Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Wanderlust: Agumbe, Kundadri Hills & Hanuman Gundi.

Are you looking for a quick getaway? If the answer is yes, you have come to the right place. This time I guide you through my trip and adventures at Agumbe, Kundadri Hills and Hanuman Gundi waterfalls all of which can be covered in one day. Continue reading to know more!

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
-Mark Twain.

In college, when you get a break once in a week, life seems pretty unfair.  It gets even tougher for hostel students as they are expected to have superhuman powers to do the household chores and balance their studies, social life etc.. As someone who is passionately curious about everything, I suggest once in a few months (may be one Sunday every month) one must set aside some time to explore and experience something completely new, out of his or her comfort zone. After all, experiences are our treasures. Being the one who always takes the initiative, I usually try to convince few of my close friends to accompany me on my adventurous endeavors but this time I was planning something bigger, a class trip.

 I knew it would be a Herculean task to get everybody to accept. Like all other group trips, it had its own challenges. Many people agreed initially with full zest and later were slowly withdrawing giving lame excuses. The clich├ęd question that annoys me the most is 'Who else is going? The sudden interest in other people’s opinion on the trip. I never understood why people ask that. As someone who has traveled solo plenty of times, I think it is absurd to depend on others for your travel plans. But I was prepared for this and was ready with my Plan B which was to unleash the audacious, stubborn at the same time persuading side of me. Successfully, I convinced two of my classmates to get information on vehicles that we could hire. After a lot of effort from my friends, Kavya and Abbas, we had booked a bus and around twenty people were ready with their backpacks to leave at 7am on a Sunday morning (kudos! for that!). The plan was to visit three places-of-interest: Hanuman Gundi water falls, Jain Temple at Kundadri Hills and Agumbe. 

If you are coming from far away and need to book your bus tickets try Red Bus. It is hassle free, comfortable and convenient. 

The first stop was the Hanuman Gundi water fall, 70km from Manipal town in Karnataka State. All my friends were too excited and full of vigor and energy. I was just very happy that everything had fallen into place and the trip was happening. We had to trek down through the forest to reach the water fall which made it all the more fun. We had adrenaline gushing through our body and could hear our heart thumping. We carefully made our way closer, avoiding the slippery surfaces on the wet rocks. The mere touch of the crystal clear stream of water against our skin was revitalizing. We dipped our feet in and simply relaxed for a while breathing in the nature around us while the fishes did the pedicure for us. We were spellbound with the 22meters high waterfall. Some of my friends even dived into the water but I didn't. After spending the morning at the waterfall,  we went back to the bus and asked the driver to pull over at a restaurant as we were all starving.

 On our way to the Kundadri Hills, which was another half an hour away, we stopped at a small road side canteen that offered South-Indian food. I was famished but I was in no mood to eat a South Indian Thali that would consist of daal and rice. I got myself a plain Dosa instead. Post- lunch we got back into the bus and decided to play some Antakshri. Being a die hard fan of Bollywood cinema, I absolutely love playing Antakshri and singing all the latest numbers, we even have some very fond memories where we had sung our hearts out on previous trips with some little dance.

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Jain Temple at Kundadri Hils is located on a higher altitude and has an extremely steep road with crazy turns. The bus driver said he could not drive us up and we had to walk instead! This would not have been such a big problem but the 2pm sun was blazing down on us. I think that climb was one of the hardest that I have ever encountered even though it was a tarmac road. My friends and I were panting and dehydrated. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of torture we made it to the temple. The panoramic view was breathtaking (not that we had any left to give). If the sky was clear and one was present at the right time, they would be able to see both the sunrise and the sunset. The 17th century temple was smaller than any other South Indian temple but it was unique nonetheless. We chose not to wait there for the sunset, as we wanted to catch it at our final stop, Agumbe.

The road to Agumbe had twists and turns too, like hairpin bends. Agumbe, had the perfect location for an amazing sunset view if it were not for the clouds that crept in making it slightly gloomy and cold. The sun slowly went down behind the clouds and we climbed back into the bus for our journey back home. Every part of me wanted to just stay back and not return to the reality of hectic college life on Monday. My friends said their goodbyes and we all thanked each other for joining the trip and making it such a memorable experience. It may not have been a perfect trip but it is those imperfections that make our lives more beautiful and lively. The trip was over but the memories we made will always be etched in our hearts.

If you are planning a trip around the western ghats of South India Karnataka, you could also check out more highlands and visit Sringeri and Kavale Durga fort. Also, check out the absolutely lovely Coorg Adventures if you need a boost of adrenaline. They are a must visit for architecture, religious and history lovers!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Be sure to share this with your friends and share it across your social media. To never miss my blog post again subscribe to my blog.


Disclaimer: Some of the photos are not taken in my camera or by me. They belong to my friend and classmate Tridib Haldar :)

Acknowledgments: A heartfelt thank you to my friends Ashima, Anjana and Sonia for their motivation and editing help with my blogs whenever I am in doubt.

Thanks for reading. Share your favorite trips with me. 

Signing off,
  Nishma Khetia.   

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