Monday, November 19, 2007

In seach of bangADi falls

The film “Chigurida kansu” made a mention of the so called bangADi falls, a small look up for more information from my cousins and I came to know that it was near Dharmasthala. I decided to try out the falls.

After the summer placements and IIMB, its generally a time to cool of a bit for the junta here some of the sections going on a trip to some place some others it is a trip to the Wonder-La. I decided to do an exploratory trek and chose bangADi to be my destination.

I reached Dharmasthala at round 630 am in the morning and had my breakfast after some freshening up. Then reached beltandaDi…. There was the very old hotel to home I am a usual customer when on treks – “Hotel Samatha”. I got my lunch packed and asked them for directions. I told them I waned to go to bangADi falls; they were a bit confused but directed me towards somanDakda… I climbed the bus in the direction towards CharmaDi and got down at the place. I enquired about the falls with the local pan beeDa stall. The told me that there is nothing like bangADi Falls; if you want to see all the falls shown in the film you have to go to bandaje arbi and hAnaDka(AnaDka) fall I told him I have done that already could you tell me something more about the “bolle faLLs”. I was a bit skeptical about the information. I could not belive that such massive information could be manipulated just for a film. He told me a bus would come in another 15 min that would take me to deDupe… you can get down ant kAjur and then walk toward killor (which is around 2 km.) I decided to try my luck once again and once in the bus decided to take a ticket to deDupe. This was the last stop of the bus. Along the route, I could spot the banDaje falls, I for some time went into the recollection mode… about my trek to the falls and the night in the forest. Things have changed quite a bit… some murder of a foreigner who was doing some research on the herbs here had been done around 6 months prior and the people were still in shock. A bit later I found the way to the AnaDka falls. The simple elegant falls I had gone to more than a year ago. Finally I reached deDupe, had a couple co passengers at the last point.

I asked my co passengers for some more information in case they knew of any falls at bangADi. The answer was negative. I then asked them if there was a way to killoor for there. The asked me to enquire down the road and find direction. I reached the stream which was flowing and asked the residents of a house nearby if following the path beside the stream would take me to killor. The answer was positive. It was a nice trek experience the first of its kind for me to trek through and beside the river to a place. From the bridge is was photography time for me, all along the stream I could find some cranes some kingfishers and some other birds which would fly across fishing and posing occasionally for my camera.

The trek beside the stream is till we reach the broken/incomplete bridge downstream. Once we reached there we asked again for direction, not the trek beside the steam was over, it was time for trek beside the farm banks and plantations. Another half an hour of photography was there for me… J There was a villager who was on this way to some ones house, I decided to have his company and asked him questions like when it had rained last… all these was to ascertain that at least boLLe falls near killor would have some water to keep me happy for the effort. He then showed me a hillock and told me… look gets to be a complete falls on its own when it rains. You will find water running down allover the hill and making splendid falls worth a camera shot. I recollected that this might be the hill that was shown in the film, quite possible!!! Well let me get back sometime to see this hill during the rains and capture the falls… now I need to see the new falls I am in search of….

Ah some distance ahead I had a buffalo block my way. It seemed to be confused seeing a crazy creature like me some where down the with camera hanging down my neck, a towel to wipe off the sweat that might come, a track suite and a bag to carry my luggage… it must have thought… “Oh God!!! What do I do now…. He doesn’t seem to be one whom I like… seems to have come from some other land…” I had my own plans for him… while he turned his head away to think I took my camera out showed it and asked it to turn towards me… surprisingly it did turn and I had my snap… I told thanks you, can you please give me my way… it immediately walked off giving me the route for further journey… The villager who was accompanying me was surprised and told… “Seems as thought he understands your language…” I gave a broad grin… and continued walking. In about 5 minutes form there I was near the Kolli Durgaparameshwari temple. I had been there once in bike when I was on a search for a route to Bandage from Jamalabad fort… it was an unsuccessful attempt then. I asked the nearby tea shop how much time I had till the bus would come. He told around 20 min. I decided to go into the temple and have blessing from the deity.

I sat in the bus waiting for it to leave… another 10 min journey from there and I was in killor. I was asking for directions to boLLe falls. I could either have an auto which would take me for some distance or a jeep that would take me a bit further. I decided to go by Jeep. There I found my guide Praveen who was also on his way back home. He volunteered to take me to the falls as the shrubs had covered the path and there was no real route that you could spot. The Jeep dropped me 3 kms ahead on the route... I think I had made up for around 45 minutes of my walking time by a 20 minute jeep journey. I got down at the stop, thanked the driver and went ahead with Praveen.

The trak for the jeep was all a mud road and it was not sure if the track was ready to use after a steam on the road. So we decided to get walking. Praveen was telling me all about himself, some information about the place, his ancestry and stuff like it. His Grandma’s home was almost the last house on the way to the falls. We walked along the jeep track that was being made usable (the rains generally spoil the track and these people have to rework on them every year.) Praveen also told me that you can get to lobo house from the route, which then can take us to the Kudremukh peak.

We reached the last house after an uphill walk along he Jeep track, and from there it was a trek in the forest… Ah! Finally something worth a trek… looking at the moistness I understood there would be leeches and I was always on the look out. We walked thought the shrubs that had grown to cover the route and made our own path to the falls. We had some nice experiences climbing over some fallen trees and some thorny hanging creepers. We reached the falls after around 20 min of walk though the forest. It was now time to remove our shoes search for some leeches just in case some had climbed over without a hint.

I settled down and after a small relaxing time decided to go to the base of the falls. This falls is very reachable and we can get to the base of the falls, very easy. Praveen as telling we can go to yevala from here, he told it is a nice place and the flowers there are really famous. I told I would come back to that place some other time. I was busy picking snaps of the falls. Many of the regular reader of my blog would know that I have crush on falls I was just sooooooo happy to be there. We then got back got the place were we had kept our bags and decided to have our lunch. We cleared all the plastic… put that back in to our bags… some more photo-shoot of the scenery and it was time for us to get back to killor. It was around 3:10 pm when we set out from the falls. On the way back the leeches seem to have woken up. The last time we went should have shaken them from the sleep they were in… we moved briskly and were able to get out of the dense shrub cover in some time. Then it was time for leech removal session. Praveen’s relatives were out with their set of medicine to kill the leeches... I removed my shoes and dropped the leeches. Now it was back to the jeep track. Praveen told he has a shorter route to his home from the place, and took leave from me. I thanked him for the help and guidance he had provided. I was on my way back picking snaps which I had missed due to the jeep journey… speaking to people on the way.. given them smiles and getting those in return….

After around 1 hour and 45 minutes of leisure walk thought he forest and then the jeep track I reached killor. I decided to get something to eat and sat in the bus that was destined to leave to beltangaDi. The bus started around 5:15 and I was in beltangaDi at 5:50. There I had my evening snacks and then reached Dharmasthala. I was tired and feeling too sleepy. I had my dinner and was waiting for the bus departure… Ah! The day has just passed…. I had not even for a moment thought of IIMB or the busy life of Bangalore… it was definitely going to come the next day… well why worry about all that is routine…I was with in search of my crush for the whole day and enjoyed every moment of it. As soon as I was in the bus it was bed time when I woke up I was near Nelamangala… Just another day… I had the whole day to rest and refresh myself for the course ahead.

Trek date: Nov 17th 2007


Thursday, November 15, 2007


Trekking for me is the first option given a chance, and I would have not liked to miss the term break @ IIMB. My association with RHM has been quite old… I like the group that RHM has…so decided I would not spend time deciding on the trek, would just go ahead with them.

RHM had planned trek to Kote betta. As usual Arun had done all the ticket booking and food arrangements. We just had to accompany him to enjoy. To accompany all that we had Dean, who is another master at his PJs. After Edakumeri this was my next trek with RHM, almost after a gap of 3 months.

Arun had asked us to meet at the reception counter of the KSRTC bus stand at 10 pm. I was pretty much jobless so decided to set out from IIMB at 8 pm itself. I knew I would be early, but did not expect to be as early as 8:45pm. I had over an hour to spend at the reception. I decided to do some rounds on the bus stand and watch passengers in their hurry to get to their destination. KSRC bus stand was at its usual best with a lot of buzzing discussions by passengers some of them arguing with the ticket collector and loud announcements (I don’t even know who many will actually listen to it, when involved in their routine discussion.). Then there was the usual jam of busses in a hurry to leave the platform and get set to their destination.

I then spent some time looking at the road map that was painted on the wall of the bus stand. Looking at the approximate distances to each district head quarters from Bangalore… I still had some time to call my friends and discuss some nonsense. Finally at around 9:55pm Arun appeared, and we found our trek mates in some time. We had a round of introduction and then climbed the bus. We expected to reach Madikeri around 5:00 am.

The bus left the stand in about 10 min after we climbed and we engaged ourselves in routine discussions… some related to our experiences some relating to our beliefs… just a process of getting to know each other better. As time elapsed we were into deep slumber.

We reached Madikeri before the first rays if sun could touch upon the city, we were joined by another trek mate of ours there from Udupi. Our bus from Madikeri towards Somavarpet was @ 6:45 am. So we had some time to freshen up ourselves. We finished our usual round of freshening up and went to have our breakfast. I was quite hungry and had some good amount of breakfast. We also packed some for our journey later on.

We sat in the bus at 6:40 am and the bus started off as expected on time. Another around 30 minutes of journey and we were at “Hatty HoLe” meaning Hatti river. Our stop was just after a bridge, the river was flowing underneath the bridge in all might. We could spot some of the tree trunks it had pulled downstream after the heavy rains some days before. We took some snaps; the sun had just about risen above the mountains in the horizon and was shining in all might.

We had some coorg coffee at the hotel there, and then Arun started off with a formal round of introduction and some basic funda / plan for the trek. We were to walk along the road for most of the trek. Though the scenic beauty was too good the only thing I hated was trekking / walking on the well tarred road. We were to take a break at a hanging bridge which was around a couple odd kilometers from the starting point. We reached the hanging bridge at our own pace, and then decided to break for official breakfast of the trek. A couple of us were interested in photography and the hanging bridge provided a good position for photo shooting. We found some estate workers speaking to themselves and enjoying us take pics of them... they were so pleased to pose for our cameras… he what innocence in their looks... it was just too good the excitement on seeing us strangers. J

We got back to the road after about an hours break… a small distance further we got to a fork in the road; one was leading upwards towards an estate and the other to don’t know where it takes us. The river was flowing besides the road all along. We chose the right turn, we lost track of the busy running river from here. It was much silent trek from here. The asphalted road slowly turned into a mud road… did not even realize it. There were no vehicles this way.

We had all the time in the world to get the pictures we wanted. We were amazed by the numerous falls on the way to the peak of kote betta. We could not spot the peak from the place we began this trek. We could spot a not of mountains and clouds in the distance. I was a bit early to a fall on the road side and so decided to try and get some better pics of the falls. I had a small fall in the falls and so decided against the effort. After some good snaps from were I was, we realized there were leeches along the route. One of my trek mates had a leech on his feet. It hadn’t begun its job of sucking blood, just trying to figure out a suitable location and we spotted it... we removed away the leech and were happy about the achievement.

Another couple of small falls and some resting for the rest of the group to catch up we reached a much flatter range of the trek. Till now we were on a continuous ascent and were warned by localites of a bullock which would chase strangers – well we did not find any such bullock chasing us… but every time we spotted one we were discussing about a possibility.

We made our calls to our relatives form this open plain area. At a distance we could spot the telephone tower near the Raja Seat. We had a panoramic view of the mountainous beauty Coorg. I was missing the panoramic mode in my camera… cribbing I had brought a camera that had one. Leeches were once again on duty, biting a couple of our mates. After the exercise of leech removal we waited to catch up once again with our trek mates who had slowed down once again. We in the mean time we took some time off to make our calls back to our relatives in Bangalore.

We could spot the peak of Kote Betta from here, wow!! Was the expression I came out with as I could understand the reason the mountain was named so. Kote in Kannada means Fort. We could spot the mountains in a fort wall format. This might have been the reason these mountains be christened this name. We walked towards the visible peak. Each time we reached a certain height we would wait and look back to see the beauty all over… we could spot domestic cows grazing on adjacent peaks, some paddy fields at a distance, the river we left far behind, some smoke raising up from a distant village. The clouds would cover some of our view of the peak some time while at other times it would clear up and give us the majestic view of the “fort walls” of the mountain.

We continued on our journey, we could spot a group of people who were moving towards the peak as well making loud shouts, and running all the way up. We thought they might be some other group of trekker. We reached another small resting place and took some snaps till our ever slow trek mated could catch up. This we had decided would be our last stop before the summit near the temple atop the peak. As we rested we found clouds take over from clarity and cover the peak again. It was back to photography time, the wind pulling the clouds; it was such a great sight.

We started on our final stretch to the peak… it was quite a steep ascent and a short one too. We reached the temple area and just had enough time to click some pics of the valley below; the clouds were backing again to blur the view. There was a route beside the temple to another peak, but again the clouds would not let us explore that. So after having our lunch at the peak we decided to walk back. We spent around three fourth of an hour here. We could spot the first group of trekkers who were ahead of us coming down at a distance. They spoke to us and told they were localites and had come there just for fun.

We set back on our way once we found some drizzling. The stones get slippery and it would be difficult to get down. We started off and in no time we were facing all the slippery stones on our way… it was nice fun descending these stones. We could a big group of school students who were on a school trip to the peak on our way back.

We were out of the cloud and could spot the sun again. All of us decided to take a small nap on our way back. I wasn’t feeling sleepy and decided to try out some nice pictures of the scenery around. About an hours rest and we were ready to get back on the track. We took some nice group snaps before we could get back to the back journey. Dean who was on of our trek mates wanted to go on a Himalayan trek in December and so was preparing for the same. He was on complete run from the word go. I was the next in line and it was fun running the slopes.

We finally hit the asphalted road and were searching of a good spot to in the river where some of our enthusiasts could have a quick bath and relax. We found one, and it was just awesome place. The river was taking a small turn and it had estate on one side beside the road while on the other we had dense forest. We could find some small birds enjoying their moments of Joy and fly. We spent around a couple of hours beside the river. Our janata which was late decided to take its own sweet time to get back and join us. While we had couple of hours of joy beside the river they could manage only around 45 minutes of fun. The sun in the meantime decided to give me some awesome snaps, with its interplay with the flowing river. Ah like it… may be you got to check the pics to understand what I mean… any description would not match the sight.

Another 15 min trek beside the road and we were back to hatti hole…a cup of coffee to relax and some sharing of experiences we were all ready to get back to Bangalore after a days trek. We were waiting for a bus to somavarpet. We reached somavarpet around 7:30 pm, we decided to rent a room for some time and freshen up.

Our bus was at 10:00 pm. We climbed the bus and it was just a short time before all of us were in deep sleep. I woke up just a couple of kilometer from the KSRTC bus stop. Here I was back to the huzzle and buzzle of Bangalore… back to same life of routine ness… the same campus the same busy life

You can find the snaps here…

Jog Falls

The life at IIMB is one which keeps u really occupied. The usual quizzes (some surprise and some not), the assignments which we delay to the last minute for submission, the usual L^2 parties... all this just keep you really occupied. Being a trek enthusiast, I was missing trek and travel a lot here. On this particular Saturday, I just could not resist the temptation to go on a trek and decided to go on the trek. This was after the term one mid term exams, some time just after the heavy rains and the awesome flow of the Sharavathi at the jog.

As usual, I did no look for company and decided to go all alone on the trek/trip. I set out on Saturday evening and reached the Majestic Bus Stand from where the buses start off on their daily routine of plying passengers. I reached the stand at around 8:15 pm and as is the normal case is with me, I don’t book tickets. I began searching for a bus which could give me tickets to Jog; the destined bus was to leave at around 10:00 pm. I had a hard time and could not find a seat in the bus which would take me to Jog. Instead the conductor of the bus asked me to get into a Shirsi bus which would take me to Sagara and then climb their bus from there. I took the suggestion and decided to try my luck at any Shirsi bus which could take me to Sagara. The next bus to Shirsi was at 10:15pm. I could find a seat in the bus and so wasn’t a problem… 10min after I got into the bus I got a co passenger who sat in the seat beside me and we started speaking to each other, he told me that this bus might go till Jog, you can take the ticket till there if you want to… I thought Ah! What a co-incidence… well I will take this bus directly to jog then. I bought a ticket to Jog and it was a cool journey from then. I was quite tiered and went into deep slumber right form the moment the bus left the Bangalore station. I woke up only when my co-passenger decided to get down at Sagara and was getting his luggage ready. I thanked him for the suggestion and help that I received and began looking out of the window eagerly to get a glimpse of the awesome paddy fields which made a green sea beside the road the bus was moving on. Occasionally there was a mild drizzle… all this would just make me feel so very close to nature… I was waiting eagerly to get down form the bus and have a look at the falls.

Finally the bus decided to give a stop J just a couple of kilometers before the Falls. I got out of the bus, thanked the driver and the conductor, wished them a good morning and turned around. I was standing in front of a bridge and besides it was a board, which read… “Welcome to world famous Jog Falls”. World famous… hummm rt… really world famous… it reminded me of the wave that the recent Kannada movie “Mugaaru MaLe” had created. One of the dance-song sequences was picturised in this location and the photography had a chopper’s snap of the falls. This has really created the interest amongst a lot of people to visit the falls. The recent showers and the full flow of the falls – some videos wee already out showing Jog in its full glory. The first thought on seeing this Jog in full glory was – Now I understand the anecdote of Sir M V saying “What a waste of energy!!!”

A couple of minutes after the bus had dropped me the road was completely silent, all that I could here is the water fall at a distance, some birds chirping. The bus which I could not climb reached the spot a couple of minutes later. I did not want to climb it as there were a lot of scenic things which I could capture in my camera; I decided to do the walking. There was a mile stone which was to directing me to Jog saying… you have 2 km more dude… Just enjoy the scenery and the music… I did exactly that. I had the entire road for myself – some times some tourist van would come honking for space, there wasn’t anything else on the way that would stop me.

I started my road trek of 2 Km with the bridge, Far off I could see the Sharavathi river take a turn and come to the falls… there were a lot of stones which stood in its path not vertical but as though hit on the head and about to fall down. The river over years has make its own empire… which even the hard rocks could not challenge. I continued further, clicking snaps of the wet road, wetted by the drizzle that had occurred some time back. Around a kilometer and some distance ahead, I got to the first guest house. I could see some people standing just at the edge where the river is about to fall, I found some monkeys playing this early in the morning… They were at their usual best entertaining and troubling people.

After some snaps at the falls I walked further to the main reception of the Jog Falls. There is a big banner welcoming us to the falls. I met a few friends who had been to jog directly from Bangalore in their Sumo. I greeted them and went back to have my Breakfast. I wanted to get a glimpse of the falls before I start off with my breakfast. I went to the sight seeing point opposite the falls. The falls was visible, not flowing in its full glory but thanks to the dam Up-stream we still had some water. Occasionally the clouds would cover the falls and disappoint the on lookers.

After the first “darshan” of the falls, I walked towards the shopping complex where I could find some breakfast. I decided to get to the foot of the falls after my breakfast. I did not have a hat to cover my head from the rain, you don’t have to worry either, we can purchase plastic hats which are Rs. 5 (I know it wouldn’t even cost a couple of Rupees to make it… but still it serves the purpose which it has to do.) I wore the hat and started my trek to the base of the falls. The drizzle began again and this time there was no stopping me… I began my descent down the hill slope. The rocks that formed the hill slope were slippery; many people were finding it difficult. I could hear some one shouting out to some one else because some one else is missing. The ascenders were having a tough time as well. The steep climb had drained them out of energy and they were complaining about heaven, the hell, scolding God and some even remembering enemies. Well its nature of human to complain and scold anything and everything when it is just beyond their capacity to do things.

I reached the foot of the falls in some time… all along the route I had the pleasure of not having to wait for any one and the leisure of clicking as many snaps as I needed. When I reached the foot, of the falls, it was an awesome experience; for a moment I felt this is where I belong…. I just want to be here. I felt as though I was back into carefree childhood days. I could feel the falls spray water on us to wet us, the clouds provided a hiding to the people from the view above and the breeze created by the water fall. I stood there thinking how majestic it looks, how simple the principle that governs this falls. Yet what power it creates.

I spent around half an hour at the foot of the falls and decided to get back. I started the climb and reached the viewpoint without much effort. May be my regular tsepak games at IIMB had improved my stamina and this ascent was not so demanding. There I get another realizations… regularity in what we do will improve our efficiency to levels which can marvel people.

The time was around 10 am. I had the whole day to get back to Bangalore. I decided to not worry too much about the travel time and just reach Bangalore. I reached back to Bangalore at 9:30 pm caught a bus to Jayanagar. A friend was there to pick me up reached the campus at 10:15pm..

I fell exhausted on the bed after the day long journey; I closed my eyes to relive the experience I had during the earlier half of the day. The 2 to 3 hours of pleasure I had spending at the falls, has given me enough enthusiasm for the remaining term. Wish I could have such experiences much more… well that is a trade off... I have to accept. My passion for treks and falls continue uninhibited at IIMB as well – I am happy about it.

some pics posted at

Bhava - U R Ananthamoorthy

Ah! finally I have read a novel in Kannada... my first one... and what more... it was authored by a 'Jyanapeetha Prashasti' winner!!!

'Bhava' - stands for something that is too heavy to take on...some thing like a burden. This story revolves around three generations . All three generations have their own burden to carry forward, each generation is bearing something folly of the earlier generation. Every generation is searching for a peace, that is so illusive.

The story deals with the mental plight and the conscience which a guilty man would have, @ some other point, you get the fight amongst idealism, belief, practicality, faith, emotions... and much more.

The plot is very well discribed, each time I rest to sit and think about this story, I get a different perspective...very thought provoking one. Each character is so thought about, its life style and thoughts just match the expected message so very closely... This is an awesome book to get hold of...

An awesome book, this was the first time I read any Kannada novel and realized first hand how immense the literature of our Kannada language it. just awesome!!! so much to pick up from it. I think this is the only point which makes Kannada the language with the highest number of the counties highest literary awards... closely competed only by Hindi.

Man! this book has boosted my interest in the language to a higher level; and rest assured will read many more Kannada books in future.

The copy of the book can be got from Sapna book House, costs around Rs 60/- around 95 pages that z all... but the message u get, u can carry on for your life.