With the same old set of people, there were few new faces adding delight to our freaky troop! Thanks to Trishna and Chandra Kala for joining us. As usual, Prashant (myself), Lawrence, Manasvi, Sangeetha, Surajit, Shylaja, and Meetha were all set for this long journey. SriHarsha was supposed to join us from Sirsi. FRIDAY LATE EVENING!! After a 2 days trip to Wayanad and a day's trip to Skandagiri, it was Manasvi and Sangeetha's responsibility (owned by themselves) to arrange for the next trip , whose result was a 2 days trip to a place called Sirsi. Sirsi is a place distant around 400 kms from Bangalore. We wanted to explore "yaana" and few were desperate to go to one beach atleast ( we decided "Om" beach ). Well, the place was decided, and now we had to arrange for the cab. We decided to hire the same driver whom we took to Wayanad, since we were all impressed with his driving skills. Raghu, the driver, managed to come back from Shabarimalai on friday morning, and after sleeping for some hours he was geared up to start his driving towards Sirsi on the same evening. Raghu came to my place in Vijayanagar at around 10PM, we started towards the organiser's house to pick them up. Next we had to pick up Shyli and Chandra Kala, they were waiting for the cab in Rajajinagar, and we were told the landmark of the place where they were waiting. - "Take a left turn near Jyothi Bakery, keep driving for 5 MINUTES, you will find us" !!!! I said " okkkaayyy"! Luckily it was Raghu's galli, so he knew where exactly to drive! After all of us settled in the tempo traveller, all of a sudden I got a shock seeing that the number of guys for the trip is too less. It always happens with this troop. I just asked shyli who has so many friends all over bangalore, to arrange for some more Gents for the trip. After introduction with each other (there were some new faces), and after the most important thing, "paisa vasool" we started discussing the plan for Saturday and Sunday, "where to go first??" , "when do we reach om beach??" etc et॥ I was for, going to some water fall, and Sahasralinga on Saturday, and on Sunday, early morning trek to Yaana and then to OM beach। This plan looks so neat to me now also but I don't know why it did not strike anyone elsethat time, few sat passive! All of them were so excited that they wanted to go to yaana first on Saturday! I thought it would be better to sit quiet, and not to have the altercation going on, since it would spoil the entire trip!
We reached yaana pretty late in the evening, at around 4:30. We hardly had any time left for the sunset, so we walked fast on the smooth track till the beautiful rocks. In the short time we had there, we tried to do some adventure by climbing few rocks, doing some crazy jumps here and there. Yaana is really a beautiful place. It is a nature’s wonder. Known for two gigantic rock formations of a height of 90 meters and 120 meters respectively called "Mohini Shikhara" and "Bhairaveshwara Shikhara". Half way up the side of Bhairaveshwara rock there is a deep cave measuring three meters at the entrance where Bhairaveshwara, the local deity is sanctified. Encircled by thickly wooded forest, it is a trekker’s paradise. There is a proper road (mud road though), from the starting place till these rocks. So it did not require much of energy from us. Before we could say that we should go further to explore some more of Yaana, it was already getting darker. We headed back and entered a temple, the "pujari" told us the story behind the "yaana", why is it named so, why the rocks have got that shape. He told perceptions of different people about the history of Yaana, Mohini Shikhara and Bhairaveshwara Shikhar , I donot remember even one story! We started walking back since it was getting darker. I had a lot of fun making some weird noise in the forest. All the way we walked listening to the music and answering great questions of "Question Queen" meeta. We headed back to the hotel we stayed in and it was a time to say good bye to our friend, Harsha, on the way. Really it was a great help from him, making the arrangements for stay and food and also showing such a wonderful hospitality at his house. Thanks Harsha! During the dinner I was just grinning sitting at a corner, and talking to myself saying that "see i knew that we couldn't have seen more of Yaana if we go there today" ! But it was too late and all I could do was sit and feel bad! However, I enjoyed the short time that we had at yaana. It was great fun! SUNDAY!! Next day morning, we had to get ready fast to start for the second day's journey. After experimenting with tasting new types of items in breakfast (MisaL pav, Banaana bun etc etc), we, headed towards a place called as "Sahasralinga", which is situated close to Sirsi (about 15 kms). Manasvi and Sangeetha had something to regret for, they forgot to pay for a glass of milk they bought from the hotel! Sahasralinga is a pilgrimage place in the Sirsi Taluk in the district of Uttara Kannada. "Sahasralinga" = "Sahasra" meaning thousand + "Lingam" . There are thousands of "Linga's" in a small water body. Lingam is a symbol of worship of the Hindu God, Shiva and its on the auspicious day of Mahashivaratri when thousands of pilgrims visit Sahasralinga to offer their prayers to Shiva. Each lingam here has a carving of Nandi facing it. We could get into the water there, we just went around for a while playing with the water and doing some photography experiments. I remember last time I visited the same place just after my second PUC, I made a borrowed camera soak into the running water. I tried my best to dry the camera and change the battery, but it did not work. Keeping the old memories in mind, I was very careful about meeta's camera which I was holding this time. She had given the responsibility of this camera to me, for the obvious reason of taking her beautiful snaps. The last moment while coming out of the lake, I lost control over my legs, I slipped in the water, and well.. I soaked in the water. Though I had 2 cell phones in my Jeans pockets, I was more worried about the meeta's camera. I remember how I managed to hold the camera up though I was flat in the flowing water. Some how I came out of it and camera was still working. Unfortunately my brand new w580i cell phone and my grand old samsung cell phones, were shutdown for a long time, until Lawrence made them dry dismantling each and every part of the phones and exposing it to Sun. I was happy to see both of them working later in the evening. I was quite happy that I enjoyed spending time in Sahasralinga, and managed to capture some "Kodak Moments"! Trishna and I had a competition to throw the flat stones on the still water to beat each other's count of number of bounces! It made me remember my school days when I used to do this quite often. It feels so good to do such things which I did in my childhood, and its all possible because I take out time for myself to go out of Bangalore, and live the life I always want to. It was a very pleasant morning for all of us and we all liked the place. We have so much of craze about photography (self and nature), that we didn't bother about cow's sh** and just stood near a bench and took some photographs. The most funniest part of it was when Trishna saw that sh** and sreamed "oh my god..chee...its a fresh sh**".... I just could not control my laughter!
After having a great time at Sahasralinga, we wanted to see some water fall, but again Driver and most of others, were like, "It will be too late to reach Om beach if see a water fall". This time I didn't want to hear all of that. I got down from the cab and enquired about "Unchalli" falls, and the distance to Om beach from there. According to my calculation we could have reached Om beach well before 4 PM in the evening. So we headed towards, Unchalli falls, around 30 kms from Sirsi, which is the one of the biggest tourist attractions near Sirsi. The waterfall is a 116 meter drop and offers spectacular views at all times of the year it seems!
We had to get down and walk for a while, around 2 kms, to go to the view point. I was thrilled to see the ghats, and on the left side, a milky water falls gushing through the beautiful western ghats and falling from a huge height!! huhhhhhh....a sigh of relief, that we did not miss seeing this wonderful breathtaking view. Then the photography started, focused photography covering the water falls next to the cheeks, next to their flying hair etc etc.. We again snapped some golden moments,and it was time for us to get back to the cab, since shyli was in hurry to jump into the sea water. We walked back slowly, Lawrence pulling some tired bodies along with him ;-). Before getting into the cab, all of us confused a shopkeeper with the number of banaanas that we ate. Everybody was hungry, and just could not stop themselves saying "I want one more"!! Shopkeeper also took the advantage of it and grabbed extra money! Now comes the most interesting part of the trip and the climax, much awaited Om Beach. Shyli wanted to swim and I was wondering "how could she swim in the beach". We reached Gokarna after travelling for 3 hours from Unchalli Falls. All thru this journey, I had a great time answering great questions from QQ(question queen), the best one being "Is this beach same as the someshwar beach?"....Of course all the beaches will be the same. You will see sea water and a sand on the sides ;-) As we had planned, we went to Om beach 2 hours before the sunset. I could not see the roaring waves of sea hitting the shores! Initially I was unhappy about it. I could see that there is some rock extending more towards the sea away from the beach. Few of us decided to go there for a while, the rocks were all dirty with bottles and rotten things all over. I really curse those people who spoil such a wonderful place. We sat facing the sun for sometime, we took some photographs again, and later I could hear that some one was calling us "oye oye".... Two local guys came with full of anger scolding me left and right, asking me how could I even dare to go to that place, I was the only guy in few of us who went and sat there, those local guys were targetting me and scolding, I tried to cool his temper saying that we could not see the display boards that its a "Danger Spot". I have heard of many instances where many people lost their lives in that spot.
We moved out from that place, started searching for Shyli, Lawrence and Surajit, and we could see that there was some swimming training going on by an untrained trainer (Lawrence) teaching a highly enthusiastic student (shyli), while Surajit was taking fun out of this. I could not resist myself getting into water,so couldn't others. I remember Lawrence and Surajit had great time, with both of them being trainers for sometime, and then being boats for most of the other time. There was one more troop, where those guys were wondering "what s happening out there?" . I can't really explain, in words what was the scene there! Having mentioned that, don't imagine anything else!!
We had great time at Om beach, few learnt the art of floating in the water (including me) and few learnt a little bit of swimming. Few looked excited and turned towards me and said "Hey don't move, let me see whether I can swim and reach this small distance!", It was one of the best sun sets I've ever experienced in my life! Floating in the crystal clear water and seeing the sun go down the horizon was just an amazing feeling!! After all the fun we had, nobody wanted to come out of swimming pool like beach, and I kept saying "some more time some more time".... Unfortunately, we had to come out and start our journey towards b'lore to make sure we reach early morning of Monday to go to office (Unfortunately!!). It was too late for us to start back from there, since we had to go to office the next day ( Monday ). We started back from there at around 7 PM. Raghu told, we will be reaching bangalore very late in the morning. Because of Raghu we had to wait for two more hours till he got his extra tyre ready in Kumata. On top of all this, when the entire world was sleeping (including us), Raghu said "why not me??"! He parked his TT on a road side and told me that he will sleep for sometime, and guess what that "sometime" turned out to be more than 2 hours and we were really really late, in reaching Bangalore! But I believe Raghu is a good driver and he drives carefully keeping our safety in his mind. It doesn't harm us if we reach 2 hours late to Bangalore than taking a risk by driving rash! So Raghu, again a good job done! and I bet, you will be our regular driver from now on (provided we don't see cockroaches in your TT again) ! We all carried great memories (as always) back home from Sirsi, yaana, sahasralinga, and Om beach, and Sangeetha carried an extra element apart from those memories, a doubt, "Why the hell was Tempo Traveller shaking when guys were changing their dress!" (after coming out of Om beach ) kudos to the trip team once again! and hope to see you all soon in our next adventurous meet!!