Sunday, July 29, 2018

Adventures Dudhsagar Trekking – A Spectacularly Beautiful Waterfall!

Adventures Dudhsagar Trekking  – A Spectacularly Beautiful Waterfall!

Why do trekkers find the Dudhsagar A Paradise? Before we discern the answer, let’s get into the Adventures Dudhsagar journey. 

Dudhsagar : The vibrant milky gush of water cascading down the mountains amidst the lush breathtaking misty greenery always push the adrenaline to pack the bags for the trip. Those beautiful trails and its nature will never make me tried even if I visit zillionth time. Its beauty and experience is ineffable. Its divine cannot be fully expressed in this article. That's the reason, when Bangalore Hikers launched the event even before 90 days, I registered.

As usual, we boarded the train at KR Puram/Yeswanthpur, followed by our introduction and few rounds of games we went to sleep. After the incident that took place in Dudhsagar on 22nd July, there was a strict restriction to enter Kulem wildlife sanctuary. We were finger's crossed whether we would be visiting Dudhsagar falls.

Since we don’t know the situation in Dudhsagar, we decided to visit Tambdi Surla Waterfalls first. Hot Breakfast was waiting for us in the Castle Rock Station. But who wants to have breakfast, when we were ready to sniff the beauty of scented misty Dudhsagar in a while?

We took 3 jeeps from Kulem Railway station and started our journey towards the Thambi Surla Waterfalls. We crossed several mini streams to reach the actual waterfalls which was inside the Jungle. The gushing sound of waterfalls welcomed us and after descending few steps we were in front of the Thambi Surla. It is a sensational feeling. After taking a dip in the chilly cold clear water and enjoying Thambi Surla drizzle on the face for a while, we started back. Myself, Mittal and Kishan Kumar were heading extremely fast by relishing the snacks as well as clicking lot of photos. There was a 15th century Mahadev Temple/Tambdi Surla Temple at the base. Both the places, the temple and the waterfalls are worth visiting. We rushed to Kulem railway station to catch the train to Castle rock.

While returning to castle rock by train, we were taken back by the beauty of whole valley filled with mist. The panoramas around the Dudhsgar is a treat to the eyes. The whole journey was worth watching. After reaching homestay, we played “Connect” game for a while. Can’t forgot when Milana & Swathi gave a clue “A word rhyming with duck”. We went back to sleep with a mystery of tomorrows exploration.

Sunday July 29th: 
The real adventure started on Sunday. As per our plan we should take the train to Dudhsagar at 3:10 AM and get down at Dudhsagar waterfalls and visit the Magnificent Dudhsagar waterfalls. Head towards Kulem and take the train back to Castle rock. We never had a Plan B. 

We got up at 2 am and reached castle rock railway station. Indian Railways are known for delay and as usual the train delayed by 1 hour. We were getting warning from Goa State Police force not to get down at Dudhsagar station. Finally, the train came and we got into train and like a baby waiting for its mother, we were waiting for Dudhsagar station. When the train halted at Caranzol railway station few people from other batch got down. The train had a technical halt at Dudhsagar Railway station and We just had 30 seconds to get down at Dudhsagar Railway station. Since it was unreserved compartment, we had to act pretty fast. 17 people had to get down from both the sides of the door in just 30 seconds, which was impossible. Moreover, like lizards glued to walls, localities were glued to the door and we were confused how to get down. But in a fraction of second everyone from our group jumped out of the door just to see police whistling at us.

"Get in", Lohith commanded on seeing the police.
The train started, but with no second thought I got into train, like the lion obeying at its ring-master's command and I was the only one who got into train.
"Oh Shit" My dream of solo trekking came true. But with no wallet, no train ticket, no mobile and no luggage and absolutely nothing in my hand, how am I going to go back or reach Castle rock? Should I get down at Sonalium station and walk back to Dudhsagar all alone!? With strict police check this idea seems to be scary.  Its then I saw Satish, Suresh BK inside the compartment and my blood resumed to pump blood to the heart. Along with us Vishal Parab and Vijay was also there. We immediately started to plan our next action, though our gang split into two now.  We decided to get down at Sonalium no matter the situation.


We got down at Sonalium and started walking fast. We observed 200 trekkers getting down at Sonalium. I remembered Lohit words, "There will be 200 people from Pune tomorrow". This gave us some more courage. To our surprise we saw Kavya Shree and Santhosh also getting down from other compartment. She was anxious as her Hubby, Kanna Mohan left her at Dudhsagar station. (I guess its intentional :P).We were concerned about other group as their train ticket was with us.

We were so lucky to get the full view of Dudhsgar and spent some time. My group was taking picture, hence I decided to trek towards Dudhsgar leaving my group behind. When I walked almost few miles, I saw 2 police coming towards me. The police has caught 2 trekkers. As soon as I saw them, I started running like Hussian bolt in the opposite direction and mingled with the crowd. The crowd requested Police for Dudhsagar visit but they declined our request. We reached Sonalium  station by trekking on the Railway track.

Our group was the only group who had at least the chance to see the full view of Dudhsgar. we could see disappointed face in the crowd. We got train back to castle rock and were looking for our gang throughout the way.  We were expecting them in Caranzol railway station and as soon as we saw them we pulled them inside our compartment. Finally, our gang joined together. Can you guess the punishment this group received from Goa police? They were asked to trek back to Castle rock from Dudhsagar station. Hahaha, So sweet of Goa Police.

After having breakfast, we took a jeep to visit one waterfall. I don’t even remember visiting this waterfall last year. But the beauty of this waterfall is completely different now. Nature always offers us different beautiful views in different seasons. Finally after exploring haunted house and Castle rock we reached castle railway station.

While waiting for train, we had a mimicry version from Mohan, Santhosh and Lohit on how people reacted to Leeches and Lizard during this trekking.

Video Courtesy - Sathish M

Why do trekkers find the Dudhsagar A Paradise?

If someone know the answer please tell me :) 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Trekking tips during monsoon - Preparation and Packing

Monsoon trek to Tadiandamol
Pic Courtesy  : Satish M - Event organizer, Bangalore Hikers
For Trekking freaks, Monsoon hikes will pump up the adrenaline. Exploring nature with a splash of rain is a paradise. If not planned properly then trekking during the monsoon would be a big mess. Muddy and slippery Trails, wet clothes, those sucking leeches should not hold you from exploring during monsoon. Monsoon hikes are the best and those memories will stay with you for a lifetime, when necessary measures and preparation is done.

Mandatory Things:
  1. Raincoat/Poncho
  2. Jacket/sweater 
  3. Plastic covers
  4. Hiking Slippers with a grip sole and good holding.
  5. For 2 day trekking, carry 3 pair of socks (Prefer thick socks to avoid leech bite). An additional pair of Woolen socks is always mandatory to protect your feet and keep you warm at night. 

Rain-Coat & Jacket:
Most of the rain coats are not sufficient to keep you and your clothes dry. During monsoon, all you can expect is heavy rainfall and heavy wind. So buying a light fabric will not withstand rain and wind. Always remember, you are not buying a raincoat to wear it for a while or to go out to buy something. Hence, while purchasing a raincoat Keep in mind, that you might face unpleasant weather, heavy rainfall and this rain coat is going to be your best friend from the start of the hike and until you reached the summit. There is a difference between Waterproof vs. water-resistant. Hence while purchasing look for a thick layer and durability.

Once you get wet, a thick jacket/sweater will help you from the cold in the night. Hence always carry both Rain coat and Jacket.

One more thing, Dont be over smart and carry an Umbrella’s while hiking. I saw few people carrying Umbrella during our trek. That's the most dangerous thing. While hiking hands should be always free, this will save you from a slip during the slippery trails.

Good bye to Cotton clothes:
Always ensure you pack only Nylon or spandex or Polystor clothes which has good properties of quick drying. Cotton absorbs water quickly and takes time to dry.
Packing: While packing, ensure to pack each clothes separately in a plastic bag or waterproof bag. This will protect clothes from water, even when your bag is soaked in water completely as well as keep the moisture out. Always carry a big plastic cover to carry and store dirty shoes.

Shoes or hiking Sandals ? 
Both has advantages and disadvantages and its more about your personal comfort. In case of shoes, though the shoe company claims waterproof shoes, your feet get wet when it rains and weight little heavy.

On the other side slippers dry quickly and breathe easily. But it lacks protection. Sandals are borne to cause injury when you hit broken branches and rocks. I personally feel comfort with sandals and I take much caution during the trail.

If you are going to be a frequent traveler, then I would suggest you to customize your glasses with anti-fog coating and water-resistant lenses. Myself as well as my co-trekkers struggled a lot as the water droplets were fogging up and the vision was not clear during our hikes. Personally, I dont suggest contact lens because when water get into eyes, the lens stick to the eye and might be uncomfortable.

Water Proof Pouch:
Buy a waterproof bag to carry your money, credit card, key and other small thing. For electronic items, buy a waterproof Mobile pouch that has a Sensitive touch. This will allow you to access touch screen functions without taking out the mobile phone. This way you can still have fun by taking pictures and videos.

Sorry to say, there is no better way to avoid leeches. People and google might say Leech Socks, salt, Odomos(the cream get washed off easily), tobacco leaves would help to get rid of it. But trust me you can’t escape from leeches sucking the blood.

The best way to safeguard yourself is to wait for the leeches to get its stomach full and to drop off by itself. This will help you to safe yourself from infection in the long run. Pulling off by hand might result in its tooth getting stuck and will result in itching/infection.

When you apply salt onto the leech, it’s going to further spread its infection. Leech socks could be dangerous in some way, since the leeches leave the socks area and climb higher, higher and higher (Usssh… Stop the imagination please)!

On a health note, It is said that the leeches suck out the toxins from Blood. The best part you don’t feel the bite or pain, since it insert an anesthetics into your blood. After sucking out the blood they insert another anti-coagulant to stop your blood from clotting. So sweet of them right? 

You can use Fucibet Cream(Price 15g :55.60) or Wild Ideas- Healing cream (available online) to stop from Leech itching and infections. Fucibet Cream  cab be purchased in all medical stores.

Taking care of above things will make your hiking a pleasant one! You might be cursing yourself, why the hell am I doing this monsoon hike instead of sleeping at home. But trust me at the end of the journey you will definitely have memories to cherish and share with everyone.

What Best practice would you do or any tips that you would like to share, please share in comments session. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta or BR Hills

Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta or BR Hills

In life, we meet a desirable person one day and they make us happy and feel beautiful eternally. And our inner voice say, "They are our life-partner and soul-mate."
What's next? Tie Knot, have kids.

The ultimate goal of life is achieved. Happy Ending.

Let go of the illusion for a time being.!!!

Your life will be amazed when you surround yourself with a set of positive friends. Those kind of people can be your friends for life-long. When you find someone with good vibes, start to build a foundation of trust and care. It results into a beautiful and bright garden.

My one day trip to Bilikal Rangaswamy, A normal journey which turned to be a memorable trip and its in this trip I released we always need to surround with people who can lift you up.

Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta, also known as Rangaswamy Betta or Bilikal Betta is just 70 km from Bangalore and a perfect place for a one-day weekend trip. The way from Bilikal Betta base is around 4 kms.

All of us have a wish to explore furtive sounding places that we wish we could visit every weekend. After seeing the name, I had to agree for a trip, because I am hearing the place for the first time and I always taught that I should visit those unfamiliar places.

Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta is a place for great morning rides and Beautiful scenery all along the way. I closed my eyes making myself get lost in the sounds of revving engine and the wind. I found myself more relaxed when I go for a nature trip, This travel made me to feel that the world is full of fun, inviting and inspirational. From its top we had a beautiful view of the city.

So, what is keeping you away from experiencing the universe blessing? limited funds? No time? No Friends? Stop giving excuse. step out of the comfort zone, wake each morning with an inspiration and fire in hear.

We believe that once we find our soulmate, our life will be beautiful. This trip made me to realize one must fall in love with our own soul first, rather than finding outside.

There was something intersting happened this day. This is the day, I rode Royal Enfield bike.
"Ride a bike? No chance" I told initially.  But, I made my mind strong and learnt the ride. I felt happy like a little school girl learning bicycle for the first time. Its all about in our mind. Train the mind like a pro to do good things.

  1. Forest guards/local people might stop you from entering and might demand to pay few bucks. Initially they asked us 500 rupees, but my friend spoke in Kannada and didn't get even a penny. 
  2. Get lot of snacks and water bottles. There is nothing available at top. 
Parking Space  : Yes. Ample
Drinking Water : No
Restrooms : No
Restaurants And Hotels :No.