My first trek experience at Dandeli and visit to other places
Day 1 – 30th Oct 04
Morning we reached Dandeli by bus at 09.30 hrs. On our arrival at the Kulgi Nature Camp, we were given separate tents for men and women. After our freshening up and the breakfast, we started out for the trek at 11.30 hrs.
For the first time ever in my life I along with my team was walking inside the forest. My grandparents described forest in their tales, as a place of terror and the asylum of wraith. When I recalled it, I felt ‘how childish’! Instead it is a heaven for the city-dwellers.
We were 10 of us in the team along with a Forester and some locals and went about moving, looking for any bewitching sightings. A shining spider-web with a spider in it, caught my sight. I exclaimed and showed it to my team. Some of those hailing from village side were not much excited about it. We continued our walk, enroute we got to see many lichens and bracket fungus, which I could identify.
While trekking in the forest, if one is little cautious he can evade the scratches from the thorny bush. Initially I was bit incautious and got scratched.
We walked further and further, slopes were both up and down. In one particular steep area I slipped, sat and slid a bit. For a moment I was panicked whether I would slide down the steep (which had many trees, bushes, stones) and reach the base of the steep. But thank god, I got a grip and did not slide further. I relaxed sitting there a moment, took a deep breath, got up and started to walk. Frankly speaking that was a thrilling incident.
Further to that steep area the path was only ˝ feet. There was a terror again of sliding down the steep, but here all of us walked very carefully. The trek brought in front of us the final muddy slope which we had to pass through to reach the flowing stream, beckoning us to play in it. Upto the stream we had covered 2 kms and the time was 12.45 hrs.
After a short play splashing water on each other we moved on and now the trek went on the side of the stream, a rocky area which led us to a waterfalls, the Nagazari waterfalls. Till the waterfalls we had covered about 4.7 kms and the time was 13.45 hrs. The most thrilling part was climbing all the way up the falls, which was really tough. The rocks were huge and vertical, without proper grip to hold. It was a kind of crawling which we did on the rocks. If one looses the grip, the person would roll down into the waterfalls.
We had almost climbed an elevation of about 250 meters height. Will power was most essential here, as there were chances of getting broken down. If one breaks down there is no way out, one has to do it.
In between we had to stop for an hour long as one girl in the team became sick and had to wait till she recouped. In the meantime we finished our lunch and the time being 15.00 hrs.
After the lunch the trek was too easy. Here we came across a small nest of a bird which was empty. About 0.8 km trek was on the game road, and only there I could walk freely without a terror of slipping, sliding or rolling down, and could look up for the melodiously calling birds. I could identify only black drongo, racket tailed drongo, minivet, flowerpecker, but could hear many hidden voices between the bushes and bamboo clumps. Then I missed a naturalist who would have helped us in spotting out lot more birds.
We finished our trek by 16.45 hrs, covering approximately 6.00 kms. Though first time, I felt so very elated and inspired to do trekking time and again, whenever possible. This is really a boon the Forest Department providing the general public.
We got back to our tents; immediately got fresh and we were set for the next spot, i.e., the Shanmuga view point. We saw an enchanting sunset and an amazing scenic beauty. I also noticed that up above us were flying lot of swifts and dragonflies. Back from there to the tent and after a short gathering in the night, and a subsequent dine, we hit our bed little earlier that night.
Day 2 – 31st Oct 04
I Got up at 5.30 hrs in the morning and walked towards the swing, which was set in front of our tent. The dark sky with moonlight, cool weather, the crickets sound, misty swing, I had a wonderful feeling swinging which I had never before.
This day’s first destination was the cavala cave. At about 08.00 hrs we were there. There are about 360 steps to get down to the cave. In the cave you get to see a Nandhi made of a single cavala (shell). In front of the Nandhi there is a small door, behind which is a hallow space of about 3 ft., where one have to crawl or bend down and walk to see a big shiva-linga formation. The shiva-linga is about 3 feet and in this spot there is enough space for a person to stand straight. Next to the shiva-linga are lord Ganesha and one more goddess. There is no lighting facility inside the hallow space and we had to take the help of the candle and lighter. The amazing part inside the hallow space is the all time water dropping only onto the shiva-linga. From where is this water coming? Is that a miracle? No idea!
Getting down the steps to the cave will be in full speed, but while climbing up the speed gradually comes down and breaths go deeper.
Back again to the tent and had our breakfast. Next point was to the sykes point, again steps climbing up and down. From here we could see the river kali flowing and the power generating house down below and all around we get to see the forest. We visited the place where the water is stored to generate electricity which comes from a tunnel, saw the Bommanahalli dam, and the area where the water is taken into the tunnel.
Had a delicious lunch in the Mandurli forest bungalow, a superb location inside the forest. Spent some time there, looking at the incredible forest around.
From there we set off to Synethri rock. Reached there at around 17.30 hrs. Another amazing place in Dandeli forest. Even here climb both down and up about 150 steps. While we were half way through the steps we could hear to the furious flow of river kali. As we reached the base, opposite to us was a massive rock beneath which the river kali was flowing furiously. Though it was dusky I could feel its largeness. Many bats were hanging on the rock. The guide said about 100 persons, who went for swimming have died there. Looks really dangerous, still the sight of flowing river and its sound and the place around are fabulous.
After this excitement we drove to Anshi nature camp and spent the night there in the tent again.
Day 3 – 1st Nov 04
This day after our breakfast we set off to visit Kadra dam.
Next excitement was in Karwar. We reached Karwar at around 12.30 hrs. As we landed, I was too curious looking at the water there, as water bodies are one among my favorites. This is the place where the Kali river joins the Arabian sea.
We took a boat and reached the Devbagh beach. We had to walk along the marvelous log-huts and hammocks which belonged to a resort. Finally saw the sea, which was again beckoning us to play in the beach. I enjoyed to the optimum, getting wet in the salty water, a chance I would get seldom.
But we were unfortunate as our plan to have a para-sailing remained a dream as the rain started at the exact time.
Returned to the room and had a tasty sea food for the lunch. Next we had planned to visit a harbour and wanted to get into the ship, walk inside the ship, touch it and feel it. But even here the bad luck accompanied us and the harbour authorities did not let us in. Just had to convince ourselves that we could get a closer view of the ship. We saw 2 ships standing 1 behind the other.
To get out of this morose mood, we went on a boat ride for about one hour. While we were on the ride there was a down pour drenching us completely. The konkan railway bridge is the most popular bridge, which passes over the river kali. We boated round the bridge and came back to the destination.
It was time for our departure and had to hurry up packing our stuff. Got set for departing and left Karwar with loads of unfulfilled dreams to Bangalore at 19.30 hrs.