spun up a frenzy of dervishes of water and so many similarly stunning imagery that will forever be among my benchmarks for beauty of Nature. I have been lucky enough to have travelled abroad and seen sights and witnessed wonders of nature out there beyond the seven seas and I wax eloquent about it to my friends out here. This here was really stiff competition.

A special thanks to the two girls who did persuade me to join them. For the germ of the idea, for the ride, for the infectious enthusiasm, for the company and for the start of something beautiful. Can’t wait for the next one.




  1. Reminds me of the trip we had to KUdremukh…..!! the fun we had at the waterfalls….! keep rocking…!!!

  2. damn good writing i have to say……
    been to kudremukh like 2-3 times but what i saw never been put into words so exactly.
    very nice post.

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