Green Route trek - Part 4

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , | Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009

I remember a railway guy saying that there are totally 17 tunnels and 20+ bridges. But it is not easy to keep a count of tunnels and bridges when you are trekking. After the initial drought of tunnels in the trekking route, we kept getting tunnels after tunnels. Entrance of each tunnel seemed like a big mouth of some demon; we helplessly kept surrendering ourselves into it one after the other. Then we reached another abandoned station, but this time we saw some 20+ trekkers from some adventure club from Bangalore, that included some stout girls. Sighting the waxed legs exposed out of the three-fourths, Narayan seemed rejuvenated. He started walking faster and faster to reach that gang ahead. Narayan wanted to join them, but Byre had different plans. I think Byre hated to follow the slow moving gang. He pulled us along and walked faster. That gang was split into 3-4 smaller groups. Byre and Sharath walked faster to overtake some of the smaller groups. Pujar, Narayan, Ethapay n me were walking slow along with few members from other gang. Byre was striding through the tunnels. That guy did not even want a torch! I do not know what had gotten into his mind or if some spirit possessed him when he was inside a tunnel. He was almost 'jogging' inside the tunnels. After few attempts of catching up with Byre, I gave up. I took my own sweet time and kept trekking with Pujar and few others.

That must be some 300+ mts long tunnel, we had crossed nearly 3/4th of it. Byre and Sharath were already out of the tunnel. We could see the exit of the tunnel. That is when the people from the other gang who were following us shouted, "train.. train..", we turned back to see an engine approaching us with a considerable speed. The tunnel was curved and that's the reason the light from the engine did not reach us until it was so close, but I am not sure why dint we hear the honk at least. We could have stood in the ditch leaning against the wall, but I think it is a natural tendency to run towards the light when we are in danger. 4 of us and a guy from the other gang ran towards the exit of the tunnel. And just stood safely outside the tunnel (See the pic). We stood there taking snaps for 2-3 minutes until that long goods train went past us. It was a narrow escape, though from a self imposed danger.

Landslides in this place are as common and as natural as rain! As I had mentioned previously, there is a great amount of man power deployed to monitor any fresh landslide obstructing the movement of trains and also to clear them with highest priority. In some places we also saw some people checking, fastening the giant mesh that was hung on the rocks along side the railway tracks. Near the entrance of a tunnel, we saw a customized truck on railway tracks! [tires were replaced by train wheels for this truck] and a JCB clearing a fresh landslide. A large heap of mud was spit on the railway tracks by the hill that stood aside the track. 6 of us and also few people from one of the smaller gangs had to wait till JCB gave us some way to go ahead. One of the stout girls from the other gang was also waiting along with us. Later when we reached Yedakumeri, Ethapay said he shared his *torch* with that girl and helped her walk through one of the tunnels. We believe Ethapay and what ever he says must be true. I know it was cold and raining and they had a single torch in the dark tunnel but now you guys don't get some dirty ideas ;)

I think except me, others were happy with their shoes to walk on gravel; all hard soled ones. Some website/Wiki had an exclusive tip saying one should wear moderately hard soled shoes for Green Route trek. Harder the soles, the chances of getting the ankle twisted were more according to them. That sounded extremely sensible to me and I had worn some shoes with not thick (but strong) soled shoes, and I ended up being the worst hurt guy in my gang. I think the last stretch of 5+ Kms to Yedakumeri was THE MOST PAINFUL trek for me. My calf muscles and thighs absolutely had no issues. If I had to walk for another 10 Kms also they would have borne the load of me on them but my soles... arrggghh every inch was paining like hell. I felt as if every stone I kept my foot on was piercing my sole. I felt I was bare footed. Adding to the woes, I had got 3-4 boils on my toes. The pain made me behave cranky, I could feel it but I was helpless. It was like, all my energy was channeled to reach Yedakumeri and I wanted not to have an extra step wasted in that effort. So much so that, once when Byre and Narayan called me back to have a look at some creature or some thing I did not walk back even for few steps. As I told before, I did not want to waste a single step of mine.

It must have been around 4PM, we sensed that we had cleared all the tunnels and bridges and were just few minutes away from our final destination, Yedakumeri station. Some more enduring steps, Pujar, Ethapay and me spotted the station. It started pouring as if the rain waited for us to reach Yedakumeri. We strode towards the platform. Stepping onto the concrete floor of the platform, I screamed at the top of my voice, it was more of an outlet for my subdued pain than a cry on reaching the destination. We occupied relatively a warm place [warm place is one where ceiling does not drip] and had lunch for the day. We had to kill 6 more hours in that place before we catch the train to B'Lore. We started playing Dumb Charades, as Byre had forgotten to get a pack of cards.

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The corridor of the old railway station with algae coated walls and leaking roof was providing shelter for six of us with few other trekkers. The railway platform was facing the gigantic rock covered with thick moss and other bushy plants. Two railway tracks were lying cold between the rock and the platform. The moon was playing hide and seek behind the dark clouds. The pattering drops from the edge of the roof of corridor were rhythmically causing ripples on the stillness of the night. We were resting on the floor with our towels and half dry jerkins protecting our backs and asses from the cold concrete floor. The railway officials had switched off the 4 tube lights that were lighting up the entire stretch of railway platform after their dinner; they had dozed off in their cozy rooms remaining indifferent to the guests sleeping outside.

We were waiting for the arrival of a train @ 11:30 PM to that station. The train was coming from Kukke Subramanya and was destined to reach Bangalore but via Hassan n Mysore. The train did arrive on time, spotting a door open we got into it. The train was overcrowded. Badly wanting for a good night’s sleep and some cushion to our asses we got down of the train in Sakleshpur. Caught a bus from there back to Bangalore…

Last few tips to trekkers:

Tip 1: Once when the track was abandoned, bridges must have had missing planks. After it's conversion to broad gauge there are no missing planks.

Tip 2: The trek is very safe (both through tunnels and on bridges), until you really have bad reflexes or you panic or you try some thing really really foolish

Tip 3: Monsoon might not be favorable to trek this stretch , but I would say Green Route is best relished only during monsoon!

Comments (5)

Very nicely written anna!

We did the green route 4 years ago in summer when trains were not running. Ours was a totally different experience compared to yours. But the joys of having done a trek like this will remain in our memory forever.

I know it was cold and raining and they had a single torch in the dark tunnel but now you guys don't get some dirty ideas ;) - nice one!

Even we went from Donigal to Yedakumeri. But the best part of our trek began after Yedakumeri in twilight. I am really inspired to post atleast that part our trek now after reading your travelogue.

That guy did not even wanted torch! typo i suppose. You wanted people to point it out na :)

About your comment about railway stations, I totally agree with you. Anonymous' description of Kumta brought back memories of our very own Malleswaram for me - i used to go there all the time during my college days at MES. It was really a calm and relaxing experience there.


Thx again for pointing out the mistakes.

I think I was the only one to be fascinated by the railway stations :)
btw, my house is just a stone's throw away from M'waram station, but I hardly get time to go there n sit... :(

Hi Anantha,

Nice story thanks for sharing your experiences. We were planning for this trip along with my friends. I need some info.

- Is it safe (we are not seasoned trekkers infact no trekking experience)?

- Is there sleepers on the bridges? which makes little easy to walk on tall bridges

- is there are any exit routes before yedakumeri?

- Did you spot any snakes or wild animals?

Thanks in advance.


Hello Sri,

> Yes, it is safe. Just be lil careful when you are walking on bridges and inside the tunnels. There will at least be 2-3 goods trains moving during the day in that route and now there is gonna be newly introduced Mangalore to Bangalore train also.

> All the bridges have well laid out sleepers. This should not be a matter of concern.

> There is an exit route leading to the highway just before reaching Yedakumeri station, but it is said that the route is not safe. There are chances you might encounter elephants. I have not explored much about this route.

> No.. not a single one.

I presume you are going there some time soon. Have a great fun..

btw, feel free to mail me for any queries. My mail id is

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