Chunchi Falls, Mekedatu and Sangama   Leave a comment

Starter:

This was my third trip to this route. My first trip was to Chunchi falls n Sangama only (missed Mekedatu) and my second trip was to Muthathi (Muthatti), Bheemeshwari and Sangama (will write article on this soon). And my third trip which is this one is to Chunchi Falls, Sangama and Mekedatu.

Bike: Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twin Spark, Honda Unicorn CB Twister
Distance:
Bangalore (METRO, Kanakpura Road) to Chunchi Falls – 77 Kms,
Chunchi Falls to Sangama – 16 Kms.
Sangama to Mekedatu – 5 Kms (To be covered by Private Bus).
Sangama to Bangalore (METRO, Kanakpura Road) – 82 Kms.
Total Distance Covered (From HAL, Bangalore): 210 Kms.
Time of Trip: 1st week of December, 2011.
No. of Persons: Four

Places Covered:

Chunchi Falls, Sangama, Mekedatu.

Introduction about Place:

Before starting the article, let me tell you that both Sangama and Mekedatu are quite nearby to each other. You cannot travel to Mekedatu from Sangama on your personal vehicle and you will have to use the public transport available there.

Mekedatu is a location along Kaveri in Kanakapura Taluk. Sangama is the place where Arkavati merges with Kaveri. From this point, about 4.5 kilometers downstream, the river Kaveri flows through a deep gorge so narrow that one would think that a goat can leap across it (‘Mekedatu’ means ‘goat’s leap’ in Kannada). It is not really so narrow and no goat commonly found in that part of India could cross that distance in a single leap. It is about 100 km from Bangalore via Kanakapura. The name comes from an incident which is believed to have been witnessed by herdsmen in that area a long time ago. It is said that a goat being chased by a tiger made a desperate attempt to save its life by leaping from one side of the gorge and managed to cross over the raging river below, whereas the tiger did not attempt to replicate this feat, and abandoned the chase. The point where the goat leapt has widened since then from erosion caused by the river Cauvery.

At Mekedatu, the Kaveri runs through a deep, narrow ravine of hard granite rock. The river, which is more than 150 meters wide at the confluence (at Sangama) flows through the hardly 10-meter-wide gorge at Mekedatu. One can see the ferocious flow of all that water, displaying Bernoulli’s theorem.

Sangama is the confluence of two rivers – Arkavathi and Kaveri(Cauvery). This place is around 2 hours drive from Bangalore and can be done on a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler. Arkavathi will be just a small stream for most of the year and will have some water during the monsoons. It is best to visit the place in rainy season when kaveri is running full of water.
The last 5kms of the drive to Sangama is quite interesting. The road takes a steep dip into a valley and gives you the feeling of riding in Ghat section. The waters here are shallow and wide, so you can walk around in the water or take a dip. When you are done, you can walk through the forest, along the banks of the river for around 4.5 kms and reach Mekedatu. You also have the option to take a bus, but many people prefer to walk. As you move towards Mekedatu, you notice the river getting narrow, until at some point there is hardly a 20 feet distance between the banks. The river runs ferociously at this point and has formed beautiful soft structures on the rocky banks.

Chunchi Falls: Around 15 Kms (Road Distance) before Sangama River Arkavathi flows through very elegantly and gracefully and forms this falls. The first thing that strikes you in Chunchi Falls is not the waterfall as you would expect. You will be amazed by the spread of rocks all along the banks of Arkavati River, which appear as if someone had meticulously chiseled these rocks to their liking. Delve deeper and you can imagine many shapes and meanings in these naturally formed rocks. After you tread on these rocks carefully for a while, the real culprit emerges slowly from behind some of the rocks. The Arkavati River which has shaped these rocks, first flows slowly, as if she is ashamed of her chiseling act, and then boldly cascades down from some pillar like rocks, providing you with a beautiful view.

Characteristics of these places:

• Avoid going in summer to Chunchi Falls, I have been there in the month of August and November but couldn’t see much water there. It’s better to visit this place during Monsoons.
• However, you can club with trekking to the other fall which is around 2Kms one-sided trekking from Chunchi Falls. Try to choose a cloudy day for this trip, and then it will be better.
• Almost all of these places you will not find network of Vodafone, or other service Provider. However, Airtel network is available even at Mekedatu. (I was really wondering on how they managed to get network there).
• I love riding to these places as after Kanakpura the ride is so nice. You always have hills for your company towards your right and during this trip the hills were foggy almost till noon.

My Journey:

As usual, this was again one of my very late planned trips. Friday evening, I had called my friend and asked if he would accompany me for the trip. He asked me for the places and I provided him with few choices – Lepakshi, Ghati Subramanya and Makkali Durga, Melukote and Tannur Lake, and Anthargange. During this discussion, he said that he would have loved to go some water places and then I suggested him – Chunchi Falls, Sangama and Mekedatu. Everything was decided in a ziffy and at morning 7 o’clock, we were on road.

It has been almost 1 and half year since I own my Blackbird and had been to numerous trips along with it, and every ride was an amazing and difference experience altogether.

We decided to join the Kanakpura road at Sarakki signal, as due to Bangalore Metro construction the road from Banashankari to METRO (Shopping Complex) is pathetic. After crossing the METRO (Shopping Complex), ride was smooth as it was Saturday morning and so traffic was less and also the climate was good. Once we had crossed the NICE road, we were cruising at a good speed. Although Kanakpura road (NH 209) is neither so wide like Hosur Road nor in a good shape like Mysore Road, the landscape makes it an awesome road to drive. You will not feel like driving very fast because once you cross the NICE Road, the scenery is going to bind you for sure.

Almost 10Kms from Bangalore to the right, you will find Art of Living “Shri Shri Ravi Shankar Ashram”. This is a beautiful ashram, although I am not follower of any Guru’s but still this place is worth a visit. Since, I have been here earlier we skipped it. Just after 200-300 mtrs of “Art of Living Ashram” towards your left you will see the Trimurthy Temple. It is a small yet beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh, Lord Hanuman and Lord Vishnu. This temple is located after a big turn and slope on road so if you want to visit this temple then slow down from “Art of Living” ashram itself. I stopped there but my friend who was coming in speed didn’t notice us and went past us. Hence, we couldn’t go to this temple; however, I have been there earlier though.

After around 3Kms from “Art of Living” (13 Kms from Metro), you will reach Kagallipura village, and this is the place where it is required to take Left Turn to go to Thottikallu Falls or TK Falls. TK Falls is also is a good place to visit during rainy season; you can’t expect a better waterfall so near to the main city. Actually I was pretty surprised when I discovered such a nice fall which is so close to the main city. I have been there last month and will update that trip details as well in near future. As I said earlier, Kanakpura road is not so great, but I still love to drive on this road for the calmness around it. Just 6 Kms from TK Falls turn, if you have sharp eyes, you can notice “Yogavana Hills” written on many trees. To go to Yogavana Hills, you have to take right turn after 19 Kms from Metro (6 Kms from TK Falls turn, Kagallipura village). Yogavana Hills is a small hillock which is dedicated for meditation. I have been there 2 years back. Here onwards, the sceneries around the road started getting better. You get 4-5 Tank Bund roads and the view will definitely make you hum your favorite song. :)

Next place, which is definitely worth going once from Banaglore on this road, is Pyramid Valley. The place’s location is clearly marked along the way. Exactly after 26 Kms from METRO (13 Kms from TK Falls turn, Kagallipura village), you have to take a left turn and drive for another 3 kilometers and you will reach the place called Pyramid Valley. This valley is also built for the purpose to spread the knowledge of meditation and non-violence. More on this later since we didn’t go to this place in this trip, as I have been there twice already.

After that we kept driving till Kanakpura without any further stoppage. Roads were comparatively free because it was still pretty early and so we drove on a brisk speed.

Before entering Kanakpura, you will cross a bridge which is on river Arkavati, the same river on which Chunchi falls is and the same river which goes and meets the Kaveri at Sangama. Once you cross the bridge, just after less than 1 Km the NH- 209 turns towards right, there is a big sign board on place – so you are not going to miss this (you can notice one temple to the right and small Udupi Hotel at this turn). Keep driving on NH-209 and the road will again take a right turn after around 2 kilometers. There is also a hotel located there. Let me tell you that this is the last place where you will get decent food before Sangama, and so if you are planning to go to Chunchi Falls, better have a decent breakfast here and if you wish, you can get the food packed also. After driving 500 meters (or may be less) from this turn (Hotel) on NH -209, notice a single road turn towards your left. There is a large light pole in the middle of the road at this turn. This is the road which will take you to the Sangama and Mekedatu. Take this left turn, and then there is no asking, just keep going straight. At some places you may get confused about the road as roads get very narrow but do not worry – you are on correct path. However, in case of any doubt ask any locals about Sangama and Mekedatu and they will direct you.

I have read that to go to Sangama, few people also take the Sathanur route which is around 25 Kms after Kanakpura on NH 209. Let me tell you that there is no point in going Sathanur unless you are not planning to go to Muthatti and Bheemeshwari.

After taking the left turn, the road gets narrow; however, after driving 4-5 Kms, you will get to see nice landscapes. Villages are charming and the road is pretty good. We were doing well at 70+. Towards the right side of the road you will always get the hills for company. Climate was partially cloudy this day and it was still 9:30 which made the ride more fun. Hills were still partially covered with the fog and cloud. Sometime I just wish that I should have had wings to fly all over those places. The ride on this road is so calm, so serene; to me it really felt like meditation.

“Let the wind blow away all my worries, let the drizzle wash away all my sorrows, let me ride, let me live for the day, let me grow up once again…”

We stopped on our way to click some snaps and they came really clean. After driving around 18 Kms you will reach a village by name “Doddaalahalli” (you will not miss this village as this looks like a kind of small market). This is the place from where you can take right turn to reach Muthatti. And if you will take Sathanur route for Sangama, this is the place where you will meet in Sangama road.

Drive 3 more Kms from this village and you will notice a big arch towards your left.  This is the first turn to go to Chunchi Falls – you can take this turn if you are on two wheeler and if you really love to ride on perfect Indian village roads. This road gets very narrow at some places and I would recommend the people coming by four wheelers to avoid this route. After driving for 2 more kms straight from that Arch (On Mekedatu Road), you can see the Karnataka Tourism yellow board towards your left having directions to Chunchi Falls. We took this left turn and after driving for 1.5kms on this stretch, we reached a village. In the village, we reached to a cross where there were more than 4-5 roads intersecting. This is the place where the roads of the first route and the second route to Chunchi Falls meet. Here you will notice a small but a beautiful temple. Take the road which goes just right to this temple. Drive carefully and slowly on this stretch as the roads are narrow and any animal can come anytime in front of your vehicle. After driving for 3Kms from that temple, you will notice a white stone board which will direct you to Chunchi Falls. The board is written in Kannada, and I believe that it is Chunchi Falls written on that board(No prizes for guessing that I don’t know Kanada J). Take right turn from here and make sure you have plenty of drinking water with you when you cross this corner as this is the last place (on that corner you can find a general stores shop) where you can buy snacks and water. After this right turn, just keep driving for 2 more kilometer and the road ends near Chunchi Falls. The place is very calm, quiet and you can observe the sound of water if you concentrate. You can feel the water in the air. From here, you can view the Arkavathi river towards your left. We parked our bikes; the person standing there will charge you 10 Rs. for each bike for parking. After parking our bikes, we started walking down towards the falls. The trekking to reach the first fall is a moderate one. You will cross a canal which government has made to supply water to nearby villages but somehow the project hasn’t finalized yet.(as usual!!!)

And mark my words – if the climate is cloudy, then you can enjoy this trekking otherwise it’s gonna be really damn hard to trek. You will find few small streams while trekking down. I would prefer to leave the main path and take the path filled with stones to reach to the falls. It is really amazing the way the rocks are spread and chiseled by the flow of the water. We stopped for some time and clicked many photos as the river has formed some small but very beautiful streams. There was a small cave where I and my friends tried some rock climbing as well. Finally after some time, we reached the main fall. Water was very less during this month. The river has formed a small pond and instead of falling from the main edge, it was falling from another edge (it took a diversion and was going below some rock and was flowing there). Due to this, you can stand on the main edge and have a spectacular view of the valley ahead. However, be very very careful as the rocks are slippery (due to the regular flow of water) and it’s very risky place to be. The small fall is situated in such a way that you can’t even see it even if you are standing on edge. There is another fall located little far from this place and you can view that fall also from this edge. To go to the second fall, you have to do some serious trekking of around 40-45 minutes (one way). You cannot get very close to that fall; however, you can have a better view. We didn’t go to the second fall in this trip because the climate was sunny and we all were damn tired. (We have been to this fall in our earlier trip to Chunchi Falls. I will update those details in other post.)

After spending some time near the edge and clicking photos, I wanted to go and check the falls below the rocks. My friends were not so interested in getting down as the path was not clear and was bit risky to get down. I decided to go alone and check whether we can take bath below this falls so that we all will go. I have seen people taking bath in that fall in my earlier trip. So I got down there from one side, and reached near the falls. The view is nice from there but, I felt that it is too risky to go and take bath there; anyhow we had decided to have fun in Sangama. But you can get down there if you want a better view of the falls.

After that, I climbed back and then we all started our journey back to the top. We reached the top in almost half an hour. Be very careful while climbing back because the path is very slippery at some places. By the time we reached near our bike, we all were very thirsty and our stock of water was already over. We came back 2Kms and bought water from the first shop we got. We had plenty of water and then resumed our ride. On the way I saw some nice fields of Bananas and Coconuts, so I got down and clicked some photos. Also, we saw a group of school kids coming back from school. We had a chat with them for a while – they appreciated my bike – and they were very happy the way we spoke to them.

After that, we took the same route to the Sangama Main Road. We reached the main road and took the left turn. Sangama is exactly 10Kms from this place and drive is more beautiful than earlier ones. After driving for around 4-5Kms on this road, all of sudden a Ghat section will start – so drive very carefully because you might not be expecting the hair-pin bends coming up suddenly in this road. There are 3 hair-pin bends altogether, but that only makes the journey more interesting. Once the ghat section ends, roads are pretty and full of trees on both sides. If you go in right weather, then this road gives an awesome view. Here again, you will have to pay for entrance. Now the government has developed this place a lot – you have park, hotel and public toilet (which can be used for changing clothes as well). Also, the place is neat and clean. Earlier it was allowed to take the vehicle till the river, but now you have to park the vehicle little far before that place. We parked our vehicle and got ready to drench in the water. However, when we reached near the river, we saw that the water level in Arkavati river was more this time. To go to Mekedatu, you need to cross the Arkavati and from the other side, you will get the most ancient buses (!!!???) in India to transport to Mekedatu, which is 4.5 Kms away from this place.

Since the water level in Arkavati was more, we decided to rent the Coracle (Theppa, the round shaped local boat), to cross the river. We didn’t want to wet our dress and belongings yet because we had decided to go to Mekedatu first and that we would feel uneasy to roam at Mekadutu with wet clothes. Here, for Coracle, they will charge you Rs 50/- per person for to and fro. However, the person who was selling the tickets was trying to be very smart and he gave us only one ticket for four people and took Rs.200. On asking him the reason, he said that he is the contracted owner of this Coracle service from the Government and so he is giving ticket for just formality purposes. Luckily, one of my friends knew Kannada and he told me that it is the Panchayat name which is written on the ticket. Then I asked him to give me four tickets. He was still reluctant to give. Finally after some argument, he gave use four tickets. I would urge you to do the same as the money you are paying without tickets might go to his pocket. So, please take the exact no. of tickets so that the money reaches the right person.

Then we took Coracle to cross the river, now we were not ready for the second shock, after paying 200 for 4 people to cross a small river (which is a way too costly compared to other places), the boatman was asking for extra Rs.10 for tea n coffee. And on top of that, it was not like he was requesting but he was demanding. Just because the way he asked the money, I refused to pay him. The coracle drops you at a point where the water level is low and then you have to walk in the river for some 20meters (as the water is very low, only your feet will get drenched). After crossing the river, we took the “luxurious” bus service from Sanagama to Mekedatu. They charge you Rs.40 per person for to and fro. At first look you will wonder how these buses manage to run, but jokes apart, it is a different kind of experience to travel in these buses and I am not complaining. It takes almost 20 minutes to cover this small stretch of 4.5 ms, but what a journey it was!!! On your right, you will have Kaveri river flowing ever so gently and then the music of the water. I guess the only thing which can irritate you, here, is the noise of the bus. I wish to travel this by walk at least once-probably when I travel to this place next time. It will be awesome if you are with right crowd.

Once you reach Mekedatu and get down from bus, you will feel as if you have reached to the end of the world. There is no way ahead from this place – towards your right, you have Kaveri gushing through a gorge of width which is around 20 meters, and towards your left you have hills. This is the gorge where they say that, in the past, a goat was being chased by a tiger and that the goat had jumped cross this gorge to save its life from the tiger. Now the gorge is no longer so narrow – I believe it must be made widen by the water hitting the rocks continuously with such a force that the gorge has come bit wider by time. It’s really amazing that the same Kaveri, which is so widespread near Sangama, manages to flow through such a narrow gorge- Can you just imagine the force of the water flowing??!!!. To get this view, you have to get down around 50 steps from the bus parking place. The view of Kaveri is really breath taking from this view; it is worth visiting this place at least once in a lifetime. But be very careful as this place is very very risky. After enjoying the view and spending some time there, we climbed back the steps and reached the bus stop. On the way, I spotted a really beautiful butterfly with green n black colors. Butterflies are among one of my favorites creatures, n hello, who doesn’t like butterflies anyway.

At this place, locals have opened one small stall where you can get water, cold drinks, biscuits, snacks and buttermilk. We had a couple of glasses of buttermilk and it was okay and I felt it was worth for Rs.5/glass at such a remote place. While waiting for the bus, a funny incident happened. There were few other tourists who were wafting for the bus and suddenly from nowhere, a monkey appeared and grabbed the buttermilk glass from one of the tourists and ran away. After which, it then sat on a stone and started drinking it similar to the way humans drink and as if it was thirsty. All of us had a hearty laugh seeing the way the monkey was drinking the buttermilk– it didn’t finish it up in one gulp but it was drinking in few gulps now and then and it was really funny to watch this!! In some time the bus came and this time, the bus was more ancient than the earlier one. Again we enjoyed the bumpy ride till the Sangama. Do not eat too much while taking this bus; you will throw up for sure.

After reaching Sangama, we couldn’t wait for long to get into the water. We changed to our bathing gear, kept our belongings safely under a tree (because there were too many monkeys), and jumped in to the chill waters of Kaveri. This time, the flow was so much in Kaveri that I was not able to reach to my favourite spot – a big rock in the middle of the river where one can keep their luggages safely on that rock as it’s out of reach for the monkeys; and also, the sand near this rock is softer and has very less stones near to it so that your foot doesn’t get hurt there (that’s what I did in my previous 2 trips)

You can easily differentiate between the waters of Kaveri and Arkavati, here, in Sangama. The waters of Kaveri is very cold n greenish, where as waters of Arkavati is bit warm n yellowish. There was a point where I was standing spreading my hand, and one hand was feeling cold water where as the other one was feeling warm water. We took bath for around 2 hours. It was fun sitting leisurely there and chat about nothing. Nearby, a group of guys were playing Antrakshari and we were enjoying their singing. We even had biscuits while relaxing in the water.

After enjoying nicely for around 2 hours, we came out (I had to literally drag one of my friends to come out of water).  Then we changed our dress and had some food in nearby stall. The food in the hotel was very costly and so we decided to eat some light food n fried fish in one of the stall and then later have some nice food when we reach Kanakpura. We wanted to cross the small ghat section in day light and so we left early. We crossed the ghat section and then we stopped on the way at a very nice place to click some snaps.  After that, we resumed our journey and decided that we will stop nowhere on the way and directly stop at Kanakpura for food. However, after driving just 2-3 kilometers, when we were crossing a village, the view of sunset behind the hill made me stop my bike. We stopped there and I got down in the farms to click the snap of this view. Since I was more focused on taking the snap, I didn’t notice the people in the farms. When I started clicking photos, they were making some funny but nice comments. My friend followed me there, and after taking some really nice snap of the sunset, I noticed that we were standing in a Groundnut farm and farmers were separating the Groundnut from the plant. As my friend knew Kannada, he spoke with them. They were very friendly and they even gifted us a bag full of Groundnuts. I thought to pay them but they said that it is their first crop and so they won’t accept any money for this. I was so glad hearing this; I feel that this kind of generosity can be seen in our country only. A local kid was holding a puppy in his hand and he told me that the pup’s name was “Sonu”. Puppy was very cute and I also played with “Sonu” for some time. After that we said good bye to all people there and resumed our journey. By the time we reached Kanakpura it was dark. We stopped in Udupi hotel at Kanakpura and had some snacks as all were hungry. Then we both riders almost drove in sync till J. P. Nagar. We reached Bangalore back around 9 PM.

That’s how mine one more ride went. It was a relaxed and fun trip. :)

Places to Visit:

You will get so many must visit places on the way to Kanakpura from Bangalore and around Kanakpura. I tried to list all the possible places here, for some places you will find the details in my upcoming posts.

Art of Living Ashram: Approx 10 kilometers from METRO on Bangalore-Kanakpura Highway towards your right, you can see this magnificent Ashram built by Sri Ravi Shankar. Although I am not follower of any Gurus but still this place is worth a visit. The main building of Ashram is impressive and the place is very calm. In Sanskrit, shram means effort, while ashram means a place where everything happens effortlessly. As they describe, “In this ashram, we follow one and only one rule: You can come here with innumerable concerns and botherations, but you cannot take them back with you!” I had been to this place 2 years back from now and it was a nice experience.

Tri-Murthy Temple: Just 200-300 mtrs ahead from Art of Living Ashram, towards your left on Bangalore-Kanakpura highway you can locate this small but beautiful temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesh, Lord Hanuman and Lord Vishnu. This temple is located after a big turn and slope on road and so if you want to visit this temple then slow down from “Art of Living” ashram itself. His temple can be a very good start for your journey.

Thottikallu Falls or TK Falls: After around 3Kms from “Art of Living” (13 Kms from Metro), you will reach Kagallipura village, and this is the place where you should take a left turn to go to Thottikallu Falls or TK Falls. TK Falls is also a good place to visit during rainy season; you can’t expect a better waterfall so near to the main city. Actually I was pretty surprised when I discovered such a nice fall so close to the main city. I have been there last month and will update that trip details as well, in near future. You can also reach this falls from Bannerghatta Road and, actually this place comes under Bannerghatta forest range itself but the route and road conditions from that side are not good, so I will suggest you to take this route itself. The falls will not have much water in summer and hence it’s better to visit in rainy season only. I have been there in my earlier trip so more details on this – later.

Yogavana Hills: Just 6 Kms from TK Falls turn, if you have sharp eyes, you can notice “Yogavana Hills” written on many trees. To go to Yogavana Hills, you have to take right turn after 19 Kms from Metro (6 Kms from TK Falls turn, Kagallipura village). Yogavana Hills is a small hillock near Gollarapalya Village which is dedicated for meditation. Yogavana Hill is an easy to climb hill, and it has a small Narasimha Swamy temple on top. This hill offers great view of nearby places. Drive from Kanapura road is through paddy fields to the hill. The Sri Siddalingeshwara yoga vana hills Ashram is at the base of the hill.  Ashram Conducted Personality Development Camps at various locations in the state.

The Sri Siddalingeshwara Yogavana hills Ashram is at the base of the hill.  Ashram conducts Personality Development Camps at various locations in the state. I have been there 2 years back and will update the details in near future.

Pyramid Valley: This is one place which is definitely worth going from Bangalore. The place’s location is clearly marked along the way. Exactly after 26 Kms from METRO (13 Kms from TK Falls turn, Kagallipura village), you have to take a left turn and drive for another 3 kilometers and you will reach the place called Pyramid Valley. This valley is built for the purpose to spread the knowledge of meditation and non-violence. It is said to be world’s Largest Pyramid built solely for practicing intensive meditation. The place is magnificent and I would recommend you to visit it once for sure. And once you go there do go inside and meditate for some time at least. Again I have been there in my earlier trip so more details on this later.

Arkavathi Dam: This Dam is built on Arkavathi River and is on the way from Kankpura to Mekedatu. The directions to this dam is not proper hence after driving around 5-8Kms after Kanakpura please ask the locals for the direction. It is a small reservoir and a good place to spend some leisure time.

Chunchi Falls: Details above.

Sangama: Details above.

Mekedatu: Details above.

Muthatti (Muthathi): Muthathi is probably the nearest place from Bangalore on the banks of the river. It is a small village, near which the river runs shallow and wide. Road to Muthathi runs parallel to the river and make a pleasant drive. While you are there, you can dip into the waters and enjoy the feel of the running water. The good thing about the place is that it does not get very crowded in the weekends (At least yet!) and even if it does, there is enough open space that you can always find some nice and empty area near the bank for yourself.

Other than loitering by the river, the approach to the village is a nice drive through dry deciduous forests where you might spot wildlife if you are lucky. One of the specialties of this region is the highly endemic grizzled giant squirrels which are rare and hardly seen. The best thing about Mutathi is that it is just 90 minute drive once you leave the town. Drive on the Kanakapura road through Kanakapura and Sathanur. Turn left at Satanur and drive for another 30 minutes to reach Muthathi. You drive through the hills and wilderness of Cauvery wildlife sanctuary and get good views of the river. There is no accomodation available in Muthathi village but nearby Bheemeshwari has a resort run by Jungle Lodges and Resorts. Advance booking is necessary to stay in this resort. Pack your food before you leave the town since there are no restaurants available. This place also I covered in a different trip of mine, so exact details will be provided in a separate article.

Bheemeshwari: Bheemeshwari is a place, where the pleasant green mountains & clouds in the sky & the rivers are located. The lush forest sheltered by steep valleys and scattered by little streams, invites large groups of animals and birds. It is ideal not only for the Indian Wildlife lovers but also for people on a holiday spree. This place is on the Sathanur – Muthatti Road itself. Once check the direction in the Muthati village. There is nothing special in this place apart from the Bheemeshwari Fishing Camp. As mentioned above, this Camp is run by Jungle Lodges and Resorts. Advance booking is necessary to stay in this resort. Pack your food before you leave the town since there are no restaurants available. This place also I covered in a different trip of mine (with Muthatti), so exact details will be provided in a separate article.

Galibore Fishing Camp: This fishing camp is located near Sangama. It is tucked away far from the maddening crowd, deep in the deciduous forest of Cauvery wildlife Sanctuary.

It is a green retreat for the busy city dweller, about ten kilometers from Sangam on the bank of the river Cauvery. The camp entices anglers and nature enthusiasts with raw adventure and view of the majestic Cauvery as it gushes over jagged rocks.

There is no habitation of any kind for miles around the Galibore fishing and nature camp and the only sounds that pierce through the calmness are the birdcalls and the whistling of the wind. In fact the place gets its name from a hillock called Galibore, situated just across the camp. The camp itself is covered with trees. It is ideal for those who want total privacy. Advance booking is necessary to stay in this camp.

Bheemeshwari Fishing Camp (Jungle Lodges and Resorts Limited): Bheemeshwari Adventure & Nature Camp is within your reach. But, it is completely out of the reach of crowd and commotion of city life. If you want to enjoy the fascinating combination of nature and adventure with peace and serenity, go to this Adventure & Nature camp nestled along the Cauvery, the most majestic and sacred river of South India. All you need to do is to take a 100-km drive from Bangalore via Kanakapura.

How to reach:

To reach Sangama, drive on Kanakapura road from Bangalore and keep driving till Kanakpura. On the way you can notice, Art of Living Ashram, Pyramid Valley and Jain University. Kanakpura is approx 45Kms from METRO (Shopping Complex, Kanakpura Road, Bangalore). You need to leave the highway after entering the Kanakapura and take a left turn after 47 Km from METRO. Inquire once you reach the Kanakpura town.

Before entering Kanakpura, you will cross a bridge which is on river Arkavati – the same river on which Chunchi falls is and the same river which goes and meets the Kaveri at Sangama. Once you cross the bridge, just after less than 1 Km, the NH- 209 turns towards right, there is a big sign board on place – so you are not going to miss this (you can notice a temple to the right at this turn). Keep driving on NH-209 and the road will again take a right turn after around 2 kilometers. After driving 500 meters (or may be less) from this turn (Hotel) on NH -209, notice a single road turn towards your left. There is a large light pole in the middle of the road at this turn. This is the road which will take you to the Sangama and Mekedatu. Take this left turn, and then there is no asking, just keep going straight. At some places you may get confused about the road as roads get very narrow but do not worry – you are on correct path. However, in case of any doubt ask any locals about Sangama and Mekedatu and they will direct you.

After driving around 18 Kms on Kanakpura- Sangama road, you will reach a village Doddaalahalli, (you will not miss this village as this is kind of small market). Drive 3 more Kms from this village and you will notice a big arch towards your left.  This is the first turn to go to Chunchi Falls, you can go in this way if you are on two wheeler and you really love to ride in perfect Indian village roads. This road gets very narrow at some places so four wheelers, please avoid this route. After driving 2 more Kms straight from that Arch (On Mekedatu Road) you can see the Karnataka Tourism yellow board towards your left directing to Chunchi Falls. We took this left turn and after driving 1.5 Kms on this stretch, we reached a village. We reached to a cross where there were more than 4-5 roads. This is the place where the roads of the first route and the second route of Chunchi Falls meet. Here you will notice a small but beautiful temple. Take the road which goes just right to this temple. After driving 3Kms from that temple, you will notice a White Stone Board which will direct you to Chunchi Falls. The board is in Kannada, and I hope that they have written Chunchi Falls there. Take right turn near that board just keep driving for 2 more kilometer and the road ends near Chunchi Falls.

For Sangama, come back to the Kanakpura-Sangama highway and take the left turn. Keep driving on the same road for 10 Kilometers and you will reach Sangama.

Once you are in Sangama, cross the Arkavathi River and you can take a bus that keeps shuttling between Mekedatu and Sangama. You may also prefer to walk leisurely along the riverbank.

Driving Directions:

1. From Bangalore, reach Sarakki Signal and drive 2 more Kilometers till METRO (Shopping Complex) on Kanakpura Road first (Please check directions till here).
2. From METRO, drive straight on Bangalore – Kanakpura Highway for 45 Kms and you will reach Kanakpura.
3. After 47 Kms from METRO, take a left turn to Kanakpura – Sangama Road.
4. Drive 23 Kms straight on this road and take left for Chunchi Falls. You will get the Karnataka Tourism Board at this cross.
• For Chunchi Falls, drive 1.5 Kms and you will reach a village.
• Take the road which goes just right to the temple.
• After driving around 3 Kms notice a white stone board and take right turn from there.
• Keep driving and after around 2 Kms you will reach Chunchi Falls.
5. If you wish to go to Sangama directly, keep driving on the main road for 10 more Kms and you will reach Sangama.

Google Map Link: http://g.co/maps/nb9vx

“Be Careful, Drive Safely and wear your Helmets.”

Food:

Availability of good food is major concerns at this place so better have breakfast in Bangalore or Kanakpura or carry your own food. You can also get your lunch packed from Kanakpura. If you are going to Chunchi falls, make sure to carry plenty of water. Near Chunchi Falls you will not get anything to eat or drink. However, near Sangama there is newly built hotel but it is very costly.

Other Amenities:

Public toilet is available at Sangama, and the same is also used for the purpose of changing dress after taking bath in river. However, there are no medical shops after Kanakpura. Also, there are no amenities available near Chunchi falls.

Recommendations/Useful Tips:

1. Breakfast on the way or in Kanaapura will be a good idea.
2. Carry enough Cash the lastATM machine you will get to see is in Kanakpura which will have rush as well as chances of it’s working is also less.
3. Don’t cross Sangams using your own vehicle (Even if water is very less). There are changes of vehicle getting struck in sand. Even the road from Sangama to Mekedatu is very bad
4. Do not get into water either at Chunchi falls or Mekedatu or try any Adventures at these places. There are lots of Whirlpools and water force is also very high.
5. You can play in waters at Sangama, when the water levels are low. But do not try it when water levels are high. Few people have been washed away in the past.
6. Be careful with the Kaveri flow here, it looks very calm but it’s very tricky. Do not take chances here.
7. Last 3 kms before you reach Sangama is Ghat section. So drive slowly and carefully at this spot.
8. There are hoardings put up at Sangama, indicating that there are Crocodiles. So be careful
9. Be careful of monkeys, especially if you are carrying eatables. There have been instances when they run away with the Camera Bag and other small bags.
10. For trekkers, please carry more than enough water, energy drinks and eatables.
11. Take extreme caution while driving on the Bangalore-Kanakpura highway as well as on Kanakpura – Sangama road. The roads get very narrow at several places and any animal can jump anytime in front of your vehicle.
12. On both roads there is no divider, so be careful while overtaking.
13. If you prefer and if you are a non vegetarian do try the fresh fried fish at Sangama.

Flickr : Yet to Update

Request: “Be an explorative & not an exploitive tourist.” These places are already very dirty and comparatively less maintained, so please do not leave your plastics and other stuffs there. This place really does not need those stuffs. Keep the place clean and the way you want to see it.

Copyright 2011 © amitprem’s literature

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