Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sakleshpur Railway Track Trek

Green route trek -- akka Sakleshpur raliway track trek, once the abandoned track, paradise for beginners had been on my mind for a long time. Very recently probably an year back this track was reopened for passenger train after which lots of people have found it hard to complete this trek due to restrictions from railway officials. If they find you especially the chief engineer who comes on rounds, that's the end of your trek.

We started very late around 11.30 -12 in the mid night and yet reached Sakleshpur at around 4am in the morning. After some coffee and refreshing in a local hotel we started our trek from Donigal railway station. We spoke to the local station master at Donigal and asked for permission but he had to say, permission as such is not given but many do the trek, until they are caught by the chief engineer. We started at around 6 and stopped at around 9:30 for breakfast.
There was this water stream, with a beautiful waterfalls. I got into my swimming costume and was in water within no time. Water was very cold and refreshing. After spending some time in water, finished with our breakfast and started continuing in the track.

A couple of bridges and here we are about to get into the first tunnel and I hear the sound of train from behind. I started shouting train train for all those who were already inside the tunnel. There was an outlet in the middle of the tunnel and most of them managed to sneak out through it. However Vikram who was already out of the tunnel from other end, hearing the sound of the train got confused and started running in to the tunnel. I don't know what Vicky was thinking :-). But Vicky kept shouting for all the people inside the tunnel to keep left where there was some space to stand and Raghu who even wears cooling glass inside the dark tunnel got confused and jumped to the right only to land in a pit. Luckily nothing happened and all were safe also the goods train was very slow to react

A couple of more bridges and tunnels and here we come across a railway guard who told us that we were lucky that the engineer is not here and we have managed to come till here. Ahead of us we had a couple of big tunnels and beautiful bridges and here comes the Bihari engineer (Not to forget about the railway job scam when Lalu was the Railways minister, today we find many places even in Karnataka with officers from Bihar) with his broken English stopped us and asked us to return. We were annoyed that he kept us calling terrorists and Dacoits but then to an extent I was also happy that he did not budge even for money. He was right on his part doing his duty, trespassing railway property is crime.
Section 147 in the Railways Act, 1989
147. Trespass and refusal to desist from trespass
1) If any person enters upon or into any part of a railway without lawful authority, or having lawfully entered upon or into such part misuses such property or refuses to leave, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both:
Provided that in the absence of special and adequate reasons to the contrary to be mentioned in the judgement of the court, such punishment shall not be less than a fine of five hundred rupees
2) Any person referred to in sub-section (1) may be removed from the railway by any railway servant or by any other person whom such railway servant may call to his aid.

We waited for almost 40min with some hope to continue but then there was nothing that could have been done as the officer had warned us that we would be arrested in next station if we had proceeded further. We missed a couple of beautiful bridges and tunnels ahead and not to mention the camping at night. But then we turned back and while some of them got a lift to Sakleshpur, we started exploring the falls. Finally we found the best view of the falls and we enjoyed for almost 2 hours in the falls and then finally getting into the water. It was amazing fun after long time I had some quality time in a water falls. It was also very relaxing for our feet. Walking for almost 6 hours on the railway track on the stones can hurt your feet badly. In fact I had pain in my feet for almost 2 days. Also it was my first trek after I had twisted my ankle and I was not comfortable, it still hurts probably I need to see a doctor.
This is a nice trek to be tried during winter only, you can only complete it if your lucky not to be found by the officer. It is not a difficult trek but then some of the places you got beautiful landscape. Don't forget to wear some good shoes as stones on the tracks are gonna hurt your feet. Not much of guidance is required for this, you just need to start from Donigal station which is around 5kms from Sakleshpur and then walk on the track till Yedukameri. Probably next time we will start from Yedukameri and complete the remaining stretch of the trek.