"Longest trek till date still untiring, Perfect bathing experience, A get together of TADA group been pending for 4 months, (Harsha doesn't like CCDs, actually none of us do), staring at the Sun rising and seting in horizon laying on the velvet bed of milky white clouds, reviving all those moments again, this trip had been an excellent trekking trip till date, that good that few of us who used to vouch on tadiyandmole trip have already started rephrasing their quotes, new memories have taken over the old. how did it happened to me? "
Cute bunny sleeps peacefully hidden behind the long curtains. The yellow ted has had enough hugs for a whole entire week. No spice is altering taste buds, No number in phone book is been left un-dialed. though it is been raining for a while, the weather inside hasn't change yet. the remarks of last weeks still cribbing somewhere in the corner of my mind.
Its tough, not impossible. Vani has already announced it loud, I am still wondering, I am not sure how good the trip it would be, in this season of heat, there is a doubt if its gonna happen even, after that ban on adventure sports, its unlikely for a while, Harsha's hoping it would, Saurabh has been keeping his status "wasted-bored-sleepy" like forever. I have alternate plans all set as well, River rafting where Dinesh is planning to go? or if not, how about wonder-la? i am still figuring out. Neeraj doesn't take much time confirming, Its ON. I sigh, at last we'll all be out of the city.
Dark & Rainy Night in Bangalore
It had been real quick one, planned yesterday, all set to head out today, the only long made plan is to meet Neeraj at his place, sit back for some website discussion, and the next trips, and collecting some stuff. All I have been able to do today is to collect two CDs from Shamanna in office, and try writing one with all sort of last minute issues with Nero and CTRL selections. some 60 random songs, from three different lappies and PDAs and results are horrible. I have just played a few, and whats this track? Aww...eu...lets just run from here now...
around 8:30 pm and I reach Neeraj's house. little chit-chat , climbing Mullayangiri on Google Earth, and Its already over past 10. rain comes and goes. Janak arrives a hero, and his spine is already broken. Harsha has made his usual entry it seems. Hamsa is reached its intermediate destination after rolling down on Bangalore roads for more than an hour struggling friday night traffic. all camping stuff packed and we are out on the road at last.
Butterfly touching the Sky
We pick everyone up at our usual spot, its good to see Pavan too. I dint expect him, quite a few known faces, in the group, its kind a get together after tadiyandmole for many of us. fun doesn't take long to begin. and 12 in the night, this Sardarji ke Dhaba turns out to be the perfect spot for it. Though I'd love to be on the other side of it, its seems I have always been the soft target to tease, with my Meenmutty slip stories not dieing down, so I accept the fact, and chill the night out, with so full of sugar, multiple cups of tea and the plates of omlette. In the back of my mind, I still wonder, was that supposed to be a warm water bottle or normal ?
I haven't had done much research this time, reaching Mullayangiri isn't difficult. We check-in the lodge, take our own sweet time, freshening up. looking around I imagine those narrow galis of old delhi, my dad's cousin used to stay there, never liked that place (Its so dirty in there, but I never knew no brand of and out of country hasn't got a factory in there, and those factories are operated straight out of these houses, one of the biggest pool of India mid-level employment industries). Well, ..whenever I had to visit my uncle there, I used to make some excuse or the other, except that he'd always convince me with n varieties of sweets and all I'd be doing from morning to evening at this house is to eat jalebis and rasgullas. Now I know why I hate eating sweets uhm!. I look out again. There in the opposite building the wheat spread over all over place and the kitchen chimney smoking out those black curls slowly erased of in morning sunshine, reminding me of our regular summer stay in village. isn't it same everywhere?
We finish our breakfast quick, get our lunch packed, kick start our journey to the hill top. The base (Sarpadhaari) is just 14 km on the diversion to the left. personally as I dint imagine the view out of window to be as good as it turns out to be. meanwhile that might song plays leaving me half embarrassed. We reach the stairs soon. and start climbing after a short intro session. yup, I am making it real short and sweet this time around. Enough attention I have received already.
I know, I'll be the last one to reach up, so I start climbing up quickly, it is n't as steepy as Chembra in Kerala was. Chembra in my opinion is the Steepy Queen. anyways, as I had predicted before, I am the last one to enter in to the cave, and I certainly deserve all the clappings. Exploring the caves is an enthralling experience in itself. beautiful ly textured, these caves are said to be sanctified by few saints. I had seen the pictures before, yet walking in the grains of sand almost like an iguana, in no light, having meeting those bats in the far inside, majestifying those colourful lines with the touch of fingers, inhaling that moistured soilful air inside, listening mild echoes of my own voice, and last but not the least hitting my head twice on my way back, the time had left me all amazed.
We quickly reach the summit, roam around a bit, I still wonder if I am standing tall on the highest peak of karnataka. the valley is green and beautiful. there ain't no blue flowers as I heard, they call 'em kurinji. but soon as we start our trek towards the ridge which takes us to BabaBudan hill, We are noticing these tiny little flowers in all shades of white, ping and yellow, popping up every half a meter. I wish the distance was less, and volume was more, how beautiful it would 've been to see a valley of flowers? (wish to be noted, dear God)
Close to the ridge as I get down the hill, folks have already started their lunch. Pavan taste buds seems extremely cheerful, as he quote it as the best lunch he had, I know MTR is a big time looser, so let it be. This is certainly better but I like other times am no hungry. whenever I am on trek, my Appetite just dies down. probably its just drinking too much of water while walking. anyways I think we are all pretty charged up after lunch, and start our ride in the midst of the tarikere taluk, valley view seems unprecedented and one of a kind to have been touched from thy eyes before.
There is this one place on the way, looking like a typical spot, well I was hoping it wasn't where we're supposed to head next. well, Manikyadhara turned out to be no different, after half a days trekking, all we people wanted to do was to loose our self and get under a fall, so expectations from our side have been really high. so what, we did trek another two kilometers crossing a mountain, and another, and when we reach there, half socked up, the picture seems to be all false. I see the road, i see the stairs and I don't' ever see the falls. it looks like 2 taps open on the top of a rock. was it always this bad, the number of people there shock me, not for the reason its supposed to be reserved for us trekkers who have climbed up few kilometers to reach this place, but its so damn commercialized. and what we all doing now, paying 25 paise per person (Yup, I got a discount not sure why, bringing in 5 people in just Rs. 1.5) is to look for our guide Krishna's neck while he try saving it with all those typical excuses.
Some of us are really brave, rather really retarded ones, Vani doesn't take a chance, she just get down under and so is another fellow with us. a bunch is happy washing faces and few just making fun of the whole thing. I now I find out, this seem to be an holy place, sort of pilgrimage, the story behind this fall is that one the the Pandavas, Bheema created this fall with his gada, to quench the thirst of his mother Kunti during their exile. Oh I remember now, having seen this scene in the serial, this is after that laakshagriha story where Shakuni tried to burn 'em all with the palace and they some how escaped.
While returning from Manikyadhara we took this curvy trail, climbing up and down resting at every notch and knock to click pictures, to reach galikere skipping Baba Budan Giri. trekking back was pretty straight, not at all tiring, and I had enough time to make good use of the few KGs of weight I was carrying extra. Yup that was this new SLR in its maiden trip and I tried few sunset shots. Now I sit back with Ravi, Sam and few other folks, wait for my evening tea, (I know Janak is never gonna prepare it this time around) at the same time I try capturing those almost terrorist looking faces in the small shop in front of me and the kid and the love shared between the two , a goat and a cow, all tangled and tied on the ground on the same spike. there is this chicken also running around. No doubt I see white feathers spread all over the hill top where we soon going to camp? are we?
Galikere means windy pond. this place is known for high winds, but for a change, (or rather one of us was the lucky one to have bring us the little drops and no wind but, who was that BTW?) it just drizzled a bit here and seems God of winds has been sleeping and smiling for a while. just to make sure, we don't get drenched if rain starts all of a sudden, (had enough of it in Chembra) we pitch in our tent, I am just loving the fact that I could pitch in off course with help from Bala (oops Balu/Bhalu) and having putting up that front door balcony shade, its a moment of pride and i sit and enjoy the fact, while Janak and Harsha get busy with soup making and selling. Ah its MTR again, but who's hungry btw, I eat a bit, finish the dinner of quickly and its Bonfire time. well Huge this piece of wood is, and its taking its own sweet time, liting up, folks cant wait, and here starts the the PJ session I have ever heard in my life. crapy, disgusting, witty, some PJs not making sense at all, but after all that's the definition of PJs is'nt it?
The fire with in that one piece of wood had been much enough to last all night, we soon had slept off after that cracky session of PJs, mostly all out in open, including me, who actually initiated that tent pitching thing and was the first one bring my sleeping bag out and I simply dont knw when I slept off until vani came waking me up and it was 5:15 in the morning.
its was just a month before, when I was in wayanad, where I first saw a valley with a layers of clouds spread over, Milky white cotton like furs, sensationalizing tiny leaves of tea plant, with slow movements, and I wished if I could have been more, If the valley was huge, if the bed was big enough for me to walk in my sleep and never to fall. and it seems the wish was soon granted. something I haven't had seen before, something purely magical and heavenly, something which was redefining the meaning of romance in my dictionary. what was it? a dream of me in heaven. I used to watch those serials where in those Gods used to appear and disappear in clouds and they used to call that place Indraloka. am I really there and then what a luck, I got one of my favorite things in my hand, my cup of tea. what more am I looking for, there is this Mullayangiri peak I can overlook where I sit. clouds soon starts shying away as sun appears some corner in the east in opposite valley. there is but of a shine and shade on the other side. slowly they start lifting up, as if someone raised a morning alarm, telling me, wake up, you've been dreaming for long and now its time to return to the real world. I tell him, this is real too don't you see?
Soon as we walk across the forest and fog, my eyes starts wondering, haven't I' been here before? there is this sense of a deja vu. everything looks familiar, as if I am walking again in time, same sound, same embrassing mist wrapping me up in a white gown with a long trail, and same are the emotions somewhere deep with in my heart.
I was here, said Zoro
15 km for galikere is no joke, glad its pretty flat and straight with 2-3 steepy climbs. clouds are soon disappearing and the view of the valley is pretty clear, I move from the trail to the front, passing and sharing all those talks of movies, mahabharata (I wasn't sure if this would be picked up after manikyadhara falls, and Granthas of Geeta and Ramayana. movies I am not much in to, as for Mahabharata is concerned, I can definitely hit it hard after reading those two huge volumes of this epic and by-heartin BR Chopra's version of it. It surely surprises me that many of us still needs the Gyan on it. In all, if I had a to say a word regarding it, its gonna be, "guys debate enough, but please don't watch Balaji's Mahabharata episodes for heaven' s sake.
We have almost completed half our trek when we reach this small stream and like no other , we leave no stone unturned when it comes to jumping in the too small of a pond accommodating a few of us and this little stream falling of no height almost, reminds me that poo falls in tadiyandmole, there are those wild berries not as pulpy or juicy as I would want 'em to be, But tasting okay.
This long trail has seriously been one of the most spectacular one to walk on crossing a few streams ( the number is 5 i guess) and there we come across the sign of great Zoro. The first one he must have signed with his right hand, and and then he wasn't contended so he signed again, another hill with his left hand. walking, talking, stoping back and sitting a few times, we finally have reached a point we can over look the hill kemannagundi. we sing a few songs, we slip a few times, and roll down the hill right to be sank in to another small stream on the road side. next expect could have been what, but a good meal and the lunch at that lonely-only restuarent offers us just that.
Indian Hummer's red ride -way to Hebbe falls
Well, ask me and I'd say I wasn't sure why these people charge to walk on the road, but for the ride, everyone since I have been back is scribbling about those Jeep rides, and indeed its fun. ours was the first to leave and we could figure out if its stops somwhere apparently we gonna really have a good time. as soon as it does, there we meet these two techies all waiting for a lift. all we wanted was a push and they sound pretty ready to do that. poor chap, we still leave 'em there and ride on. Well, I would leave this section or rather dedicate it to Pavan haven't it had been his previous two visits and his experience with the indian hummer as he names it, the ride wouldn't have been this jolly.
I finally could see some red soil where the grass was all scratched out on the mid top of a hill, this is what kemannagundi is famous for. the estate is lovely, for the ride and for trekking too. we figured. none the less a must must visit with no debate the kind we got in to, soon people were changing their openions for if they wouldn't have wanted to come here.
Sunshowers - Hebbe falls
Hebbe is just awesome, I cant find better words to describe it. the view of 2 levels together is just breathtaking. No doubt one can fall in love with this so easily. we I have my previous experience of slipping and drowing and that vigorous rescuing operation in Meenmutty while being standing on just a corner with not much of a stream, here I am taking a little precaution. Sughana I would mention specially, was the one who was quite apprehensive to come this place, and it dint took us long to see her sitting right at the top, well, she said in the beginging, she's only click pictures.
Midnight prayers - bus-ride back to Bangalore
we were back from the falls around 6:45 in the evening, had few cups of tea, and those who were eggiterian could enjoy the omlette chucked in those sweet breads *who gave these people this idea to use sweet breds with egg? while rest of us waited for a good dinner some place on the way back. now in arsikere we sit in this small place, with not many options of food, and with a banner of "Liquore is Strictly Prohabited" Janak doen'st look much happy untill he gets to sip a cup of tea. Yea, its a solution for all the problems. even that of the bus that it needed some rest. we kill some 2 hours , laugh aloud, bond a little again, making a point only to reach in the morning to avoid morning dropping issue, back in the bus when it finally starts I start my wondering session again. No sleep and its monday. there is this "Mummy part 3" which I could only watch a bit because I have been seeing My Brendon after a long gap. I start browsing through the pictures I clicked. The poor cam has got enough cursing for the trip. But I am not complaining for it. all I am complaining or rather am skeptical about the fact, that how the vectors in the bus change their directions in their to and fro rides. its seems only me and janak are on the seat where we were seated in our journey to the trek. everyone else seems moved have found their new seat partners and no longer visible and available on their own. bonding is what is called? uhm! ;)
Monday is a day supposed to be ruined like none other. my time has started midnight itself anyways, I am home around 5:15 in the morning. I have got a meeting, which I ruedly skip for the day, deciding not to leave home at all for nothing. In no mood, All I can do is to finish of few pending stuff from home quicky. Meanwhile the post trek sessions is ON sneha being quick enough to kick-start it with her blog and pics. pavan makes it all offcial with rest all of us joining the chat. As it should be, a mailing thread with people connecting, sharing memories of a trip bygone is a testimony of an excellent trip in itself. with no say, so had been this one.
Though this had been already a long post, which I tried to avoid so writing and deleting it twice before, I cant help but to mention a few lines on the organizing part of it. its very important for a trek lead/s to connect with each trekker and make him/(her ;) too) feel at home. Harsha does just that and He should sure be acknowledged for this quality of his. I am yet to find how good a friend he could be and the lawyer offcoz but I sure, I would want him to take few sessions with the new volunteers in BMC who wants to lead the trek in future. Both of 'em, (Janak and Harsha) have good understanding which avoids any sort of conflict and issues and trekker can feel at ease all the while.
All in all, a great memorable trip, I doubt I can fill in more on the locations and roads etc perhaps I'd add that stuff in comments somewhere, for the ease of new trekkers, I end this post here, had been tough to pull it all, must have missed so much of info, may be later sometime...uhm! till then happy trekking folks...