February 23, 2012
When nature tempts you with its majestic beauty most of the time it is hard to resist. So whenever opportunity knocks at my door I seize it with both hands. Dense forests, dazzling greenery, luxuriant landscapes and valleys, amazing waterfalls are always a trekker’s paradise. During the back to back holidays on January 26 & 27 a group of Youth Hostel Association of India (YHAI) from Mangalore, Bangalroe and Udupi went on a two day trekking expedition to Kyatanamakki. Udupi unit of YHAI had organized this trek.
Kyatanamakki is about 20 kms from Kalasa and orgzanizer K S Adiga who had done the pilot trekking had warned us in advance that it is going to be quite cold and that we have to arm ourselves with our sleeping bags and other warm clothes. That we will be pitching tents for our night stay at the top of a hill in that chilly cold weather was an additional cause of my exhilaration.
The trekkers were asked to assemble at Hornadu by 10.30am on 26th. I caught hold of 6.10 am bus which reached Kalasa at 10 am. It took another 45 minutes for me to reach Hornadu by a connecting bus where I met our group members from Udupi and Bangalore. Udupi unit had come to Hornadu in a tempo traveler and the same was used for our further journey. We travelled about 6 kms in the tempo traveler and reached Dantaka. From here we put our main bag in the jeep which carried our luggage, tents and food to the destination. We kept only our rucksack carrying lunch and water and started our walk in the hot sun in a tar/mud road. But the surrounding greenery and the grassland with an occasional specter of wild colourful flowers was a big reprieve.
At Dantaka we were provided with our lunch pack of Pulav in our respective Tiffin bags. After travelling almost 3 kms we took a short lunch break in a shady tree besides a stream and again we resumed our journey climbing steep ups. We wondered how the jeep had traversed through that rough patch of what cannot be called as road in the strict sense. By 4pm we reached Kyathanamakki top and the first thing we did was to zero in on the location for pitching tents just near the flowing stream. We were apprehensive that the heavy cold breeze might not allow us to pitch our tents but there was no trouble.
When men get busy pitching tents preparations were made for making tea to get some relief from biting cold. Vessel was brought from nearby home stay (Adiga knew the caretaker of the guest house) for tea and water was brought from the stream flowing close by. Firewood was collected and we made a temporary fire arrangement for preparing tea. Mrs Adiga had come prepared with necessary ingredients for preparing tea. After getting warmed up with a cup of tea and snacks we decided to go to the nearby hill to enjoy the resplendent beauty of nature.
Hills of Flowers
Enroute the spectacle of the grassland and with patches of yellow flowers covering the grassland had a soothing impact on the body and the mind. It was quite intoxicating to marvel the beauty and brilliance of these flowers that grow in the wild. The hills on all four sides resembled like fields filled with golden crop as the mixture of green and dry shrubs covering them were quite pleasing to the eyes. We enjoyed the exquisiteness of the surrounding hills in a 360 degree angle with cool breeze caressing us. The beauty of nature was so tempting I felt like running amok on these hills which looked barren from a distance. Needless to say we imprinted those special moments in our cameras. It was quite delightful to watch sunset at that vantage point in such a wondrous milieu. While one group went further to have a better view we retreated to our tents as it was getting dark.
Once back in the tents it was time for camp fire (without fire) and disport. Singing, dancing, jokes, pulling legs – we all indulged in it in gay abandon. Our dinner which was prepared in Samse was carried to our destination in the jeep along with the luggage. Since it was quite cold we again put fire and heated the sambar. The dinner was quite sumptuous and the rice really tasted delicious with sambar, sandige, pickle, mango chutney and curds to top it all. We retreated to our tents and snuggled into our sleeping bags.
It was the commotion of the group that woke up all those who were enjoying their morning sleep in that cold weather which was quite pleasant. After our morning ablutions and breakfast (bread and jam) we were once again ready for an exciting trekking ahead. As we folded our tents we noticed the fresh dung of wild buffallow near the tent indicating that a wild buffalo had visited us at the crack of dawn. Our luggage was tucked in the jeep and we headed to Gaaligudde (the hill frequented by most trekkers) negotiate through some of the golden hills we had enjoyed from a distance previous evening. None of us were prepared to leave such an immaculate spot filled with nature’s bounty. But there was no option.
Having enjoyed nature in its pristine best we once again trekked back to Hornadu to reach dantaka. Our tempo traveler was waiting there to fetch us to Samse. We were quite famished and on reaching Samse we once again got the taste of a tasty lunch in the hotel from which the previous day we had ordered our food.
Captivating & Enchanting Elneer Falls
From Samse we were heading to the much awaited and keenly looked forward to Elneer Falls. A forest police official warned us about elephant roaming in the area and we assured him that we had taken permission. On the way to Elneer falls we climbed a steep dense forest area to reach Badamane Falls, which was like a breath of fresh air. As time was running out we had to hurry down to move towards Elneer Falls which is at a distance of about 5 kms from Samse. The way to Elneer Falls was through private property “Netravati Farm” and since permission was sought in advance we reached the dazzling crystal clear flow of water cascading through the black stones. We wasted no time to get showered in that crystal clear water. I was just dazed watching the beauty of Mother Nature standing in front of the waterfalls.
After spending nearly an hour at the falls and bathing in its soothing waters we headed back to Samse to get into our vehicle. The team from Bangalore waited back to catch Bangalore bus while Udupi-Mangalore team headed to Karkala. Four of us from Mangalore got down at Karkala to board the Mangalore bus. When we reached Karkala bus stand the bus to Mangalore had just left and we had to wait another 45 minutes before the last bus from Karkala to Mangalore started its journey. We had the luxury of drinking a tea at the nearby hotel after booking our seats in the bus.
I enjoyed every minute of the two days spent in the nature savoring the rustic charm of the wilderness gazing at the limitless prairies and the wild flowers blossoming with all their It was a good team effort as team spirit plays a vital role in giving the tag of ‘success’ to the trekking expedition. No doubt it is a copacetic trekking experience.
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