Castle Rock to Caranzole : Reposing Stride
I have been to most of the water falls in Karnataka but never really had a chance to go to the most striking and deafening waterfalls that subsists in Karnataka-Goa Border known as Dudhsagar. This time, I was fervent in joining this event organized by Ram through Bangalore ASCENDers. To get there, we took a train (Rani Chennamma Express) from Bangalore on 01/10/2010 Friday Night 9:30 PM and reached Hubli by 6:30 in the morning. We freshened up at Hubli and most of our comrades finished their breakfast at Hubli, I made a mistake by either not having it there or packing them. I had not even taken MTR ready-to-eat as they were of no use and had to bring them back from earlier Brahmagiri trek, I only had fruits with me.
At 7:30 AM we boarded Vasco-Chennai Express at Hubli to Castle Rock station, on the way to Castle Rock, we had nice f un, specially from Satish the best humorist among Raghu, Naveen and other guys. We had fun about everything, like, News Media, Daily horoscopes, news reading in def and dumb action. It was 9:30 when we reached Castle Rock. We took some time in changing our attire and get ready for the trek, by then I had made up my mind of finishing this trek just with fruits. We were all set by 10:30 AM and started trekking towards the Dudhsagar. We must thank Brits for building such an implausible train route in Western Ghats decades ago. Me, Doctor(Ravi) and Apoorva started to lead the way, as we trekked along in the Braganza Ghats, we saw, all-encompassing mountains, the alluring Western Ghats and by 2:30 we reached a point known as Caranzole and had lunch there. I had only couple of fruits for lunch.
Caranzole to Dudhsagar: Unrivalled Episode
As we finished our lunch at Caranzole, heavy showers showed up. Meanwhile, there was a goods train waiting at Caranzole, the team was split, few of us (Me, Nadheem, Dr. Ravi, Apoorva, Navya, Satish and Naveen) decided to trek all the way in the rain but others were fanatical about going in a Goods train. So, we loaded our heavy baggage onto the train with other accomplices, and started to trek in the heavy downpour at 3:30. Me, Nadeem and Navya were heading the line-up, in fact the rain stopped after 10-15 minutes. Trust me; the guys in the train missed a lot of scenic beauty. That’s the stretch where we had a gorgeous landscape, sweeping view of mountains, pitch-dark and rayless tunnels, diminutive streams making soothing jingle and railway bridges more than 200 Feet deep. Everything in that stretch was inimitable experience only for us who trekked.The most creepy and terrific experience was in the tunnels, when we loaded our rucksacks to the train, we forgot to take our torches, definitely we got to be indebted for ourselves for doing this. It’s just not pitch-dark and Rayless; it’s frightening and life threatening as well (Trains run very frequently ther e), particularly the 290 Meters tunnel, where there is nearly 180 (Approx) degree curl and everything there is indiscernible, you can’t make out the track or the path, what if the train comes when we are in the middle, we can be dread and it’s very hard to presume the train’s direction. Fortunately, Apoorva’s cell was very handy at this point as I held it in the halfway to find the track and proceeded accordingly in the middle of the track, all of us held our hands and passed through the tunnel. I was sure that our Doctor was feeling anxious. However, after seeing the light at the other end, we were so excited that we started mocking stridently. We reached Dudhsagar by 6:00 PM.
As we reached, I have no idea why the tourists in DudhSagar Station started staring us like we are Extra Terrestrials. We moved ahead to find our troop, thanks to them as they had carried our backpacks to a nice place where we had little shelter which was very close to the waterfalls. We visited Dudhsagar falls; this falls is crushing, irresistible, appealing. We sat at the base of this glorious falls and soaked our weary legs in the cooling waters; there was a silence in everyone’s mind atleast for few minutes as we watched the prodigious falls, then the sun rays that came from the setting sun turned the falls slightly orange which made the falls even more contemplative.
Night Camp: The Dusk that cannot be discounted
As the nightfall was nearing we tried putting up a campfire by means of few newspapers and soggy woods which were available nearby. Campfire was not that great due to moist woods. We should undeniably be grateful to the people who prepared soup and noodles for us and stewed our MTR ready- to-eat using the portable stove. After finishing dinner, we had a grilling session, where an individual introduces himself/herself and questions are shot at him by the chosen ones, had great fun with that session. Later by 11:00 everyone went for a snooze.
The whole team decided to sleep in the nearby shelter but Me, Doctor and Apoorva slept right below the sky, gazing at the infinite (Stars) and we were hardly 50 Meters away from falls, that’s an unforgettable moment. The trains their run every 30 minutes with 5-6 engines fastened on either sides, most of them were goods carriers, carrying iron ore. The sound and the shuddering spawned by engines were astounding. It was 4:30 in the morning when I woke up to see that our sleeping bags, sleeping mats were wet due to the mist created by the colossal falls. Then all the three of us decided to sleep under the same shelter with our other teammates till 6:00 AM. Day 2: DudhSagar to Kulem
Almost all of us woke up by 6:00 AM and freshened up; few took bath in the nearby falls. It was too deep at the top. So, Me, Allwyn, Rajini, Dhananjay and Vinay trekked to the base wherein the trek path had a gradient of almost 75 degrees and bathed in that chilling waters. I and Allwyn got almost drowned at one point because of our irrational foolhardy stunts. Most of us tripped while bathing due to the slippery rocks. One must be very careful as the currents there are fierce and the water pools are very deep. Nadeem, Ravi, Hemanth, Apoorva and few others had trekked to the base just to check out the far-reaching view of the falls and they took some snaps too. Regrettably, even Nadeem slipped into the stream but got out of it soon. After bathing, we changed our outfits and started to ascend. We reached the top and everyone was busy having breakfast. However, as I had mentioned before, I took nothing apart from fruits. I thought of having one oran ge for breakfast and taking some snaps of DudhSagar falls as falls area was completely vacant. It was only me and falls for at least 30 minutes. I went down and took some snaps and also used the timer for my pictures with falls, by then everyone had finished their breakfast. After having tea from a portable teawala, we started trekking towards Kulem which is another stretch for 12 Kms. Even this stretch was fabulous. Me and Nadeem were leading the way by surpassing all the part takers. We had carrots, bananas on the way. At one point we saw jeep trail, and took that path for a while as we were jaded of those spiky railway path. We came back soon to the railway track after noticing that the jeep trail was opposing the railway track. Doctor and Hemanth joined us when we were almost nearing Kulem. Goa welcomed us with its usual intense heat and humidity, as we proceeded towards Kulem we took around 2 breaks to ensure there’s enough fluid supply to our bodies. We reached Kulem by 1:30 to find Susheel and Ajay waiting for us. They were surprised to see us reaching the station at least 2 hours early than the expected time.
The Return Voyage
We had a lunch at the nearby restaurant, as we finished our lunch there were heavy showers poured like it never rained in Kulem before. Everyone arrived except few who waited in Sonaliam with Rajini as she had slightly warped her leg. We all took a train to Londa by 4:45 PM. We had to take General Booth, as there was no booking. The General compartment is utterly congested and stinks. However, me and Nadeem stood in the door and never gave up that spot to others where there was a cool gust and the heavy thunders. We picked our other teammates from Sonaliam and progressed towards Londa. In the train we had a matchless experience, we had to listen to the song sung by a old man, and as we reached Londa there was also a transsexual who was collecting money from people. I was anxious and rushed towards the door when the train almost approached Londa. We reached the station by 6:30 PM and had anything that is available there as a dinner and got into Rani Channamma Express at 8:20 PM. Even though everyone was worn-out because of immense heat, humidity and 12 Kms trek, we started playing Dumb Charades in the train. We played, giggled, chuckled, snuffled, took some cool pics and then dozed off by 11:00 PM. We reached Bangalore by 9:45 AM instead of 7:30. Our DudhSagar Voyage ended there.
Every comrade in the team was terrific, would like to see them in the impending rambles.
Thanks to all the Patrons for making this Trek a Remarkable Empiricism.
Written by: Lakshmish (Courtesy: http://lakshtravel.blogspot.com/)
Event organized by: Ramprasad
Apporva, Alwyn, Hemanth, Mridula, Naveen, Navya, Ramprasad, RaviChandran, Rajani, Satish R, Susheel