“Quick, you’ve got 30 minutes to freshen-up, have some evening snacks. You’ll be on time to reach Kyatanamakki to witness the sunset in time”, announced our host. It was an order almost than an announcement from them. It was almost five in the evening by the time we reached our home-stay near Kalasa. After driving for more than 250 kilometers on the twisty roads of western ghats along with visits to Kukke Subrahmanya and Dharmasthala, all I needed was a quick snack and a cozy bed to retire for the day. While the tired body was reluctant, the mind started its games – “You’ve come all the way here, why miss the chance?”, “Don’t know when it will be our next visit to this region next” etc. The Neer-dose and the joni-bella filled much needed energy for us. And just when I was about to enter our car, we were in for a surprise – “you need a jeep to get there, you can’t take your car”. That should have sent an alarming bell to my brain, but I ignored!
The journey on the 4-wheel drive jeep started – the first 6-7 KMs was on a proper tarred road. After passing the Horanadu Annapoorneshwari temple (temple visit was reserved for next day), the bumpy ride started – calling that a bone-rattling ride is an understatement. There was no point in being seated in the jeep, we were kept thrown in all directions. The bumpy jeep reminded me of the adventurous bike ride to the top of Herur hills. But that ride was a distant second and not even close to this roller-coaster. While we adults were struggling to sit tight, for kids (my daughter and niece) it became a joyride. They thought we were playing passing the ball and them being the balls. After what felt like eternity, the road (if one can call it a road) became smoother much to our relief, and we reached the Kyatanamakki sunset point or also called as Mugilpete / Mugilupete because of few Kannada movies shot here.
The beautiful view and the breeze made us forget the jolting ride. The beautiful western ghats range was in front of us, and we were in time to witness the daily magic by the Sun god. After clicking some photos around, we settled in once as the Sun started to hide behind the mountains. With all eyes towards the west, we sat down, soaking in the mild sun rays. ‘I’m hungry’ announced my daughter – priorities, you see! Luckily, our hosts were courteous to pack us some fruits and snacks, otherwise our sunset plan would’ve got cut short.
The drama unfolding in front of us made us speechless and were at loss for words. Though a daily routine, it makes us wonder how we have lost in our jostling everyday life, living a rat’s race. Within a few minutes, the Sun went hiding behind the mountains, and it was time for us to get back from Kyatanamakki – back to the inescapable race. The happy thoughts of witnessing the sunset somewhat made the bumpy ride a bit less uncomfortable. Within an hour we reached the home-stay and I lost count how many times I thanked the hosts for forcing us to go to the sunset point.