September 20, 2012
For hardcore trekkers a week-end trekking in the picturesque and idyllic terrains of Western Ghats is like a godsend opportunity that cannot be resisted. So when I was invited last week to join a small group of trekkers by Udupi branch of YHAI to go to Bheemeshwar with just one day’s notice to decide, I had to set aside all my prosaic activities and get ready for the exciting two-day rendezvous with nature. Having missed Doodhsagar trek last month due to my busy schedule I could not afford to miss this one. KSN Adiga organizes his treks with a personal touch and warmth which becomes simply irresistible and inseprable along with the fun and frolic associated with trekking.
We were to start from Udupi at 2pm on Saturday from “Shubhadri” Adiga’s den. Luckily for me the young enthusiastic trekking doctor couple Savitha and Mohan from Mangalore agreed to accommodate me in their car and we joined Shubhadri by 2.15. There were 7 members and we started off in two cars after drinking Adiga’s passion fruit juice that gave us the momentum to drive through the next 4 hours. We did not stop except for an occasional stopover to view some breathtaking panorama and a much needed tea break. The road from Kundapur to Bhatkal was tortuous but after that we traversed through the angelic hinterland to reach Chennagonda by sunset as planned.
After parking our cars we walked about 2kms to reach Bheemeshwar crossing through a water stream balancing over the delicate makeshift thin wooden bridge. Fortunately it did not rain and Adiga’s carefully packed dinner and lunch packs reached their destination in safe condition. We took some time to settle in the new den and after freshening up ate mosaranna and rice-mensinakai and huruli sambar supported with mouthwatering pickles which we brought alon,g prepared by Adiga couple. Mrs Adiga did not come as she had fractured her leg during the Doodhsagar trek.
Once the stomach was full the whispering sound of the Bheemwshar waterfall was quite enchanting and tempting. So off we took to have a look at the cascading waterfall which was just a few meters away from our resting place. The weather was pleasant and the star-studded sky provided the right kind of milieu to spend a few quiet moments savoring the beauty of the waterfall or just listening to its flowing sound.
It was the whistling sound of bird “Shama” which awakened us from our slumber the next morning. It was a heavenly experience just to listen to that melisma and to start the day on a perfect note. After a cup of tea we decided to go to the waterfall as 8.30 am was the deadline to come back. In the morning the real beauty of the cascading waterfall was adorable and alluring. The pyramid shaped small temple almost adjacent to the waterfall and the surrounding rocks added to the surrounding charm.
The pink delicate flowers that bloom only on the rocks withstanding the might of the water force is quite an endearing scene. The water was quite warm and sitting under the mighty force was stimulating, refreshing, copacetic and cathartic. With a heavy heart we stepped out of the waterfall and retreated with blissful experience and wonderful moments.
After a sumptuous breakfast we started off towards our next destination and reached our cars. We travelled about 20 kms towards Singanoor where we caught hold of a guide to go to the water fall. We parked our cars and with our guides in toe meandered through the thick muddy slushy forest to go to the waterfall. The cry of the rare birds and insects was music to the ears and the dense flora and fauna was pleasant to the eyes and soothing to the mind. But the dense forest had more than what we expected. As we stepped into the moist forest filled with damp decayed leaves leeches swarmed to greet us with all their might. We could not have the luxury of removing them because there were so many and an extra few seconds immobile in that area would have attracted thousands more.
Dr Savitha had to bear the brunt of the leech attacks as they refused to leave her feet despite all her efforts. They crawled and settled near the belt of her sandals giving her harrowing moments. She called out to Mohan desperately whenever she found a bountiful on her feet. I had a shoe bite on my toe and a group of leeches persistently attacked that toe till they swelled after sucking blood. It was Madhavanna who helped me pull out those leeches whenever we reached the nearby stream as water acted as our protecting agent. All of us had bleeding feet but that did not bother us much. On sighting the Belligundi fall flowing in all its grace and charm and the surrounding natural scenic beauty we forgot all our travails to enjoy nature and its treasure in its natural form. We could view Belligundi fall only from a distance but that did not dampen our enthusiasm.
We began our journey to the next destination again going through some dense forests with deep slopes and climbs once again at the mercy of leeches who feasted on our blood. We crossed a stream in between and pulled out all leeches once again to step into the forest withstanding leech attacks and thorns and bushes. It was our good fortune that it did not rain during our entire trek except for an occasional drizzle. It was nearing 2 pm and then we finally found a suitable place with flowing water running near our feet and view of the sea at a distance to rest for our lunch. We were famished and the chapattis and gojju, courtesy Adiga couple proved like manna from heaven. We would have loved to cross the flowing stream which was quite brimful and therefore we did not risk crossing it.
After lunch we began the return journey and again through the dense forest with the sound of birds and flowing water and of course leeches constantly giving us company. Somehow the return journey was from a different route and we felt we reached our cars quite easily. By 4.30pm we had started our journey back from Bheemeshwar eating while travelling some junk stuff like biscuits we had carried to satisfy our hunger. We were badly in need of tea to provide tonic to our tired bodies. The tea stall which we pounced upon gave us yummy tea and each of us relished two cups each. We knew Dr Mohan had to drive through the arduous road from Bhatkal to Kundapur and tea was the stimulant that could give him the required energy to drive through.
We reached Shubhadri at 8.30 pm and taking another dose of passion fruit juice and colleting Dachshund ‘Munni’ the pet doctor couple had deposited at Adigas we made a return journey towards Mangalore. Being a sleep-buff I tried hard to keep my eyes open but could not help dozing off for long. I somehow feel guilty wondering whether Savitha and Mohan secretly envied or cursed me. Fortunately Dr Savitha was quite awake and kept Mohan well glued to the wheels without giving a chance for him to feel drowsy.
As the beautiful memories of the trek reflect in my mind (the itching of leech bites make it all the more refreshing) I must say the entire experience was made enjoyable and memorable due to the good company we had in Jeevan, Madhav, Chaithanya, Adiga and the young doctor couple. And I was always there to act nutty and make some loud noises to make my presence felt whether every liked it or not.
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