Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bilikal Rangaswami betta and Mekedatu - Dar ke age jeet hai 12/04/2015

Places: Bilikal Rangaswami betta, Chunchi Falls, Sangama, Mekedatu

Distance: 250 kms overall
Route: Vijaynagar -> Kanakpur -> Rangaswami Betta -> Kanakpur -> Chunchi Falls -> Sangam -> Mekedatu -> Kanakpur -> Vijaynagar
Type: Trekking (optional) & Sight Seeing, Waterbody.
Ideal for: Friends & Family
Bikes: Bajaj Discover and Honda Trigger
Budget: 400/Head

Abdul was exited to go on a ride as he got his new Nikon P600 Camera last weekend. I had Rangaswami Betta in my wishlist it was time to move it to donelist. Initial planning was just to visit Rangaswami Betta but it got stretched and we visited Chunchi falls, Sangama and Mekedatu.


Best of the Beast: Sunset time

Sunday Morning: We hit the road at 6 am sharp, headed towards Kanakpur.  After Kanakpur there is left diversion to Rangaswami Betta, while the google maps helped a lot the localites were friendly to show the directions.


Sun rise on the way

The Leopard story: Since there was nothing available on the hill we stopped at a shop to buy water. The shopkeeper told that a leopard has fell in well on the way to hills. There were many villagers assembled near the well, there was a man with big camera who seemed like a photographer introduced himself as some forest official of the area. "Why are you here?" he asked, "We are on the way to Temple on Rangaswami betta" I replied. He said "Why have you come so far? Isn't there is any temple in Bangalore? The hill is in reserved forest, you would be breaching into the forest". I knew that many people visit this hill and there is no restricition as such, we just nodded our heads avoiding any arguement. We diverted the topic to Rescuing of the Leopard.
Leopard hinding on the edge

A closer look

We continied our journery, but all the exitment had turned into fear as the man scared us. We reached this village Mavathoor from where the uphill starts.
From here you have two choices:
1. Park the Vehicle and trek for 6 kms.
2. Take bike/car/van/bus/truck till the  top (Yes!! The road is really wide).

Scary Ride: We weren't prepared for the trekking so we choose the second option. Road turned from Tar road to soil road with Zig Zag path. There were warning signs "Beware of Elephants" which did scare us. After some time we saw Elephant dung indicating the presence of Elephants in the area, as we were moving up we saw more and more elephant dung but no people around. Arun sitting on back seat insisted to return back but there is no turning back. Finally we saw two people trekking which gave us relief. We saw one more group of 8-10 people trekking.


Sri mahaedshwara swami temple at base

Sri mahaedshwara swami temple at base

Wide soil road to the hill top

Sign board - Beware of elephant
Elephant dung on the road

Road goes through forest shrub

Rangaswami Betta - On the peak:  Parked bikes under the shades of the mighty rock.  Had a great view of the surrounding places. After couple of minutes the two men whom we encounted on the way met us. We enquired about the trek on this route, forest breaching and elephants, the old man who is coming here since 19 years said its perfectly safe and open to the public. He told that Elephants weren't comman until some years back. Since it was our first time we were scared for no reasons. We spent some time on the top and started downhill. Abdul and Kalpesh suggested that we will visit Chunchi falls and Mekedatu.


The rock which houses the Ranganatha Swamy temple


View from the top







Pushkarani at the edge of the hill


Chunchi Falls: We were back on wheels heading towards Chunchi falls. It was already 12 in the afternoon, the sun was over the head and sun rays were intense. There were warning signages at the parking lot, a guy said that the water is dirty one can neither drink nor bath. We all agreed to stay off from the water and enjoy from distance.


Warning sign at the parking

Warning sign at the parking




There is a watch tower from which we had a good view of the surroundings. There was a small stream flowing on the left and falls on the right. We decided to go down near the falls. Trek down took hardly 10 mins, as we came closer to the falls we saw beautiful milky white falls was actually carring dirty water. The falls isn't big one like one at Shivana Samudra. We were thirsty and hungry, Kalpesh said there are hotels at Sangama.


Watch tower

Trying to capture 360 degree view

Small water stream on the left

Chunchi Falls








Sangama: The road goes through forest, there is a checkpost beyond which no liquor is allowed. The sunday rush was at the peak at Sangama, endless line of cars and bikes were parked. Had food at hotel on the left, food was worst than we imagined even the fish wasn't cooked well. Many people including group of friends and families were playing in water. The water level was low, so it was safer to get into water. We got tempted to swim and relax for some time but that would leave us tired and would be very difficult to ride back, if we were on car definitely we would have jumped into water :(  I had misconception that we had to walk for 4kms from here to reach Mekedatu so we simply sat on the river bank seeing people playing in water. When I asked local police about Mekedatu he said there are vehicles from the other side of the river which does round trip every 30 mins. It was already 4.30 pm we rushed to the other side of the river, we had to cross the river. There was a private bus on the other side, charged 40Rs/head for round trip. The four km ride to the Mekedatu goes through uneven path, no own vehicle could come here. There were sign boards with warning not to trek on this route.
Sangama - People playing in water


Sign boards again to remind of danger at the place
Played in water for a while

Mekedatu: 30 minutes was assigned to have look at the place. The first view of the place was awesome, the rocks everywhere more beautiful than one in Chunchi falls. I had always heard of accidents at Mekedatu so we were more causious at this place, since it was summer the level of water was less but still it gave an incredible view, before we could enjoy the place it started raining heavily. Rain continued for the next one hour. We came back to the Sangam after rain slowed down.



Mekedatu





The Ride Back - Mixed emotions: Many things started bothering us, apart from the wet road it was getting darker. The road has become slippery which could increase chances of skidding. From my previos experience I knew that the road is dangerous, rain had turned it deadly. We rode slow to avoid any chance accidents. The brigher side of the rain was the the climate had turned from intense hot to incredibly beautiful climate. We actually started enjoying the ride. Saw three accidents in row which reminded me of my previous ride on this road. Reached the home safely by 10 pm.

Note: 
1. The Kanakpur road is dangerous so ride safely and wear helmate. I will soon upload my previous trip to mekedatu where we met with minor accident.
2. Bilikal Rangaswami Betta offers a thrilling trekking experience, you can plan to trek as its safer.

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6 comments:

siva s padhy said...

Why u going thru such scary forest.. Life is rare, please take care.

sagar sakre said...

He he.. No bro it was safe because of such moment we got scared. But the hill is safe for everyone

anjali gupta said...

Nice reading your post. Chuchi falls is a lesser known and a medium sized waterfalls, more known for the rocks and gorges around the falls. Click here to know more about Chunchi Falls.

Anonymous said...

The trek to bilikal rangaswamy betta has been banned. We got belted by the forest officials when we went there in August 2015.

sagar sakre said...

Oh is it? Is it completely banned or only trekking is banned. It would be good if you explain what happened with you in detail. It will help other fellow travellers

Ashwin said...

Well written blog for traveler. This is a wonderful place to visit with friends during weekends. Visit those places by booking your bus tickets in KPN Travels.