Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Trek on Railway Track to Dudhsagar Falls

Monsoon treks are always fun. It might be a big risk to trek in a place where it rains continuously with your Camera, but a trek to Dudhsagar falls was worth the risk. It was almost two months before we came back from our from memorable trek from Everest Base Camp, Nepal. As it was August we decided to do a Monsoon trek and what better place you can go than the famous, mind blowing, gorgeous Dudhsagar falls, which is in the Karnataka-Goa border. Situated just beside the Railway track, this is one of the most beautiful falls belonging to Goa. We got to know that the best time to do this trek was during August- September, with a grey cloud covering the entire sky, rain drizzling all the time, path covered with fog even in the afternoon. These all made us to think that this trek will be an exciting one to do. When something looks exciting, we will never wait. It was time to pack our bags and we were off to Dudhsagar falls.
How we reached there!!!
Before you make a plan for this trek, make sure that you get tickets to Londa Junction. There is Rani Chennamma express at 9.15 PM which reaches Londa by 7.30 am. Also keep in mind that there is no direct bus to Londa Junction. In case you miss this train you have to come to Hubli or Dharwad and from there you have to catch a train to Londa. So to avoid all the complexities in your journey, make sure you get tickets in Rani Chennamma express. After reaching Londa, we had our breakfast in the railway station itself and we had to board one more train which comes around 8.15 am. That train took us to a place called Castle Rock and this was the starting point for the Trek. We alighted there and started our journey towards Dudhsagar falls.

A small description of the path!!!
Nothing great I should say. It was raining heavily all along the trek. We had our rain sheets and it was just a monotonous walk on the tracks. The sound which was coming due to the walk on the stones started irritating each one of us. No great views, no wows, nothing. The only savior were the long tunnels. It was my first experience walking in a pitch dark Railway Tunnel and I enjoyed it to the core. So many goods trains travel along the path and it was fun running for a place to hide ,whenever we heard the blowing whistle from the train. After a monotonous, boring walk for almost  five hours, we reached Dudhsagar railway station. We all were tired, not physically by any chance. It was just due to the irritation I guess and we all were like "Why the hell we are doing this Trek???". But what was in store us was !!!!!!!!!!!!!
 When is saw Dudhsagar Falls!!!!!
It was a fifteen minutes walk from Dudhsagar railway station to the falls. We had to cross a small tunnel and then came the mesmerizing view of monster, gorgeous, spectacular Dudhsagar falls. Words will never be enough to describe this falls. A falls falling from almost 300 meters and which is the 5th tallest waterfalls in India. It gives us an illusion that milk is falling from 300 meters. I couldn't stop staring at the falls for a long time as soon as I went there. I even forgot that I had an SLR camera at one stage. Even the view is limited, you will enjoy whatever you see. Time passed like a storm and we never bothered to speak to each other for some time. I just sat just opposite to the falls for almost half an hour with my camera without even clicking once. It was time for me to enjoy the simplistic beauty of genius GOD's creation.
Where we camped???
Just opposite to the falls there is a small view point. We just put our tents and we were all set to spend a night in front of Dudhsagar falls.
Anything special to do next day morning???
Yes. A further walk on the tracks will lead us to a perfect view point. It's so perfect that you can see both the top and bottom half of the falls with the Railway Bridge as well. A train moving on the track will be an icing on the cake. Just don't dare to miss this View point by any chance.
How to return???
There are many ways to return to Bangalore from Dudhsagar falls. If you could get the tickets from Londa to Bangalore in some train that should be perfect. In that case you can catch a goods train or some passenger from Dudhsagar railway station to Londa. Then catch your train and reach Bangalore. But unfortunately we didn't get the return tickets to Bangalore. So we booked the tickets in KSRTC Bus from Hubli to Bangalore. We took a train to Collem(Goa state) from Dudhsagar railway station and we took a bus from Collem to Hubli. The frequency of buses from Collem to Hubli is very good. From Hubli, it was normal travel to Bangalore.
What's the Impression???
Wonderful, memorable and eye pleasing trek it was. Other than Dudhsagar falls, the small falls on the way and near the Dudhsagar falls makes this trek more interesting. This trek can be done by everyone and if you have a good Photographer in your group, don't forget to ask him to take a Candid Photograph of yours as soon as you see the Dudhsagar falls. I am sure that photo will be with you for your life time. What are you waiting for??? Go to IRTC and book your tickets to Londa as quickly as possible. You have wasted lots of time reading this. It's now time for you to Watch Dudhsagar falls. Its calling you :) Have a pleasant Trek and a memorable experience too.
 As always some memories from the trek. For me Photos are the ones which tells me whether the Trek was memorable or not. Here are few Photos shot during the trek, from my DSLR. Enjoy maaDi.

During the Train Journey

A Smiling Kid

 Fast and Furious Journey

One Rainy Morning in Londa Railway Station

Lonely Stranger in Londa Railway Station

Kid Waiting for the Train to Move

On a Foggy Morning, on the way to Dudhsagar Falls

Train Coming out of One of the Tunnels

A Small Falls On the Way

 The mesmerizing Dudhsagar Falls

 The Perfect View

And Finally The Gang

Monday, January 21, 2013

Trek to Muktihole Falls and then a View of Honnavara Beach or Sharavati Beach

It had been a while we all did a trek and camped in a Raw Jungle. With all the treks in the Charmudi Ghats banned due to some reason, it was time for us to explore a different place. I had been to this place called hirebailu village, which is approximately 30 Kms from Honnavara an year ago. I with 5 friends went to this place hoping that we would get a guide to show us the path to Muktihole Falls. But unfortunately due to some religious festival in that village we didn't get any guide that day and we had to return without completing the trek. They even didn't allow us to go on our own as they told that the forest is very dense and there is no marked path for us to go. They just said one sentence. "Sir the Mountain will Eat You. So please don't go".  This was an year back and this time with my close friends, I decided to do the trek and contacted Mahadeva Nayak, who is a famous Yakshagaana artist. We spoke with his son Ishwar and he assured us that this time he will arrange a guide for us and finally our trek was on.
How we reached there?

Take a Bangalore- Honnavara Bus. Almost a 10 hour journey. KSRTC is preferable but many good private Buses are also available. Alight at a place called hadimbala bridge, which is approximately 10 Kms before Honnavara. You can have your breakfast at this place. We had hot and delicious Idli-Sambhar at Shri Hanuman Hotel. You have to take a right turn there which is the path to reach Hirebailu. There is a Bus from that cross to Hirebailu, which comes at 8 am. You can either wait here or start walking towards Hirebailu. The bus comes in the same path and you need not have to worry about missing the bus. It takes some 40 minutes for the bus to reach Hirebailu. Then we went to Mahadeva Nayak's house and freshened up there. As promised he had already arranged a guide for us. His name was Naveen and then we seven, started towards Muktihole falls.

Terrain!!! How it was???
It was ascending all the way. A walk in the Jungle will always be fun. After a walk for almost two hours, we had to take a right, which is impossible to spot ourselves. There is an arrow indicating the right deviation on a tree but as I heard its where people get lost during the trek and never see Muktihole. As soon as you take a right be prepared for a steep descent for almost 30 minutes. After this descent, we reached a stream where we had our Lunch. Just besides the stream you can put your tents if in case you are planning to camp. After Lunch, we again started our trek and it was monotonous walk for almost 2 hours crossing the streams from left to right and vice versa. Be careful while Walking on the rocks as it was too slippery and any minor slips could lead to major sprains. After two hours of continuous sweating, we finally reached Beautiful Muktihole Falls. Many, ask us why do you guys do all these treks and climb mountains. We just tell them that "We just love to Trek because we always have the hope that  we will see something new and will be able to learn something new about nature in each and every trek. This hope is what drives and takes us to all these places". Muktihole also didn't disappoint us from offering its own variety. After spending an hour in front of the falls we started our trek back to the place where we decided to put tents. One sad part was that we couldn't play in the falls as it was too steep to swim near the falls. After almost two hours of walk we put our tents and campfire. Everyone were tired and after dinner(Special Bread toast and Chapati with Jam and sauce) we all slept hoping that we will wake up next morning.

And the Next Morning!!!
Oh ya. We woke up without any problem. Most of us had a pleasant sleep and we all played in water for some time. Then it was time for us, to pack our bags and start our return journey. It was almost 45 minutes of steep climb which was really tiring. Then a walk for almost 2 hours will again lead you to Mahadeva Nayak's house and we bid adieu to our friend and guide Naveen. There is a small river flowing just behind Mahadeva Nayak's house and we all enjoyed our time there and finally it was time for us to go back to Honnavara.
How to reach Honnavara???
There is a bus at 3 PM which leaves from Mahadeva Nayak's house that is Hirebailu. The bus before this, leaves at 9.30 am. Based on the time that you want to reach Honnavara, plan your trek accordingly. It takes almost an hour to reach Honnavara from Hirebailu. Maruthi Omni will be available all the time and they will drop you to Honnavara whenever you want.

What's in Store for you in Honnavara???
It's always a dream to do a difficult trek, play in water to forget all the strains and sprains and then a Beach to forget everything and enjoy the Sunset watching the waves hitting the shore hard and pleasant. Yes all these are possible during this trek and as soon as you head back  to Honnavara, catch an auto rickshaw and ask him to take you to Sharavati Beach or Honnavara Beach which is some 4 KMS from the Honnavara bus stand. It's one the most cleanest and pleasant beach that I have seen in Karnataka. Enjoy the beautiful Sun changing its color from harsh yellow to beautiful Orange and when he calls it a day it was time for us to have dinner(Vegetarians can take Khamath Executive or Shivsagar and Non Vegetarian freaks can take PramiLa or Samrat) and board our buses for a return journey to Bangalore.

Whom to Contact???
Mahadeva Nayak- +919343971471

What's My Impression on the Trek???
One of the best and toughest treks that I had ever been in Karnataka. It tests both physical and mental toughness. First timers please don't do this. The only reason why I say this is you will never feel like going to other beautiful and simple treks, if you face so many difficulties in your first trek. Anyways all the best and have a great trekking experience.

A Trip without Photos is never the same. Here are few memories from our wonderful trek.

A Beautiful Cat in Mahadeva Nayak's House.

 Naveen, Our Guide

 A View On the Way

 A Small Stream just before Muktihole Falls

 Muktihole Falls

A View of our Camp Site
 Honnavara Beach or Sharavati Beach

 Honnavara Beach during Sunset

 Jumping in Joy

 A Fishing Boat during Sunset

A Crab that I saw