Tring…Tring…Tring…my alarm started jarring…half asleep and half awake, I rubbed my eyes to look at the time…it was 5:30am…dammit…who’d like to be disturbed that early and that too on a Saturday…cursing, I turned to sleep again but before sleep could take over me, the stunning realization of why I had set my alarm the previous night shook me up…we had planned a picnic to Hangumangundi waterfalls!!!!…With that motivation, I got up and got ready. Twelve of us had decided to meet in front of Infosys office at 6:30am but as it always happens, it was a little delayed and we were on our way by 7:30 a.m.in a Tempo Traveler.
Singing (or rather reciting :-)the lyrics of all our favorite numbers) and commenting…we reached Karkala for a quick breakfast. We were unaware of the route that we were taking and never realized that our driver was unaware of it too :-)We halted now and then to admire a few lovely spots and click a few snaps. After around 2 hrs of travel, we stopped to enquire on Hanumangundi, only to see people giving blank looks asking “Hanumangundi???” It was only then that we understood that we had lost track and were wondering what to do. Help came on its way as good souls over there suggested another Seetha waterfalls close by. “Oh God! Did we come all along to see just another waterfalls instead of Hanumangundi which we heard was one of the best…?” We were disheartened but where there is a group, there is fun…with that spirit, our driver took us, or rather, we guided our driver to take us to that so called Seetha waterfalls.
Another 30 min of travel and we met a dead end. A lone old man who sat there was the only population and we turned to his guidance. He assured that there was a falls of course provided we were ready for some forest trekking. Little did the man realize that what he meant as a hard job got our spirits of enthu kindled and we started walking, marching and climbing amidst the rocks and leeches. For 5.5km we were chatting, teasing, joking shouting and clicking snaps that the hot sun didn’t seem to bother us much. But all that was only until hunger and thirst took over. We halted for a snacky lunch of chips, fruits and biscuits (yup! We forgot to pack a proper meal) and once again resumed our climbing. Our water resources got over and tiredness started creeping in. After say around 2 hrs, we were about to give up and turn back. Four gallant fellows of our group took the lead and volunteered to explore ahead and signal us if they get sight of the waterfalls.
Allowing them to do as they please, the others sat down along the rocks to rest a while. In hardly another 5 min, we heard a ‘Heyyyyy’ from our friends out there….an excited hey which said that we were there…that was enough to jerk us from our seats because more than seeing the waterfalls, quenching our thirst became our utmost necessity. Another few steps of jumping over the boulders took us to the most breath-taking scene. Seetha falls with all its height and beauty stood in front of us proudly!!! We could see and hear the gushing water falling from a height of more than 30 feet. My goodness, honestly, I was more than stunned when I got the first sight of it!
The water was as clear as crystal but as cold as ice. But who cares…our guys plunged into the water for a swim with all their screams of excitement. I walked along the shallow side of the falls gazing at the arc of rainbow on the foot of the falls. How do I describe the scene?…a hundred thousand diamonds were powdered to grains and was mercilessly thrown from a great height. It splattered on all sides and I could feel them brushing against me even when I was quite afar. God’s own masterpiece again!!!! In comparison to its mighty height, our guys out there seemed like fishes in a pond. We continued our snacky lunch again but this time there was joy in our hearts that hunger became secondary.
Admiring the falls took me to a state of reverie…it reminded me of so many things…re-kindled so many memories…the sound of water seemed music in my ears and I found great happiness in blending with nature. Discotheque and pubs and theatres and restaurants have become the hangouts of youth these days. But our gentleman above has created more adventurers hangouts and has hidden it in an enclosure of forest and trees. The one who is willing to see it till the end is the one who’ll discover the glory! My God! This place was arousing a poet and philosopher in me and I was falling in love with it.
I was disturbed again for the second time when my friends told me it was time to leave. Trying to capture as much beauty as possible in my memories, I left the place turning every 2 minutes to get a second glance. Our trek downhill seemed so easy for all of us…we walked silently with minimal conversation because I know that the waterfalls has made its impact on not only me but on 11 other minds as well. We took off in our van and reached a way-side hotel at 6pm to fill our stomachs with dosas, chats and gobi Manchurian. We sang and laughed all the way back and reached Mangalore at 8:30pm. My body ached and bones tired that I hit my bed as soon as I reached home. Then once again, I was singing and trekking and admiring the waterfalls….only this time I was doing it in my dreams!!!!!