Sunday, December 21, 2014

Gijgini Waterfalls

 As soon as my vacation is approved, I packed my bags, drive all the way from my place.  I always wanted to explore around AG valley and let me tell you it was fantastic! Come have a look on it. Far away from typical touristic places, it is truly a hidden gem. It took us 3 hours to reach my friend Mahabala’s house! First day we explored few new waterfalls around there. Second day we spent the whole day hiking deep forests to explore Gijguni waterfalls. It was amazing!
 After trekking for about an hour from the village soon we started descending which was gradual and was towards the main stream. Soon we were heading into dense bamboo jungle filled with surprises!!  After descending 100 meter we were back to thick woods. After negotiating with the bushes and thorns we made our initial hike skipping the stream & entered into the thick tinny bamboo forest, soon to be lost in the thick and sloppy ridges of AG Valley.
 We had to climb the thorn filled ridges, move along with thick vegetation cover and descend along slippery rocky terrain. We carefully descended down the slope. I could hear the falls roaring from long and within next few minutes with tough attempt between thick jungles we reached directly in to front of Twin Falls.
  Once we reached the stream, we got a breath-taking view of Twin waterfalls and where we climbed down from it was impenetrable jungle that we came. The view from here was magnificent. It was a wonderful set of approximately 100 feet wide rock slab surrounded by green forest is bisected by two powerful bursts of water in the small distance.
 Two separate streams of water cascade down the black much stretched rock, which is divided by huge rock walls and converging around 10 meters away from these waterfalls, the water is almost transparent white as it tumbles down below from 40-50 feet height.
  In the First cascade the thick spouts of water rush over the rock and land in a small pool of water and next one has a thinner, spread out flow of water, making it seem more delicate than the others.
 We spent here around 30 minutes - From here we proceeded towards the second stage. We walked a length about 100 meters and we reached the top of the Gijguni. The view from the top was mesmerizing. After the excitement subsided we started planning the route for the base of the Gijguni main step.
 We searched the way to go down to the falls; we took a diversion from the top to reach the base. I scanned from top nothing looked easy but I can see the way to make it possible to reach the base. It was difficult to clamber down on the steep slope, brushing aside low branches and roots, scrambling over moss laden rocks until I came across some rocky area where we able to see the falls in the nearest distance.

 Anyhow we made the way to the base of the falls over more boulders to witness the majestic of Gijguni falls. It was so beautiful that words are not enough to describe the falls like, way it looks like is unique, rocks formation, tranquillity of icy water and the small ponds is an asset to Gijguni falls. It has on more small stage after this level with big pond.

 After diving, swimming, filling up icy waters, we rested for a while. Almost everyone had taken a nice dip in the water. And it was time for me to take the pictures. Everyone had their rounds for taking their profile pictures and quickly we took a group shot. The astounding sight pleased my senses and made me realize that all those adjectives that are synonymous to stunning will be aptly expressed at that moment!

 Nothing thrills me more than to discover new waterfall that is mysterious in wild.  It turned out to the best and most enjoyable trek under fabulous Gijguni falls.  No words to express as everyone were delighted and overjoyed with ecstasy. After all, what you need in life is that moment of happiness under the misty skies along with likeminded souls in the lush green with thundering waterfalls and gusty winds moving your soul!!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Nyger waterfalls

 After long tiring weeks of work I planned a trek to few unexplored waterfalls in Western Ghats. When I visited here before I had a plan to visit unexplored places nearby this place. But the locals over here suggested, it would be better if we approach after November as it's located in dense forest and it requires crossing stream, so we decided December would be the right month to visit this place. We didn't have much information about this place as there was Krishna and Mahabala knows about this place. Thanks to Mr. Krishna who briefed and helped me to plan Nyger Waterfalls one of the amazing and thrilling.
 With a wonderful pleasant weather our bike ride was very nice highly energetic and fully charged, we reached the starting point after a hard ride on mud road we parked our bikes end of the road and started our trek.
 On initial stretch we crossed through thick jungles where sun never reached. Every moment we spent in the mysterious rain forest was a moment to reflect upon, making the day even more surreal and after walking for an hour through medium toughness level terrain, finally we made to reach top of the waterfalls.
 We need to look down to see the beauty of the falls. After spending lot of time on top of the waterfalls our curiousness pushed to make a journey towards the base. But yet no one made it successful. With great risk and pressure in mind we hiked down to next level. On top we encountered a unique beauty and its magnificence made us to go next level.
 We had some stunning views out over the top of the waterfalls while we were heading down. From this point to the first base of the waterfalls was even tougher to go and it was almost like getting down a huge ninety degree steep rock. With great effort we did it with a help of Mahabala. Without his bravery and support it wouldn't mere to impossible. We reached the base (first step) by risky climb catching grip of strong roots of the big trees that leap all over the rock strewn hill. This region was pretty dangerous because of the thick vegetation and steep ravines. While climbing down the moss makes staying on feet especially difficult.

 We reached first stage of Nyger falls, which was one of the best falls in Uttara Kannada district in the terms of overall rating that I have visited, the way we approached it, the surroundings, the looks etc. I stood looking at it for some time trying to capture it forever in my mind.

 We enjoyed the sheer beauty of the falls, the sheer power with which the water was flowing down and it seemed that it would pull you away along with it and throws you into the gushing black rock hitting water below. We tried to reach close, as the rocks near the base are sharp and very slippery. While looking down it has one more stage and we can’t guess how long it is. Downer stream of the falls has seen very tiny.
 We felt so glad to watch the falls; it was like gallons of milk pouring down. The hill stood still everything around was mute except the sound of the waterfalls. We proud to say that fist human step in the first stage of waterfalls is ours. With great reluctance we pulled ourselves away from the beautiful sight, headed back the same way we had come, though very exhausted our minds still residing with nature. We reached our places looking forward and planning for another weekend trek same as Nyger another magical place to dwell on.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mattigatta Waterfalls

Trekking can bring in a sense of peace and will experience the immense natural value of our surroundings. We do all this for a sublime sense of peace and tranquillity that should not elude us.  The natural landscape was at its very best and a showcase of waterfalls amid rich and dense jungles is on offer in Uttarakannada.
 On the first weekend of November, four intrepid souls set out from different places to the Western Ghat, Driving in the early morning through mist choked roads, stopping only for morning breakfast along the way we were grateful to reach the small village where we began our trek. We parked our scooter in a field at the edge of the. Just a few kilometers into to our destiny place consists beautiful waterfalls, crystal clear pools and mountain peaks offering unparalleled views of the countryside. Our sense of adventure was kindled by the uncharted and untested route ahead of us.
 The day was warm and sunny, perfect for a trek. As the trek started the initial moments went in just trying to capture every bit of the view surrounding us and realizing the fact that it was a pretty steep climb.  The falls are located not too far from the village but still it’s isolated. 
 We began walking in mud track leading from the village to the mountain range beyond. While passing the road we had seen waterfalls form long distance. The initial trail wound through the dry hill road until we came to the Hedge’s house where the trail began. We located the cool mountain stream which was to serve as our navigational aid. The downhill path passes through arrack-nut plantation once we entered the forest zone the trail started to ascend and become steep.
 Frequently, I would look down and see what I thought was the end of our descent to the streambed. Light would shine through the trees and the trail appeared to start going downhill. I was getting so fatigued by the difficult trail and heavy pack. We started by using the strong jungle vines and small plants guiding us down the base. The climb was exhausting and I would have panicked about my team in few times.

 The final climb towards the streambed was riddled with steep sections of rocks. When we arrived at stream, everyone was thrilled. It presented a new challenge that I wasn't sure we could withstand. Our efforts were rewarded by beautiful views of the waterfalls.
 After hopping around the stream-bed boulders for a while we came upon a narrow pass. The width of the stream was very narrow I was a little shocked to realize that we would have to scale the side of the gorge to reach the base of the waterfall. My team has done some climbing with bare feet after a few meters we continued by using small vines and crooks in the rocks.

 Shortly thereafter the trail seemed to end in a deep pool formed by the increasingly narrow gorge. I took off my pack to swim through the slot canyon in an attempt to see whether we could continue along the stream.
 I took a long swim against the cool water, the water was deep. Lucky for us it was rather less volume otherwise I don't think we all would have been able to make successful to reach the bottom of the waterfalls. Although it’s slippery under the falls might end up falling on the rocks. We all had refreshing bath under the falls getting drenched under the waterfalls and showered with cool and refreshing water.

 Mattighatta waterfall is actually a string of few streams mainly Hasehalla stream on the low hills surrounding and the entire stream dwindling and relief to see such a large pool of water falling from 350 feet height  and further pass into a narrow river canyon. The Hasehall stream flows down in three steps. Even in the month of December, the river had enough water to make the waterfalls majestic. The high rising rocks on either sides adds to the beauty of the falls.
 The base had thigh-deep water. Reaching the base of such a beautiful waterfalls in such a remote location was a very fulfilling experience. During rainy season, Mattighatta falls could easily add more arms: a nondescript section seen at the top of the rocks could easily turn out to be majestic falls by itself.

 When we reached the base of the waterfalls we felt a deep sense of accomplishment for doing something what we didn't think we were capable. We immediately quenched to pond, the rushing water pounded on our weary muscles like a sort of massage, giving us renewed vigour.  After having fun on those smooth giant rocks spending some time in the water we proceeded back to the tumultuous noise of the city looking forward for a weekend again to be in the lap of nature.

 On return the walk was not an easy walk we had to climb all the way steep up and then reached back to the village. One of my dreams came true to spend quality time in the laps of the Nature and also discover uninhabited and undiscovered land in Western-Ghat.