Wednesday, August 19, 2009
this might sound like yet another post on travel experience but it certainly takes a special place in my heart, something that i'll cherish about for years to come.Now that it has made such an impact on me, i thought i shall capture few of its fond memories carefully and place it in secure servers of this site for me to recall them over and over again.
so here i was in the mystically thick, green terrains of western ghats, a small chunk of which occurs between the borders of karnataka and goa. the place is called dudh sagar precisely because here is a very splendid waterfall that plunges from a height of around 310m and so it appears like milk when it wades its way through the rocks pouncing on them every second. the place stands at an altitude of 512m to the sea level. from here the water flows further down and i'm supposed to been told that it joins the sea in Goa.the place is partially cut off from the land as there are no roads leading to the falls. the nearest motorable road is kulem from where one has to either trek a distance of 10kms to dudh sagar or take a jeep trail which at monsoon times becomes unavailable due to rains, however rail routes comes as an easiest option to people traveling to dudh sagar. the tracks are well laid out and the train pushes its way through the heart of the falls giving a full glimpse of the raging falls. the bridge that cut across the falls is an engineering marvel , it adds to the beauty of the falls in a big way and is said to be over a century old, it has clearly stood testimony to the quality of construction carried out at those days. the railway line is said to have existed from a long time under the name of portugese railways as goa untill the 1960's was a Portuguese territory. anyways lets not branch off from here let me get back straight to our trekking expedition.
we left Bangalore by 9.40PM on friday , on august the 14th. the Chennai-Vasco express chugged along effortlessly and in time as we got on to our compartments
and trying to introduce ourselves as many of us were new to each other . we were 19 people in all me in particular was a total stranger to the rest of the gang. the sleeping bags and mats were sorted out and our berths identified and soon it was bed time for many of us. hey wait how can i miss out on mentioning madhukar here. he and his friends have been the brainchild behind all the planning , scheduling , executing the trip, again it was he who had let me join the trip as one of his friends had dropped out ,i was in with a sort of a wild card entry , anyways i am more than glad i made it. the food(which was more like the MTR menu card on the table), the tents , sleeping bags, and even the Indian flag which we hoisted the following day was so perfectly planned)
Day 2(august 15th) started as early as 6 with train reaching the hubli station and from there on plains started opening up. the green country side which were mostly untouched started showing up. the characteristic curved tracks gave a beautiful view of the train engine .the bogies that were arranged in a semi circular fashion were worth a click.soon we were in londa and further in castle rock in no time. from here on the train started descending the western ghats to reach goa that lies at the sea level. sitting on the train doors shall give one ample view of the beautiful mountains that lay side by side covered in green. the train covers many tunnels here many of them as long as 500m. water seeps through these tunnels forming droplets which are really beautiful to see. soon dudh sagar arrived and after some quick shots of the waterfall for the first time we got on to the doors waiting for kulem to arrive with all our bags all set to trek all the way back to dudh sagar on foot along the railway track.
after getting down at kulem the food packets were sorted out . then followed the program of flag hoisting as it was the independence day and some photo sessions followed by the national anthem. the anthem was played and we all stood in silence until it finished. i felt it that we needed to sing it really loud and proud like the good old schooling days. anyways after the national anthem chocolates were distributed and we were walking towards dudh sagar in no time. i was totally stunned seeing huge trekking bags on everybody's back fully robust and huge that carried quite a lot of stuff while in my case my poor Nike college bag that had never seen a weight of more than 2 books all throughout the 4 years of engineering was overly stuffed. it was evident that i was carrying the lightest luggage.
the trek uphill along the tracks covers a total of 10 kms until dudh sagar. the weather was highly volatile in terms of rain pouring every now and then. while most of the gang had a poncho to protect them my 3 fold umbrella was all that i had. it had really saved the day for me by protecting my bag from getting wet in rain. the trek was fun with numerous ponds and tunnels along the way. half the number of people were left behind walking slowly exploring too many things on the way while the rest half managed to march ahead of them. we waited for them at exactly half way through. so once they were there the trek resumed. on the way we stopped by for a brief lunch break with some chapathi, Rottis with MTR subjis . this followed some monkey business sathya especially shares a special bond for animals so monkeys got a chance to be nicely fed with breads. Marching ahead it was 3 odd and we had reached around 8 kms . this is when dudh sagar started appearing to us in full fledged at a distance from the view point. after taking some snaps we settled down at a nearby small waterfall that had exactly everything it took have a fun filled bath which was refreshingly fresh.
later moving on we covered the remaining distance and finally landed up at dudh sagar. There lie in front us the mighty waterfall. we were standing exactly at the center of the bridge the waterfall all around us. small droplets rising all above in the air covering the area like a mist. everyone had enough of photo sessions some like me wanted to be shot with shades on/off while some wanted photos jumping in the air while some sitting on the wall of the bridge, some wanted to splash water on each other while others were happy just standing and posing. again madhukar was kind enough to adhere to the demands of all of us and took enough snaps. time flew unnoticed admiring the gigantic presence of the falls and soon it was dark. the gang had already pitched in tents and we had dinner with the MTR menu that had arrived to doodh sagar in our bags. it was calm, cool, no rains to our luck. probably candle lights were the only one missing in the dinner and they had been replaced with torches. after dinner was a lot of fun filled activity with each other posing questions to everyone of us. no one was spared
lemme recall some of the light moments here , i hope people would'nt mind if i did
1. the ragging incident of madhu kutti
2. prasanna's part time tcs job and full time adventure activity.
3. 11 proposals that came in madhugopal's way and sadly all got rejected the only one that was on hold also having been eventually rejected.
4. madhu kutti spotting jaggu in ladies section of eva mall( this was funn)
5. tracking genius madhugopal's own car having got stolen.
6. the crush tales revolving around sathya, harish and the PMO( divya i suppose).
7. ragavendran having moved to bangalore for reason that bangalore is near to western ghats.( i never knew this fact)
8.Peter's hobbies which included drinking
for the rest of the people including me i'm not quite able to recollect, would be glad if people were to pitch in.
soon it was bed time, some of them stayed awake for longer while the rest got into their tents. myself being new to tents found it a little hard to get sleep as it was too hot inside. anyways given the amount of activity we had done all day, falling sleep was just a matter of minutes. i used to get awakened in the nights whenever a train passed by ,often it used to be a goods train that used to pass by with more than 3 engines pushing it from the back the amount of sound these engines used to create was too loud and given the magnitude of the load that they push from one side and pull from the other side. often it is iron ore that these goods trains carry which finally reaches Marma goa port through vasco and ultimately lands in large ships to be exported. it is not surprising if indian railways makes thousands of crores of profit given the amount of revenue that is generated through the freight carriers.
day2 (august 16th sunday)
Day2 started by around 7 o clock with everyone headed for a stroll to dudh sagar railway station to enquire the availability of trains towards kulem. after conforming that there was a train at 11 o clock we headed back to our tents to start getting ready. breakfast was bread with jam/pickle/sauce and soon everyone were ready with their shoes on and we finally bid a grand good bye to dudh sagar after taking a few snapshots with the whole of the group. soon we were in kulem headed towards a river that flew nearby . this i feel was water coming from dudh sagar and other small springs from the mountains. after a refreshing bath, swim and few daring stunts by bishu, satya, madhu, madhugopal etc . it was lunch time. after having lunch with MTR menu which now sounded usuall we headed towards kulem station and soon we were on the train traveling back home.
the journey on train back to bangalore was again memorable in more ways than i could even think off . from playing cards to anthyakshari to dumb charades that werent restricted to just hindi or kannada and had movies with universal approach. playing these were whole lot of funn. me particularly being totally new to the trade learnt a whole of tricks playing them. here i need to thank the girls for being active participants. soon time flew and it was 12 in the midnight and was time to hit the beds.following morning the train reached bangalore late by an hour. so i needed to take the auto. even headed to the office after some reaching home and getting refreshed . what happened later is a totally different story about my dozing chapter in the office.
Now that the trip has ended all that remains is sweet memories of the falls and whole of pictures taken there. it couldnt have been what it was without the rest 18 people who were totally supportive. taking names of all you guys would mean a lot of effort so i just wanna thank you all once again for being a part of this 2 memorable days and hoping for more such treks in future
always truly yours