Friday, 13th June 2008
- 2:00 PM
Subrahmanya Arcade (My office)
(Friend of mine calls me)
Friend: "Hey, sorry for calling you up on the last day and inviting you for the trip.. would you be interested?"
Me: "Dude, just because few seats are left unoccupied, are you asking me this? Not really intended me to come on the trip huh?"
Friend: "ha ha ha..nothing like that, I thought someone else would call you"
Me: "Well, today I have a telecon with my US peers and a customer, so if this issue gets fixed will be able to come. But chances are 10%.. "
- 8:00 PM
Me: "Hey I can't come for the trip, I have to stay back in the office since we are supposed to have a net meeting with the customer..Now the chances are 5% that I can make it for the trip..If some miracle happens and the issue gets resolved, I will join last moment!"
A mail from a US peer: "Hi Prashant, the net meeting is over, the steps provided by you guys seemed to work just fine"
Me: "Sir (to my colleague), I will go home and try to catch up with my friends for the trip"
And thats it, my 5% chances turned out to be 200% to make it for, what I call a wonderful wonderful trip to KemmannugunDi, a hill station distant 40Kms from Chikkamagaluru.
Started from Bangalore at 11:30PM in the night from my pol, vijayanagar, the 21 seater containing the mixture of the generations drove us to Chikkamagaluru. Yes, there weren't only friends but friends' friends, friend's parents in-laws, son, husband..
Mullayyanagiri was the first place to be visited on the list - It would have been a second visit to the highest peak, but still I didn't mind - My second visit to the same place started giving me a different feeling as the bus started trekking the hill :-). This time around it was drizzling there. There was a small tree bent towards the middle of the road obstructing the way for our cute bus. I was more than happy to help the cleaner, to move the tree upstraight to make way for ourselves. Great feeling!!
As and when I saw the places we trekked through last time around, I was showing my friends, "see this is how we came last time..." 2 months back it was a clear sky, with bright sun throughout out trek. This time no trekking; We had the bus.. On the way we got down at a view point to inaugurate our photo sessions!
Before reaching Mullayyanagiri, there comes a place called, SitaLLayyanagiri, from where we can trek to the peak - it takes about half an hour to 45 mins. I asked who wants to get down and try to trek through the clouds. All youngies stood up and said "Let's go"! And as expected it turned out to be an amazing experience. C'mon who wouldn't like walking through the clouds.. Few of the troop who had never seen such a scenic beauty were already on the sky, it was so good to hear a Northie praising my state Karnataka for the first time..
"Amazing, fabulous, ultimate, heaven.." these are words I could hear frequently on our way up the hill.
Our bus which took some people in it did not manage to reach the peak, since the driver got threatened by the high speed blowing wind and clouds. He stopped it in the middle of the way itself. Trust me it was really scary, I man could have been easily flew away with the wind.. But still our other teammates and their parents, made an effort to get down and walk till the top. We were relieved to see them near the top.
Now came the most challenging part of this trek. A man can stand on the earth and look up to see the clouds moving - we could see them all around us... so much of fog and blowing wind which could take anyone away easily.. Few guys from the other troop warned us "don't go..very risky..hammering wind!" Initially we were hesitant. But then I said, we should climb few steps up and come back if it gets diffcult. Slowly and steadily we managed to climb up few steps, after a while, it was a moment of life or death. Had we not held each other's hands we could have gone with the wind! majority of us decided that we should go back, but there were 3 people who wanted to make it to the top. We took a deep breath and said "Time to climb down".. as we turned our face down to climb down, the 3 of them who were interested, just ran up the steps. Now a big dilemma, "Shall we also go or wait for them (if at all they come back)?" - I said "we should also go up to see these guys are there" - We made it to the peak point somehow and grabbed a cup of "requested tea" at the top [ priest's house on the top].
There were showers for some time, and as soon as it slowed down we fastened our pace to climb down the steps. What a memorable and scariest experience!
Next place on the list was BababuDangiri, a holy place basically. Way to BababuDangiri was unforgettable. It really makes you wonder; look through the window of the bus and see numerous cloud formations and their meet with the hills, some milky clouds look sliding down the hills, way down you see the trees which give guest appearance when the clouds are away.. I know I can't explain all this like the writers do or the Discovery Channel's presentation of the scenic beauties.. That's why I put a lot of photos to make myself more expressive :). Well, for a moment I felt I am blessed to be still in India unlike others going out of the country in hunt of success!
A feeling of bliss..
By the time we reached the place called "Datta peeTha" I was done with a nap. The chill cold weather woke me up and my hungry stomache made me grab a Pulav packet and after that I could not stop myself searching for a tea shop in the vicinity. I managed to get one and had 4 cups of hot hot tea :-)
Once we were done with the Darshan (visit) to the temple, it was time to go to KemmannugunDi. On the way "Mungaaru Male" was enjoyed by all of us, with lot of cheering for Ganesh and all the songs. As I wanted it to be, we reached the place when the movie reached a part where Ganesh gets acceptance from the girl for his proposal :-) "A happy ending" I said as the driver switched off the tv.
So far I felt I was on the sky, in fact I was!! I could feel the ground when I touched the soil. With a set of very good organisers for the trip, everything was set right for accommodation etc.. As we reached the guest house, there was a huge queue for... you know for what.. ;-)
Next on the list was Z-point, the next day, but we were unfortunate to miss going there because of rain and fog.
Next it was Hebbe falls right after the breakfast. We walked for a km to get jeeps to Hebbe falls which is approx 8 KMs from that place. The jeep drive was so amazing and seeing stupendous fields of grass on the way made me feel really happy. Hats off to the drivers who manage to take us through, through such a bad mud road, and high speed wind. Jeep dropped us near a guest house from where the falls was again around 2 kms away. This 2 kms way to the falls in this weather is outstanding. With so many water streams on the way which you have to cross, and the steepy little hills which you climb give you undoubtedly a great feeling. Not to forget few leeches who give you few unforgettable memories when stuck to your legs to suck your very sweer blood :0)
Just as we turned right from a curve on the way, we were shown the great hebbe falls by mother nature and the two eyes were really not enough to catch the beauty of it. Hebbe really rocks between the picturesque nature of hills and trees..
Only few of us escaped leech attack, some realized late in the jeep when they thought their leg was itching.
Back to KemmannugunDi on a jeep drive, lunch at the guest house restaurent, a group photo, a visit to a small holy place "Kallatigiri falls" on the way back to b'lore and then back to bengaluru, a city full of IT people, ended our trip without any hassles!! All thanks to the wonderful organisers who took take care of every possible things to make this trip a big success!! Right from snacks to entertaining us with "Jab we met", "Mungaaru MaLe", and "Tom and Jerry" - They had made all arrangements!!
My mind is still not out of that wind and clouds....it takes a lot of time to pull myself out of such a masti-misty trip (that's how someone called it on the trip)....
People stare at the peak and say "How can someone climb up to that point?"
I stand on the peak and say "Why can't you climb up and play with the clouds?"
Visit for few more snaps -