16 February 2007
Meghane trek log - IV
08:20 AM : We were up on the heel again. This day’s scheduled trek covered nearly double the previous day’s distance in KMs. Even though we had to trek more, it was less strenuous and less exciting.
It had its share of fun as well. We had to trek down the hill to reach a place called ACHALU, a small village, cut off from the world in every way. We took a right turn here and moved. The descent was good, since we had to virtually slide down because of its steepness and had to be warring against the stony lane in the forest.
We took a break as soon as we reached CHATAKA, another small village of over 6 families staying in. I played there with a small two month old kid while everyone had some water, fetched from a well. There was a strange godown called “Kanaja” in the local language. This makeshift godown was made of dried paddy straw, with a closure made of other stronger wood. This structure contained paddy that was grown and harvested very recently.
Then with the help of a local boy, we found the road to Basavanabayi (Bull’s mouth). Basavanabayi was again a 7KMs trek up-hill. There was a sensibly bigger road, but was un-fit for motor transport or anything. We could just trek up the hill using the road, which was full of stones, shed leaves from neighbouring trees, small flowers and insects. Some places had up-rooted trees as in the other part of the forest as well.
This trek was not much eventful as of the other day inside the forest, barring only a few incidents where we were crossed over by a few villagers with an amazing speed or when a couple of local buffaloes were taken up-hill for alimentation, I guess.
Before reaching Basavanabai, we came across a fallen old fort like structure that might have been used by some rulers in the past for their residence or for whatever reasons. Its in a very pathetic state today.
Since there were a few people running atop hill, we were sure that we wouldn’t be alone on top. When enquired, they told us that they belonged to the neighbouring village Sangeethapura (Hadu halli) and they trek the hill once a year to offer prayers at the temple atop.
There was a small Ganesha temple on top of the hill. A Bhatru was preparing naivedya to the Lord. We got instructions from the localites as to which road to take for the waterfall and then we took to that place. We were requested not to take bath at the waterfalls directly as the water from falls was directed to the temple for use at temple.
We, so, had to search for other parts of the stream for the much needed bath. It was relaxing and refreshing. Everyone came and enjoyed the wash. Then we trekked up to visualise the original waterfall.
It was a fabulous watch. A thin ray of water as if it were a stream of milk was flowing down from a height of over 80-100 ft. Three fold water falls had created a pond-like structure from where water flew down forming more streams and then flowing down to reach Sharavati.
By the time we returned to the temple area, we were treated with a meal of Puliyogare. It was well prepared by Nayana and Madhu. The villagers also offered us rice and sambhar that they had prepared as part of annual feast. It was a fantastic treat for all of us. We had all of these and also some payasa that was offered as a Naivedya to Ganesha.
With heavy food after a breath-taking trek and a refreshing cold-water bath, we were all drowsy and sat lazy for a few minutes. We would’ve continued in the same state, had Nayana not warned that we were getting late for our next journey.
04:00 PM : We said bye to all the villagers who were also ready for their de-trek to the village. And continued our ascent to an unknown place. Nayana and Madhu were leading us thru the grasslands that made a great landscape considering the fact that it was getting close to be dark. Sun was moving fast west wards, and we too were moving in his direction.
Nayana and Madhu were enquiring for the directions to “GUDANGUNDI” at the localites and leading us there. We trekked non-stop for about 2 hours and at 6 o’clock had to break. We found a beautifully located Govt. school to rest our sleeves a bit. It was a village called NAKKALU. Very beautiful as the name of it. We found no house in that place, though.
After about 15 mins, we were up again in the right direction with renewed spirit and hope to reach our destination faster. Darkness was soon arriving, as we marched un-interrupted. A few KMs later, Nayana went inside a compound (which was the only one visible around) to enquire for further road to be taken. Immediately they called out loud for all of us. As we went in, the man of the house came out with a jug full of cane juice, saying, “its our Dharma to offer the visitor something” or something like that. We all had the fresh juice. The family was doing an “aalemane”, where they extract jaggery from sugar cane in a country way. Two oxen will be used to extract the juice out of sugar canes, and boiling the extract in a big basin to get Jaggery out of it. Our taste buds opened up a little more than needed, and were contended at their offering. We were really speechless at their hospitality. Relishing on the same, we footed forward to our destiny. We squished thru turns suggested by Nayana, and curves inside the forest, it fast turned to be dark. We still had another hour or two’s distance to be treked to our destination, and it was dark already. So, all our torches were taken out.
To be continued……….