23rd February 2014
This waterfall demanded a long walk and hence we had to
reach the nearest village on the previous evening. Even though the village is
well connected with Government buses, it seems to be situated in different part
of the world. Part of it is due to its proximity to the western ghat.
|Side view of the waterfall|
We had reached before nightfall to find a place to pitch our
tents before dark. But things did not look very promising that evening. The
local MLA had come to the village as part of his “people contact program” with
various Government officials. The entire villager had congregated at the
Temple. So, we had to wait for the program to end. In the meantime we had found
a nice place near the school for camping.
|Pool formed at the base of the waterfall|
It was almost dark by the time the meeting ended. Promises
were made without any actions in place by politicians and Government people.
The main demand to build a bridge was not given priority. This was a tragedy as
the village remains cut-off during monsoon due to swelling steams.
The tragedy for us was that we were not allowed to camp in
the school. Apparently some trekkers had violated the sanctity of the place
earlier by killing and eating chicken. No amount of cajoling would convince the
villagers. Rajesh Naik’s contacts with some of the villagers saved the day for
us. We were allowed to camp in one of the open spaces near the village.
In the camp, Adiga Sir’s prowess on culinary skills was
seen. It was amazing to see the energy of the couple bring at their age. Hats
off to you Sir!! It was astonishing to see the amount of preparation they had
done for all the eating needs during the trek. Adiga Sir’s food will be an
added attraction for me to join Udupi treks in future!!
The trek started at 7:30 in the morning. The initial part of
the trek was on unmaintained Jeep track. The track climbed up continuously
where we gained an altitude of about 1000 ft in an hour. And then started steep
descent into the valley. After about 45 minutes of the walk that was painful
for our knees, we reached the base of the river. The height we gained during
the initial part of the trek was lost during the descent to the stream!!
I was one among the first to reach the base and hence we
rested for a good amount of time waiting for others to join. The crystal clear
and calm water was a treat to our eyes and minds.
|Climbing down into the valley|
The hardest part of the trek was about to begin. It was
walking along the stream. I had assumed that waterfall would make its
appearance within few minutes. But I was taken aback when our guide mentioned
that we need to walk for nearly two hours to reach our destination.
I now understood why this waterfall was out of reach from
people until the beginning of winter. We had to cross the stream at many places
due to steep rocks on the bank. And no way can we cross if the stream is
This trek also had one of the “first” for me. I saw a python
in the wild!! Incidentally, people in front of me did not notice this slow
creature. It was lying still under a bush. When we went near it, it slowly went
little deeper into the undergrowth but away from our site.
|A small waterfall|
We also saw the skeletal remains of a small creature. I
thought it as the remains of a crocodile. But our guide mentioned it as one of
the land living creature. Locally, it is called as “chaape”. I have not heard
that name but it might be some species of monitor lizard.
|The skeletal remains of a creature|
It took little over two hours of “stream walk” to reach the
waterfall. The waterfall must be about 100 feet but only a part of it is
visible as it falls over three stages. The first two stages are obscured by a
Huge pool is formed at the base of the falls. We spent a
long time in the waterfalls. We jumped into the water, played for a long time,
spent some time taking photographs and finished our lunch. The waterfall was so
remote and pristine that it was worth walking every step to reach that
|Second step of the falls|
|First step of the falls|
We thought that return journey would be faster but were surprised when it took the same amount of time. Sun was coming down when we said goodbye to the helpful villagers and started the journey back to our towns and cities.
Labels: trek, Waterfalls