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Sagara - Dabbe Falls Trek

Just like any other techie in Bengaluru, I wanted some place to get away from the IT world and this trek to Sagara happened. When my parents questioned me about how far was it from Bangalore, I didn’t know. When my friends asked me if I could make it, I didn’t know. Since it was my first two day trek, I knew it was going to be memorable in my list forever.  Leaving behind a company dinner at Taj, I came to the meeting point at Shanthala Silk House at 9 PM (way too ahead). With all the excitement and thrill, I boarded the TT. Meanwhile my friend Neha also joined me and the van started to be filled with random strangers.
The usual BTC style introduction began. With all of us introducing ourselves, the ice was broken, yet we didn’t reach our comfort zones. Everyone dozed off, or at least tried their part. Our super amazing driver reached Sagara by 5.30 AM, but we were waiting for the guide to join us. Time went on, but there was no sign of anyone. Finally, they came around 7.30 AM and the delay was much acceptable as they prepared our breakfast as well and came. We halted at a temple and had a quick round of introduction. We were told that Mahesh Sir and Anil were going to take care of the team in the next two days. Then we refreshed and had a good breakfast – Thatte idly, Mangalore Buns, vada. Dosa also came after sometime, but our stomachs were too filled. Had coffee and boarded the TT again and travelled into the forest area. I was amazed at the driver’s expertise. While we dozed off in the small gap from the temple to the base point, he still kept driving.

At 10.30 AM, we got down in the middle of nowhere and Mahesh Sir told us that it was the starting point.  We made a circle again and he told us the DO’s and Don’ts. One exceptional instruction was that if we got lost or stuck somewhere, we got to shout ‘Ohoohoo’. It was too fun to shout at that time, but little did we know the seriousness about it. Hoping that nothing will happen, we kept our first few steps. With Ameer and Mahesh Sir leading us in the front, Lokith and Anil were at the trail. The path wasn’t that difficult, as we were mostly walking around the villages, with few houses hither and thither. The only creatures which scared us were the DOGS. They kept barking and blocked our way. We stopped in every single house on the way. Thanks to our super famous Mahesh Sir who knew each and everyone in the localities. Our paths were lined up with rubber trees, pepper plants and different stream paths. Meanwhile, Preethy, our enthusiastic first timer in the group, got tired and her chocolate packet was almost going to be empty as well. Then we halted in a house for a longer time than expected. Raj and few others were kind enough to be our monkeys and got us some tender coconuts :D One thing that I observed in all these houses is that their doors were always open, completely contradicting to our amazing city houses. They welcomed us and gave us anything and everything that we asked. I could only imagine how the responses would have been in Bengaluru. After a long break and Preethy getting back on track, we started our expedition. In the middle of the deep forest, we saw a beautiful shell like cave, with water pouring over it. As usual, we got into the water and climbed over the rocks and posed for the pictures. Then we resumed our trek as were running out of time.

Around 1.30 PM, we climbed a few steps and reached the Bheemeshwara temple and the falls beside it. Even though the waterfalls mostly looked like a shower, it is supposed to be at its best only during the rainy season. Yet, as we stepped into the falls, the water was too cold and the next reaction would be to SCREAM! We climbed up but the rocks were too slippery with algae everywhere. Then Mahesh Sir took us around the temple and told the myth behind the temple’s existence.  
Bheemeshwara temple was constructed by Bheema by bringing Shiva linga at the place. The temple also had a direct link to Kasi, from where Bheema brought the Linga. Arjuna bowed an arrow at the nearby mountain to bring the water for worship, which was supposed to ne the falls. Until recent times, the water was directly falling on the Shiva Linga. After hearing all the stories, we came down and reached the house where lunch was awaiting for us. We had a complete meals with rice, sambhar, cabbage sabji, rasam and curd. Gulab jamun and ice cream were missing though, which the organizers lied about to make us walk.

After a wholesome meal, our next step would be to take a nap, but we weren’t allowed to do so. With no other option, we started our journey. Even though our stomachs were full and the energy was back, we had to climb a lot now which was very tiring. Mahesh Sir was always asking us to not to breathe us with our nose, and told us to not to drink water while walking. He never gave breaks when we asked for it. He always found the right time and that helped us a lot, as more breaks would have made us too lazy. The path became simpler, as we reached the top of the mountain. We walked across meadows and grasslands. As we were waiting for Raj and few other people, they came back with yummy sugarcanes. Poor ME! I didn’t get to taste it unfortunately. A josh came into the group and we walked with complete excitement with the hope that our homestay would come soon. And finally we reached it. A small house hanging from the slope with grasslands and mountains in the front, it was a perfect scenery. 
We threw our bags away and our TT was waiting near the house. All the injured people were getting treated by our experienced Dr.Lokith. Even though our body required some rest, our mouth didn’t. We kept talking random stories and as night fell, scary stories came into the picture. I only hoped that the guys wouldn’t carry Preethy in the midnight and drop her in the middle of the meadow. :D Then we played the usual Dumbsharath for some time. We were literally fighting for the onion pakodas and drank coffee.

Since it was becoming too bored, I stepped in to teach the group about Mafia. Meanwhile many walked in and out of the group to refresh. Aunty was kind enough to make hot water for our bath as well. I was struggling to get the group in sync with the game. Yet everyone tried their best to get into the arguments. The game finally ended with multiple trial runs only, thanks to the awesome angles and mafias. Gowtham and few others were helping the house people in preparing food for us. Then it was dinner time. We had chapathis and Cabbage (spicy!), rice and dhal and payasam.     

Then we sat around and shared our stories and experiences. While Raj was telling his adventurous experience to Himalayas, Avinash got into his love mood explaining his love story. Meanwhile Mahesh Sir was getting things ready for the campfire, but we were too tired and it was already 11.30 PM. So, we didn’t have campfire and bid good night. 

January 31st:
Being an early riser, I got up by 6 AM and found no one awake. I was just lying, looking at nothing. Then I walked out of the house once Aunty woke up. I was staring at the silent beauty outside and comparing it to my present life. There was a calf which was born just a day before we came. With its innocent face, it was moving around its mother. With grasslands in the front, sun rising from the mountains and a red tree in the green field, it was like a painting and I was living in that painting. Then Narendra came with his DSLR and captured all the sceneries. Bekun and Ameer also walked with us to the grasslands. Then we came back as Coffee and tea were waiting for us. Now and then, Narendra and Vishnu would start laughing, but no one understood the reason behind them. Yet we would laugh with them.
Hunger panic began! We refreshed and were ready for the day. Finally, the yummy breakfast was ready. We had Kesari, Rice Upma with jaggery (Kesari and Upma were called as Chow Chow Bath) and Dosa with coconut chutney. I was amazed at how Aunty kept preparing Dosa for all of us. In the meantime, she prepared lunch as well. We gave our tiffin boxes and they filled it completely. Thanks Gowtham for doing that job! After taking pictures with the people in the house, our day 2 expedition began!

 We walked across forests and streams, but there was no sound of a waterfall. Since we started a bit late, the sun was also consuming our energy. We stopped at a house and drank lime juice. Then we walked with full enthusiasm in the jeep track. Suddenly Mahesh Sir went off the track and descended. The adventure began and we walked a few miles and reached another house with a dog and cat. While the dog was showing too much of its love, the cat was silently playing with the sticks and laces.

Finally we reached a point where Mahesh Sir asked us to form a group again. He gave us a single line warning that “We are 14 in number. Let’s get in as 14 and come back as 14!” I knew this was the scariest part of the entire trek, but they never told about this before. With all hopes and excitement, our adventure began. With Mahesh Sir leading us, we were following him like ants. The guys were too responsible that they took extra care on us (girls). But we trusted the roots more than them :P When Mahesh Sir told us to keep left, we obeyed it. And when there was a STONE call, we shouted and passed the message to people in front of us. Somehow every inch of it showed the unity in the group. As we crawled and jumped and skidded and reached a point, a surprise was awaiting for us. It was the first view of the falls. Taking the next step, I was stunned at the view. It was huge and beautiful and mesmerizing. Our struggle to climb down didn’t go as a waste. The falls was worth it after all. The organizers warned us not to get excited as we haven’t reached the base yet. Next step was even more adventurous. We were set to do rappelling. Initially, it was bit scary, but I made my mind to do it. The moment I got the pace, it was super fun. I was dancing with the rope like a monkey, and in no time I reached down. Then I went down with the rest and waited for the others.
It’s the FALLS time! As we got into the water, it was super cold and all we could do was one thing. SCREAM! Mahesh Sir started to splash water on all of us and the fun began. We moved near the falls slowly as the rocks in the water was too slippery. We were walking with the fishes. The water force was tremendous; it was like getting beaten by someone. I was not able to withstand it for a long time; so I came out and played in the plain water. Few brave ones (who wanted to show off! :D – I didn’t mean you  Narendra and Ameer! :P ) went swimming in the small area. After posing for few pics, we came out of the water, as we had to start back before it gets dark. Had our yummy pulihogire and bid goodbye to the falls. Personally, this falls gave me lots of memories to carry on for the future. People lied to us that we’ll take a different path, but unfortunately we had to ascend in the same path. Other than the rappelling portion, everyone climbed up super quick. Then we walked and walked and walked to reach our end point. In order to keep the walking interesting, we were laughing like crazy with no reason and scaring Preethy about the route ahead. As it started to become dark, I was little scared. Mahesh Sir didn’t want us to get our torches out as insects will start flying around. Finally we reached the main road by 7.00 PM, but alas! The TT was not waiting where it was supposed to be. We made a circle again and shared our experiences and ended with a big tight group hug.

On our return travel, we played food antakshari, which was way more fun than I expected. Food from all over the country came under the roof. Meanwhile we reached the temple again, where we refreshed and started back. Had good dinner at Sagara, where the organizers asked us to order anything and everything with a small request to not to waste anything. As promised, they got us an ice cream too finally. Our return travel to the polluted city life began. And the adventure didn’t end there. Around 3 PM, our TT had a breakdown and the organizers were struggling to find an alternative. Finally they found something and when we got out, we were surprised that it was a truck. The trek couldn’t be even more fun, with people entertaining us in the middle of the night with coriander leaves. We reached a nearby town and got a bus to Bengaluru. The time to bid good Bye came at 7.30 AM, where everyone dispersed in their cabs to their home.

Just like every other trek, this too got added in our list of memories. It couldn’t have been better without the people. We met as strangers and because of few people in the group, we became friends. Two days without any mobile network also helped us to realize our own self, rather than sticking to the small machine. Thanks everyone and a big thanks to the amazing super cool organizers, who kept the group under control without any issues. I would like to end this by saying Ameer’s appreciating words – “That was amazing yaar!” and Lokith’s note “Till then take care, eat well, will see you when I see you!” 

Written By        : Shamili Sekar
Organized By    : Ameer & Lokith
Date of event   : 2nd & 3rd Jan, 2015
Members Count : 14
Place                : Sagara
Pictures            : BTC FB Page

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