December 27, 2011
A perfect Sunday enjoying the bucolic beauty of nature with likeminded friends is in the wish list of many - just to unwind and feel a total catharsis. At this juncture, i.e being a year-end it can also be termed as a perfect farewell way to bid goodbye to the year that is gone by and welcome the one ahead.
A group of 23 members, a mixture of young and not so young but enthusiastic trekkers ventured into a weekend retreat to Mavinakar and Bavadi Falls, which can be rightly termed as trekker’s paradise. Organized by the Udupi unit of Youth Hostel Association of India (YHAI) last Sunday (19th December) trekking in this forest area covered with frondescence of deciduous forest was an enlivening and amazing experience, something that has to be experienced practically to gauge what it feels to be. Mavinakar and Bavadi Falls come under the Mookambika Reserve Forest (in Sahyadri region of Western Ghats) where nature’s bounty can be explored to the heart’s content by nature lovers.
As there were only 3 trekkers (all ladies) from Mangalore our day started off quite early at 3.30 am and we were in KSRTC bus stand by 4.30 am to join our friends in Udupi. From Udupi we headed straight to Mavinakar, our base camp where a delicious home-made congy-chutney breakfast beside the flowing stream gave the initial momentum to the day’s journey ahead. Once the belly was full we started off through the meandering road amidst the thick carpet of green foliage on either side of the narrow path. Though vehicles like jeeps and two-wheelers ply the area is almost unexplored and there is hardly any human habitat until a few kms into the thick forest. The vivifying cool winter air from the forest sent us into utter rapture giving us a premonition that we are going to have a wonderful day in the effulgence of nature.
Apart from the visual beauty of nature’s wonders we could feel the soft musical sound of the gently flowing Mavinakar River all through the trekking route along with the chirping of the birds. In between we had to observe silence as the area is full of giant Malabar squirrels which get disturbed at the slightest of the noise. We treaded through water streams and even had to balance through the delicate bridges built by the people living around the area for their convenience. All through the route we were treated to the rustic aromatic and intoxicating smell of the raw forest.
After traversing through the wavering path in the middle of the forest for almost 6 kms we reached the site we were eagerly waiting for – the imposing Bavadi Falls, cascading in all its beauty and grace. Bavadi Falls can be enjoyed at multiple levels with smaller falls in between. The way to the Fall at the base which is quite majestic was fairly steep and the mid hot sun made the barefoot climbing to the top quite grueling. Once the spot was conquered witnessing the scenic beauty and the cooling vapor of the Fall it felt like being in an empyrean.
As if we were waiting for that moment and to get soaked in the freshness of the water falling from such great height, we lost no opportunity to come under its soothing pressure of the cascading water fall. And bingo! It felt cool, comfortable, relaxed, calming, peaceful, pleasant, refreshing, invigorating and rejuvenating. Though some did not venture to come under the Water Fall they witnessed its beauty from a close distance. Having experienced the acupressure therapy of the Water Fall for nearly an hour we assembled to have our lunch as we were quite famished.
It is generally said that the best way to someone’s heart is through stomach and the Adiga couple seem to know it much better as they spared no efforts to ensure we enjoyed a delectable packed lunch with the typical paraphernalia of pickle, curd rice, chutney, baji, Pallya and Chapathis, all home made. I am not sure how much preparation this enthusiastic couple had done for this trek. Though many of us had carried our lunch we set it aside to wolf down what they had to offer. No one could imagine those tiny bags the couple had packed contained so many varieties of mouth watering items.
After resting a while in the pristine environs it was time for our return journey. After that scrumptious lunch many wanted to have a small nap but we could not afford that luxury and we were on our toes to return. Another 2 hours of trekking with the sun occasionally giving a glimpse of its hot rays and a taste of the summer for us. Our van was waiting at a little distance from Mavinakar, the base camp, almost 6 to 7 kms from Bavadi Falls. At the base camp we were in for another surprise as the Adiga couple treated us to a very delicious ginger drink with a lovely aromatic taste that was like a tonic for our tired bodies. The base camp was at the stream of the river and Mrs Adiga’s homemade Avalakki filled our hungry bellies in that milieu. From Mavinakar we travelled back to Udupi. Needless to say most of us slept and snored and many might have dreamt of the scenic beauty they had witnessed.
From Udupi we three ladies caught Udupi bus to return to come to go back to our homes and by then the clock had chimed 9.30pm. Though the body still aches as a result of the 12 odd kms we traversed the memories of what we experienced is worth the little hardships we faced. What made the trekking doubly enjoyable and memorable was the good company of like-minded people who love nature in all its beauty and grandiosity. Credit goes to Adiga couple and the Udupi YHAI team for making an incredible experience for the entire group. Needless to say many of us are looking forward to many more mindboggling trekking expedition in the year 2012.
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