Trek to Bandaje Arbi falls, but with a twist. #westernghatsinphotos

Tripoto
16th Nov 2018
Photo of Trek to Bandaje Arbi falls, but with a twist. #westernghatsinphotos by Albert D'Souza
Day 1

Technically this is Day Zero. We started our trip in a minibus from Majestic. We were supposed to start by 11 pm but as all my fellow Bangaloreans know about the traffic situation. I was delayed and we started at 11:40 pm😋
Once I reached(thankfully no one yelled at me), we started our much-awaited journey towards the Bandaje Arbi falls. Since there is no food available on our camping spot, we stopped at a store to get some ready to eat food packs.

Day 1:  Our trek lead Sharath woke us up around 4:30 am, to get up and freshen up at the guest rooms. With further instructions that, We would start by 7:00 am to reach the point from where we will start the trek.
After everyone had freshened up and had geared up for the trek. We had our breakfast at a local restaurant in Kottigehara. The Mangalore Buns are a real treat, try them for sure, also the soda of a fruit which looks like mausambi.
After packing the lunch with us, we started again towards Ballalarayana Durga, where our guide was supposed to meet us.

The trip to Ballalarayana Durga was itself exciting. After traveling around an hour and a half, we reached a point near to Kalabhyraveshwara Temple from where the road was only accessible via foot. Sharath instructed the minibus driver to meet us near the Bandaje village by tomorrow noon.

The only hotel which was open @ 4

Photo of Kottigehara, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza

The out of focused drink

Photo of Kottigehara, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza

Mangalore Buns

Photo of Kottigehara, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza

We carried our bags, food, tents and sleeping bags for the night and started walking towards the Ballalarayana Durga. The trek started with a steep route upwards there was a lot of ups and downs. We also lost our way at a point but some of the other trekkers helped us to find the correct path.
We enjoyed the shade of thick forests which would open up to an amazing view of the western ghats or more specifically charmadi ghats. After trekking about an hour, the thick dense forest lead us to grasslands colored in green and yellow. That was a dramatic change of landscape which also lead us to the first view of Ballalarayana Durga.
Ballalarayana Durga Fort was constructed by the wife of Veera Ballala l, who was the king of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century. We took rest here and enjoyed the oranges we brought with us. The view is breathtaking from the fort walls and it would be one of the best sunset points in Charmadi ranges.
We once again resumed our journey towards Bandaje Arbi Falls. Meanwhile, we also met our guide who walked all the way up from the bandaje village.
From the fort, the trek was pretty easy only with few steep slopes. Which lead us to a tributary of Netravathi river the source of Bandaje arbi falls.

The Grasslands

Photo of Ballalarayana Durga Fort, Madugundi, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza

View from Ballarayan Durgh

Photo of Ballalarayana Durga Fort, Madugundi, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza

On the edge of the fort

Photo of Ballalarayana Durga Fort, Madugundi, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza

Heading towards the falls

Photo of Ballalarayana Durga Fort, Madugundi, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza

One more view point

Photo of Ballalarayana Durga Fort, Madugundi, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza

Yet another one

Photo of Ballalarayana Durga Fort, Madugundi, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza

It was around 3 pm, we reached here. The sight of the cold water flowing nearby was a relief to both our minds and thirst. After quenching our thirst, we attacked our packed lunch. Once we were done with lunch, we started to pitch our tents. The camping spot was chosen across the river, on the hilltop. We had to cross the river and climb a pretty steep slope to get there. After we were done with the pitching of tents and collecting some firewood for the night, we changed into our bathing clothes and headed towards the waterfalls. The view of the Bandaje falls from the top was truly majestic. How a small river transforms into this roaring, gushing, sparkling waterfalls is a sight to behold and worth the trek.

When we had soaked in this amazing view of the falls and western ghats enough, we headed towards the area where we got into the water and played like little kids. After washing away all our tiredness and being in the water to our heart's content, we headed up towards our camping spot to change into dry clothes and enjoy the sunset.  Sadly, due to clouds we were not able to see the sunset. We chose a spot next to our tents for the campfire and heating up the water we will use for cooking. After some light-hearted chats and amateur dancing, we prepared our dinner. I don't know whether it was my hunger or bisibele bhath was actually that tasty, but I enjoyed it along with the interesting conversations going on around the campfire. We retired to our tents for some much-needed sleep, calling it a night.

Bandaje Arbi Falls

Photo of Bandaje Arbi Falls, Kishore, Kadivithwara Village, Belthangady, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza

The point where the falls start

Photo of Bandaje Arbi Falls, Kishore, Kadivithwara Village, Belthangady, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza

Clear water

Photo of Bandaje Arbi Falls, Kishore, Kadivithwara Village, Belthangady, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza

Bandaje falls

Photo of Bandaje Arbi Falls, Kishore, Kadivithwara Village, Belthangady, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza
Photo of Bandaje Arbi Falls, Kishore, Kadivithwara Village, Belthangady, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza

The Gang on sunset

Photo of Bandaje Arbi Falls, Kishore, Kadivithwara Village, Belthangady, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza

Campfire

Photo of Bandaje Arbi Falls, Kishore, Kadivithwara Village, Belthangady, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza

Food getting cooked

Photo of Bandaje Arbi Falls, Kishore, Kadivithwara Village, Belthangady, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza
Day 2

Gods were merciful on us as the clouds had subsided and we saw a splendid sunrise. Refreshed by the sleep and the sunrise, we started towards the bandaje village, after we had our bread, butter and peanut butter breakfast. The journey towards the village was completely downhill, we all slipped somewhere or the other, so carrying a trekking pole or a normal stick is recommended. The route back is again grasslands, which leads us to a dense forest full of huge trees and a lot of water streams. We took rest by some of these streams, sharing the leftover snacks and chocolates (and making our bags empty😋) .
We reached Bandaje village by 1 pm and visited our guide's house. Our driver had already reached the assigned destination. We had to walk around 20 mins to board the vehicle, as the road was not proper for a minibus.  After unloading our bags, we started towards Ermai Falls.

Sunrise

Photo of Trek to Bandaje Arbi falls, but with a twist. #westernghatsinphotos by Albert D'Souza

Camping

Photo of Trek to Bandaje Arbi falls, but with a twist. #westernghatsinphotos by Albert D'Souza

The golden hour overlooking the charmadi ghats

Photo of Trek to Bandaje Arbi falls, but with a twist. #westernghatsinphotos by Albert D'Souza

A stream on the way down

Photo of Trek to Bandaje Arbi falls, but with a twist. #westernghatsinphotos by Albert D'Souza

Trekking back

Photo of Trek to Bandaje Arbi falls, but with a twist. #westernghatsinphotos by Albert D'Souza

Falls

Photo of Trek to Bandaje Arbi falls, but with a twist. #westernghatsinphotos by Albert D'Souza

Bandaje Arbi Falls

Photo of Trek to Bandaje Arbi falls, but with a twist. #westernghatsinphotos by Albert D'Souza

Bandaje Arbi Falls

Photo of Trek to Bandaje Arbi falls, but with a twist. #westernghatsinphotos by Albert D'Souza

We followed google maps to ermayi falls, which said that we had to trek for around 2-3kms to reach the falls. But the location on the maps doesn't lead to the exact ermayi falls. We gave up the quest to find the actual one after we found some waterfalls which was shallow enough for us to take a bath 😋 we started from there by  3.
After having a late heavy lunch at Uijre we all started our journey back to Bangalore with some DJ and dancing in the bus.

Photo of Ermayi Water Falls, Karnataka, India by Albert D'Souza
Day 3

We reached back Bangalore at around 1 pm, the common drop point was Majestic again. We took cabs form there, ending our the memorable trek to the top of Bandaje Arbi Falls and ermayi falls.

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