Thursday, September 11, 2008


I came through the community called "Bangalore Trekkers' where there was a thread related to Backpacking. As I badly wanted to get away from the Bangalore life for few days, this was a way.

Karthik who was planning for Dudhsagar trek in the month of August is the organizer of Nisarga. I included myself in this trek and went along with them.
Departure was on Friday night from the Yeshwantpur, Bangalore railway station. We crossed Tumkur, Hubli, Dharwad and at last reached Castle Rock station at around 10'clock the next morning i.e 9th of August.

We had upma in the station and started heading towards the DudhSagar Falls at around 10.30. Carrying the heavy backpack with the sleeping bags and tents, we started to move on the track. We came across so many streams, bridges, more than 10 tunnels. It was drizzling but not raining heavily. Walking and walking we were getting tired. Every now and then we used to take breaks, munch the bread or some tit bits, taking photos of wonderful scenery, streams and trains which were passing by, as well as wave to the people travelling in train. As we were completely exhausted we were waiting when we will reach our destination. We could hear Karthik saying still one more hour to go. But it passed more than 3 to 4 hours but still no DudhSagar turned up. We crossed Karnataka border and stepped into Goa.

At around 5.30 we stopped at one place where there was a small empty hut. Karthik prepared Spicy Beaten Rice mix. He served us all in a plate with pickle. We were so tired that we ate it completely. A passer by said that the falls is just around half an hour more. Everyone were too lazy too start the trek again but still we had to. We all started again with ufffs of sounds... Suddenly it started raining heavily that we couldnt walk any further. The DudSagar station was just around the corner. So we al ran there to take the shelter. The station was really a very small place. The station master said that the falls is just 10 mins from there and we need to cross the last tunnel there.. We also came to know that due to landslide the trains are not passing by. We dumped our bags in the railway station itself leaving few guys there as they were not feeling well to come along with us. It was already 6.30 by then. We took our cameras and started to walk again in the rain. We crossed the last tunnel.

We were just near to the falls that we could hear the voice. First we thought there must be some train coming so we moved away from the track and went on. But no train turned up instead we could hear the tremondous falls. We reached the falls at last! We were on the bridge which is basically where the train passes usually. We were all stuck up seeing the falls as it was a marvellous sight. The falls didnt look like a simple one. As the name itself it was like Dudh(Milk). We were completely wet now both due to rain as well as the falls. That doesnt mean that we stepped into the falls. We never did that. There was actually no way for us to go and enter the falls. It was the heavy breeze which made falls water pour out everywhere. There was a small house right next to the falls on the left side. And another on the right side which was a bit far ahead. We planned to spend our night there near the falls than in the railway station. So we went back to the station and got our bags. We again reached the same spot.

We went to the house to put up our tents and spend our night there. Unfortunately, the house was completely filled with water. We started getting worried about the perfect place to put up the tent. Then we went to the next one which was right side of the falls but across the bridge. It was more like a tree house. Guys started working to put the tents right. We all were completely tired by then and waiting to take rest. When the tents were put up we just went inside and never dared to come out as it was warm inside. Nobody was hungry or may be nobody wanted to be hungry. Just ate the remaining bread and dozed off. Not sure whether everybody slept coz I could hear many shouting and whimpering that their tents were flying due to heavy breeze. I was worried whether I myself would fly of.. Even the sheet which was put upon our tent flew and we got completely wet. We put it straight and again tried to sleep. This time we were not getting sleep coz we were completely wet. We could hear some engines passing by and a train passing by too. May be some of them came in my dreams.

Morning when I woke up I could hear shouts and yells asking us to wake up. We were frightened as whats happening. When we came out from our tents and saw the falls. We coudnt believe our eyes as of now the bridge was covered up completely by the falls. I had never seen such a heartbreaking falls. We were still wet and we had no idea what is going to happen the next moment. Few guys went to the station back to enquire about the available trains as they were no trains passing by due to the landslides. We had no idea whether we would reach Bangalore by Monday morning. Still, we were too exited to think about the later happenings. We were busy taking snaps. Preparing coffee. Eating the remaining tit bits. The guys returned back with the news that due to another landslide the trains are still delayed. Then came so many plans as of what to do next. Few ideas were like walk back to the castle rock and board a train from there. If not, go to the next station ahead and reach Goa. Though there were lots of ideas pouring out, we had not idea that what we are going to do.

Anyhow, we packed our bags and started moving ahead. Hoping to reach back to Bangalore the next day. We came across two more tunnels which were close by and then we saw many workers clearing the pathway of track. May be that was the place where the landslide ocurred though am not sure about it. We could see DudhSagar from that place in a better view. It was truely astonishing this time. After all this DudhSagar excitement over we started to think about our way back to Bangalore. In between the workers there was a guy from railway department with whom Karthik asked more details about when they might get the train back. He said that there is a train which is going to pass by any moment which is heading back. So we thought we can reach Castle rock atleast. So the guy said that he will help and he stopped the train and we got into it. There were so many compartments that was empty so we got into one of them. We threw all our bags and tents in one place. We were supposed to pass the same falls again. So we waited eagerly for the last view of the falls. The falls appeared again and we again got completely wet when the falls water entered inside the train.

Later, we passed DudhSagar station and all the place that we had come through walking in just around little time. Just around 20 minutes, we reached the Castle Rock station. Few guys went to enquire whether we will be able to board the same train or wait for the other. The person who helped us was also there. He said he will take care and asked us to reach bangalore in the same train. Well, I remember his name. He was Mr. Aadesh Sharma, the person who helped us to reach Bangalore at the earliest. We waved him good bye and went on in the same train. We enjoyed talking and sharing our experience happened till now. Played Anthakshari. There was a family who were travelling from Goa to Bangalore. We started talking to them and shared our whole experience with them. There were two kids with whom we enjoyed the most. Time passed by. We crossed Hubli, Dharwad and Tumkur. At last, reached Bangalore by around 11'o clock in the night. Back to home and back to our routine life. Waved good bye to all our trek mates and hoping that we would go again for another adventure soon.

The great adventure that I had and moreover very dangerous coz we were sleeping next to the falls. The only means of transportation was train. Nothing else. Truely superb experience. Cheers to all the people who made it true and lively!!!

Further addition: Our trek to DudhSagar on 9th and 10th of August, 2008 was the best ever! Truely mindblowing with totally 16 people. i.e Karthik, Shiva, Madhukar, Shilpa, Rajesh, Saravana, Madhu karuthedath, Rashmi, Prabhu, Prasanna, Jagadish, MadhuGopal, Peter, Pranjal, Srikanth.... and at last myself..!
Karthik on the lead, Shiva as his assistant, three madhu's, three girls and many others.. totally a heap of trekkers had an amazing time during the monsoon.

Pics from Jagadish; Pranjal; Prasanna; Madhu kutty.