Thursday, May 16, 2013

Uncharted Udupi – Kotepare Islands Expedition

Just a ferry ride away from the bustle of my place by far the most visible though remotely located legacy of KotePare Island is a lush, abandoned and green getaway for adventurers. On few weeks back, one find day I decided to take risk a bit so I headed with my best friends to explore few abandoned islands in Arabian Sea.
There are three rocky islands to the northern-most island is called Daria Gadara Kallu, the middle one Daria Bahadurgad and the southern most Kari Eillada Kallu. The sea between the rocky islands and the shore is a safe anchorage for vessels during storms and rough weather.
From the Key west we boarded a ferry and set sail into open waters. This little piece of our journey began. It was a delight to witness the blue beauty all around, so close to us. Eyes seemed to be enjoying this space so serene and peacefully clean. Before all land disappears, literally in the middle of the nowhere a massive abandoned 17th century fort surrounded another two beautiful islands, after all it’s not every day to get visit such a remote tropical islands featuring a moat encircled abandoned fort.
The boat seemed comfortably occupied with the 7 of us seated in it. It take just 30 minutes journey on the ferry that was soon made ready to land Kotepare island. The deal was to take us to the island, let us spend an hour in each island and drop us back at the sea shore. In case if we caught by the Coastal Guard in the ocean either we sent back or suit case or penalty for entering restricted area. If we make it to land safely, then its OK.
Among these three islands this 40 acre island is steeped in history and represents a beautiful example of an abandoned site transformed into useful recreation space for the soul. It was so different a feeling, being on land, amidst greenery and rocks and find myself surrounded by water all around. We decided to live this moment on the shore of the island! Feel the purity of water around and the warmth of the rocks untapped.
The fort on the island of Badhragada is said to have been built by Basavappa Nayaka of Bidanur constructed in early 17th centuary. It is gorgeous, heavily nurtured and bundled with natural treasure. On the serene lap of the tides were mighty but never seemed violent. Fort was supposed to be a main line of coastal defense but by the time it was dedicated the design was virtually obsolete. In 1763 Hyder Ali captured Bidanur and sacked the city and thus commenced his rule over Tulunadu. On his death in 1782 his son Tippu Sultan assumed the throne and ruled the fort until 18th century.
Exploring depths in Island, visitors might encounter flocks In fact all that remains of the fort are its dilapidated traces, but the lush shrubbery forests with the steep slopes surrounding the fort gives it the aura of mystery and a sinister charm. Though the fort has lost all it’s grandeur and is left in neglect for the most part, the lush green forests, blue skies as far as the eyes can see, and silence so resounding that you can hear your own breath, surely invites any heart wanting to loose itself in the lap of nature.
Entire three stairs fort wall have literally fallen into the ground. The elements especially fierce tropical storms continue to take this large Fort apart brick by brick each year, and due to it’s remoteness and policies of the states it’s not in the list for and neglected by Tourism and Archeological departments restoration funds. it’s not hard to see why rumors of haunting at the fort persist the ruins of the fort could easily serve as the setting for a horror film.
The ruined vestiges shows the major problem faced by inhabitants of the island was a total lack of fresh sweet water Originally water would drip through the underground and collect into a series of pools. However, cracks developed, and the system never worked.
The other thing that really blew me away about Kotepare Island was how much freedom we had to explore. For most Islands I’ve ever been to, anything with this level of decay tends to be completely off-limits to abdicable visitors. it really is refreshing to be able to explore such an amazing place with few restrictions. In fact, our tour was quite small and it was easily to feel like we were alone.
The western coasts of the islands are a seashell haven with seashells of various shapes and sizes littered along the coast. There is few beautiful clean sand beaches to swim and relax. Here where the seaside soft sand tickles under bare feet and the water touches with caring which is perfect corner for bathing the huge waves are stop by colorful rocks which can see the reflection of the sun. The western part of the island is scatted with basaltic rocks but there are flat slabs to sit and enjoy the serenity of the place.
We spent 2 hours on the island, the island provides a great backdrop for some good photographs. The ruined vast Fort adorn the island. In the distance, we could just make out the lighthouse of the Daria Gadara Kallu or Lighthouse Island. What could be more beautiful than to be on an island sit by the edge of the fort wall and watch the surrounding heaven on-shores, it was time to wrap up all the good times and take them back as memories forever...