WHERE WOULD THE FUN BE IF WE ALREADY KNEW ALL THERE IS TO KNOW!!!
Quick Question: What is the solution to those stressful days at work and unsatisfied sleep all through the night?
What is the solution to that inexplicable hollow feeling in your life?
What is that thing which you can catch as quick as a common cold, get you as high as cocaine and hits you as hard as Mike Tyson?
You don’t need to scratch your head too much for this. There is a common answer for all these questions – TRAVEL.
Travelling is the exercise which can fill your mood with that exuberance with which we should be living each day of our life. It is the drug which can heal your soul and the much-needed meditation for every person leading a mechanical life style. (Typical 9-6 office and trying to fit in your hobbies in the rest of the time).
Ooo….. that was too philosophical right? So, let me take you to my trip straight away. I went on a trip to Dandeli, Vibhoothi falls and Gokarna during the Christmas weekend and I subscribed to a package provided by Hyderabad Trekking Club (HTC). HTC is a group of highly passionate individuals who plan out itineraries very budget friendly. The guides are friendly and its so rare to find such passionate individuals in today’s time.
I was asked to board the train going to Hubli on a Monday afternoon 3.30PM and the tickets were taken care by the HTC guides itself. They also tried their best in introducing each other in the group. As I was going alone, I got introduced to other travellers and knowing everyone’s story was so amazing.
The next The next day morning, we got down at the Hubli Railway Station and were informed that we’d be reaching Dandeli adventure sports directly. So we had to change in the railway waiting room itself and keep the unnecessary bag in the private bus, which was arranged by the HTC guys itself. As we could cover the major part of the route quickly, we could wait at the resort, check-in to it and keep the unnecessary luggage there itself.
Then we moved on to Dandeli water sports. This is one of the best places to go for rafting in Karnataka and we went for Kayaking, 6KM Water Rafting and Swimming in the river (With a lift Jacket though). There was a special discount for people from HTC, so we could get them for cheaper prices itself. First we went for Kayaking to get the feel of the paddle and straight away jumped into the river Kali which was so refreshing.
This is the River Kali and the water was so pure and transparent, it was visibly green because of the plants growing underneath. Then we went for rafting for which we got a different paddle and a helmet. There were around 11 members per boat and a guide who used to carry a Go-Pro camera to take your pics. This adventure was the best ever experience I’ve had and by then, the strangers with whom I travelled have also become friends. There were so many ups and downs in that 6KM ride, easily the best ever.
Then after we got down at the drop-off point, jeeps were arranged for us to get back to the initial point. Only a handful of people were leftover because there was no space in the jeep. But then we didn’t know that we ever going to find this extra-ordinary place.
Look at that force of the water. And imagine yourself keeping you head into that water to feel the force. And the water was so pure that the taste of it was much better than the mineral water we drink daily. Such high force of water, directly on your head, and yourself drinking that water, isn’t that a form of meditation??!!! You can lose all your mental stress in such a place.
After that, we went back to our resorts and had our lunch in the evening….yeah that’s right. And it was surprisingly very tasty. Usually when you go to such places, you have to compromise on food quality. But that was unlikely as we got very tasty food. Thanks to Panther Resorts for such high quality and maintenance. Then we had some team building activities like volleyball and bonfire and then dinner @9. We went off to sleep early as we were tired from all the water games that we played.
The next day we started around 8 in the morning for Vibhoothi Falls. It was a 3-hour ride in the bus and we could listen to a few songs which can make it a peaceful ride. Then we arrived at the Vibhoothi falls. We had to hike for around 500-600 metres to arrive at the falls from the parking point. But this is the place where you often get your best pictures clicked.
Then we arrived at the Vibhoothi falls which was another beautiful experience. The water was similar to River Kali during rafting and was very refreshing. But the depth of it is something which amazed me. Initially for some distance the depth was upto 5 feet and the ground level was filled with stones, so you could end up with a few bruises later in the day. But after a few metres, the depth could go upto 80 feet and even experienced swimmers could not dare to go into it as the force of the water fall was immense. So, we had to rent a life jacket which was provided for Rs.50/hr. We rented the jacket and went upto the vantage point, the exact point where water was falling with the greatest force. It was so amazing but alas…we could not get many pictures clicked as all of us were in the water.
After this, we had our lunch, don’t expect a multi cuisine style as it is going to be lousy. And also, you don’t get any signals in and around Vibhoothi falls for a radius of 5-6km. So, keep your dear ones informed beforehand.
Then we went on to our final destination (not depicting the movie, the final one in our list 😛 ), Gokarna at around 5PM. We got down near Kudle beach and had to walk for 100-200 mts towards it. The entrance of the beach itself was so magical as we could see the sun slowly setting in the Arabian Sea. This place is called the mini Goa as it is only a couple of hours away from it and also the beach is covered with 90-95% of foreigners. You could sense that feel around the place. Honest suggestion- Hang on your earphones and play the song “Illahi” from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani at the entrance of the beach during the sunset, and that is a proper ‘Heaven on Earth’ Feeling!!
We were asked to keep our luggage in a café- Café Nistara we went on to play in the beach. The café was filled with people from different countries and the whole environment was mentally so soothing. When I entered the café, I observed a particularly a foreigner who was lean and had a nice handsome look. Let me get back to this guy later. Then we went on to play in the sea water. Not many places in India do we get to find blue sea waters and we were lucky to have a swim in it over here. The I came back and freshened up and was getting to feel the sea breeze. Then this guy, whom I mentioned earlier, came up to me and asked – “Can I get you something to go?”. I was startled by the question and then realised that he works there as a waiter. Then I had a seat and joined my tour guides in a shack and asked that waiter to join us. We had a conversation for around 20 minutes wherein he shared his experiences. He was primarily from Netherlands and was travelling around Asia since the past 10 months. His next few destinations were Goa, Mumbai and so on and visits his home country only once in 1.5 to 2 years. I was awe-struck with those words and started talking to my tour guide, Manidhar about this and he started sharing few of his experiences. We started talking around 7.30PM and had no idea when it was 1AM. Those few hours of conversation with him changed my whole perception about travelling and now I have serious goals of travelling around the world. On a serious note, I would like to thank Manidhar (Instagram: @_the_planet_m) for inspiring and suggesting me to visit various places in the country. That was probably the best evening I have ever spent in my life.
Then we had to doze off to sleep as we had an early morning the next day. We went on a beach trek from Paradise beach which was around 3.5-4 Km. This was another experience which no one could ever forget. We started our trek around 8.30AM and finished it at 11AM. All through the trek, we were able to see the Arabian see on our left. We covered many beaches like the Paradise beach, Om Beach, Small hell beach and a few more. There was a particular spot wherein we could find dolphins rarely and that too only early in the morning till 7.30AM. After completing the trek, we went to have a breakfast which was the most satisfying one ever.
Then we got on to our bus and we got headed to Hubli where we had to catch our train back to Hyderabad. On the whole this is the sort of experience I was yearning to have all through my life. And isn’t it exciting to share our stories and experiences with others. Travel around the world alone and you’ll have hell lot of stories to tell. Thanks a lot for going through this long article as we expect it to test your patience. 😛
On the whole, I would like to thank Hyderabad Trekking club for planning such an amazing itinerary and making it a cost effective one. This inspires us to go for more treks and adventures. The passion that you people carry is very effective in making the environment playful and hopefully, I could join for many more treks during the monsoon.