Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jog falls, Kemmangundi, Mullayangiri, Agumbe, Sirumanai, Kundadri

"There he is ! Lets go" said Mohan. I looked outside the hotel and saw a well built six foot guy coming towards me. "Hi, Im Kris" he said as we shook hands. We were waiting at Majestic, bangalore bus stand to go to Shimoga,our destination for the long weekend. It was friday night, and we were getting ready for the next three days which was to be filled with adventure. After winding our way thorough the buses, we finally found our bus and settled down. We started at around 11 in the night and after a terrible bumpy jouney, landed in Shimoga at 5:30am. Found a lodge near the bus stand, and crashed :)

Day 1:
Our Indica arrived at around 7am. Our first destination for the day was Jog falls around 100km from Shimoga. The driver took us to another place on the way to Jog, a small deviation from Sagara. A place called Sikandur. Its a temple on an island at the centre of a lake. A barge carries people and vehicles to the island. After a thought, we thought of skipping going to the island as it would steal some of our time. We continued to Jog falls, the highest waterfalls in India. The climate was just wonderful. Drizzling when it wanted, and staying cool otherwise, it kept us in a good mood :)

Day 2:
Sunday morning, we decided to go to Kemmannugundi, a hill station 70 km from Shimoga. The journey was just awesome, complete green fields spreading like carpets on both sides of the highway upto Tarikere, and then the winding our way through the mountains with huge trees on either sides, it was just amazing.

Tried a shot on one of the streams nearby, and thought of a small poem to follow..

There she is gently unfolding her silky body
Coiling through the rocks and pebbles
And anything that comes her way
I don't know where she comes from
But she goes so gracefully with a gentle sound
So sweet, that I lay mesmerized in her beauty
Mother Nature, I love you !

After reaching a point, our cab was not allowed further as road repair work was going on. We took a pack of salt for leeches and started.

There was a cement road for a short distance and then the beaten path started. Huge thick trees on either side of the path, and small streams of water flowing from the side of the path onto the tracks. And then as we walked further, the beautiful landscape unfolded before us in the clearing.
We crossed a beautiful waterfall where I took this shot.

After crossing the thick and tall trees, the whole landscape was visible to us.
The landscape was similar to a windows wallpaper that we all see on our desktops :)
It was a very beautiful sight ! We then continued our way to z-point which is another neighbouring peak which is about 20 - 30 min walk from the peak. After taking some shortcuts, we then reached the base.

After Kemmanagundi, we continued to Mullayangiri, the highest peak in Karnataka with an elevation of 1930m. The peak is accessible by road till the top. Our Indica went till the top, and stopped just a km before the peak as we didnt want to get caught in a traffic jam. Large vehicles had some trouble crossing the on coming vehicles. The sides of the roads were steep where the valley was visible and a slight slip of a tyre would cause a vehicle plummeting down. After a short walk, we reached the steps which lead to the peak. Fog started to set in, and visibility was so poor that we couldnt see people standing a few meters away from us.

After seeing the temple on top, we made our way back down to the car. There was this beautiful part of the hill with lush green grass and lovely flowers scattered all over. With milky white mist and fog all around us, it was literally heaven on earth !

Day 3:
We started off to Agumbe, 90km from Shimoga. Went through a wildlife sanctuary, saw a couple of peacocks. Agumbe is a rainforest and filled with snakes and other dangerous stuff. We didn't have any idea of playing around with snakes. Went to a viewpoint in Agumbe, and then proceeded to sirumanai falls. There was awesome water here and the flow was quite heavy. Took a few shots from a good vantage point.

After sirumanai falls, we continued to our last destination, kundadri. This is a small mountain with an elevation of 800m above sea level. There is a jain temple on the top and provides a good view point. Relaxed our feet a bit, enjoyed the beautiful view from the top, and finally made our way down. Three days of adventure has come to a happy end.

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