Dudhsagar Hiking: 28th & 29th June, 2014

Group photo at Dudhsagar Water Falls

K R Puram Railway Station - 27/06/2014

A bearded boy in his early twenties wearing a blue colored "Bangalore Hikers" T-shirt, carrying an A4 sheet was roaming in the scarcely lit platform of Krishanraj Puram Railway Station. It was me carrying the Indemnity cum Undertaking form for the participants to sign. One by one I went to the sparsely standing participants for their signatures and to my surprise they complied without any question.
It was around 8:00pm, when our train "Chennai-Vasco" arrived. Total 12 (Prakash, Kaushik, Anurag, Merryl, Aarti, Santosh, Raunak, Himanshu, Amritendu, Shruthi, Shweta and Ankit) boarded the train. Surya and Raghavendra joined us at Yeshwantpur Railway Station. After playing a few rounds of Dumb-Chirades and later, stuffing myself with Roti and Paneer-Manchurian (Thanks to Amritendu or rather his wife), I dozed off listening to the monotonous chuk chuk of the train.

Castle Rock  -  28/06/2014 

Castlerock railway station

The train reached Castle Rock station at 9:30am. After distributing the day-packs to the participants, Santosh briefed them about the terrain, basic trekking rules, No-littering etc. Then, we started marching with me as the guide, Santosh as trek leader and Anurag as our sweeper.
The moment we crossed the Castle Rock town we encountered a closed check-post. On inquiring, the guard informed that the Kuveshi Village is situated inside the Dandeli-forest and is out of bounds for the foreigners. We interacted with the locals and tried to find out an alternative path but nothing materialized. We were compelled to take the Railway Track path.
It was a long flat 16 KM track with stones galore. In such a terrain the choice of shoes is important: with thick-soled & ankle-length shoes, it is easy to walk on the stones but with floaters or thin-soled shoes, one is on the mercy of evenly spaced perpendicular wooden planks. I was wearing a pair of floaters so I concentrated on the planks while walking. It was a pity, being surrounded by a lush green forest but not able to appreciate it.

Small water falls on the way to Dudhsagar Water Falls
The place was 500m from where we cooked our food.

We walked in the enervating heat with a limited supply of water. The streams were all dried up. The tunnels provided relief but we had to rush through them to avoid contact with the train inside. Finally, we found a stream of water. We lit the fire and cooked our lunch. With full stomach and loaded water bottles we started moving again.

Preparing lunch near one tunnel
Lunch site before Tunnel-4. While Santosh, Surya and Ragu were struggling to light the fire, I was enjoying a natural fish spa.

We encountered a trekker who came with Hyderabad Trekking Club. He informed us that other clubs with around 30-40 members were on their way to Doodhsagar falls. It started a race to conquer the limited camping space available beside the falls and to my luck(obviously bad), I was at the forefront.
We reached the falls before the Hyderabadi Troops (Yay!). The falls were a let-down. "Not enough water", I thought and ignored it. I set-up a few tents and sat there while waiting for others to join.

Dudhsagar Water Falls, not much water in last week of June
Doodhsagar Falls! and as mentioned earlier "Not Enough Water".

There was nothing good about the Railway track or the falls; it was a wasted day, walking with your heads down while keeping your eyes on the track which is laid down in a desiccated land. An aching back and soaring feet pain were the rewards of the so-called playful wandering into the nature. Yes, I was disappointed.

Camping site beside Dudhsagar Water Falls
Camping Site beside Doodhsagar Falls. Santosh was looking after our bags/tents as we were enjoying at the pool.

"Hey, there is a pool below the falls, we can go there for a refreshing bath", spake Santosh. I took my shorts and ran to the pool. After a descent of 15 minutes, I reached the edge of the pool.
The vigor, euphony and coldness of the wild stream unleashed my dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline. It was therapeutic. The aching muscles no longer bothered me. Anurag found a spot which served as a bottleneck to the stream flow; As I stood there, I was exhilarated when hit by the concentrated rage of the stream.
Soon, when the sun hid behind sky-scraping hill we climbed back to our camp site, devoured the cup noodles and slept in the open.

Doodhsagar Falls—29/06/2014 

The pool underneath the Dudhsagar Water Falls The entrance of Dudhsagar Water Falls from Jeep trail

The hangover of the last day's bath was still there. As soon as we woke up, we packed our bags and rushed to the pool. This time Santosh showed us a better place. I dived into the vast pool; the roar of the water as it dropped into the chasm invigorated me. We stood/swam below the falling water drops; it was a beautiful moment.

Water stream of Dudhsagar Water Falls

We had to cross the river twice on our way to Kulem through the Jeep trail. After spending some time on the pool we started moving again. This time, we followed a jeep trail which was surrounded by a dense forest. The trail snaked through the forest crossing the river twice. Dozens of flies accompanied us as we moved through the forest. The sun's might was shadowed by the overgrown trees. In that tranquil moment it was me, my thoughts and aperiodic chatter of birds. The trail lasted for 8KMs.
After that, we went back to Railway Track. En-route to Kulem, we found a stream beside the track. I sat on the rock with my feet inside the cold water; it was relaxing. The fierce and untamed nature of the stream took over my senses and I jumped into the water with my clothes still on. It was a bliss, drifting away with the current. We spent around 1 hour into the rapids after which we left for the Kulem. In less than 20mins we reached the Kulem Railway Station.

The natural jakuzi en-route to Kulem railway station

The Natural Jakuzi (Left side of the Railway Track enroute to Kulem) Ravenous, we ate our lunch quickly. The train was late by 2 hours. The game of Antakshiri (It was the battle of Kulem where Sweta and Santosh’s Army fought against the joint armies of Ankit, Anurag, Ronak and Aarti. The later employed all sorts of chicanery(from Yo-Yo Honey Singh to Ho-Ho Honey Singh) and won the battle but the former(especially Sweta) rose to greatness for her consummate skills) and rounds of Mafia were good time-pass.
Finally, we boarded the train as soon as it arrived. He had dinner at Londa(Self-sponsored) and soon slept under the influence of Sandman’s magic sand.

Bangalore - 30/06/2014

The journey came to an end. 80% of it was disappointing, the rest 20% consisted the moments of unprecedented joy. I may forget the first part soon but it is very hard to abandon the later.

Written by: Ankit Jain
Event date: 28th & 29th June, 2014
Place: Dudhsagar
No. of hikers: 14 (10 M, 04 F)
Participants: Ankit, Surya, Ragu, Shewta, Shruti, Amritendu, Kaushik, Raunak, Anurag, Prakash, Himanshu, Merryl and Aarti.
Event Organizer: Santosh Kumar Gupta
Photos of the event: Check here
Photo Courtesy: Amritendu Das & Aarti
Ankit's main blog: Dudhsagar Hiking


Post a Comment