Saturday, February 23, 2013

Glorious Dabbe Falls & Kanoor Kote (Around Sharavathi Valley) - 23 & 24th Feb 2013

This is one of the most memorable trekking event in my life.  Its involved a lot of preparations, lot of commitments and challenging of the event.  It’s most memorable because; this is the maiden two days event with Bangalore Ascenders (BASC), a challenging long trek in dense forest around 30-35 km in two days, my two other close friends (Sudhakar & Chandrakanth (CK)) were part of this trek and glorious unforgettable experience at Dabbe Falls and Kanoor Kote (Fort).
I would like to personally thank to each one of the 18 friends (co-trekkers) who were with me and also very co-operative at each of the moment during the trek. Sharing the foods, clicking the solo photographs as and when requested, mutually understanding the pace of trek.  Special thanks to Raveendra (Event organizer) who given opportunity to not only me and also my other two friends who were part of this event and trusted on our confident to complete the trek.  Karthik who was co-volunteer with me for food preparations. How shall I forget the Chandru (HR) who was keen and could able to get permission from the Forest Department.
The beauty of BASC is, while going to trek you will be alone and when you join the event become too many friends.  It was not different compare to my earlier three events with BASC.  I could able to make new 16 new friends.  I had been waiting to get opportunity for two days event with BASC, unfortunately I had been waiting list for two events and one is postponed due to forest permission issues.  After seeing my name along with my two idiot friends felt so happy and from that point of time my preparation went on….
We all three were so excited and eagerly waiting for 22nd February, 2013 night.  Being an volunteer for food preparation  along with Karthik, purchased grocery and arranged vessels for cooking the dinner on 23rd Feb night.
Along with CK reached the BASC assembly point Shanthala Silk at 9.20pm.  There were already gathered most of the friends.  Sudhakar was joining us at Yeshwanthpura which informed to Raveendra well in advance and I have taken the responsibility to align him in-time.  We all filled the indemnity bond.  Vehicle left Shanthala Silk at 10pm as per schedule and Sudhakar joined us around 10.30 pm.
Introduction of the members was most interesting and informative.  Everyone need to self introduce with previous trekking experiences.  Most of the friends trekked every corner of nation with different groups.  It took almost two hours to complete the introduction of 19 members. While finishing the time we reached a Dhaba near Tipatur where we took a small break.  After the break everyone went to deep sleep and my mind was around Dabble & Kanoor  Forte challenges…..
23rd February 2013 – Day 1
It was around 5.00 am, bus was stopped at Mavinagundi, which is just 5km away from Jog falls.  Driver suggested to have the breakfast and get the parcel of lunch.  We finished our morning duties at public toilet one by one. Around 7 am the breakfast Idly and Parotha ready and packed the Chitranna for Lunch.  Finished the breakfast and left towards Hosagadde the starting point of trek. 

Hosagadde - Starting point of Trek

Raveendra briefly explained about the today journey. Plan was to start the trek from a village Hosagadde which is on Kargal-Bhatkal highway route,  visit to Dabbe falls, Kanoor kote en-route and finish up at Gerusoppe, the village on the bank of Sharavathi river. The journey is to cover 30-35 kms through paddy fields, lush green meadows, dense tropical forests while crossing innumerable streams.

The initial path around 1-2 km was jeep track and later entered in Jungle.  Whole path we get enough of water resources, small streams and tree shades.  Almost two hours took to reach Gaudara Mane which is the welcome place for trekkers who want to visit Dabble Falls. 

Gaudara Mane - Near Dabbe Falls

Welcomed by Lady and offered cold water and asked us to enter the names in their book of records.  Understood that it’s mandatory to enter every visitor in the book as per Govt. instructions.  We unloaded our backpacks and took a lunch packets and proceeded to view the glory of Dabble falls.  After 100 mtr of walk the real steep almost 80-85 degree angle starts.  It was really challenging to everyone and required more stamina to enjoy the falls.  Holding the trees branches each one of us slowly started to descend the steep. 

Steep Valley of Dabble Falls

At last we ended up deep valley where we can't process further. A rope was required to get down into valley to reach the falls. However we could able to find the other path which was manageable without a rope.  Everyone forgot the tiredness by seeing the falls. The first view of the huge waterfalls made us all to scream with joy.  It was a great view and lucky to see any waterfalls in its glory time. 

Dabbe Falls

Reaching the falls base was more tougher. We all enjoyed the falls sitting under and enjoying the natural body massage.

Now the time to fill up our empty stomach. We had yummy Chitranna. The ascend was more tougher but we managed to finish quicker than expected. While ascending the terrain, one of our co-trekker (Anita) got injured badly.  Treated with First Aid and sent her back to Bengaluru with friend.  Now our team size was reduced to 17 and headed towards to Kanoor village. 
It is informed that we need to walk almost 10km from this place. Narayanappa, a farmer showed the till his home and gave further direction to reach Kanoor village.  He offered tasty chilled water and we all got relaxed sometime at his home. Taking small breaks in between, we continued our long journey.  Added to this we were crossed many peaks which offered a beautiful view of valley, the cultivated land and forest. We continued the trek passing many more paddy fields, forests and hillocks.

At last around 4:30 pm we reached Kanoor village.  Initially it was the plan for night camping at Kanoor Govt. School whereas few of friends insisted to walk further since we had enough of time.  Mean time few of us went into village to find out the distance and probability of night camp.  Luckily we got a guide Somaya who got ready to take us to the Kote. The friends were made mind to relax at the Kanoor, but considering tomorrow long journey everyone got ready within 5 minutes and headed towards Kote.

Kanoor Govt. School

 As per somaya, fort distance is around 10-12 km and we need to cover 4-5km today before to reach night camp. 
We reached the pre-defined night stay Doctor House at 8.30 pm but unfortunately the owner was out of station.  Guide told us to stay outside and start preparation of dinner.  The place was not so convenient for night camp as we need to struggle for water, wood, accommodation for 17 members.  By grace of god we could able to accommodate the house of Ramanna. 

Ramanna House

Malenaadu (Western ghat) people are so kind heart and warm welcome to everyone who comes to their contact.  We had very hearty welcome by Ramanna family.  They offered hot water to get fresh to our friends who tiered by continuous 12 hours trekking from morning 8.30 am to 8.30 pm. Since am the core committee member of food preparation, started to gather all utensils and groceries. I should appreciate Shanti Prasad, Karthik and other friends who were played major role for preparation of food.  We prepared hot soup and rice for Puliyogare.  Karthik brought home made Puliyogare paste.  Everyone had delicious dinner and went into deep sleep.
24th February 2013 – Day 2
We woke up around 6.00 am and got ready to leave to Kanoor Kote.  Once again our Shanti Prasad served so tasty coffee to all and few friends packed yesterday Puliyogare for lunch. We all took group photograph along with Ramanna family and said good bye to beloved hearts.

Getting Ready for 2nd Day Trek at Ramanna House

Somaya leaded towards Kanoor kote.  The journey continued in thick forest and everyone were in enthusiast. Within a short time we covered good distance.
We left Ramanna house around 7.30 am and reached the Kanoor kote by 8.45 am. We decided to explore the fort and then had take breakfast.  Somaya briefed the history about the fort.The golden days of the fort had over and for the last few centuries, forest has taken over the fort. History says that during its peak time, this fort was ruled by Queen Chennabhairadevi. She was more popularly known as “Pepper Queen” as she was exporting pepper to Europe. Keladi Nayaks who were in constant war with her kingdom were finally able to capture her. Later, she died in the prison sometime during 1606 AD. The fort was left deserted and forest took over.  But in the last decade, the fort witnessed “gold rush”. Many places in the fort were looted and destroyed in search of the gold that was rumored to be in the fort. The idols inside the Temple were taken out and the place of “Garba Gudi”, one can see only diggings. The remains of the fort and Temple are scattered everywhere.

Around 10.30 am we had breakfast and one more team joined us at Kanoor Fort.  Now the guide Somaya farewell time as he was accepted till this point of fort.  We all glad to him and said good bye and ahead towards Gerusoppe.  The guide instructed to go through the stream path till the end of the point.  The path to Gerusoppa (~12 km) was almost downhill hike through dense jungle. It was dried leaf path and did not take much time.  After few km walk in the dense jungle reached to Jeep track.  We took lunch at small stream and headed towards Gerusoppe.  Around 3.00 pm we reached the village. We have crossed the Sharavathi river taking a small boat to reach the opposite bank. 

Sharavathi River

We had good enough of time to enjoy in the Sharavathi river.  Everyone jumped into water had many breathing competition among the friends.  Few friends went into Sharavathi river jolly ride hiring the boat almost 2 km.
Understood by Raveendra that, our hired vehicle is at Gerusoppe forest check post.  I, Sudhakar and Chandru (HR) voluntarily walked around 3km to bring the vehicle.  By the time it was around 6.00 pm and everyone boarded the bus and said good bye to Sharavathi valley. 

Still the energy of friends was tremendous. We played Antakshari game in the Bus.  The journey was continued sharing our two days experiences.
We all become good friends in two days and promised each other to meet in next trek.

Wonderful Team

Picture Coutesy: Mari Muttu, Shanti Prasad, Chandrakanth