After days of planning and dreaming, one fine Saturday night we hire a bike( Royal Enfield Electra, Rs. 800 for 24 hours). The plan was to wake up and start the trip from Manipal at 6 am. But just as every morning plan ever, we started off one hour late. With first rays of the sun, cutting through the early morning mist, we filled our bike with fuel and began the journey we would never forget. Reaching Hebri was a calming and a peaceful journey during which we saw the sun rise from behind the great western Ghats (some even go as far as calling them the Himalayas of the South).
Having breakfast in Hebri town(bananas and coconut water) we had to go to Kudlu Theertha Falls, and as the Google-maps point to the wrong place, we had to ask locals for the way. Upon diverting from the highway, the road becomes horrible and it’s the same for about 10 km. We reached at around 8, but the entrance to the trek opens at 9.30 and there’s also an entry fee. There was no one there so we crawled under the gate and went in. After a trek of 1.5 km (not too steep, but tiring anyway) the waterfalls come in view. It was completely empty and as we were the only ones there, it was heavenly. The water falls from a great height so it’s almost vapours by the time it hits the water and it feels incredibly pleasant when it hits your face. Once we stepped in the water, it was soothingly cold and wonderful. Kudlu is one of those waterfalls which is comparatively full even in mid summer. We stayed there breathing in the fresh air, and enjoying the nature for half an hour without realizing the time. People have started to arrive by that time, so we decided to leave. While going back we had to pay for our entry and bike parking fee and we started to Agumbe- Jogi Gundi waterfalls.
The road starts becoming steep and the view becomes more and more amazing. Once the climb finishes we come to a point called Sunset view point and on a clear cloudless day, it is said that the Arabian sea is visible from here.
Jogi Gundi is a little out of Agumbe town. Once again we had to ask locals as maps were showing somewhere else. There was an entry and parking fee, but the falls were a little disappointing as the water level was very low. Still, it was very calm and the sound of nature was very soothing.
After that, we had lunch (if you call it that,wasn’t filling at all) and we went to Agumbe Rain-forest Research Station. We found it on trip adviser and decided to go and check it out. It was very informative and relaxing and a well-deserved break, since we were very tired from all the walking and travel, and it was very sunny at that time. After spending around an hour there we set off again to Kundadri.
Starting off with a flat road, the journey felt pretty normal in the beginning. But as we went on, the road became steeper and steeper. With hair pin turns and sudden increments in heights and the valley view as we were climbing, it was both challenging and thrilling. There was a Jain temple on the top, and once we reach we see the most stunning view of the journey so far. It was a lone hill and flat land on all sides. There’s this pond on top which supposedly is full even mid summer. When we saw it, it was filled with trash, but apparently, it’s beautiful during monsoons. We stayed there for a couple of hours and then started going back to Agumbe.
We decided to go to Barkana falls next, but everybody kept telling it’ll be dry during this time of summer, but I heard the view point is worth going so we went anyway. We had to keep asking people for directions and we went completely into dense forest and we came across a closed gate. But luckily the gate wasn’t locked so we opened it ourselves and went on. On reaching Barkana view point(4-5 km off road) we parked our bike and went to see the view point with little expectations. If Kundadri view was stunning, it was nothing compared to Barkana View point. Especially when we went, it was a little cloudy and the view was breathtaking.
After sitting there for as long as we could, soaking in as much of nature as we could, we started going back and we didn’t stop to see Sunset as it was very cloudy(image below) and it would be pointless.
We went to Kaup Beach, and we just saw last rays of sun, disappearing behind the sea. A perfect end to a perfect day. After giving the bike back we had a heavy dinner in KFC went back to the hostel, showered and hit the bed. We ended up missing all classes the next day.
20th March 2016.