Friday, December 30, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
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.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
---After my first trek in 2007 to the base of Belligundi falls, time and again plans for a re-trek fell flat due to logistics and guide issues. This time, things fell in place and we headed off on a crisp bright morning of Dec 9 from Hebbage in shimoga. A sharp turn on the smooth highway led us to the beautiful farm of our genial guide Halappa who was waiting for us.
The panorama photo shows the height of the falls with my friend sitting below the falls. Truly amazing sight!!
After a dip in the magical waters it was time to finish our quick lunch and head back. Camping was a good idea too but it was another plan altogether. The climb back initial 3 kms of the cliff is one real herculean task until the even forest ground is reached. The beauty of such a tall falls undisturbed by human presence was worth all the hardship. With hearts filled with accomplishment and savoring the beauty indelibly graven in our heart and mind, we set out the ascent back to civilization.