Sunday, April 20, 2014

Burde Joga

We had been planning for almost a month and some how every weekend it just kept getting postponed. Finally I decided that it has to be this week, which might be our last trek for this summer before monsoon starts and most of these places becomes inaccessible. Our initial plan was to trek to Chakra falls in one of the most isolated forests of western ghats, not many have gone in here and also a very dangerous trek. But since we didn't have numbers, couldn't get the contact details of guide and other logistical issues at the final stage we had to drop this idea and post pone the trek to December. But we didn't want to drop the idea of going for a trek. Finally Friday afternoon I spoke with Rakesh and got the details for Burde Joga and we booked a one way trip to Siddapura. 
The adventure started right from getting to Bangalore bus stand at the nth moment with a bit of distance covered by car, a bit of walk and changed 2 buses at 10.30 pm in the night. Finally got to board the KSRTC Volvo which was an horrible experience. The bus was in real bad shape, not sure if it even had shock observers and the driver was driving like a mad man. The worst experience was its an AC bus and I can't open the window and this driver says its cold and turns off the AC inside the bus. And we guys are sitting in the back and suffocating without air, on top of it these guys are so rude and arrogant as if they are doing me some favor turning on the AC.
We reached Siddapura around 6 in the morning only to know that the first bus available towards Kumta is at around 9 am. We got freshened up and had our breakfast at Siddapura. Funny part was Diwi getting caught exploring women's toilet to attend natures call :-). We managed to reach the starting point of the trek which is around 21kms from Siddapura on the way to Kumta. Exactly around 1km from Kyadagi, you need to get down on the bridge. You will get to see a board giving directions to the Burde waterfalls. You walk on the road in the direction of the sign board till you get one more bridge, from here you need to take a right again and walk on the mud road. Almost the entire journey can be covered by a car with decent ground clearance or easily by bike. The last stretch of around 1km decent has to be covered by walk. For initial few meters they have laid steps and after that its a steep climb down. Well I am not very happy to give these details out but then this falls has been already known to many and the information is also available on other blogs.
We managed to reach the waterfalls around 12 after around 5+ kms hike. There are 4 stages to this waterfalls with 4 and 5th being very dangerous to even watch the waterfall. We managed to get down till 4 but we ran out time and energy to explore the 5th stage, it also looked very dangerous. I have heard couple of people have lost their lives trying to explore 4th and 5th stage. Just like every body we also enjoyed the most in the 2nd stage of the water falls. We spent almost 2-3 hours in the 2nd stage after which myself, prabhanjan and loki we went to explore the 4th stage, well to be frank it was quite risky, rock climbing without ropes is always very dangerous as there would be no second chance if you slip. All was good and we successfully managed to even see the 4th stage. I was just going through the google maps and looks like ahead of Burde joga we have HonneKomb which seems to be very huge, this could also be the 5th stage of the waterfalls but I am not sure. By the way I don't know why it got the name Burde joga :-) some even call it Ilimane Falls.
We got the info from the villagers that the last bus to Siddapura is around 6.30 and so we decided to head back to Bangalore the same night. We started our trek back to the starting point. Even though we did manage to reach the destination well in advance we did manage to miss the bus. Everything happens for good and we got an opportunity to enjoy a good open air drive in a goods auto to Siddapura.
We didn't have a reservation back to Bangalore and we didn't have much options with the buses from Siddapura and here comes the same old Volvo on which we traveled the previous night with an option of 4 seats in the end for us :-) and without AC it was hell of a journey back to Bangalore.
Like always I want you guys to understand please don't litter the forest area with left outs of food and beverages. Please don't have liquor near any water falls and for god sake please don't break your liquor bottles in these places it hurts others with the glass pieces. Please have some common sense. 

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Belligundi Waterfalls

On our previous trek to Marloorgundi and Goodlugundi we had got to see the huge waterfalls called "Belligundi" on the adjacent mountain. The guide had confirmed that it is a 8.5kms trek in deep forest one side. We had decided to explore this falls and hence came up with the plan to head to Belligundi. Its a good trek with decent difficulty level if you are carrying tents and other heavy equipment. It would be really very difficult to try this out in the monsoons(not advisable) as for the entire stretch of 8+kms it's thick forest infected with leeches. Also during monsoon it might not be possible to go towards the falls as you will have walk on the river bed for the last 1km if you want to go anywhere near to the falls. 
We started pretty late from Bangalore and by the time we reached the starting point of the trek it was 11am in the morning. After having a quick chat with the guide we started with the trek pretty fast. The trek starts from the house of the guide itself. 1/2km from the guide's house and you enter the thick forests of western ghats. The forests in this area is pretty dense you hardly get to see the sky until the last 1km of the trek. The forests are so thick that without guide or GPS and with minimal human intervention in the area you might be lost for ever! We couldn't even hear the sound of such a big water falls until the last one Km, that way it was a bit different from many other treks. Mostly we try to hit the peak to get a good view of the landscape and try to identify where we are, but this trek was a bit different. The feel was like we are wandering in a thick forest where in every side looked like it was trail making it very easy to get lost.
We were walking at a decent pace and covered around 6kms of the trek in around 2-3 hrs after that one of our team member was stuck with severe cramps on his legs which dropped the pace. After around 4hrs finally we managed to come out of the forest and hit the river bed and from here you get to see the magnificent falls for the first time at a distance of around 1km. The last 1km of the trek is on the river bed walking/jumping on the huge rocks. That is the reason it is not advisable to trek in monsoon as you might not be able to go towards the falls in monsoon.
The falls looks really big and probably for the first time I experienced something like this, standing below such a huge waterfalls was an experience worth after a good 8.5kms hard trek. Just like many other water falls getting below the water falls is really tricky and slippery. We spent some good time sitting below the water falls and enjoying the wilderness of our life. My only regret from the trek was i couldn't make good photos of the falls. Many a times either I was very tiered for taking a picture or there was no proper lighting or such a big falls never came in a single frame or water droplets covered my lens :-(.
There is  a huge rock 1km away from the waterfalls and this was our base camp, this was the place were we spent our night as well. It was an experience to sleep in front of such a huge waterfalls, had never done that before and it was awesome experience. Got up a bit early in the morning and went towards the falls again to get a good view of the waterfalls on a peaceful morning. We also got to see a couple of caves near the river bed but then didn't wanted to take the risk of exploring the same.
At around 8am we started heading back to the starting point and with all the luggage, it was really a steep climb for almost 2-3kms. Many of us struggled and we managed to come back in around 4hrs without any major hiccups and our guide was pretty impressed with our fitness :-).
Over all a very good trek, got to test ourselves after a decently long break. Like my new resolution i wouldn't give either the GPS trails or the details of the location for the same old reason that I don't want these places to be known to many and get spoiled. At least I will try to maintain this philosophy not to disclose the location for waterfalls. I have seen many waterfalls which has been badly littered. I would think of giving information about the location only to selected few who are trust worthy and are sensible enough.