Go with the flow – Water fall(s) trek – blog by Anuradha Raghuraman

Day 0 

Took a day off, catched a bus from chennai to bangalore & reached around 8.30 PM at silk board. Dinner was a refreshing mudka tea and bruchetta which also served the dinner for my travel partner Suneeth Sonu (SS). Met up SS around 9, Bangalore was quiet busy with no cabs and we hopped onto Auto and found the bus to Ujire. Boarded the bus on time and sleeper was bit amusing in the way pillow was laid which had cut short the sleep place. within few minutes the bus entered the dead end and struggling to return back.  Roads was pretty bumpy and could sense from the motioning of the bus. Cold wind was slowly blowing in the bus and was rolling with the bus to sleep off.


Almost awake last night and realized there was puncture/break down at 3.0 am, happily utilized the time to sleep off for 2 hours. The pleasure of sleep made us to miss the ujire bus stop. Next stop would be dharmsthala and luckily bus would come back to ujire and got dropped. From bandaje to Ujire is 10 kms and took an auto to bandaje home stay. With no time freshened up the home stay and had breakfast at mane, forest officer instructed us not to camp near the water falls. And also crossing 2 villages would also not be possible on the same day.

Quickly we picked what is required for the day and started the trek with food rations and Puliogare. Lost the route at couple of places and finally were in the main trail. There was a big bunch which was heading us, could hear voices of them which helped us to judge we are in the right path. Initially saw puffed rice here and there on the trail, had a feeling that someone was eating, perhaps realized later that the crowd which was ahead of us are marking the trail to return back which was quite useful for us too.

After 3 kms there was a stream which was hidden in the forest and spent around few minutes clicking pictures & drenched one of shoes as a balancing act. The trail remained a closed forest for with tall trees, dried twigs, creepers and as time passed by the gurgling sound of water faded. Even after 5.5kms the trail remained the same and all we heard was dry twigs which hissed on shoes. 2 or 3 different types of tall tress was captivating to stop by. Was a humid day which made us soak in sweat and got energized with buttermilk. My physical in activeness was quiet promptly seen, In fact asked SS to moved ahead of me and as a camaraderie-ship we trekked together. After 6.2km there comes landscape at the beginning  with the hot sun blazing but was lucky enough to have the glimpse of the falls and yet to hear the falls pulsation

By this time both of us were hungry and tired. Bottling up with mixed emotion of hunger/tiredness/laughing at this crazy trail . In order to reach near the falls, there were several more climbs. Took baby steps on the burnt terrain and there were few trees where we rested for a while. The falls is not of proximity & could see that the crowd ahead of us are a miniature now.

Suneeth did a quick check on a short cut and was able view the falls, it was quiet disappointing to view the falls as the flow wasn’t promising. After few clicks, we started moving down and was totally missing my purple boots. Toes were hurting so badly while declining . Both of found a shade and then consumed 1 packet of puliogare and we were unable to eat after 4 mouths and packed the rest, used the crackers as spoon as missed to take cutlery. This trail for sure cant be hiked during monsoon and heard that it will be closed. Post this all i was thinking, why didn’t i take any serious effort buy boots, am so bloody attached with things which has served me and results in retaining them despite of the use. This makes to decide for 2018, will do a “Project Detachment’ which i will trash/give away for old things and make room for new stuffs in all aspects.

Reached the stream and spend a good amount of time, refilled my bottles to drink, leg spa with cold water turned my legs to into lizardish legs with no sensation,  washed my hair with cold water and enjoying the freshness. SS dis a agility stunt of walking in the woods and which was in the centre of the stream.

As we need to reach the base before sunset as instructed by the forest officer started from the stream around 5. Post reaching the close to base, found a jeep which was passing by, hitchhiked to reach the mane. Rested for a while and had the puligare. Had a luxurious hot water bath at the homestay, post refresh we were trying to just to hang around the veranda.

Mane was supposed to be a old house built around 60 years ago but was very well maintained, a kitchen with wood fire facility. From veranda(200 mts) whole house is connected and go from one place to another. When it rains it would a mesmerizing experiences to sit in the veranda (center of house) with a book and coffee. Infact me and SS were discussing if we can come over monsoon and stay here for 2 days with no reason. Dinner was served with suprises hot food was served with 2 curries and buttermilk and kheer. After the yummy food, owner gave a best place to sleep for the night and SS camped at the veranda.

As per the plan we were supposed to do the ballarayanadurga trek based on the trail we experienced, decided to ditch and take up other falls.


Day 2

Woke up in the morning super fresh, freshened up quickly and left for Didupe. From bandaje its another 15 kms and took another auto to reach closer to didupe. As SS was refreshing at parameshwar rao house  was taking down the notes for the blog.

The owner has collected 150 types of grains as part of hobby/research. Post the refresh, there were several people who was getting ready to reach didupe. While the jeep came, excitedly took the front seat next to driver and swinging the legs outside. Jeep went around  6 kms. Left the bags in one of the villagers house and left for falls as again we couldn’t camp near falls, falls is 1.5 kms easily reachable. One can enter the falls and enjoy. Its been a while I saw a falls pounding to earth with force. Its thrilling to watch the source of water standing beneath with a challenge to eyes. Spent around 1 hours and enjoying the nature shower with strong massage, force full water on my heads cracked up. Generally am grateful for such moments, something was different at that point. I wanted to LET GO many things from my mind. This was the self conversation I was holding while in the falls for sometime

I let go my past beliefs

I let go the beliefs which I learned from others

I let go the people who had wronged me in some way

I let go my limitations

I let go the persons who I want to erase from my life

I let go my past

I let go my mistakes which have done knowingly or unknowingly

After 1+ hour  was completely physically and mentally relaxed, everyone regrouped and started walking. There was a wonderful lunch which was arranged by home-stay owner which I had tasted some authentic dishes. Rice flakes with sambar, chutney made of banana flower stem, jack fruit curry with channa. Enjoyed the lunch and the suggestion provided wasn’t convincing decided to go ahead. As it will take a while for the jeep to come started walking on the trail also dragged couple of guys from other gang. As we reached the main road, had a local cola was refreshing. we didn’t know the location name of paremeswar rao house, SS engaged the bus driver with map, got down at the place and refreshed.

Post the refresh there is a close irumai falls which we decided to visit. Paramerswar rao had a women milk society, spent sometime in understanding what is done on a daily basis. Wanted to try to camp near the falls, with all that decided packed the stuffs and started walking. There was another house which we kept the bags and left to falls, again this was much easily reachable. Spent sometime in the falls without drenching, The rocks were of different shapes and took some profile pictures for SS. NO CAMPING NEAR THE FALLS is usual now and decided to stay at the house. As we came back, had enough time to kill listening to music/counting the 7 stars again and again while making wishes. Carried a good amount of food ration in order to survive in the mountains, as all the plans changed, we had maggi to finish for dinner. Consumed maggi and laid the 2 tent outside the house which is another learning f in the trip. Surrounded by tall trees, with a little gurgle of stream was bit convincing for camping.

Day 3

There was another couple who stayed with us inside house and decided to travel together next day morning.

Woke up early had a good hot water bath. They had big cooper vessel attached in the bath room, outside the bathroom wood fire is placed so its heated (something new which I saw). Without any second thoughts i left old shoes there and Started walking back to paramerswar rao house walking and running in floaters. Ate breakfast there and a jeep which came and dropped all of us at dharmashala temple. All of us except SS went to temple, had a quick darshan with less than an hour had annandhanam . Found SS and took a normal bus to bengaluru. Was a tiring bus journey with my lower part of journey screaming for mobility. As the bus stopped for a break, wanted to get down and pick up a tea and it was snatched away happily by SS, with a disappointment had the tea and we finished all the snacks had in the bags

Bengaluru traffic is very dramatic and the live commentary from ticket collector was very scary, based on this comments we had a feeling that I couldn’t catch the 11 bus  at silk board. 20 kms before decided to get down from the bus and took the cab/auto to reach the bus stop. Managed to get a auto and all roads were empty but not sure why every single driver told us there is heavy traffic all over, reached the bus stop on time and took the bus. For all the day suffering the bus reached chennai in 4.45 minutes in the early hours of 3.45 at koyambedu. Hopped on multiple buses as skeptical to take a cab at that hour and reached home. My trip/trek is never complete with periods on and so was the last day which am habituated

Words I learnt

Bisi neeru, Mosuru,sulupa sulupa, eradu