Jun 16, 2012

Talewadi: cascade in Mahadeyi river

... continuing from Talewadi - caves and a cascade.

Back at the hamlet we had figs straight off the tree. We would wipe them with our fingers, squeeze them open and look for tiny insects before eating. About half of what we plucked were thrown away.

This tree is a cattle post. When I asked if anyone has to herd them for grazing Ganapati told us that would not be needed. Cattle are let out from all homes at the same time, cows, calves and oxen group together and to grazing into the forest. They return before sunset and  go back to their homes. See- animals are not as dumb as we humans think.

Ganapati mentioned that these were good for eyes. I must have had ten figs.

The heat was tiring us. Ganapati suggested we go home for water.  Sitting in the portico of his house we had water. He asked us if we wanted to see a waterfall, about 2 kilometers walk. I was hesitant but decided to go. Balu decided to stay back and rest.

Sun was beating down, I pulled out my cap from the backpack. We took a different direction out of the village. About 500m away we crossed a dry stream bed. I was trying to imagine this place during rainy season. We entered the jungle but the path was wide and shaded. This is the road to Krishnapur. Deeper into the jungle Ganapati suggested we take a short cut. The path was interesting, this is where he mentioned that British officers stationed in Talewadi came to the river for bath. Down the hill, we rejoined the road and in the distance I could hear water gushing down rock beds. There we are- Mahadayi river. It's also spelled Mhadeyi. The river is about 25 to 30 feet wide. A heap of rocks form a causeway across the stream.

That's the cascade. the sounds of water gushing down  these slopes was music.

Water collects into a pond down there and then flows deeper into the jungle, flows by Krishnapur and then into Goa.

A bend in the slope. Water collects into a little pool with a little cave.

Ganapati and Manju settle themselves into a shaded spot by the water. I was in mind to sit, I went down the rocks exploring the spot.

A mini swimming pool.

I think this is Kakada flower, jungle variety.

 The buds are pinkish but the flowers are white. Beautiful!

Ganapti asked if we wanted to bathe. Manju said if he knew this he would have brought a change of clothes. Next time. It was time to move on, tummies were growling. Ganapati had dropped our water bottle in the stream for it to cool off. He's quite a character. We would address him as Kaka ~ Uncle.

Not sure what this is ...dried fern leaves?

A micro-mini waterfall in the background and twin baby pools in the foreground. Just behind the waterfall is the causeway, Talewadi to left and Krishnapur to the right.

On the way back to Talewadi we met a group of women and kids. Ganapati knew them, we stopped.   They had walked from the forest check-post (about 8km from here) and they had to walk another 8km to Krishnapur. The youngest of the group, a boy of  8 or 9 looked tired but he had no choice. An elderly lady who looked like his granny had a 300ml PET bottle with water. We gave them our 2l PET bottle, the boy's granny smiled thankfully.

On the way back, Ganapati wanted to show us a spot where a British era bungalow stood once. Whoever had it built wanted to spend his evenings looking at the sunsets over the hills and forests. That's our path back to the hamlet. Ganapti told us numerous stories from his life. We should come here and spend few days, listening to his stories.

Back home, Ganapati offered us to have lunch. We were hesitant, did not want to give them extra work but their hospitality is irresistible. Balu called Ganapati's wife as Kaki ~ Aunty. Lunch was rice, thili-saru and sliced onion. Simple and tasty.  Rice was home grown, no chemical fertilizers in it. Pur air, pure water and pure food. May God bless these people with this life for years to come.

As we sat back and relaxed Ganapati' brother Sateri joined us. We spoke about their agricultural practices and life. They had to guard their fields at night against animal attacks. Besides agriculture they harvest forest produce like cashew, honey, spices like daalchini, etc. Talking about honey, I bought about 3kg honey. Pure jungle honey.

For Balu it was hard to imagine how they spent time in the evenings. I told them that I would come again and stay here few days. I noted down his contact numbers. I felt good to have friends from a hamlet in Western Ghats.

Having seen two human settlements without electricity in XXI century was something. In a way they are lucky.

Back home, I ran the honey through fine sieve to filter our bits of wax. The taste was better than the  Dabur or Feaster  honey I regularly use.

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