Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In Search of Mallalli Falls

Route taken: Bangalore-Channarayapatna-Holenarasipura-Arkalgud-Shettihalli-Harihalli-Shanivarasanthe-Somwarpet-Mallalli Falls-Somwarpet-Suntikoppa-Madikeri-Hunsur-Srirangapatna-Bangalore

All good things when things happen out of a sudden. This Diwali was pretty taxing, taking the toll on my personal(and eventually on professional life as well). Had one of the toughest times of my life. Wanted to go out somewhere, totally isolated from human intervention. The first thing that came to my mind was Ram's drive to Mallalli falls and Santa's ride to Dudhsagar earlier this year. Somehow things didn't fall in place due to some audit work at office. Lot of my friends were touring that weekend which made matters worse. Come Friday, wanted to wrap up all the work and head out somewhere. Called up Ram to ask for directions to Mallalli Falls(as I didn't have the Luxury of whats called "Off's" at work). Came to know that even he was heading the same direction. So he was kind enough to invite me to his place in Suntikoppa. Later Jai, Arnab and Bharath hopped in for the ride.

Meeting time set to 5.30Am on a supercold and foggy saturday. 

Once we turn left towards Bellur, its total white out on NH48(old) Visibility was hardly few mtrs because of the fog. We reach Mayura for breakfast to find it still closed.

Waiting is not a problem, if you are sure of getting some steaming hot Pongal, Idly vada and filter coffee. Slowly but steadily the parking lot starts to fill up, a perfect to take leave, because of fewer vehicles on the road. Take diversion from Channarayapatna towards Holenarasipura as "The Rappa" was on the menu. Spend some time at Rappa and head towards Somwarpet.

The route taken was a bun burner for till Shanivarasanthe or even till Somwarpet. The roads worsen with every Km passed. Broken roads, with boards warning about elephant attacks every few hundred mtrs made matters worse. Hardly did we see any vehicles passing except for the "rattler" KSRTC buses whose drivers were inspired by DAKAR rally. Contrary to perception, the GT performed brilliantly on bad roads. Finally we reach Somwarpet for lunch and head to Mallalli Falls.
Had heard a lot about the place from Ram who hails from this place. Whatever he had mentioned was rightly pictorized by Mother Nature. Soon we reach a check post where the formalities were duly done. Though there wasn’t much water in the falls, the place was very scenic.

Spent some time lazing around and taking photographs. Reached Ram’s place at around 8 only to see his dad waiting for us without having dinner. After the tummies full we take a stroll in the estate. BTW the estate is a massive 350 acres, a mini train service can be arranged to travel from one end to another.
Woke up around 6.30 to see Ram’s dad already getting ready on a Sunday. Wish him good morning and went to see the extent of damage due to last day’s carnage. Thankfully nothing major apart fron few loosened screws.                                                                                                                                                                                           



Then Ram, Uncle and myself set out to see the estate bungalow. The bungalow is huge, built a century ago, but still stands strong. It has massive private grassland for the cattle to graze. Ram’s dad explained the importance of the place. This was the place where Gandhiji had stayed during his visit to Madikeri during the freedom struggle. Also it has the distinction of having the first Gobar Gas plant in the British India Era which is still used.
 The old lampshades, the paintings, old telephones the oldest water filter I have ever seen, everything so intact and neat. It was like taking us back in time. All fruits and vegetables grown in the estate follow non-organic kind of farming. Come back home for breakfast and start for a ride to Madikeri for some yummy corgi dishes to hog on. 

Weather seemed to just about perfect for a ride. Saw a MH-Registerd KTM loaded with luggage, waved at him but somehow didn’t seem to get his attention. Its like customary to Visit Coorg Cuisinette if you want to try some yummy Coorgi Dishes in the heart of the city. 



Head back to estate to start for Bangalore. This is the time where that disgusting feel of the next day being a Monday sets in. Sunday evening traffic on Mysore road was like Homecoming. Have a lot of rides done on this stretch, from the times when trees used to form canopies till the swanky restraunts that have come up now.