Sunday, May 24, 2009

The adventurous Sirsi [May 15, 16 2009]

“The Art of Travel is to deviate from the plan” – from the movie “The Art of Travel

This is about the 2 day trip to Sirsi and Yana. I have made this as short and sweet as possible. If it’s lengthy, that is because I’ve tried to capture most of the exhilarating moments that we had during that trip (or simply because I am a bad writer)

It started when Deepak told that he was visiting Bangalore for 10 days and wanted to visit some place in western Karnataka. All I needed to hear was the word “Western Ghats” and I was in. Deepak and I started the trip at 10:30 PM in Bangalore. The primary location was a temple Sonda (15 Kms from Sirsi) which Deepak wanted to visit.

Day 1 – Sonda & Around

Reaching Sirsi (Time: 7.30 AM)

My first impression of Sirsi was not that great as the first lodge we approached was closed down because of some financial troubles! And, the next one did not welcome us very well. Anyways, we got a room for 2 people for Rs.145 for 1 day. Some signs of happiness started appearing.

The Sonda Temple (Time: 10:15AM)

‘Boring’ is the first thought that comes to my mind when I think of temples. And Sonda temple didn’t do much to change it. But, it did transform Deepak to a religious man. And, I tried to keep my spirits high as well. Deepak was involved with all “religious” activities while I was ogling at chicks (at least I was trying to). Finally, the free lunch (God’s Prasad) was announced, we were all served. And that’s all I could remember about that!

The short Pilgrimage tour around Sonda (Time: 1:30 PM)

After the Sonda temple, we went on a small tour which the local tourist department had arranged for Rs.50 which covered the following places. These places are really good with lakes and forest surrounding them.

  1. Lakshmi Narayana Temple & vyasaraja mutt.
  2. Venkata Narayana Temple.
  3. Sahasra Linga (1000 shiva lingas have been made on the rocks on which the river flows. On a rainy day, the lingas are just covered)
  4. Swarna valli mutt
  5. Tapovana (half KM walk through forest which lead to rocks on the path of a river where a certain sage who had witnessed GOD in Horse’s form had done some carving for sitting and keeping his stuff, etc).

The Evening in Sirsi (Time: 6:00 PM)

We returned to sirsi, freshened up, had some snacks, made enquiry for bike renting for the next day and had some talks on the walks.

Day 2 – Yana & Vibhuthi Falls

The Bike Ride to Yana (Time: 7:00)

Yana is 41 KMs from Sirsi.

We started our bike on a chilly morning with 3 liters of petrol and 30 bucks/hour tab with hopes and expectations for adventure. As we went on, we rode through those narrow roads, villages disappearing, forests getting denser and thicker on both sides & the roads transforming into hair-pin bends and Ups & downs. The thrill kept on increasing with both of us wanting to and switching over to driver’s seat often.

It got really scary at one point when we stopped to take a leak. forests were dense on both sides. The road was completely lonely. We both wondered, if we would dare to take that during dark.

Then came the Iron Gate guarded by 2 at least-50-year old trees on both sides. The gate was supposed to stop only 3 or 4 wheelers and not us. We continued through the same road which had now transformed to mud road and in less than half Kilo Meters, there was this huge rock standing in front of us very tall.

Yana!! Gigantic!! Majestic!!

Any famous mountain (or even a rock for that matter) in India will have a temple with a myth around it and an eatery stall to make business (wasn’t a very money-making one in this case). It was 8.45 AM and no one other than us was there. We were the first ones to reach there.

There was a way into the cave of the mountain. Being the adventurers that we are, we went in and tried to trek by divulging from the usual path hoping to reach the top (and may be pee from there?!). Anyways, that was not possible as the any possible route the top seemed closed which was later confirmed by locals that came by later. We came back to the starting point, taking some pictures along the way. We had our breakfast (tea and biscuits) in that shop, and got some information about nearby falls and started towards it.

The vibuthi falls (Time: 11:00 AM)

Vibhuti falls is 10 KMs further from Yana in the route of Gokharana.

This journey was even more thrilling and exciting, mainly because we were headed towards waterfalls. We traveled further down to pass through the village of Mabige to reach the Vibhuthi falls. There was a mud road that led us and it abruptly ended with a serene stream crossing, and a beautiful water fall nearby, seducing the passers-by to take a dip.

No people around except us. And, I could not find any litter which made me feel like we wandered where not many people (tourist people mainly) had.

We first got down in the pool-like area between the stream and the water falls. Trying to get away from the fish biting, we moved here and there in the shallow rocky water.

By then, another group of tourists (more than 10 people) had come. However, they took off soon without dipping their feet or wetting their head. We got off the water and decided to hike further along (and through) the water fall towards the top. We crossed another small water fall, up stream and went further up and reached another fall.

Of course, as inspired photographers, we took lots of pictures with some crazy poses.

Even after spending an hour in the shallow waters and hiking for a little bit to notice some crazy rock formation and crystal clear waters, I was not satisfied without getting beaten by the forcibly falling waters. So, I chose a small rock from which water was flowing and decided to get in there. With no idea about its depth and with all the fears of skidding and falling (due of the algae), I took 1 step at a time and finally, I was there, in the middle of those falls and it wasn’t very deep. But, the beating was very harsh on my heads and back.

It was only matter of seconds before Deepak joined there. We both felt that it was the best moment of the trip!!

The Conclusion

Even though we had planned the trip with more people and different plans, we both thought the trip came out to be a very interesting and fun.

Certain things got reinforced in my mind

  • When you open up your mind, adventure enters.
  • No matter how the plan deviates, just choosing to have fun time makes all the difference.
  • There is a lots of adventure yet to be covered in western ghats!


Srivathsa said...

gr8 work guys! Yeah. If everything goes as planned then there wont be much thrill. There must be some mystery/surprised to enjoy. I remember that day when Deepak asked me about sonde and other near by places.. Was really got tempted.. But had to stop my self due to my work.. But i didnt miss much.. ur short and sweet write up took me every where. Now am waiting for the snaps... When will I get it :) Looking forward for more n more trips/blogs from u folks.. Have a good time..

d wanderer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Thanks for the comments Srivathsa

I am flattered as yours is the first comment that I got without actually asking for it! :)

I will share the links for those photos soon!

And, It certainly was an amazing trip, we wished many friends could have come. But, there is always next time, right?

And btw, are you a friend of deepak's?

d wanderer said...

missed the bus!!

mystery and surprises are very much part of any adventure. On a stronger note- if there aint any mystery/surprise involved in an act, it may not be defined as an adventure at all...will visit the Western Ghats for sure before I bid adieu to the South of India... && ya ...nice pics. Post me more snaps of your trip.

Deepak said...

wow!!!! sooooooper maga!!!!..u know, I usually feel pictures express better than words, but, now I feel that even words produce great effects....

U hav told everything I wanted to tell about our trip..and hav told very nicely too..

For all those who missed this trip, here's a chance to get, atleast a little bit of our enjoyment of that trip... the best part was ofcourse biking in the middle of the forest, with not even a hint of human population around...
And that Vibhuti moment there was when Santa, when we were just about to leave, dared to get right in the middle of the falls.....simply superb!!!

The narration in this blog is magnificent...especially when u use the phrases like "talks in the walks"...and you could have cared to show minimal respect to that "sage"... his name is "Vadiraja"... for ur info..

Anyways...nice blog and keep going dude....

Deepak H P said...

Hey Santa, U guys rock.... I never knew u guys had such a wonderful time.. We guys thoughtof going out somehwere, But I fell sick and it all got messed up. Lets make it happen some other time. As for ur blogs, just keep updating them cos I follow it.

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