The Beauty of Western Ghats

Photo of The Beauty of Western Ghats by Arpan Shukla
Day 1

In the middle of pin drop silence on Friday evening someone’s phone rang "kaagadada doniyalli naa koruvantha hottayite…" (Kannada Song: Is it the time for me to go on a voyage in a paper boat), followed by “Dude..??” in a very familiar voice. Yes, it was one of my traveling partner peeping out of his cubicle.

As involved in the humdrum's of our 9-6 job, so called 3 musketeers started packing office bags @ 6pm from Bangalore, desperate for the need of the pause, but without any destination settled in mind. There we see far on the sign board "Sakleshpur - 227km".

Our minds "Rogered" that..!!

Luckily we got accommodation just outside the town with pleasant view from our balcony.

Day 2

View from balcony of Hotel Durga International

Photo of Sakleshpur, Karnataka, India by Arpan Shukla

As the name means that the place is blessed with all kinds of wealth "Sakleshpur" is listed as 1 of the 18 most diverse spots in the world in terms of flora and fauna. The town, mainly known for coffee plantation and breath taking lush-green landscapes offers plenty of home-stays and resorts for perfect weekend gateway. Completely unplanned and unaware of the place, we somehow manage to arrange a local map from hotel staff and planned our drive route to attractions of the town piercing through western ghat.

After our car gave up on the trek to Mystique Falls, we were blessed with a wrong turn. Unaware of the fact that we are out of our route, we reached a dead end with 6 houses of local tribe. A guy from the tribe offered parking in his garth, and wanted us to join him on his way to Bhairaveshwar betta(adjacent mountain 2km far) to bring his cattle back home. We were told that the trek is yet be explored by tourists and is conferred to touch the souls of anyone by its divine beauty.

Two of us were scared not only because the man was drunk but our "Mr. Dude" was getting over friendly with him. With exponentially increasing density of forest our intensity of our fear was directly proportional to the number of steps we were taking. Half the way we the "scared souls" decided not to go further, but the drunk guy replied with loud voice in local language and most unexpectedly accompanied by his new over friendly accomplice in a very soft tone "Why are you scared, local guy is with us to show the majestic views". Finally the trek came to end and indeed it touched our heart with its surreal beauty.

Photo of Bhairaveshwara Temple, Halike, Karnataka, India by Arpan Shukla
Photo of Hanbal falls / Magajahalli Falls, Devaladakere, Karnataka, India by Arpan Shukla

But the best part was when the drunk man shook his hand and said "I asked you to join me so that you don't feel bad for taking wrong turn, as sometimes wrong help us find Right". That day we learned the world is still a good place and we need to show trust on others.

Photo of The Beauty of Western Ghats by Arpan Shukla
Day 3

With so much of intoxication from dramatic Day 2, here comes the love of life "Ek garam chai ki pyali..!!" to rescue us from gelid morning. Delayed due to fog and bounded by the time, roving came to end but journey continued with clear destination and strict deadlines.

Photo of The Beauty of Western Ghats by Arpan Shukla

The former capital of Hoysala Empire is proposed as UNESCO world heritage sites. Bellur was considered as home of lord Vishnu and referred as "Dakshin Varanasi" in many inscriptions.

Photo of Bellur, Karnataka, India by Arpan Shukla

At 17km from Bellur, Halebidu is famous for the beautiful Hoysala Temple built in 1121 AD. The Hoysala temples are known for minute & intricate carvings and sculptures with metal like polishing and is nominated for UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As the place has accommodated many temples and holy tales of Hinduisms and Jainism, it is advisable to hire local guide.

Photo of Halebidu, Karnataka, India by Arpan Shukla
Photo of Halebidu, Karnataka, India by Arpan Shukla
Photo of Halebidu, Karnataka, India by Arpan Shukla

The day started with unassailable fort build by Tipu Sultan in 1792. Allied with French to fight against British, he adopted designs of French military architectures to build 8 point star shaped unique fort to lookout to all 8 direction as defense strategy. Manjarabad fort then used as armoury is located on a hill at an elevation of 990 metres giving magnificent view of greenery from all its corners.

From watch tower of Manjarabad Fort

Photo of The Beauty of Western Ghats by Arpan Shukla

Back on track, once again in evening full of silence, but this time with eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, the musketeers headed for last destination of the day. Abbi falls aka Magajahalli Waterfalls can be heard from main road. Climbing down the bushes will give striking view of 20feet high waterfall standing in its glory. The place is paradise for photographers and abode for snakes, hence not advisable to go under waterfall.

Thanks to amazing weather and soothing essence of temple, we had some time for self actualization followed by delicious local dishes in breakfast. After playing time with a sweet friend we moved ahead for our last destination of trip.

Photo of The Beauty of Western Ghats by Arpan Shukla

Lying on back seat of car, while I was lost in the echo of my bubbly spirit our spanking vacation was about to encounter full stop. I woke up from relaxing snap with the sound of honking in middle of completely jammed road, yes we were back in Bangalore. As we don't want to end this series of mesmerizing events, we decided to go for a movie where we planned our next trip.

Route map

Photo of The Beauty of Western Ghats by Arpan Shukla
Day 2

Aerial view of Manjarabad Fort

Photo of Manjarabad Fort, Bengaluru - Mangaluru Highway, Donigal, Karnataka, India by Arpan Shukla