Dr Manjunath Chalawadi
It has always been the case with me to keep even some important things to be completed at the eleventh hour. So still not sure whether I will get my insurance renewed. We (me and my colleague, rohith) left our abodes (sweet city of Pondicherry) for the planned one week trip. Fortunately insurance was ready when I wanted, which was one last problem troubling me. We were already two hours late from our scheduled departure. It was around 6.30 pm when we left Pondy to Bangalore. After losing the planned route we struggled with bad roads and pelting rain to reach Bangalore at 3.00 am. After moderate rest Guru, and Kumar joined the entourage heading towards Belgaum, which was the first desination. Bharath joined on the way. We picked up another friend, Bharath, from Davanagere.
|The Gang of Harapanahalli (I am the cameraman... so, the special effect!)|
It was around eleven when we reached Belgaum. The prior phone booked hotel turned out to be a mossy and stinked of last day’s alcohol party. So after trying couple of other hotels, we got decent stay. We started our day with Belgaum special Kunda and ramdev hotels Ravadosa. After a sumptuous breakfast we left to sundi waterfalls. My experience from kerala trip had me ready to trek at least one km either upwards or downwards. We reached the parking spot and in on time we were near the falls. Well, i said, this is how a falls should be, a No trekking falls.
Sundi water falls: size wise it’s not huge, but it’s beautiful. As we looked upwards the lump of water was being sprayed into thousands of pearly drops. And it was so pristine you could follow a drop of water from top to all the way down and actually catch it. Our usual antics took over so we took photographs in all sorts of awkward poses and made some videos dancing in tribal style. When we finally decided to leave it was almost evening.
The initial plan was to keep shifting to next location and stay overnight, so that we can start sightseeing early in the morning. Because we were unsure of getting accommodation in Amboli (second destination in Maharashtra), we decided to stay in Belgaum. We had all evening for ourselves, so we went shopping (John players 50% flat sale!!) and for dinner it was famous paobhaji and vadapao, a must in Belgaum.
It was ten in the morning by the time we left Belgaum to Amboli after another round of Kunda consumption. The road was not all that good and upon that in the ghat section. When we saw lots of vehicles parked at one spot, we assumed that it must be worthwhile. We first saw just a benighnstream and for a change bathed in the cold water of stream. Wandering guru, who had contracted cold, informed us that the stream is leading to a tall waterfalls and to be careful. We couldn’t have imagined. Little ahead when we went to see the falls, I realized having seen it in websites, it was more beautiful than what they had describe. Next, we carried on towards main Amboli waterfalls and on the way we had severe traffic jam. Except guru, who was driving, we served as temporary traffic police. I felt really pleased, when one well-dressed gentleman (i was in lungi) was pleading to help him to take his car out from the side parking. It started raining heavily as we approached the falls. We parked a little distance from falls and in my typical style I just wore lungi and along with more decently dressed friends, started walking towards falls. Two guys looking like security men, stopped only me asking me to put on a shirt as there are women present. Ok, I thought, so what I am not here to rape anybody, but I had learned better and I said clothes are in car which is a little far. With a little more aggression he said “then go to car, wear and come”. I dint know that my dark colored body, beard and gold chain could be an adavantage. His fellow guard saved my effort by convincing him. His words were “Chod nayaar, madarasi hai (Leave him dude, he looks like a tamilian)”. I laughed (inside). Again this was huge water falls, just by the roadside, with neatly laid out concrete steps by the side to reach the middle of falls. Apart from that irritating screams of nearby public, the falls was beautifully refreshing even in the heavy rain. When we were satisfied with the natural massage of gushing water, we were desperately looking for hot chai and got one.
Again it was evening time, we left for Gokak and reached around ten. We were fortunate to get the so called cheap and best accommodation near bus stand. We were happy to be dry after being wet for almost all of the last two days.
First location for morning was the great Gokak falls. Even though the location is superb, they had not released the water from the proximal Hidkal dam. So we enjoyed the emptiness of nature and the neatness of British architechture, who had built the power house.
Next was Godchanmalki falls. Our spirits were down after gokak falls, but when we reached godchanmalki falls, our faces lit and soon we ran down to the rocky banks from where you can get a beautiful view of a powerful waterfalls and also enjoy a good swim (risky though, currents were strong). Godchanmalki unlike gokak falls is by Malaprabha River and not a very tall one either. But wide and huge, one of the most powerful I have ever seen. We enjoyed a good swim and a little bit more of photo session and we returned back. We did some more shopping and didn’t forget to eat the local speciality “kardantu”. Again there was change of plan. We were to leave for bijapur the same night
but stayed and we had
brilliant idea of watching a movie and guess which movie!! We went to none
other than Singham returns.We all felt that we could do a better job at film
making than rohith Shetty. We were all inflamed by the time movie ended. The
day was over like that.
To be continued