Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bandaje waterfalls

See the stunning scenery of Bandaje waterfalls and beautiful mountain ranges of Ballalarayana Durga (fort) in two days (22km) long walk was not so easy but this time once again I chosen to hike this place with few curious nature lovers . At the base of Bhandaje, the track passes through Kudremukha national park so initial we faced some serious difficulties from forest department and got delay to start on a late morning. And also recent death on this place made more trouble us to find some guide.
Finally we one local guy joined us and he willing to guide us but on the half way he left us without any reason and once again the whole responsibility had fall down to my head, I had last hiked here in 2007 and immediately I noticed many improvements to the trail there is only one stream crossing which is easy.
This wasn’t easy walk quite the extreme upper walk requires a lot of determination, patience and strength. This hike is not for the faint of hearten hikers. It’s a tough upper walk in very rough terrain. The trail is extremely overgrown, unmarked, and in many areas it has been devastated .
I stopped and took a break several times as people would pass me and then I would pass them as they would break. As we gained more and more altitude, the views became majestic. The hike was very hard and we had lunch nearby stream.
Trekking through the hills was unremittingly scenic with streams thick evergreen jungles and grasslands. After a long upper stretch walk I reach the open grassland area and all our teammates joined me and we all relaxed for while and started to to more hike to reach our destiny before getting dark.
It says its about a mile to the top what it doesn't say is it is the longest mile ever! The bright blue sky, with just the right amount of clean white clouds thrown in, was designed perfectly to go with the greenery. We could spot many hills around us I stopped in for a look and after seeing the falls from the westbound edge of the grasslands terrain I said to my fellow hikers "Wow that was well worth the hike" and as I said it I felt emotion roll over me as this view was so amazing I decided to walk up the trail to the top of the waterfalls.
After crossing the first grassland hill one more grassland is much bigger than the earlier one and had head-high grass. First I reached the summit I waited for rest of my teammates we climbed down to the steep trail into the forest and continued for a bit more towards a open surface on top of the waterfalls.
When I did arrive at the falls , it exceeded my expectations and made all the tough walk,scrapes and bruises worthwhile. This is a beautiful waterfall, in a very scenic setting, and well worth the work to get there and watching sun-set view and awesomeness of the falls is so amazing. The dizzying drop is almost surreal. look out over the falls, keep head down and look at the ground until you get right up to the edge I just couldn't stop staring down the water as it goes from babbling brook to water droplets in harmonic flight.
If you start from Mangalore towards Chikmagalore, you have to get down at Somantadka 4km's from Ujire. Its 2.5 hours journey from Mangalore to Somantadka by bus. You can hire a jeep at Somantadka and go to Valambra, which is the starting point for this trek.
The hike into Bhandaje not the only rewarded the jungle trek is its own adventure as a guide navigates the grasslands, streams and mountains to reveal spectacular waterfall, once I got to the top the falls sore calves, worn out lungs and sweaty armpits will disappear and my visual high would last well into the next day.


Ashok said...

superb narration with nice photos yar.. Missed the treck with you...

R Niranjan Das said...

Awesome place and beautiful falls.