A year in Bangalore, and the most I had seen of this part of the country was Cubbon park and Forum mall. I am not used to being so static for so long, so I had to get away. Somewhere.. Anywhere. Thankfully, some of my colleagues were up for it too and at 5 AM in the morning on the 9th of April'16, 5 of us just set out in a car to the Bandaje falls .
As we were planning to camp for the night at the hill top, we had to equip ourselves with a couple of tents, flashlights, match box, kerosene (for the fire), warm clothes for the night, and spare clothes for the next day. We bought some pineapples and bananas on the way for the night. And of course, a lot of water.
We kept making stops every couple of hours for some snacks or tea. One of the stops was at Gundya, a beautiful spot next to a stream. We were so much at peace there that we spent about half an hour just sitting next to the stream, admiring the beauty around.
We stopped for lunch at around 12:30 PM. It was a dilemma whether to eat a lot or not, because we had a trek ahead of us, yet this was the last proper meal we were to have till we descend the next day. Considering the ascent comes before dinner or the next day's descent, we did not stuff ourselves, and headed out for the final 25 kms of our car-journey. We reached a dead end and parked our car there. We collected all our luggage from the car and at around 1:30 PM, we officially started our trek.
|We could see our destination from this point and it looked imposing yet majestic|
|For a kilometer or so, there was a concrete road going uphill|
|The concrete disappeared and the road was unpaved for the next couple of kilometers, |
after which we were left with just a trail, hardly a feet wide.
|The way was confusing at times in the beginning because there were multiple trails|
and nobody to direct us as to where to go. But after another couple of kilometers,
there was just one trail to follow and at this point, we were well and truly inside the forest.
|Around one and a half hours later, we embarked on this stream. We took a much needed 15-minute break here.|
|The cool waters were so calming that it just rejuvenated us. We reluctantly left this spot as we had to make it out of the forest by sundown|
|The forest kept getting thicker and the trail narrower.|
|At times, the trail would disappear, and we would be left wondering whether we were in the right path. It is said that people get lost easily in these forests as it is like a maze. It was getting close to sunset and wild animals are always a threat.|
|But after more than 4 hours, we finally came out of the forest and the view in front of us was breathtaking. We just sat there, exhausted and soaked in sweat. Those 15 minutes were pure bliss.|
|We found a spot to camp and started a fire.|
|As night fell, it was pitch dark and the clouds around us made it impossible to see beyond a couple of feet, even with flashlights. We had fruits, chatted and retired for the night under the stars.|
|The first thing we see in the morning is this majestic view.|
|The imposing Western ghats looked so picturesque at dawn. The air we were breathing was pure, and the silence was quite exquisite.|
|We admired the sunrise, collected our belongings, and started our descent. It took us more than 3 hours to reach our starting point. The breakfast that day felt so well-deserved.|
The trip was an amazing experience. We caught a glimpse of the waterfall too, but could not reach the source. Still, the trek itself was amazing and camping so far up among the clouds is always going to be an unreal feeling. These kind of escapes from our dull and mundane lives is necessary in my opinion and I would keep going for more such trips at the slightest opportunity I get.