Monday, April 19, 2010

A Dream Trek after long time....

A Dream Trek after long time....

Usually people enjoy the trek in many of their own way, like some people enjoy climbing to the peaks, some people enjoy trekking on snow clad mountains etc., but I enjoy walking along with the streams and watching water falls in evergreen forests a lot. So in every trek route of ours, we include at least 1 water falls. So far we have had at least 2 water falls in all our trek routes.
It has been our endeavor to keep exploring new water falls in the western ghat and take the true nature lovers to these serene water falls and make them enjoy. As part of this. this year i had requested our trek guides there to search for new water falls. About 2 weeks back, finally our guides found out about new water falls and informed me about the same. Usually i go and align the trek trails always when we make new trek trails. This time i decide to trek on 17/18th April 2010 weekend and align the trail. Initially i thought i will go alone with my guides, but i decided against it and decide to have few of my old trek pals. Accordingly, i fired a mail to some , whom i could remember. response was not that great but few replied and i too wanted very few for the exploration trek. But finally whoever had confirmed they also started having some or other personnel issues. so i was forced to fire mail in google group. But that could bring only one addition. Whatever, we had decided and finally we were five of us. Me, Ananth, Mahesh, Samit and siddarth were in the group. we booked the bus ticket in Linganamakki Bus. On 16th friday night we met up at mejestic and got in to bus. After intial hand shake and introduction we all fell asleep. Bus was punctual and reached the Kargal in time. By then jeep was also ready to pick us up and drop to trek starting point as we had informed earlier. It was pleasant morning. We reached kallugodlu after an hour jeep journey. Kallugodlu was our trek starting point. Dharma, our cook, had gone there on previous day itself and had camped there in a tribals house. We reached the house and dhrama invited us with the same smile. We had a quick freshen up session. After that it was time for hogging :p. Dharma had prepared nice masala "Idli , sambar, chatni". It was awesome taste as usual. We were hogging like anything but, there was a newbie in our team. He is siddarth. After having 2 idlis , he was getting ready to wash his hands!! then we explained about whats in store for rest of the day and adviced him to do what we were doing !. He reluctantly fallowed our advice and he came to know the importance of the advice after we returned from trek!. After the breakfast, as usual there was a tea and Khshaya. Mahesh started coursing me for the heavy food as he wanted to reduce some weight by trekking :p. this curse he continued for all 2 days !. After nice breakfast we wasted no time and started off the trek. Our guides yoga and dharma lead us and i was in the back. After a km of flat walk we started off descent to the stream. The trail had a loose sail and slope was too steep. Everyone had a great deal of fall and moved on by hanging on to the shrubs. Finally we got in to the stream.
It was a very pleasant feeling as there was cool breeze. All of us had stomach full of water, some drank like cow, tiger etc :p. Rested for a while and then stated off towards our destination in the stream. After Trekking in stream for a while, our navigator diverted us out of the stream and we had to claimb up. Again the trail was full of loose soil , so it was really tough patch. after just 10 mins of claimb all of us collapsed on a flat land !. After this pit stop we never stopped. The trails was full thorny bush. Everyone were bruised with the daggers like thorns. Now the next and important strech of trail. we had to go down the valley to reach the falls. This is what the most important aspect of the whole trek. The trail was almost like Trail of DABBE falls. But in Dabbe trail there were bushes, routes, creepers to hold on...But here there was abs no such facility !. Added to the misery, the soils was so loose and small stone slabs were hidden in the loose soil. One foot u keep, we used to go down about 4 to 5 feet down !! If there was little mistake by us, we would have fallen on rocks which were about 200ft down the gorge !. Finally with all the pain and fun we got down the valley and we were greeted by an amazing, awesome sight! There the majestic "Thumbe" Water falls!. It was amazing.....just awesome. I had experienced this pleasure when i had visited the Dabbe falls in way back in 1998. After that this is was the first time i was seeing such a place. It was worth taking all the risks and pain.
Water fall is almost 200 ft deep. But what makes this so great is it falls in a completely rock covered narrow gorge. This makes falls so elegant. It was a rare treat for eyes and soul. The weather was was bit cloudy but it was so humid. So all of us just stripped and jumped in to the pool formed by falls. Samit swam till the falls edge, which was about 100ft from the shore. But others did not dare to swim till there as the pool is supposed to b very deep. Meanwhile dharma (our cook) started off lunch preparation. We played in the water for almost an hour. By then we were hungry to the core. But we were not ready to leave the pool !. Dharma gave a final call! "saar ooTa Ready !". Dharma had prepared the mouth watering drumstick "Sambaar". Menu was rice, sambaar, pickle and papad!. We hogged like anything. After nice lunch some napped, some had a photo shoot session. We spent about an hour more and then decided to trek back. Coming up the valley was equally tough as the loose soil used to drag us down many times. We wanted to see the falls from top tip of the falls, so we trek down to the stream again. We went near the tip of the falls and had a photo shoot. It was an amazing gorge view. Started off the trek back along with the stream. On the way back we came across lots off falls. Mahesh decided to take dip in every falls and pool he finds on the way !!. The Stream was so beautiful. It had many hidden falls. Dharma quit us and rushed back home to prepare food for us. In the last falls, samit and mahesh took dip again in the falls. We trekked back to the tribals house. As it was humid, we were sweating again. So decide to take a final dip of the day. We rushed to the stream near the house. we played in the water for almost 30 mins and came back. By then dharma had prepared nice "Mirchi bajji , Tea and Khshaya". Bajji was superb. Dharma has become finest chef of late!. After the high tea, we had great deal of debate over many (unwanted) debates on politics etc., Later we had a call from dharma for dinner. Menu was chapathi, palya, pulav and payasa. We hogged again as the food was superb. then we wasted no time and we slept off in the open to sky platform (KaNa) in front of the house.
Woke up for a refreshing morning after a nice sleep. Bed tea was ready by then had tea, freshened up quickly and got ready. After a while breakfast was ready. It was authentic Malnad "Akki rotti and brinjal chutney". It was awesome. I stuffed in 4 rottis, so others !!. We had another round of tea and kashaya. This time kashaya was prepared with "Joni bella (Liquid joggery)". It was just superb, we drank like drinking fruit juice !!. we wasted no time and stared off trek to BR falls. It was humid again but it was cloudy. We trekked in jeep track for a while and then got in to the thick vegetation. it was again descanting in a loose soil trail to the valley. After some time we got in to the stream. The stream was just superb. The nature at was its best. We trekked along with the stream. On the way we found one water falls, it was a too scenic. I called it "Sharada Pheeta" !!!. Coz the scene was like the one we see in the portrait of Goddess "saraswathi" in which a water falls behind and stream flowing in the backdrop drawn. We enjoyed this part of the trek. Stream was serene at its best. Finally we were at the top tip of the water falls !. Oh, what a gorge it was !!!. Almost 100+ feet deep, but there was no way to go down. We really risked our lives and held on to a dry bush and crawled down to the gorge. Finally we got down to the gorge. falls was not single lap, it had many laps. Its almost 150 ft fall. But it was very scenic. As usual, all of us stripped off and jumped in to a small pool which was infront of the falls. Pool was not as big as the one found in thumbe falls. So we could not stay in the water for long time. Lunch was prepared by dharma meanwhile. It was an another mouth watering sambaar. We had stomach full. then we napped for a while and decided to start the trek back. Trek back was not that eventful as we were saying goodbye to the valley. But the mahesh was having a dip in all pools and falls we got on the way back!!. finally we reached the tribals house, by then our pickup vehicle had arrived. We had quick freshen up. by then Dharma had prepared "Nimbe juice". Had juice and then had a group photo session. Greeted goodbye to the hosts and started back journey to Kargal. We took local bus to Sagar. Reached sagar and had dinner. Our bus was at 8:45pm. Got in to the bus and we were back to bangalore on time.
It was an awesome memorable trek after long time. It was memorable in many ways. i had a small and like minded team. I Will cherish the trek for long time.

Links of Photos of the trek
Photos By Ananth

Photos By Samit thange

Photos by Sampath

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Memorable day of the year

As planned we had this year "Parisara Sri" and "Samaja Sri" Award function on 1st of April 2010. It was also a annual fest called "ayanotsava" of the village deity Sri Lakshmi narasimha swamy. The event was supposed to start at 6PM, But as our chief guest of the occasion Mr. Vijaya Kumar Range Forest Officer(RFO) of Sagar arrival was delayed, event started of at 7:30PM. Villagers had taken a very special interest in setting up dais for the event. The function was started off with invocation by Ms.Bhageerathi. Then Our Trust Joint Secretory Mr.Sridhar Hegde welcomed the gathering. Chief guest RFO vijayakumar inaugurated the function by lightening up the lamp. Then Trust Secretory Mr.Sampath Kumar briefed about organization last 1 year achievement and the next year plans to the gathering. Then award was presented to the awardees. This time "Parisara Sri" award was presented to Mr. Ranganath Hegde, a well known environmentalist who has been involved with many environmental organizations like "vruksha laksha" andolana. The award carried a cash prize and a memento. The award was presented by RFO Vijayakumar. His achievements were read out by Kumari Nayana. Then "Samaja Sri" award was presented to Mr. Siddaraju, State advocacy Secretory, Dalith Human rights. Mr. Siddaraju has been very active social worker and he has been involved with providing free legal help to the poorest of poor daliths in the state. The award was presented to him by Tust president Mr.Subbarao. His achievements were read out by Kumari Asha. Then "Seva Sri" award presented to Mr. Srinivas , driver and Mr. Ramesh, conductor of Gajanana Transport for their hard work and selfless service.
Later while addressing his inaugural address, RFO vijayakumar stressed the need of eco friendly alternative economical activities in and around forest. He briefed the gathering about the significance of eco touirism in the region. He detailed how kerala has been benefited with eco tourism activity. Later "Samaja Sri" Awardee , Mr. Siddaraju spoke on the occasion. He also stressed about the need of alternative economical activity in the vicinity of the forest, so that poorest poor gets benefited. Then "Parisara Sri" Awardee Mr. H G Ranganath Hegde spoke on the occasion and stressed the need to prevent forest destruction further in the region. He also said how forest destruction has been ruining the life of local dwellers and how its affecting the common man as a whole. Later kumari nayana gave vote of thanks. Mr.Ganesh , member, gram panchayath was the master of ceremony.
There were journalists from most local and state media. It has been covered very well in the media. Here are some press coverage clips(click on image to zoom in),

Vijaya Karnataka Dated 3rd April 2010

Samyuktha Karataka dated 3rd April 2010