Had a sleepless night, was restless and just waiting for the clock to strike 6am. Finally the alarm rang which was music to my ears. I pulled myself out of my bed with excitement and started to get ready for the trek. As decided our group was supposed to meet at Verna 7:20 which was our pick up point. After a little wait our bus finally arrives. The moment we enter the bus the environment changed from calm to raucous as we were one noisy lot in the bus. The climate was amazing as it was raining heavily that day as compared to other days. After several other pickups we started our journey to Sada Village.
After a while we were in Dodamarg market where we stopped for breakfast. We had our fill and again started our onward journey. As we proceeded to our destination the terrain changed from the concrete to natural one. Only handful of houses could be spotted on the way. Meandering our way through the narrow roads of Dodamarg we reached Mangeli Village surrounded by fog giving a feel like we were floating in between the clouds. Our bus came to a halt and we made our way to a tree where our lead guide was standing to give us the instructions about the trek.
We started our uphill climb towards the Sada Village; the climate was ever changing from rainy to foggy. Once atop your eyes can feast on the beautiful scenery comprising of mountains and other waterfalls in the vicinity. You have to walk through ragi fields to reach the village. The village has few homes which you can count on your finger tips. It also has centuries old well which has crystal clear drinking water. At the village we met our local guide who would take us to the Sada Watrefall. The trek to waterfall is moderate. As we make our way through leech infested vegetation we reached a spot from where you can see the lake, mountains draped in greenery and clouds drifting away. The view was bewildering. We had a brief photo shoot and again resumed our trek. After being scratched and bitten we finally reached the mighty Sada Waterfall. The flow was so powerful that the mist felt like it was raining it was the sight to behold. After securing our baggage we went to the base of the waterfall. The water would splash on the rocks with such intensity that it would hit you hard. We spend some time rejuvenating ourselves before our, ascend towards the plateau.
The plateau is a geological wonder which comprises of a lake and natural formed caves. The plateau also blooms with wild begonias and other exotic flowers giving it a vibrant look, unfortunately we were there at wrong time as most of the flowers had rotted away due to heavy rains. We had to cross a lake to reach the caves. It was a scene straight from the movie Anaconda where in we had constant fear that something might pop up from the water. Another brief walk and we reached the underground caves. At that very moment I felt as if I have reached to some other place all together. The mixture of light and water passing through the cave holes gave it a different dimension. The water dripping shimmered with the light which looked like jewels falling from the sky. After basking ourselves with the sights and sounds of the surrounding we descended back to the village for lunch.
The lunch was organized at a locals home since the place was small we were split in batches to have food. The trek had already made us hungry and the aroma of the food inside was making the hunger more intense. Finally after half an hour of waiting it was our turn. The lunch was traditional where we had to sit on the floor and food was served on banana leaves. The food was humble; rice served with lentil, Taro vegetable, pickle and papad. We were also served with a sweet dish, a kind of kheer made with sago, chana dal and jaggery.
After the meal we took a short break just to check if there were any leeches on us and to unwind. We booted up again and started the second phase of the trek to the natural bridge and Kalidas temple in the cave. Compared to the trek to the falls this trek was short we had to cross a small stream to reach the plateau where the caves were located. The caves had a small temple and a shiva linga in the middle. Above the linga there was a cave hole from which sun rays were falling on the linga making it glow. We spend some time there and started our descent to our bus. While descending we were greeted by heavy rains making the path slippery and difficult. We tip toed our way to avoid a slip and reached our bus for the return journey.
All in all, it was amazing, historic and geological wondrous trek.