Saklespur (Donigal-Yedakumari) railroad trek

Participants:

1. Subhasis Ray
2. Neelima Sharma
3. Somya Mani
4. Srinivas R.
5. Myself

Date: 4th December, 2011

Mode of Transport: KSRTC Bus

The Green Route “Trek on the Railway Track”, as it is well known, is a trekkers paradise, stretching from Sakleshpur to the Subramanya Road Station. Though the track was being abandoned some years agao, it has become active with with replacement to the tracks and goods train plying through the track. The trek forms a part of 56.80 kms stretch from Sakleshpur to Kukke Subrahmanya, which is dotted by 58 tunnels, 109 bridges and about 25 waterfalls.

Since we had only one day at our hands we decided to start the trek from the Donigal Railway Station to Yedukumari Railway station and be back, a distance of about 17.20 kms one way. This stretch has around 17 tunnels with around 24 bridges (not the exact count).

Time: 21:56 hrs

The tyres finally moved towards our destination. A pit stop in the Hotel MTR at 00:47 hrs.

Time: 03:00 hrs

The bus reached Sakleshpur. We were in two minds of whether we should continue on the same bus or take a local bus. When contacted with the bus conductor, they informed that they would drop us near Donigal Railway station.

Time: 03:30 hrs

But to our good/bad luck, we were dropped near a group of small tea stalls, after around 20 minutes ride from Sakleshpur bus stop. We decided to have a cup of tea on the small stall and also inquire about Donigal railway station. There the person informed that we have to walk around 3-4 kms to reach the station. So, be it. We all decided to walk. With torches in our hands, fog/mist all around, the screeching sound of vehicles passing by, smell of burning tyres, we en-devour the journey on the Bangalore Mangalore Highway on foot. As we travel, we have the sights of the coffee estates, Shentha Estate on the right and DoddaMane Estate on the left.

Time: 05:00 hrs

After moving for around one and half hours like nomads we were finally able to get to our first destination, Donigal Railway Station, from where we planned to start the trek. We had to walk back for almost half a kilometer, after consulting a local, to reach the road leading to the station. We reach the station only to find it empty. Even the station master was in deep sleep. Since it was still dark, we plan not venture out of the station, but gave some time to revive ourself by taking a small nap under the open sky.

Where is Donigal Railway Station?

Donigal Railway station, located in the outskirts of Saklespur is a small railway station, which caters the needs (signaling only) for passing good trains. It is located just around 1 kms from the passing NH 48. One has to cross the Muthappeswar Seva Trust on the right and just after crossing the bridge get down (in case you are taking a bus/cab) and go on the right (broken tar) muddy road. In case you plan to trek from Sakleshpur itself, Donigal would be around 4 kms from there.

Time: 06:30 hrs

The short nap was quiet reviving for us as it make ourself feel fresh. We went hunting for the station master but still he was not to be seen. We thought of going ahead instead of waiting for him, since we would loose valuable time if we don’t start early. We went ahead and started our trek from the station. We planned to reach Yedukumari Station and move onwards to reach the highway from there through the jungle (though it did not materialize later). We started from Donigal at 50/0 as the railway mark.

Start of the track at Donigal

Morning view of the railway track

As we move along the trek, we came across a series of bridges and tunnels. You can see the beautiful ridges, canopy of the far forest from the bridges. The view from the top is breathtaking. As we moved into the first tunnel, it was all dark. My first on foot experience on a railway tunnel. As we enter the second tunnel, there is a small opening and as you move out you hear the loud roaring of a stream flowing down, as it makes it ways across the stones. The view is very beautiful.

View of flora by the side of the track

Stream flowing by

Time: 10:45 hrs

We reach 59/400, where we got into another station. I don’t remember the name of the station. But we took some time to rest in there. We inquired to a gentlemen, about the distance to Yedukumari station to which he informed that it would be another 8-9 kms from the current location. We had to pass through one of the longest tunnel which was about 592 m and one of the longest bridge over a stream. The tunnels were a marvelous piece of constructions dated that time around the 1950-1970’s.

View of a bridge over a stream

One of the longest tunnel 592 m

Time: 12:35 hrs

Finally reached Yedukumari. Milestone 67/200. It was a quiet a relief to see the the station name on the board. We have walked a continuously for 2 hrs without any break. Much needed lunch break. There is also a canteen in there. We had omelette’s and rice. It was nice speaking to the gentlemen from Delhi who serves you in this canteen.

P.S: Try avoiding meeting the station master Mr. Rakesh Singh there. Seems like a troublesome person, as we experienced.

Group at Yedukumari Station

Time: 14:20 hrs

We decided to head back to Donigal itself since the route through the forest is not convenient. As informed by the people therein, the forest homes to a lots of tuskers and leeches. And from the station, it would be around 5 kms to the highway. We asked for assistance but since it was Sunday there was no one around to take us through the forest area. We had to make it on our own. With sun going down by the hills, we decided to head back on the same trek.

Tunnel opening

Sakleshpur Bridge

Time: 16:30 hrs

Reached back 59/400.

Sakleshpur Hill View

Sakleshpur railway track

Time: 18:30 hrs

We were able to get on to the highway just after the underpass. There is a small trail which leads you to the highway. We tried stopping some buses, but in vain. Finally we had to walk for some more time on the Bangalore Mangalore Highway before getting a lift by a private jeep. They dropped us at the Saklespur KSRTC bus stop, from where we planned to take a bus back to Bangalore.

Sakleshpur goods train

Time: 21:00 hrs

Hungry and dying for some food, we managed to grab food in a small veg restaurant in the bus stop itself. Our feet and shoulders were all giving up now and there is no point waiting for Volvo/Rajhamsa, since those would only ply after 23:00 hrs. So we went ahead and popped into a KSRTC bus to Hassan.

Time: 22:50 hrs

The bus dropped us at Hassan, from where we took another bus to Bangalore. We dozed off just as the bus started to move towards Bangalore.

Time: 02:50 hrs

Reached Majestic bus depot, which marked the end of the eventful day in the lush green mountains and and the stony railway treks of Sakleshpur.

Looking back, at the end of the day we walked around 43 kms. I would like to thank my fellow trekkers for having such a wonderful/unforgettable trek.

Courtesy:

http://bmcindia.org/events/sakleshpur-railwaytrack-trek.html

16 Comments »

  1. ashok Said,

    December 8, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

    Hi,

    thank god i came across this blog…we’re plannin to do this trek this weekend. we’ve planned to stay overnight at yedakumeri..is that possible? you didn’t you guys go to Gundya and exit rather than walking back? any other problems you guys came across like police/authorities questioning?
    Please reply at the earliest and it would be much helpful for us…thanks in advance 🙂

  2. Ophiophagus Said,

    December 9, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    We did not see any place at Yedukumari where you can stay overnight, but there are some houses there (for railway people). No, we did no go via Gundiya since the way through the forest is best if someone knows the trail. Since none of us had gone before we avoided the route. In case you plan to take the route, it would be around 5 kms from Yedukumari to the Highay. It is said that the forest homes to elephants and leeches so we did not take the risk.

    The station master at the Yedukumari station is a troublesome person. He had made us wait for 30 mins after taking our ID cards. Though the initial conversation with him made us think that he was asking for bribe, but somehow he did not ask for. He had taken our names/phone numbers and addresses. Other then this there is no problem at all. The gentlemen who runs the railway canteen at Yedukumari is a helpful fellow. One more thing, try avoiding the railway inspection trolleys.

  3. Rohit Said,

    December 11, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

    Hi. We are 4 people thinking of going on december 24,25 to donigal-yedukameri trek. Since you went very recently, I would like to know if you needed any permit to trek on the trek and if you faced any difficulties with any of the officials while trekking on the track. Your response would be really helpful. Thanks.

  4. Ophiophagus Said,

    December 11, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

    No not required. We went ahead with the trek without getting permissions. In case you plan to take permissions you need to take it from the RPF personnel not from the station master. Avoid meeting the station master at the Yedukumari Station and the railway inspection trolleys.

  5. ravikumar Said,

    December 20, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

    Hi thanks a bunch. This is very valuable explanation.

  6. prasanna Said,

    December 22, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

    Hey…
    Need small info.. that dinigol to yedekmuri, how many km we need walk , and while walking in tunnel or in bridge id rail comes towards us. is there any safe place stand.

  7. Ophiophagus Said,

    December 22, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

    The distance between the two stations is 17.2 kms (start from 50/0 to 67/200).

    There is sufficient space for you to squeeze in the sides, when you encounter a train inside the tunnel (as we encountered). But while crossing a bridge, mostly there is standings where in you can hop in, but in the long bridges it is better to have the train take the lead, though it is not a problem.

  8. Yogesh Bhimanna Said,

    April 18, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

    Hiiii myself Yogesh being sakleshpurian was not knowing about this information…. thank u so much for kind information.

  9. sharath Said,

    June 14, 2012 @ 9:37 am

    hi,

    How can we get permission for this trek??anyone u to contact….
    Planning to trek on 22nd June

  10. Ophiophagus Said,

    June 14, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

    No, we did not get any permission for the trek. Moreover there was no one there at the Donigal Railway station in the morning hours from where we could have asked for permission. We just went ahead on our own. Please be careful while meeting the station master at Yedukumari. The person is not so helpful. On the way try avoiding the line men’s.

  11. Chethan Said,

    January 8, 2013 @ 8:10 am

    Hi,

    we have plan of trekking in next week from donigal to yedukumeri.

    would pls tell us is there escape route to NH before yedukumeri station as u told to avoid the station master.

    Thank you.

  12. Ophiophagus Said,

    February 2, 2013 @ 8:27 pm

    Sorry for the late reply. We have not explored the possibility, but the escape route that we have come across is just after the station on the right hand side. Avoid going inside the forest at night as it is an elephant’s paradise. Other option to explore is to get down from the railway track before the bridge though we have not explored this. Hope this helps.

  13. Chethan Said,

    February 15, 2013 @ 8:22 am

    Thank you so much 🙂

  14. Chethan Said,

    February 21, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    Hi we went on 16th you info provided was very useful thank u so much.

  15. Ophiophagus Said,

    February 21, 2013 @ 8:41 pm

    Please share your trek details/route info so that it would help others also.

  16. Sankalp Said,

    June 1, 2017 @ 1:19 pm

    Hey there,
    Really nice bit of info you gave there, thanks for that
    Just needed to inquire if the trek is still possible or not
    I really wish to go this sunday
    Thanks

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