Saturday, July 11, 2015

Doodhsagar Unleashed : Inditing the experience of maiden rail trek

3rd July 2015. The date that was on my mind ever since I got to know about  the next upcoming trek to be conducted by Samsung Adventure club. They say that when you really want something to happen, you tend to visualize it even before it happens. So needless to say, every night I slept, I slept with a feeling of euphoria in my heart that I was getting close to 3rd July: the doodhsagar trek day !  Friday came, I am not much of a person who has plans for Friday nights or for any nights  for that matter, except for the late night walk from office with my friend Rashmi back to our home in Marthahalli discussing everything that went past by in the week. And this Friday of 3rd July was no different, it was going to be momentous I knew. We started from office, 21 of us, at around 10pm in the breezy night of 3rd July. We reached Castle Rock station, next day morning at around 12:15pm and immediately after started for what was to be our trek to "Ocean of Milk" (Doodhsagar).

  And guess what welcomed us? Rains, Drizzles , beautiful water droplets from heaven above. Seemed like a perfect beginning of the trek. I think sporadic rains made this trek even more beautiful. Take the cue : "If you go to Doodhsagar for trek, ensure its a monsoon season, otherwise the fun can be short-lived."

At Castle Rock Station : The starting point

As is the custom with people who love sports, I switched on my SHealth App to have a fair idea of my hard work at the end of the trek.  After 2 kilometers, I knew my rucksack was heavier than the last trek at Makalidurga hills. My fellow friend told me there is an art to fill the rucksack, sheepishly I accepted that I was an amateur in packing the rucksack! But there was no option, we had to carry our own luggage and with time we all got inured to it. The scenic beauty was so breathtaking and heavenly that there was simply no time to feel that the bag was heavy. And this, by no means is an exaggeration. The best part was the 12 tunnels that we passed through. When you pass through 1-2 tunnels you never really contemplate how are tunnels are made, but when the number is 12 you are actually forced to think and then much to your amazement you realize that tunnels like these ones are nothing but marvels carved out of big (like really big) rocks of small mountains. Isn't it amazing? Engineering at its best. 

We kept on walking on railways tracks. Yes, doodhsagar trek is the trek on railway track, one has to walk on tracks till waterfall sight. I know , I know what  you might be thinking. But trust me, when the peripheral beauty is astounding you don't really pay attention to what is beneath your shoes all the time, you do only two things : See and Sigh in Amazement !
This beauty will get missed if one travels by train.
 Most people go to watch falls via train but I think I can make this legitimate comment here that  when you actually walk towards the falls, in between there are various small springs of water exuding from small rocks, the vast expanse of foggy mountains where there is not even an iota of pollution which literally make you wanna die there, the huge ditches (no, not the metaphorical ones!) , the treacherous bridges ;  everything just multiplies the adventure and fun. You are surrounded by thickets from all the sides and when its raining, there is no word I can find to describe that feeling.

After completing 7 kilometers, at Caranzol we stopped for lunch break. When you are hungry, you just want food, you don't want "this food" or "that food", you just want food because you are famished. We savored "Idly" together to provide us with energy to map the second half of the trek. With "idly" now running in our bloods, our battalion marched ahead towards the destination. Occasionally stopping to click images we kept on walking and the rucksack did not seem heavy at all. When you are on your way to doodhsagar trek, you can discern quite easily why after all it is called "doodhsagar". Not only the falls, but everywhere around water is coming from some rock, some boulder rushing fast towards God-knows-where.
This is what I am talking about. Water , Water Everywhere!! Water, Water everywhere but every drop to Drink.
 So, when you are walking in this kind of spot on earth you can't stop admiring the environment around. Its not only fresh, but its exceptionally romantic, it reminds you of everyone with whom you have made castles in air ;) and I think these reminiscences are bound to happen! One cannot just walk around in heavenly beauty not thinking about their desiderata. Engrossed in the lap of nature and the rain accompanied by brilliant oxygen, we kept on treading. Whenever train used to signal we were chary of being away. Have never been so close to train as I was on this trek. It was a trek that took us around 5 hours and 30  minutes to complete. But when we reached our destination all that physical exertion vanished somewhere (although I had a strong urge to sleep by the time it was night ). Trekking in large group is always fun! You laugh and joke around and the trek takes care of itself. When there are beautiful smiles all around you don't feel tired, I can bet on that.
Taking rest in own individual style.
As we were approaching the destination, I could actually understand the meaning of a famous adage, "Its not the destination, its the journey", and the journey here was turning out to be thought-provoking and idyllic with beautiful clique of people. As fellow travelers we had nothing else to do , but to see, wonder and at times discuss the life that has happened to us all this time. Sharing each others stories and pains we kept walking. At the touch of this heavenly beauty anyone can become a philosopher I believe. Life becomes beautiful, we realize how much charcoal lies inside of our hearts while around us is only diamond. A sudden satori and you grin because you feel what you have never felt before, "There is only one way to live life : to be insanely happy.".

The Universe
Finally we reached the falls! We could hear the noise of water even before we went close to see the huge , enormous and absolutely enchanting falls! Like a huge statue of Shivaji were these enormous falls, reminded me instantly of His abode. Without wasting much time I immediately sat in the pose of The Destroyer. :P It seemed like we had achieved our destination and yes destination was giving competition to the journey, it was just bewitching and divine. Nature is powerful, in  few seconds it can reduce everything to nothingness, its a blasphemy to tamper with natural balances. We went down and the rest of the evening was spent sitting at rocks beside the magnificent Doodhsagar falls! Beauty seems a small word to describe the falls. It was too-fascinating to merit any wordily admiration. At night we sat around bonfire and had Brown-bread with variety of jams. Best part was camping. Spent the night in the tents at the camping site beside the railway track. A lot of trains passed by in the night, and the night was spent in the sound of water falling from this magnificent fall along with that of train hurtling down the track. Yes, you do get weird dreams when you get one on one with something so powerful. I had a dream of deluge :P

In the morning , we went to main view point from where the height of fall is seen clearly.
The Trek Group at DoodhSagar Falls main view point.
After a long photo session we started our way back to Doodhsagar station to board train (no, nobody even thought of walking 16km again to castle rock). And while we were traveling in train, the route seemed familiar, and the heart said, "Yes, I was here yesterday. Achievement".

It was undoubtedly an amazing trek. I would like to thank everybody for their support. And this trek would not have been possible without God's support. I thank him also.

On Monday morning while coming to office in VOLVO I was looking around, I was searching for something. My eyes were searching for the vast expanse of green mountains with fog emanating from them. My eyes were searching for that beauty which was there in my eyes the last night I slept but all I could see around now was cement. Visiting such places cleanses your soul and makes you realize that we all are just tiny specks in the entire vast universe, hence being humble and polite is the only way to live life devoid of any sense of fiefdom regarding anything. At the end I feel like writing 4 more lines really close to my heart (as I said, anyone can become philosopher at the touch of such vast beauty) :
 "हर रास्ते पेर तेरी कुछ याद ऐसी आई,
हर मोड़ पेर तेरी बात कुछ याद ऐसी आई
 हर तरफ तेरी मुस्कान कुछ ऐसी नज़र आई
  सोचता रह गया इस हसीन जगह पेर तेरी याद कैसी आई"

Thank you Samsung Adventure Club.

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