Around this time last year, I went on a weekend ride from Bhagamandala to Bekal fort along the green route of Western ghats. With rainy season around, we were in for a treat all along the ride. Here are few photos from the ride —
Green, rain and empty roads
Only fellow riders and mountains for the company
And water falls on the road side, and their ear soothing sound all along
More falls, small and big
Some more, and I lost count of the falls I saw on the way
After all the down hill road, it is not fair if we don’t have some climbing
Overcast and green at Bekal fort
A break on the banks of river Payaswini
A wobbly ride on hanging bridge across river Payaswini
Here is a short video I made while riding on the hanging bridge, check it out :)
As it happens with every trek, the initial excited talks and chit-chat had slowly died down. We had been trekking for more than an hour and the Sun was raising steadily. The long canopy provided us the much-needed shade along the trek. Narasimha Parvatha, that’s where we were hiking. Climbing from Mallandur (Agumbe side), our plan was to reach the Narasimha Parvatha peak, and then get down to Kigga on the other side (near Sringeri) the same day.
We had formed a beeline along the path, following the person in front. Only noise around were of rustling & crunching as we walked on the dry leaves and bird calls around us & someone among us trying to imitate once in a while. That’s when we heard the noise – water flowing in the wilderness. We were happy that we could take a break and spend some time by the stream. Within no time our guide was mobbed by us and there was only one demand – take us to the water. His response made us double happy as it was not just a stream, but a water fall. It was not just any water fall, but Barkana falls.
Barkana falls is one of the top ten water falls of India in terms of heights. It is even bigger than the mighty Jog falls by 20 feet with a total height of 850 feet or 259 meters. Our speed doubled, excitement grew as the sound of water increased as we neared the falls. Out of blue appeared a stream flowing below the green canopy. We were confused as there was no waterfalls but just a stream. Our guide understood our confusion and pointed towards the far end which looked like a big window giving view to the mountains on the other side. We were more confused and it took us some more time to realise that we were on top of the Barkana falls and not the base. We hopped over the stones, waded along the water to reach the cliff and a beautiful view which words cannot describe welcomed us. It was overwhelming that we were standing on top of one of the top ten waterfalls in India and the view down was dizzying and certainly it’s not the place for the people with acrophobia.
Though I’ve visited Jog falls and enjoyed the view from the top of the falls, view from top of Barkana falls beats the view from Jog falls hands down. The access to the view from top of Barkana falls is along the stream where the green canopy gives very small window to enjoy the view. Probably this different point of view makes the view much more special. After spending an hour or so, a quick-lunch and a bit of resting, we reluctantly started from the place. Now that I’ve had a view from the top of Barkana, next visit is to get a glimpse and possibly a dip under the same awesome water fall.
I went on a trek after a long time, back to the beautiful western ghats. It was good to be back to the mountains after a long break. Though I have trekked in quite a few mountains of Western ghats, Narasimha parvatha was totally different. Almost three foourth of the hiking was in the shade below the giant trees and then we were let out into the bald grass lands and the blue sky. Here are few of those shots.
It’s been couple of days since I came back from a weekend ride in Coorg region, arranged by Cycling and More. An awesome ride up the Mandalapatti peak on day one covering around 45KMs and another 35 on day two all the way till Chikli hole dam near Kushalanagar. Here are some highlights before I come up with the detailed story -
- Full day of riding in rain (it was as if riding the bike with shower on above the helmet)
- Mist, mist and mist – everywhere
- Eye pleasing greenery of Western ghats, when mist gave way for few seconds every now and then
- Demanding climb up the Mandalapatti hill
- Awesome rolling terrain – push the bike uphill, sit on the saddle and ‘Wheeee’ go down with glee like a kid. Repeat the cycle.
- Slush-fest – it took me more than 30 minutes to clean my white shoes. But it is not white anymore.
- Leech bites, non-stop bleeding and now a day after itching all over
- Made new friends, met a college batchmate after 10 years
- A long downhill of 10KMs of pure bliss on second day
- And to top this off, a dip in Chikli hole dam :)