Mekhedaatu

Should have posted this quite some time back but for some reason or the other I’ve sort of procrastinated it.

I’d been to a place called Sangam a few weeks back when I was in Bang’lore. Next time you visit Bangalore,make it a point to visit this spot. It’s about 80 kms from the main city and believe me after having gone that far, you wont regret your decision! Sangam is in the Kanakapura district and is the confluence of the Cauvery River and the Arkavathi river in Karnataka. The river in its southward bound flow sqeezes down through a narrow gorge to reveal a breathtaking sight. The thundering sound of water and the sight of it gushing down in all might is something that I’d never forget! . This place where the river passes through the rocks is called the Mekhedatu. (The reason for it being called so still intrigues me. Mekhedaatu in kannada, literally translates to ‘Goat jump’ . Though the rocks were pretty close , A goat definitely couldn’t have jumped across the gorge. Anyways, names are names! :-) ) .

The road to this spot is a winding path through the scenic rural parts of Kaarnataka. You need to take a turn somewhere at the end of the Kanakapura town and navigate through the narrow paths. You’d come across several villages en route Sangam. Most of these villagers eke out their living by adopting sericulture. You get to find silkworms being bred in almost every house!! Once you reach Sangam, you need to take a boat ride to the other bank to get to Mekhedaatu. ( I heard people could walk across to the other bank by easily wading across the waters of the Arkavathi river dueing off seasons! ) . The boats used for ferrying, are not like the normal boats. These are circular in shape and their base is layered with Tar to keep it afloat. A guy ferries you across to the other side of the river for about forty bucks. Midway he swirls the coracle a couple of times giving you those few enchanting, thrilling moments of drowning! :) . A bus worthy of being sold as an antic awaits you on the other bank! Pay him another 40 bucks for a rickety ride down the kuccha road to Mekhedaatu. Oh did I mention? The bus has got no headlights . The route is mesmerizing and the driver leaves no stone unturned to make the ride less comfortable! A few things are always good the bad way-You’d remember it for a lifetime :-) !

Once you reach the spot where the bus can no longer move forward, you’re supposed to walk down a narrow rocky path. A turn round the corner and you get to know what exactly nature is!! I bet you’d never want to get back from there! The magnanimous force with which the water gushes through the gorge has led to the rocks to have developed extremely deep pits in the surroundings! One wrong step and you’d go up all the way to Heaven in all pristine glory! :-) .

Who says trips need to be well planned? I’m pretty sure had we chalked out a plan and pre decided everything we wouldn’t have enjoyed as much! Weekends back in Infy bangalore were pretty somber. But for the visits to the labs and probably a shuttle to the city now and then, most of the days were spent lazing in the rooms. Probably all this drove us to nuts to such a large extent that we suddenly started planning a trip to Coorg. But then other folks out here wanted to go to a place that was close by to avoid getting really tired by the time they get back on the Sunday evening. So we decided to go to Nandi Hills. Why we cornered on Nandi Hills, we still don’t know but where we ended up going turned out to be a stupendous location.

For no apparent reason, the Java stream trainees invariably have a test every monday. So most of their weekends were as such spoilt. Fortunately the last weekend was one of those lucky ‘ends when both the streams, Java and Mainframes were relatively free. But then it was already a friday and we had no much time to chalk out a plan and do things meticulously. About 20 of us were game for a trip to Nandi hills. None of us had been there before but we’d heard sunrise thers was just great!

We’d arranged a Mazda for the next day and planned to leave at about four in the morning to be there on time to watch the Sunrise. We fell for the assurance given by the Travels guy and were all ready by 3:30am before Gate 6. This was where we were supposed to wait for the Mazda. But as things would go, there was someone who wanted to doze in glory that fine morning and Unfortunately it happened to be that heavenly soul who had to sit behind the wheel and drive us to the hills! That screwed nut ended up at Gate 6 only at around 5:30 am :( !! We had to settle down for a sunrise view on a section of NH7 and kept moving towards Nandi Hills. The way up the hills is very narrow and given the ghat description, is pretty dangerous. A couple of us hopped on to the roof top of the Mazda. There are very few things more thrilling than sitting atop a vehicle roof when driving uphill a ghat :-) ! We Reached Nandi Hills about 7:00am and kept hopping by and posing for snaps on rocks labelled ‘DANGER’ ! :-) . Nandi Hills is no wonder a scenic spot, but then I’ve been to quite a few places at high altitude and probably because I had extremely high expectations on Nandi Hills, I failed to really take in the scenic view of the place. By 10:00 am most of us were sort of bored being in the same place. People were of the opinion we’d get back to the city and while away time. It was already 12:00 before people came to a consensus . This was when fortunately Shubz came up with the Idea of going to Sangam! Had a sumptuous lunch in a Roadside Dhabha and defying the drivers requests not to travel that far, we got to sangam by around 5:00pm. We Couldn’t spend much time at Mekhedaatu because we had to get back to the boat ferry before dusk for fear of travelling in a bus with no headlights!! We managed to leave Sangam by around 7:00pm . The way back to ECC was pretty long. With all energy exhausted none of us were in mood to chat. Not one of us spoke even while having dinner!!

You’d find a couple of pics of the outing in my flickr. Got to upload others. Will do that when I manage to find some more time.

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