Apr 18, 2006

Kemmengundi

“What is the latest version of JAVA?” cackled Rahul, over the din to a bunch of engineers largely related to software.

After a moment of silence, he answers it himself with a flourish,

“Mar JAVA, Mit JAVA”,

That’s how the trip started, with a bunch of ten amicable people, of whom I barely knew four.

We are out of a riot torn Bangalore and thanking the timing to just be able to escape all the violence the city witnessed the day before.

We are en route to a camping/trekking stint at Kemmengundi. When I think of the associations this funny sounding name brings to mind now, its that of a lonesome little hill station amidst a panoramic view of the hills surrounding it. In the distance you see clouds wafting around and the greens is primarily those of Silver oak, Mahogany, Eucalyptus and Coffee plantations. Now add amazing weather to all of this and a sizeable waterfall (Hebbe Falls) to boast of, all set in a time when the moon shone in its full glory.

We close in on Kemmengundi near midnight and amidst the slumber, which the hour brings in, Mani suddenly lets out a startled expression at the valley slowly unfolding as we take to the hills further and further up. It’s a full moon night; most shapes clean and the dark shape of the hills loom large with clouds wafting by in an almost genteel manner. These are the first sights that welcome you. Its late and the campsite is a clean patch surrounded by tall oaks…Can’t help falling in love… the tents are pitched…Knock, knock, knocking on… and we curl up to the last of the tunes from Prateek’s guitar…Pal, rahen ya na rahen, yaad aayenge ye pal

The trek is marked out for a 9km stretch spanning three hills and concluding at the Hebbe falls, a near 170 mt fall broken up roughly in two stages. The terrain is easy, especially on the downhill, largely over the dirt tracks on the hillsides. The fall has a gush of water unexpected, for the season. The fact that we jumped in would be an understatement, but the cold water beating down on our heads is a feeling quite indescribable after three hours of hiking/trekking. It tends to not just to drench but in a curious way cleanses. There ain’t any precious moments to ponder, there is just laughter, sounds of water all over and lots of splashing. The return needless to say saps every last ounce of energy, enough to want to run back to the falls.

The Rock Garden is strikingly well maintained (The same goes for the Govt. Horticulture dept. and the Raj Bhavan Garden). It almost makes one yearn to get back to the forest. Despite all its beauty it speaks of human intervention, something that I wanted to escape this weekend. Nonetheless the view from the rock garden is amazing, especially at sunset.

Nightfall, heralds the bonfire, raucous singing, dumb charades and general hullabaloo, concluded just in time for the oncoming torrential rains. A blissful night of sleep is undisturbed even by the pounding of the rain on the tents. It’s a balmy night and waking up in between to just look at a sky studded with stars after a night of substantial rain is a feeling by itself. Fatigue fades away, as what you behold is infinitely beautiful, dark shapes of the hills around covered with tall trees seemingly reaching out to the stars and a full moon above. It’s a beautiful blue and not just the colour…

(Zishaan, Vivek, Tina, Rahul, Prateek, Parul, Mani, Harsh, Anurag you’ve all been great company and somehow I fail to capture in this all the little incidents that made the company so cherished)

7 comments:

~RAUL~ said...

Don't worry, you have captured me well enoguh :D :D

And you write pretty well !!!

And it was not 9 kms....it was way way beyond it :(

Chander Dogra said...

The last picture of the blog is awesome. It looks as if the colours have been edited in the photoshop. Looks like you guys had loads of fun ..."sleeping in the tent while it rains outside"...looks like some people have there trip tailor made to perfection

Prateek Dayal said...

great pictures :)

Aditi Das Patnaik said...

Thanks Rahul, Prateek

Chander, actually the image is not tampered with, those were colours captures at 0535 hrs just before sunrise.

:)

golliwog said...

nice photos, re...
you heading up the nice-wall-papers alley yourself!
i think its time you started a in-and-around-bangalore lonely planet edition!

~RAUL~ said...

whats next ? i.e. 29, 30 and 1st....

plan out something...

L E T A U R E A U said...

Very nice! We were planning to head there this week. And now m convinced i should.