Oct 30, 2012

Memories from Mekedatu

I received an email from an youngster early in the evening asking options for one day trip place around Bengaluru, preferably a place with a waterfall. Bengaluru has a handful waterfalls around it, most are crowded. I suggested Mekedatu, Thattekere near Nelamangala and Thenginkalbetta near Ramnagar. Though Thenginkalbetta isn't a water spot, it's a wonderful hill with twin peaks, caves and fresh water ponds. While I thought over the places, my mind raced through the memories of my student years.

I guess its an universal phenomena of water relaxing humans. Most people planning a picnic or a holiday would pick a hilly place or a watery spot or a combination of both. From what I've seen watery spots are fixed in most minds, be it a stream, river, waterfall, lakes, reservoirs or sea. Quoting Tao "Water is the most plaint of things..." Water simply captivates our senses, rejuvenates our bodies and minds with new energy. Makes you come alive and gives an awesome feeling ..alive and awesome. Well, the magic of water captures us and we surrender totally :) As a teenager, we had our share of adventures with rivers and waterfalls. Few of my visits to Mekedatu we wild trips, of course we were careful having known the perils of river Cauvery.

My first two trips to Mekedatu, I traveled in a truck- Allwyn Nissan Cabstar. During the second trip, I had driven the six-wheeled diesel engine truck all the way from Bengaluru to Sangama and back, with friends and a BMX in the cargo space. Sangama-Mekadatu was a 3.5 km trek on rough terrain.

I remember it was a warm day; during the return trek, plight of some friends who chose to come barefoot was pitiable ..the heated rocks literally roasted their feet :( It was a relief  when we neared the last bent near the Sangama; the sight of water gave them a burst of energy; dashed into water; pain and agony vanished :) Actually the ones with footwear weren't much better, the heat had sapped all; the entire gang got into cool waters of Cauvery. We had found a safe spot next to a patch of grass-covered river bank sloping down into the river. I got an idea! I pedaled as fast as the stretch allowed, came down the slope and dove into the water with a great splash. Yeah! that was fun!! I repeated the stunt several times and the pedal hit my shins few times. few others too dove in with the BMX. Not all had change of clothes but that wasn't a problem ...clothes would dry quickly during the windy ride.

These pictures were shot by dad during the first visit.

Cauvery flowing through a 70' wide ravine

The 70' ravine narrows down to 40'

Water squeezing through 25' S-bend

Water carved rocks

Quoting Tao again "Water is the most plaint of things and, yet it can erode away mountains and carve out canyons."

The next trip to Mekedatu was with my engineering friends, we were some 15 guys & several dozen beer bottles on four bikes, one Bajaj Super and one Padmini Premier. We had left our vehicles at the Sangama and trekked to Mekedatu. The sight of the water-polished smooth-curved rocks amaze us time and again. For many, it was the first visit here. On the way back, much before Sangama we spotted a stretch where water was shallow and it was safe to play around. We picked our way on pond littered sandy river bed and made it to the water. Good for us, the spot had a rock bed, no worry on picking up sand. We played in water fully bathed, beer bottles in water. Warm beer makes an waful drink. We dipped few into the water, hoping they would cool a bit. Water felt refreshing. If we had known the Cinthol expression, we would have screamed Alive is Awesome. I was lying down with a half empty bottle in  my hand. For a moment the bottle slipped and dipped, when I pulled it out it was more than half ...aaagh! Diluted beer tasted terrible, emptied the liquid into the river. Cauvery- hope you have forgiven that act of mine. The water party went on for a some time, until a responsible friend reminded us "get moving, we still have to ride 100km back home."

Those unforgettable days, memorable moments of my students days. Perhaps, we should gang up and enact those trips ...Sigh!

PS: Be a responsible tourist; know the limits, be safe, do not litter.



madhur jothi said...

After seeing the blog I feel the real journey of Karnataka can be done by sitting in front of my PC :) The real beauty of Karnataka is just revealed :)

siddeshwar said...

Thank you Madhur :)