Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Himalayan Diaries_7: In the hunt of Sleeping budha

Dumcharades at Kalapokhari:
Antyakshari at the Tumling was like a team building activity where people  could mingle with each other and enjoy the kannada, hindi songs. Dumcharades in Kalapohkari was a level higher as it could pull in more
people and was more enjoyable. We had 2 teams as usual and one has to enact the movie name given by his opponent team.Based on his acting, his team should guess the name. Movie name had to be given in Hindi or English and the acting skills shown by the teammates were amazing :-) Also the guess works of course. Good part was pulling the campleader Yatin as well into the act. Ganesh, Mahendra, Avik who were like hidden talents in our team , came to the limelight :-)  One more attraction of that night was dance of Norbhu Sherpa and Shiva tamang for songs like Resham peri ri ri, Santeram etc. It was more fun when the kids of the landlord joined the party. They and their dance steps were so cute that they won our hearts in no time.

After our dinner, when we had come out, had realized that there is clear sky ! could observe the stars as well. When photographers like Surya, Yo Yo, Swaroop were discussing about the star gazing, others were so happy and excited about the next day as well. Somehow the day's Journey was not so comfortable compared to first day as it was longer and had met with incidents like Yashaswini falling sick, Harish cutting his finger. There was no electricity over there and solar lamps were used along with the generator driven power. So, there used to be lights off around 09:00 and we had to rely on solar lamps. As solar power could not run forever, we had touse the lights judiciously.In an attempt to adjust between my handheld
battery and solar light, i collided with my bag kept on the way and fell against the door.Luckily nothing happend except the huge sound because of the wooden floor and few minor bruises. During the journey i had cut my finger unknowingly when i was handling the cam with bare hands. But the clear sky made us forget the pains like this and create some hopes for the days to come.

Day 5:
Sunrise @Kalapokhari
NS was saying that sunrise would happen around 5:30. So, we were ready by that time and came out. But it was pitch dark outside. Forget about the sun, we could not see the person standing 10 feet away !
Girish, Harish, Praveen, Prashanth, Me and Sunil waiting for the sunrise @ Sandakphu
Weather was so chilly and windy as previous days. There was snow as well which was an addition of that day. People started moving back to the camp slowly as they could not see anything in next 15 minutes. Few of us thought of climbing a nearby hill and watch for sometime. We could capture the flora covered with snow and could enjoy the beauty of the white landscape with our camp at the center.
Snow covered plants at sandakphu

Our Camp view
Around 6:15,i thought i saw something over the horizon. It was slightly turning orange and thought that sunrise is already done and we are just seeing the rays after that. But as we had waited so long, could see the atleast. So, waited for few mins.Nothing happened. Waited , waited and waited till 6:27 when the scenarios started changing.

 There was a small dot beyond the hills and aura above the hills. Wait, how a small orange dot can be visible across the wall of hills ? It must be clouds. They were clouds indeed ! Sun was rising behind the clouds and we could see his Aura above the clouds ! It was a strange view for me at least as i have never seen a sunrise like that. In whatever i have seen, sun would be either behind the mountains, horizon of sea etc or above it. Not behind a semi transparent layer like cloud where its  half visible and half invisible ! Started shouting for the people who were somewhere down and Sudhir sir could hear us and came up. Few others tried to come up as well. But by the time they came up story had changed ! While we were enjoying this view and calling people up, we also waited for the complete sunrise. But it was not happening :-( Clouds had stolen the show again and covered sun completely before others could come up :-( 

First butterfly spotting in Himalayas:
It was the feeling as if we had prepared bread, butter, jam in a plate and were almost ready to have it . But in the meanwhile someone had hijacked the plate itself :-( But could enjoy the glimpses of what we saw in the morning and headed back to the camp. After the regular breakfast and saying good bye to our camp leader Yatin, we departed for Sandakphu. We had to cover 6km for Skandapu and it was a clear day indeed. Could see the surroundings and enjoy the nature. We started getting the glimpses of snow covered mountains in front of us and were feeling excited. Could see more varieties of berries and flowers now and in a fraction of second, i thought i saw something flying in front of me. Stopped there itself and could realize that it was a butterfly ! Had to chase it for sometime to finally get a clear view of it though. It was tortoiseshell butterfly which is the only butterfly i could spot multiple times in Himalayas :-)

Tortoise shell butterfly

Glimpses of Kanchanaganga:
As we climbed even higher, started getting the views of Kanchanaganga. The views which we waited for some many days was getting uncovered slowly. We could see bhutan's highest peak and mountain ranges as well. After gaining some more height, we saw the famous Budha !

Don't  be surprised that i got enlightened and saw Budha somewhere else :-) It is the name used to describe the Kanchanaganga range over there. The range looks like Sleeping Budha :-) The head part is known as Kumbakarna as well.Middle bulge looks like belly and rest of the small peaks look like feet of the Budha. The middle part is the actual Kanchanaganga. There is a pass near the legs known as Gaichala pass which is the last point from Indian side. We climbed even higher and reached the top point of Sandakphu
around 11:50.From there we could see the camp at the bottom and had whole day to enjoy the sun and views of Sandakpu which was the main point in our trek. 

The famous Sleeping Budha of the Sanakphu

This was the day where i could mingle with different set of friends like Don, Praful, Ganesh, Magendra  during the trek. Tushar ji was walking slow and steady and was walking in his own pace. 
Praful and NS on the way

Hotel Namo Budha and Abhinav:
We descended a bit to reach the Namo Budha Hotel and restaurant which was our next camp. There we met the camp leade Abhinav who was quite young and energetic compared to all the camp leaders we had met before. As we had to wait for the others to come and there was plenty of time for lunch, we headed towards the viewpoint which was nearby. It was a superb place from where we could see Kanchanaganga and Mount Everest range as well later. As i can't explain the beauty of it in words, am just putting the photos of it. People slowly arrived and we had our rooms allocated. It was restaurant with wooden floors, walls as well and no electricity. It was having scarcity of water as well so we had to use the water cautiosly. Had our
lunch as usual and went to enjoy the beauty of Kanchanaganga again.

View from Sandakphu

 Sunset at Sandakphu:
It was the beautiful part of the trek. Seeing the mountains as if some land separating seas and enjoying the sunset over the clouds was really superb. The ultimate view of seeing 2 suns, one above the cloud and one
below it in the shape of  8 is memorable.  And as usual, pictures speak more than 1000 words, so just uploading them. We had to leave around 3:45 for it and those who got late were either missing the beauty of the landscape or hurry to ensure that they are not missing the sunset .

Sunset at Sandakphu

 Coming up next: Star gazers.

ತೀರ್ಥಹಳ್ಳಿ ಟ್ರಿಪ್ಪು

ತೀರ್ಥಳ್ಳಿಗೆ ಮೊದಲು ಹೋಗಿದ್ದು ಕಾಲೇಜಿನ ದಿನಗಳಲ್ಲಿ. ನೋಕಿಯ ೨೭೦೦ ಕ್ಯಾಮಲ್ಲಿ ಕುಪ್ಪಳ್ಳಿಯ ಕವಿಶೈಲದ ಫೋಟೋಗಳನ್ನ ತೆಗೆದಿದ್ದು, ಸಂಜೆ ಆರೂವರೆ ಏಳರ ಹೊತ್ತಿಗೆ ಕವಿಶೈಲದಿಂದ ಬಸ್ಟಾಂಡಿಗೆ ಬರೋ ದಾರಿಯಲ್ಲಿನ ಮನೆಗೆ ಹೊಕ್ಕು ನೀರು ಕೇಳಿದ್ದು, ಅವರು ನಾವು ನಕ್ಸಲೈಟಿರಬಹುದಾ ಅಂತ ಭಯಬಿದ್ದಿದ್ದು , ನಂತರ ನಮ್ಮ ಊರು, ಟ್ರಿಪ್ಪ ಸುದ್ದಿ ಕೇಳಿ ಅವರ ಭಯ ಹೋಗಿದ್ದು ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಈಗ ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಹಿಂದಿನ ನೆನಪು. ಅದೇ ತರಹ ಆದರ್ಶನ ಮನೆ ಮೂಗುಡ್ತಿಗೆ ಹೋದಾಗ ಅಲ್ಲಿನ ಸುತ್ತಲ ಗುಳುಗುಳಿ ಶಂಕರ, ರಿಪ್ಪನಪೇಟೆ ಬೀದಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಸುತ್ತಾಡಿದ್ದು , ಒಂದಿನ ಕರ್ಫ್ಯೂ ಬಿದ್ದು ಅನಿರೀಕ್ಷಿತವಾಗಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಟ್ರಿಪ್ಪು ಮುಂದುವರೆದಿದ್ದು ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಕಣ್ಣಿಗೆ ಕಟ್ಟಿದಂತಿದೆ. ಕೆಲ ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆ ಬಾಲಣ್ಣನ್ನ ತೀರ್ಥಹಳ್ಳೀಲಿ ಭೇಟಿಯಾಗೋ ಅವಕಾಶ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿತ್ತು. ಅವರ ಜೊತೆ ಕವಲೇದುರ್ಗ, ತೀರ್ಥರಾಮೇಶ್ವರ ಮತ್ತು ಸುತ್ತಮುತ್ತಲ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನಗಳು, ಆಗುಂಬೆಯ ಅಮ್ಮ ಮನೆಗಳನ್ನು ನೋಡೋಕೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅನ್ನಪೂರ್ಣೇಶ್ವರಿ ಅಂತಿರೋ ಅಮ್ಮ ಅವರ ಸಂದರ್ಶನ ಮಾಡೋ ಅವಕಾಶವೂ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿತ್ತು. ಆದರೆ ಆ ಸಲ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಮಿಸ್ಸಾಗಿದ್ದ ಕೆಲವು ಜಾಗಗಳಿದ್ವು. ಹಿಂದಿನ ಸಲ ಅಂಬುತೀರ್ಥ, ಅಚ್ಚಕನ್ಯೆ ಫಾಲ್ಸ್ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಬಾಲಣ್ಣನವರಿಂದ ಕೇಳಿದ್ರೂ ಅಲ್ಲಿಗೆ ಹೋಗಕ್ಕಾಗಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಹೋಗ್ಬೇಕು ಹೋಗ್ಬೇಕು ಅಂತ ಅದೆಷ್ಟೋ ಸಲ ಹಾಕಿದ್ದ ಪ್ಲಾನುಗಳು ಕ್ಯಾನ್ಸಲ್ ಆಗಿ ಆಗಿ, ಕೊನೆಗೆ ನಾನೇ ಗಾಡಿ ತಗೊಳ್ಳೋ ಮುಹೂರ್ತಕ್ಕೆ ಕಾಯ್ಬೇಕಾಗಿ ಬಂತು ! ತಗೊಂಡ್ಮೇಲೂ ಬೈಕ್ ಟ್ರಿಪ್ಪಿಗೆ ಬರ್ಬೇಕಾಗಿದ್ದ ಕೃಷ್ಣ, ಸುಮುಖ, ಪ್ರದೀಪ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಮಿಸ್ಸಾಗಿ ಕೊನೆಗೆ ನಾನು, ಗೌತಮ ಹೋಗೋದು ಅಂತಾಯ್ತು. ಇಬ್ಬರ ಟ್ರಿಪ್ಪಾಗಿದ್ರೂ ಸಾಗರದಿಂದ ಹೊರಟು ಅಂಬುತೀರ್ಥ-ರಾಮನ ಪಾದ-ಅಚ್ಚಕನ್ಯೆ ಫಾಲ್ಸ್- ಅರುಣಗಿರಿ-ತುಂಗಾ ಬ್ರಿಡ್ಜ್ - ತೀರ್ಥರಾಮೇಶ್ವರ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನಗಳನ್ನು ನೊಡಲಿಕ್ಕಾದ ೨೧೦ ಕಿ.ಮೀ ಗಳ ಟ್ರಿಪ್ಪು ಚೆನ್ನಾಗೇ ಇತ್ತು. ತೀರಾ ಇತಿಹಾಸ ಪ್ರಸಿದ್ದ ಜಾಗಗಳೋ, ಧುಮ್ಮಿಕ್ಕೋ ನೀರಿದ್ದ ಮಳೆಗಾಲವೋ ಇದಾಗದ ಕಾರಣ ಸ್ಥಳಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಬರೆಯೋಕೆ ಹೆಚ್ಚೇನೂ ಇಲ್ಲದಿರಬಹುದು. ಆದರೆ ಇದರ ಮಧ್ಯೆ ಬರುವಂತಹ ರಾಮನ ಪಾದದಂತಹ ಜಾಗಗಳಿಗೆ ಹೋಗೋದು ಹೇಗೆ ಅಂತ ಬರೀಲೇ ಬೇಕು ಅನಿಸ್ತು. ಅದಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಈ ಲೇಖನ

ಸಾಗರದಿಂದ ಆನಂದಪುರ-ಯಡೇಹಳ್ಳಿ-ರಿಪ್ಪನ್ ಪೇಟೆ ಮಾರ್ಗವಾಗಿ ಸಾಗಿ ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ಮೂಗುಡ್ತಿ ದಾಟಿ ಹೆದ್ದಾರಿಪುರ, ಶಿವಪುರ, ಗರ್ತಿಕೆರೆ ದಾಟಿ ಕೋಣಂದೂರು - ಹುಂಚದ ಕಟ್ಟೆ ರಸ್ತೇಲಿ ಹುಂಚದ ಕಟ್ಟೆ ದಾಟಿದ್ರೆ ಶಂಕ್ರಳ್ಳಿಗೆ ಇಂತಿಷ್ಟು ಕಿ.ಮೀ ಅನ್ನೋ ಬೋರ್ಡುಗಳು ಶುರುವಾಗುತ್ತೆ. ಈ ಹೊಸನಗರ ಮಾರ್ಗದಲ್ಲಿ ಕೆಲವೆಡೆ ಅಂಬುತೀರ್ಥಕ್ಕೆ ಇಂತಿಷ್ಟು ಕಿ.ಮೀ ಅನ್ನೋ ಬೋರ್ಡುಗಳೂ ಕಾಣುತ್ತೆ. ನೇರ ಅಂಬುತೀರ್ಥಕ್ಕೆ ಬರೋದಾದ್ರೆ ಹೊಸನಗರದಿಂದ ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ೨೦ ಕಿ.ಮಿ ಅಷ್ಟೆ. ಅಂಬುತೀರ್ಥ ಊರಿಗೆ ೧ ಕಿ.ಮೀ ಇದೆ ಅನ್ನುವಾಗ ಕೆಳಗಿರುವ ಪ್ರವಾಸೋದ್ಯಮ ಇಲಾಖೆಯ ಬೋರ್ಡ್ ಕಾಣುತ್ತೆ.

 ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ಎಡಕ್ಕೆ ಸಾಗಿದ್ರೆ ಅಂಬುತೀರ್ಥದ ಶರಾವತಿಯ ಉಗಮಸ್ಥಾನ ಸಿಗುತ್ತೆ. ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಶಿವಲಿಂಗದ ಅಡಿಯಿಂದ ಉದ್ಭವಿಸುವ ಶರಾವತಿ ಅಲ್ಲೇ ಎದುರಿರುವ ಕೊಳಕ್ಕೆ ಸಾಗುವಂತೆ ದಾರಿ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಶರಾವತಿಯನ್ನು ತಲೆಗೆ ಚಿಮುಕಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಜನರು, ಬಾಟಲಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ತುಂಬಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳೋ ಜನರನ್ನು ಕಾಣಬಹುದು. ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ಮುಂಚೆ ಒಂದು ಸಣ್ಣ ಕೊಳಕ್ಕೂ, ಅದರಿಂದ ಮುಂದೆ ಮತ್ತೊಂದು ದೊಡ್ಡ ಕೊಳಕ್ಕೂ ಆಕೆ ಸಾಗುತ್ತಾಳೆ. ಹರಿಯುತ್ತಾ ದೊಡ್ಡದಾಗುವ ಆಕೆ ಮುಂದೆ ಜೋಗದಲ್ಲಿ ಬೃಹದಾಕಾರವಾಗಿ ೯೦೦ ಅಡಿಗಳ ಎತ್ತರದಿಂದ ಧುಮುಕುತ್ತಾಳೆ. ಬೆಳಕಾಗೋ ಸಲುವಾಗಿ ಊರಿಗೆ ಊರುಗಳನ್ನೇ ಕತ್ತಲಾಗಿಸುತ್ತಾಳೆ. ಆದರೆ ಅಂತಹ ಶರಾವತಿಯ ಉಗಮ ಸ್ಥಾನದ ೧೯೬೫ರಲ್ಲೇ ಕಲ್ಯಾಣಮಂಟಪವನ್ನು ಕಟ್ಟಿಸಿದ್ದರೂ ತದನಂತರ ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಏನೂ ಅಭಿವೃದ್ಧಿ ಆದ ಹಾಗೆ ಕಾಣೋದಿಲ್ಲ. ವಿಸೇಷ ಸಂದರ್ಭಗಳನ್ನು ಬಿಟ್ಟರೆ ಅಲ್ಲಿಗೆ ಬರೋ ಭಕ್ತರೂ ಕಮ್ಮೆಯಾ ಅಂತ ಅಲ್ಲಿನ ಪರಿಸರ ಇನ್ನೂ ಪ್ರಶಾಂತವಾಗಿರುವುದನ್ನು ನೋಡಿದಾಗಲೇ ಗೊತ್ತಾಗುತ್ತೆ. ಪ್ರವಾಸಿಗಳ ಅನುಕೂಲಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಪ್ರವಾಸೋದ್ಯಮ ಇಲಾಖೆಯವರು ಕಟ್ಟಿಸಿದ ಯಾತ್ರಿನಿವಾಸ, ದೇಗುಲದಿಂದ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಮುಂದಿರುವ ಶೌಚಾಲಯಗಳಿಗೆಲ್ಲಾ ಬೀಗ ಬಿದ್ದು ಬಿಕೋ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಿವೆ. ಸದ್ಯದಲ್ಲೇ ಇವುಗಳ ಅಭಿವೃದ್ಧಿ ಕೆಲಸ ಶುರುವಾಗಲಿವೆ ಅಂತ ದೇಗುಲದ ಎದುರಿದ್ದ ಮರಳು, ಕಲ್ಲ ರಾಶಿ, ಭಟ್ಟರು ಹೇಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದರೂ ಅಭಿವೃದ್ಧಿಯ ನೆಪದಲ್ಲಿ ದೇಗುಲದ ಸಹಜ ಸೌಂದರ್ಯ, ಪ್ರಶಾಂತತೆ ಹಾಳಾಗದಿರಲಿ ಅನ್ನೋ ಕಾಳಜಿ ಕಾಡುತ್ತಿತ್ತು

Raamana Paada/ರಾಮನ ಪಾದ,ಸೀತಾ ಪಾದ ಮತ್ತು ಜಿಂಕೆ ಪಾದ
ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ಮುಂದೆ ಸಾಗುವಾಗ ಸಿಗುವ ಶೌಚಾಲಯದ ಪಕ್ಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾಗೋ ಮಣ್ಣಿನ ರಸ್ತೆಯಲ್ಲಿ, ನಂತರ ಜಲ್ಲಿ ರಸ್ತೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾಗಿದ್ರೆ ಜೋಗೀಸರ ಅನ್ನೋ ಊರು ಸಿಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ಹಾಗೇ ಮುಂದೆ ಸಾಗಿದ್ರೆ ಬಲಗಡೆ ಒಂದು ಸಣ್ಣ ನಾಗಬ್ರಹ್ಮ ಗುಡಿ ಸಿಗುತ್ತೆ. ಅದರ ಎಡಗಡೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಮೇಲೆ ಹತ್ತೋಕಿರೋ ಸಣ್ಣ ಹಾದಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸುಮಾರು ಹತ್ತು ನಿಮಿಷ ಹತ್ತಿದ್ರೆ ಸಿಗೋದೇ ರಾಮನ ಪಾದ,ಸೀತಾ ಪಾದ ಮತ್ತು ಜಿಂಕೆ ಪಾದ. ರಾಮಾಯಣದ ವನವಾಸದ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ಅವರು ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಬಂದಿದ್ದರೆಂಬ ಪ್ರತೀತಿಯಿದೆ. ಹನುಮಂತ ಇಲ್ಲಿನ ಬೆಟ್ಟದಿಂದ ಅರಗ ಗೇಟಿನ ಬಳಿಯಿರುವ ಅರುಣಗಿರಿ ಎಂಬ ಬೆಟ್ಟಕ್ಕೆ ಹಾರಿದ್ದನೆಂದೂ ಹಾಗಾಗೇ ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಮತ್ತು ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಅವನ ಪಾದಗಲ ಗುರುತೂ ಇದೆಯೆಂಬ ಕತೆಯೂ ಇದೆ. ಅಂಬುತೀರ್ಥದ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನದಿಂದ ಇಲ್ಲಿಗೆ ಸುಮಾರು ೨ ಕಿ.ಮೀ ದೂರ. ಆದರೂ ಇಲ್ಲಿನ ಬೆಟ್ಟ ಹತ್ತೋಕೆ ಮೆಟ್ಟಿಲುಗಳಾಗಲೀ, ದಾರಿ ಆಗಲೀ ಇಲ್ಲದೇ ಇರೋದ್ರಿಂದ ಪ್ರವಾಸಿಗರು ಒಬ್ಬೊಬ್ಬರೇ ಬರೋದು ಕಷ್ಟ. ಜೋಗೀಸರದ ಗ್ರಾಮಸ್ಥರಲ್ಲಿ ಯಾರಿಗಾದರೂ ಕೇಳಿದರೆ ಅವರೇ ದಾರಿ ತೋರಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಈ ವರ್ಷ ಅಂಬುತೀರ್ಥ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನದ ಕಮಿಟಿ ವತಿಯಿಂದ ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಮೆಟ್ಟಿಲು ಕಟ್ಟಿಸೋ ಕೆಲಸವಾಗುತ್ತೆ ಅಂತ ನಮಗೆ ದಾರಿ ತೋರಿಸೋಕೆ ಬಂದ ಜೋಗೀಸರದ ರಮೇಶ್, ಸುರೇಶ್, ನಿತೀಶ್, ರೋಹಿತ್ ಮತ್ತು ಗೆಳೆಯರು ಉತ್ಸಾಹದಿಂದ ಹೇಳ್ತಾ ಇದ್ರು.

Achakanya falls ಅಚ್ಚಕನ್ಯೆ ಫಾಲ್ಸು
ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ಹಾಗೇ ವಾಪಾಸ್ ಬಂದು ಎಡಕ್ಕೆ ಸಾಗಿದ್ರೆ ಅಚ್ಚಕನ್ಯೆ ಫಾಲ್ಸಿಗೆ ಸಾಗಬಹುದು. ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ೧ ಕಿ.ಮೀ ಮುಂದೆ ಸಾಗೋ ಹೊತ್ತಿಗೆ ಅರಳಸುರುಳಿಗೆ ೩.ಕಿ.ಮೀ ಅನ್ನೋ ಬೋರ್ಡ್ ಸಿಗುತ್ತೆ.

ಹಾಗೇ ಸಾಗಿದ್ರೆ ಅಚ್ಚಕನ್ಯೆ ಫಾಲ್ಸಿಗೆ ೧.೫ ಕಿ.ಮೀ ಅನ್ನೋ ಬೋರ್ಡು ಸಿಗುತ್ತೆ. ಅದರಲ್ಲೇ ಬಲಕ್ಕೆ ಸಾಗಿದರೆ ಫಾಲ್ಸಿಗೆ ತಲುಪಬಹುದು. ಅಚ್ಚಕನ್ಯೆ ಫಾಲ್ಸು ಅರಳಸುರುಳಿ ಗ್ರಾಮದಲ್ಲೇ ಇದ್ದರೂ ಅದನ್ನು ನೋಡಲು ಊರೊಳಗೆ ಹೋಗೋ ಅವಶ್ಯಕತೆಯಿಲ್ಲ. ಫಾಲ್ಸಿಗೆ ೪೫೦ ಮೀಟರ್ ಇದೆ ಅನ್ನೋವರೆಗೂ  ಕರೆದುಕೊಂಡು ಹೋಗುವ ಬೋರ್ಡುಗಳು ಕೊನೆಗೆ ಮರೆಯಾಗಿ ಬಿಡುತ್ತೆ. ಕೆಳಗೆ ಸಾಗೋ ಹಾದಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾಗಿದ್ರೆ ಅಲ್ಲೊಂದು ಸ್ಮಶಾನ ! ಎಲ್ಲಪ್ಪಾ ಫಾಲ್ಸು ಅಂತ ಸುತ್ತಮುತ್ತ ಹುಡುಕೋ ಹೊತ್ತಿಗೆ ಕೆಳಗೆ ಸಾಗೋ ದಾರಿಯೊಂದು ಕಾಣ್ತು. ಅಲ್ಲಿಗೆ ಸಾಗಿದಾಗ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಸೊರಗಿದಂತಿದ್ದ ಜರಿಯೊಂದು ಕಾಣ್ತು . ಇನ್ನೂ ಕೆಳಗಿಳಿದ್ರೆ ಅದೇ ಅಚ್ಚಕನ್ಯೆ ಫಾಲ್ಸು ! ಮಳೆಗಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಹೋಗಿದ್ರೆ ಮಸ್ತಿರಬಹುದಾಗಿದ್ದ ಫಾಲ್ಸಲ್ಲಿ ಇನ್ನೂ ನೀರಿತ್ತು ಮತ್ತೆ ಫಾಲ್ಸಿನ ಬುಡಕ್ಕೆ ಸಾಗೋಕೆ ಇನ್ನೂ ಕಷ್ಟಪಡಬಹುದಾದಷ್ಟು ನೀರಿತ್ತು ಅನ್ನೋದೇ ಸದ್ಯದ ಖುಷಿ. ಅಲ್ಲೊಂದಿಷ್ಟು ಹೊತ್ತು ಕೂತು ಅಲ್ಲಿನ ಪ್ರಶಾಂತ ಪರಿಸರದ ಖುಷಿ ಅನುಭವಿಸಿದ್ವಿ
 ಅರಳಸುರಳಿ ಅಂದಾಗ ನೆನಪಾಗೋದು ನನ್ನ ಮತ್ತೊಬ್ಬ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ಗೆಳೆಯ ವಿನಾಯಕ. ಶನಿವಾರವಾದ್ರಿಂದ ಅಪ್ಪಿ ತಪ್ಪಿ ಏನಾದ್ರೂ ಊರಿಗೆ ಬಂದಿರ್ಬೋದೇನೋ , ಬಂದಿದ್ರೆ ಸಿಗೋನ ಅಂತ ಅವರಿಗೆ ಫೋನ್ ಮಾಡಿದ್ರೆ ಅವರಿಲ್ಲ. ಅವರ ಊರಿಗೆ ಬರೋ ಪ್ಲಾನು ಮುಂದಿನ್ವಾರದ್ದಾಗಿತ್ತು :-(

Achakanya falls

ಅಂಬುತೀರ್ಥಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದ ದಾರಿಯಲ್ಲೇ ವಾಪಾಸ್ ಸಾಗಿ ಆರಗ ಊರನ್ನು ದಾಟಿ ಮುಂದೆ ದಾಟಿದ್ರೆ ಆರಗ ಗೇಟ್ ಅಂತ ಸಿಗುತ್ತೆ.
ಆರಗ ಗೇಟಿಗೆ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಮುಂಚೆ ಅರುಣಗಿರಿ ಅಂತ ಬೋರ್ಡ್ ಸಿಗುತ್ತೆ. ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ಸುಮಾರು ಐದು ಕಿ.ಮೀ ಎಡಕ್ಕೆ ಸಾಗಿದ್ರೆ ಸಿಗೋದು ಅರುಣಗಿರಿ ವೆಂಕಟರಮಣ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನ. ಪುರಾತನ ದೇಗುಲವನ್ನು ಸದ್ಯವೇ ಜೀರ್ಣೋದ್ದಾರ ಮಾಡಿದ್ರೂ ಪುರಾತನ ದೇಗುಲದ ಅವಶೇಶಗಳನ್ನು ಕಾಣಬಹುದು. ನೋಡೋಕೆ ಹತ್ತಿರ ಅನಿಸಿದರೂ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಮೇಲೆ ಸಾಗೋ ಹಾದಿ ಸುಲಭದ್ದೇನಲ್ಲ. ಬರುವಾಗ ಪೂರ್ತಿ ನ್ಯೂಟ್ರಲ್ಲು ಮತ್ತು ಬ್ರೇಕಿನ ಸಹಾಯದಿಂದಲೇ ಬರಬೇಕಾದ ಹಾದಿಯಿದು. ಇಲ್ಲಿನ ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಮೇಲಿಂದ ಸುತ್ತಲ ಪರಿಸರದ ದೃಶ್ಯಗಳು, ಮೋಡಗಳು ಸುಂದರವಾಗಿ ಕಾಣುತ್ತೆ. ಸಂಜೆಯ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಸೂರ್ಯಾಸ್ತವನ್ನೂ ಸವಿಯಬಹುದು. ಆದರೆ ಸೂರ್ಯಾಸ್ತಕ್ಕೆ ಮುಂಚೆ ಸಾಗರದ ದಾರಿ ಹಿಡಿಯಬೇಕಾಗಿದ್ದ ಕಾರಣ ಇಲ್ಲಿಂದ ವಾಪಾಸ್ಸಾದ್ವಿ
Board to Arunagiri on the way to Hosanagara, would be at your right if you are returning from Ambuteertha towards araga gate

Arunagiri Laksmi Venkataramana temple

One of the old scluptures at Arunagiri

One of the old scluptures at Arunagiri

Side view of  Arunagiri

Me with my vehicle Kshipra(CB Shine SP 125)

Tunga Bridgeತುಂಗಾ ಬ್ರಿಡ್ಜ್: ಗೌತಮನಿಗೆ ತುಂಗಾ ಬ್ರಿಡ್ ನೋಡೋ ಆಸೆಯಿದ್ದರಿಂದ ವಾಪಾಸ್ ತೀರ್ಥಹಳ್ಳಿಗೆ ಬಂದು ಅಲ್ಲಿನ ಶಿವಮೊಗ್ಗ ರಸ್ತೆಯಲ್ಲಿರೋ ತುಂಗಾ ಸೇತುವೆ, ತೀರ್ಥರಾಮೇಶ್ವರ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನಗಳನ್ನ ನೋಡಾಯ್ತು.


Rameshwara Temple complex

ವಾಪಾಸ್ ಸಾಗರ ರಸ್ತೆಗೆ ಬಂದು ಅಲ್ಲಿನ ದುರ್ಗಾ ಹೋಟೇಲಲ್ಲಿ ಮಧ್ಯಾಹ್ನದ ಊಟ ಅಂತ ಬನ್ನು,
ಪಲಾವುಗಳನ್ನ ತಿನ್ನೋ ಹೊತ್ತಿಗೆ ೫:೩೦ ಆಗಿತ್ತು ! (೨:೩೦ ಅಲ್ಲ), ಐದೂವರೆನೇ :-) .
ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ಮತ್ತೆ ಸಾಗರದ ಹಾದಿ ಹಿಡಿದು ರಿಪ್ಪನಪೇಟೆ, ಯಡೇಹಳ್ಳಿ, ಆನಂದಪುರ ದಾಟಿ ಸಾಗರ ಬರೋ ಹೊತ್ತಿಗೆ ಎಂಟೂಕಾಲು. ಎದ್ರಿಂದ ಬರ್ತಿರೋ ಗಾಡಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಹೈ ಬೀಮು ಹಾಕ್ಕಂಡು ಬರೋರಿಗೆಲ್ಲಾ ಬೈಕೋತಾ, ನಲವತ್ತಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಕಮ್ಮಿ ಸ್ಪೀಡಲ್ಲಿ ಮನೆಗೆ ಬರ್ತಾ ಅಂದ್ಕೊಂಡಕ್ಕಿಂತಾ ಹೆಚ್ಚೇ ಟೈಂ ಹಿಡಿದಿದ್ರೂ ಸೇಫಾಗಿ ಬಂದದ್ದೇ ದೊಡ್ಡ ವಿಷ್ಯ ಅಂತ ಖುಷಿಪಡ್ಬೇಕಾಗಿತ್ತು ಅನ್ನುತ್ತಾ ಸದ್ಯಕ್ಕೊಂದು ವಿರಾಮ
Sunset on the way:



Thursday, January 19, 2017

Himalayan Diaries-6:On the way to Kalapokhari

After walking around 7 km on the previous day, we had good rest in Tumling. Tumling being the first lodge we stayed during the actual trek and first lodge i stayed in a border, was a nice experience. As there were
attached bathrooms and electricity during the night , it was comfortable stay as well. Infact , it was far better than the Orchid guest house we had !
Somesh, Ramya, Shailesh, Doi, Harish and Me @ The camp of Tumling
It was one of the things which we enjoyed a lot during the evenings. Tumling being the first day where we could actually sit in a group and conduct games like Antakshari. As i wrote in previous episode, it was a firecamp without fire. I was in the room for a while and when i came to have tea, could see that there were two groups playing Antakshari. One was Kannada group of Prashanth, Praveen, Sunil, Yashaswini, Anusha, Shweta and Deputy. Deputy being the silent spectator, was supporting both the teams ! When i joined there, Kannada group had asked me to join there group. Although i did not know many songs fully, joined them as i could sing initial few lines of many songs :-) From that day, i became the permanent member of the Kannada side in Antakshari :-) Although we used to say Hindi, Telugu songs also eventually, major focus was on Kannada songs. Huttidare Kannada Naadal huttabeku, Kuladalli Keelyavudo, Yaarivalu Yaarivalu were few the hit songs for the eve. By the time we completed the quota of songs which we knew , it was around 07:30 in the eve and we had to give way to another batch who were  staying in the same hotel. Some more fun would continue the next day.

Day 4:
We woke up in the morning and were outside around 05:45Am in the search of sunlight. But it was pitch dark and nothing could be seen. It was so windy and chilly that photographers were having hard time in opening their gloves and hold the cam to capture few pics. Manual mode with auto focus and flash were not working as cam could not find any light source on which it could focus. So, had to experiment with high ISO , low shutter speeds or manual mode with manual focus and flash. Around 06:10 we gave up our efforts to capture sunrise and came back to the lodge. Compared to the chilly weather and winds outside , lodge was much warmer place and a place where our fingers could regain their senses :-) Some one should design warmer glouses for the use with touchscreen mobiles and cameras man, seriously !
Tumling morning pics

Giribias: We had to walk around 6 km to reach Giribias. The way was misty and cloudy on the 2nd day of himalayan trek. Could not see anything outside except some flora and fauna on the way . There were various fruits like Singhoto fruit for which Swaroop became a model :-) There were wild strawberries, straberry flowers, Tengdey and many other variants of pine and Lishe fruit. It is a fruit consumed by Birds. We could see a "champ" which is a pink flowerbud and becomes a tree later. We could see some cone like
structures in a small burrow near the road and did not know what was that . By the time i thought of asking the guide about it, i had moved ahead.  

Kids near the entrance to Giribias

Its time for some pics. From right: Himanshu, Monika, Prity,Priya, Surya,Yadnyesh,Kavya,Archana Mam, Anupam, Abra, Don. Doi and Praful in the backdrop

Ice , Ice and Ice on the way

Strange structures

Prity and Tushar sir :-)  Anusha and Sunil can be seen in the backdrop


Singhoto fruit
Singhoto fruit
Surya and Kavya
Strawberry flowers
Tengdey Pine

 Could see some ice here and there. Although it was a tar road, it was not a piece of cake unless you watch your steps. Monika had fallen in an attempt of taking photo, talking and walking at the same time when she was not looking on the road! Our Yo Yo honeysingh faizan wanted to be the band aid partner for the trip. But there was no need for his bandaids except during the Great fall of the multi tasking lady :-) With multiple photography breaks, we reached Giribias around 11:20

Road near Giribias checkpost turning into a mini football court
 Giribias is at a height of 2625 meters(much lesser than Tumling). It has a  checkpost and has an arboretum where some of the rare varieties of Rhodoendrons are grown.Chimal(Rhododendron fulgens), Sanu chimal(Rhododendron cinnabarinum), Lali chimal(Rhododendron barbatum),Pahelo korlinga(Rhododendron grande) are some of the varieities found over there.It has few small hotels and became place for our friends to find some omlet and tea.It became a playground for footballers as well.

In front of Gairibas Arboratun

At the omlet junction :-)
We started moving further after a rest of 30 minutes. We found more varieties of flora now like Kaligadhu, Aksumba, Jow, Bante fruit, jow and bukhe phool being the common one. Could see Ascillo(blueberry) , Kaala ascillo(blackberry). Could see Nagzhar and some poisonous varieties of Rhododendron.
Ramesh, Kiran and Unhita stepping further after the break. Shweta in the backdrop
From the right: Shempa Mam, Anupam, ghosh bhai, Sharmaji and others
Praveen, Sunil, Prashanth, Yashaswini, Anusha and Shweta
Bante Fruit
Kaiakata, Nepal:
We were privileged enough to have our lunch @Habres nest which is in a place called Kaikata in Nepal! It is in the Tinchule forest in the range of Singalila national park. Kalapokhri is just 4 kms from here and we had to eat the packed lunch we were carrying from Tumling. Tumling was in Indo, Nepal border as well and was not sure whether i was sleeping in India or Nepal the previous night. Probably my body was in India and soul was in Nepal. or the vice versa :-)
At Nepal :-)
Habres nest gave me a new job of cashier as i was keeping the count of how many people were having tea and collecting money from them all. But there were people ordering tea and coffee at different intervals and paying for others making the calculations complicated. By the time i ended up collecting money from a set of people,some others would go and ask for few more cups of tea or coffee. Finally i ended up loosing 30 Rs from my pocket as i could not get the name of genius who ordered for a extra cup of coffee and did not pay for it :-( Although its not a big amount to remember it had helped me to become more organized when i became the cashier once again on the last day at Rimbhik :-) Good lessons are not learnt in easy ways.
Inside the Habres nest hotel
It is one of the important flowers which NS showed us after lunch. It is a edible flower with sour taste. It helps in avoiding the mountain sickness like vomitting, headache etc

Pokhari Lake:
Although we could see some plants like Nagzar, bukhe phool, Yaks etc on the way, majority of the views on road were ice, ice and Ice ! It started getting darker gradually due to the chilly and misty weather and we were worrying whether it would be the same scenario for next days as well. People were even worrying that it might be waste of money and energy and time spent to come till here if we don't get the beauty of nature.As we were speaking, we approached a lake which was looking pitch dark from distance. Apart from the Lungtas which were tied here and there there were no swans or any birds to be spotted around the lake. It would be foolish to expect any birds in a temperature around 10 degree and such an overcast weather. NS was informing that the village Kalapokhari got its name from this lake and they worship it a lot. They were asking us not to enter into the waters. Although we had no intention of swimming in a lake of unknown place
at a chilly temperature we took care to respect their beliefs by not entering into water in our attempts to capture aqua macros. Althuogh some thought to capture the pics of ripples by throwing stones into the calm
lake, decision to value the local believes counted more than the photographic instincts.
Pokhari Lake

From  left: Shovan, Doi, Datta , Harish, Girish, Yo Yo, Sudhir Sir, Joshi, Shailesh, Archana mam and Kavya
We enjoyed the views of localites playing football, landrovers which completed their roadtrip for the day while we reache Kalapokhari. It was around 4:10 when we reached the Himchulee Lodge at Kalapokri. It was our next camp @Kalapokri which was at a height of 3108 meters. Althouh we were reaching higher and higher, probably we were not getting luckier and friends like Ramya were praying . They were praying for better views atleast in the days to come.
We are entering into the Kalapokhari village

Ganesh and Avik with an LandRover. It is a west Bengal vehicle with the old registration number WGX!. Curent numbers are with WB
Coming up next: On the hunt of Sleeping Budha