Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Unforgettable Tales - NeGd Waterfalls

 I've been enjoying hiking to the waterfalls as i think they're very romantic, so this time i was quite excited to explore a new waterfall in UttarKannada District with my team. The entire morning hours Prsanna was driving, as navigation is difficult due to the lack of info and so many deviations. As we arrived the intersection where the road divides into South road and South-east Rd, the skies were now cloudy and Grey. And yes, there were visible raindrops.
Shakily driving up a steep and slippery muddy hill road unknowingly we lost our way and the ground turned so slippery the poor discovery which runs on NetGD region tires had no choice than to follow the ruts. After cresting a little butte the track dipped into a large, terribly rutted slippery. Then the unavoidable happened our vehicle clanked into a mud, the back tires damp clay sucks in vehicle foolish enough to stray across its path during the wet season. It was completely trapped.
I floored the right pedal but the vehicle didn't respond well. With a soft Smack the Discovery found its resting place, after careful watching the vehicle from every angle, stumbling in the mud and getting wet we came to the conclusion that it was well stuck. I was proud of myself about this deduction. So I had to come to the conclusion that I'd need some helping hand.
 A local farmer man came walking down the track and I quickly approached him for help. We both together went up to the high attitude terrain to get mobile network. Thanks to modern electronics the phone was working. He phoned to his few resourceful friends to ask more technical help, a local farmer eventually helped out by offering the rope while villagers gathered at the scene and after half an hour few more added all of their support with their immense help finally we came out from the biggest trouble. We began to relax for while and one villager agreed to join with us for further trail and we ventured to further south.
 The further trail was still quite challenging with a good deal of soapy ground and very nasty fallen trees. After 2.5kms drive we left our vehicle and started to walk on leaches surrounded muddy track.
 The trek started in a little village with an uphill than the track went along a large forest before plunging in it and following a small streamBeginning part of the walk, the trail looks good and for most part the trail was bearable but about half in the trail passes through the vast paddy fields and it became very muddy and a hazard.
 After crossing the Paddy fields we crossed a small stream and a pale trail leading up into the deep forest again. The trail looked so beautiful and untouched that we would totally see a brontosaurus roll out into the valley. The vegetation was predominantly thick evergreen forests with green grass and the cluster of trees.
 Most of the trail in under the cover of trees so it wasn't too bad. I love that the trees above provide a lot of shade so it is a cool hike. I love the lush plants and enjoy the various giant banyan trees, bamboo forest and flowers. Didn't take too long to get to the waterfall, probably 45 minutes there and the same walking back. By the time we reached hill top opposite to amazing Canyon is the waterfalls all that effort it now seemed, had been in vain. The water is fresh water and its amazing after a sweaty hike up to it.
 When we see the falls, wow it's high. With deep narrow gorges sheltered by impressive woodland and the scenery is marvelous and generally sheltered terrain makes it an ideal outing when cloud obscures the peaksThis waterfall is most beautiful during the monsoons when the falls creates a spectacular view with water plunging down in 4 tiers of approx 500 feet height creating deafening noise that could be heard from a distance.
 Our day at NetGd Waterfalls opened up a new world of Western-Ghat to us and our philosophy of avoiding the crowds and exploring the unbeaten track once again lead us to unforgettable tales.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Bolle Mane Waterfalls

We started in the lower Kudremukh region in rainy time, a beautiful unexplored waterfalls with a set of Eighteen members. The trekking to the waterfall can be hard specially during the monsoon but the natural beauty, sound of the flowing water and the cool breeze is sure to mesmerize and keep up the energy high with enthusiasm.
The up hill trek was challenging demanding endurance at every moment. The purity of the place was commendable, pumping and making good the required energy to our tired body and soul. Most of the folks from our group not trekked to Bolle Mane Waterfall and most of the them were quite happy about the decision to be courageous for trekking and having a lifetime experience.
After another 90 minutes of delicate treading and fighting against severe arachnophobia, we stumbled into paradise. What literally gleamed in front of us was an infinity pool that cascaded over the top of the cliff and presented a view of untouched, luscious mountains, and it was all ours. At the closer view of the falls all of our tiredness vanished & all of a sudden there was zest in mind, which started jumping with great happiness seeing the falls.
We spent some time around waterfall to relax and have some splashes under the fall. Nervously we entered the depths of its waters and after another 10 minutes of ice-cold bathing and we were ready to climb back.
Bolle Mane Waterfalls is most beautiful during the monsoons, which happens with most of the waterfalls. The natural beauty sound of the flowing water and the cool breeze is sure to mesmerize and leave you spellbound.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dodmane waterfalls

It had been a long time since I trekked. Last time I did some trekking was around 5 months ago. After that I always wanted to go for a trek to waterfalls during the Monsoon season. So I decided to do the Monsoon trek in Aghanashini Valley and finally our trek was on. Monsoon treks are always fun. It might be a big risk to trek in a place where it rains continuously but a trek to Aghanashini Waterfalls was worth the risk.

One of the best and hardest treks that I had ever been in this Monsoon. It tests both physical and mental toughness. I with 10 group of friends went to this beautiful unmapped waterfalls hoping that we would reach easily. Rain was raining heavily all along the trek. we parked our vehicle just next to the Ghat road and prepared our-self for breakneck adventure. We heard a big sound from the Ghat road.
But we couldn't see the waterfalls distinctly. So we need to mount the another side of the hill towards a edge of the valley on a slippery muddy forest. Forest is very dense and there is no marked path for us to go. We would have to walk about 15minutes along the edge of the valley holding shrubs and roots in slippery muddy woods to reach the waterfalls.As I mentioned before this hike is without trail, bush walk through the woods toward the sound of flowing water.This entire section upto the viewpoint is about half mile. Note that the ground is soft here a sigh of frequent flooding. This is why the hiking is very slow.And the final leg of hike is the steepest anf trickiest.

The place was just awesome we were in almost top of the Ghat (mountain) covered with thick forest with stream flowing in front of us. Dodmane waterfalls turned out to be quite good, water falls in 3 stages with the last being the biggest in height. We stand on edge of the valley with no conversations and everyone looking at the cascade the surrounding mountains covered with dense forest and the stream running down with huge volume to the Aghanashini Valley.

Two things we had to watch out here was one is for the green snakes and another one is Leaches.

There is a route next to the top of the Ghat Road which leads to the top of the falls. Other than the main falls, the small falls on the way makes this trek more interesting. We took so much of risk but finally had the feeling of accomplishing something. It was a pleasant feeling. Wonderful, memorable and eye pleasing trek it was.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Weekend Getaways to Kasargod

 On June last Sunday My wife and I began the day with fine bike ride, as a first leg of our trip, we stopped en-route at Madhur and flew into Madhur Temple. The Madhur temple is a Shiva temple with Anantheswara as its presiding deity. But equal importance is given to the deity Maha Ganapathi. It is said that when the temple was being constructed the devotees forgot to install the Ganesha idol but Ganesha miraculously appeared in the rock and from then on he is given more importance in the temple. The idols of Shiva and Vinayaka are installed in Mukhamandapam and Sukasana’s. The Sivalingam of the temple is said to have been found by a harijan woman, Madharu. One can find references of this temple in the Sahyadri Centre of Skanda Purana. Devotees usually offer prayers to Mahaganapathi in the form of "Udayastamana".
This temple is the most renowned one among the four temples built by the Mypadi kings of Kumbla around the 10th century. The temple was renovated in the 15th century and was built in a distinctive style in a three storied oval structure adorned with copper plate roofing. In 1784 TippuSulthan attacked Kumbala border and entered to Madhur area after drinking water from the well of the temple, he changed his mind on attacking and demolishing the Garbhagudi and marched towards Malabar. But to satisfy his soldiers and Islamic scholars he made a cut with his sword symbolising the attack. The mark is still visible on the building that is built around the temple well.
 The unique architectural style makes this temple different from other shrine which is noted for its archaeological value. Variety of patterns in temple architecture can be enjoyed here. Madhur Maha Ganapathi Temple is a specimen of rich cultural heritage of the Kasargod region. It is a perfect blend of architecture of Kerala and Karnataka regions. The rich architecture, imposing structure of the temple and the copper plate roofing rises majestically against the beautiful landscape of hills, the place is indeed fascinating. There are abundant paddy fields and gardens with the river Madhuvahini flowing leisurely in front of the temple. The sacred Stream of the temple pond is said to possess spiritual power to cure all diseases.
This temple has a huge 3 tired 'Gaja prishta' type Sreekovil. The wood carvings in the temple are marvellous. The carvings depict historic heroes of Mahabharat and Ramayana. These eye-feast carvings are in the ceilings of Namaskara Mandapam of the temple. A closer examination of the wood carvings would disclose the various episodes of the Ramayana, beginning with the Sita Swayamvara. The Mantapa in the interior of the temple building as well as the outside facade of the second and third store of the main building are also profuse with attractive and exquisite wood carvings. Later we headed to Malla and had grace of goddess Durga Paramesvari.
 We had delicious lunch at temple we thought it would be a nice idea to hit the beach and have a glimpse of the sun dipping below the horizon, so drove straight to Historic Bekal fort which was some 15km (70kms from Mangalore) from there and on ride the plain roads were gone and we were maneuvering sharp turns. The road was good but the turns were very steep. But my Bike had no problems scaling them with ease. The beauty and scenic view on this route was amazing and we had the road and the beauty all to ourselves.
 The road was scenic giving glimpses of the sea every now and then. It was evening when I reached Bekal Fort my mind was tired and my legs were tired after this long drive. After reaching the parking area, we had to do a short walk to reach the fort. The fort itself was nothing much, but the views on all four sides were majestic. The construction which dates back to the 1500s is magnificent. Built by Shivappa Naika of Ikkeri dynasty and in 1763 the Mysore ruler Hydarali captured it. This beautiful Fort stands on a hillock jutting into the Arabian Sea & provides breath taking view.
 The sight of the Sea and beach from the fort was quiet impressive. The rear end of the fort gives way to an exclusive beach where huge waves lash the walls of the fort. Overall the view of the sea from here was amazing.
 You can feel the power of the ocean hitting the rocks at the beach. The views around and the fort itself was majestic and spread around a vast area on top of the hill. The place was really good and worth seeing at-least once in a life time. I had fun while roaming here and there inside the fort.
 Bekal Fort had gathered attention after one of South India's revered Movie Director had shot a memorable song with his Characters. The view of the Arabian Sea was beautiful from the Fort took some snaps had a long walk all along the rampant of the Fort.  It’s started drizzling first quickly turning in to a steady downpour and the clock kept ticking away to half past five so we decided to pack ourselves and continued the return journey.