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Monday, December 20, 2010

Tropical Trek to Barakona Falls near Agumbe, Karnataka, India

Agumbe and its near-abouts is an excellent place for trekking and the nature lover would surely appreciate its dense green terrain. Since Agumbe is one of the wettest places on the planet like Cherrapunji, most of these treks revolve around waterfalls.


Some treks take you to the bottom of the waterfall, some take you to the top and the others take you to waterfall view points. Treks to Koodlu Theertha and Jogigundi takes one to the bottom of the waterfall. The trek to Vanakebe takes you to the top of this massive waterfall. And the trek to Barakona takes one to a panoramic view point.


It all started when me and my friends rode to Malandur, which is about 13 kilometres from Agumbe in the direction of Sringeri. It was here at Malandur where we parked our motorcycles, met Mr. M R Krishnappa, our trekking guide and began our walk through the trees behind his house.


Soon, these trees gave way to thick vegetation. We crossed multiple streams, walked through slush to come to an open clearing. The day was quite warm and in spite of the bright sun, some leeches had managed to get their way into our shoes in this initial stretch.


From this clearing, the trail went through a maze of lefts and rights. We were thankful that we had brought a local guide along with us else we would have definitely lost our way in this convoluted trail.

 
Once we entered the maze, the trail became very narrow, slippery and slushy. But, the trek as such was not difficult as there was hardly any gradient.


The one thing that caught my eye was a small shrub like plant that had very pretty pinkish-purple flowers blooming all over the place. I had spotted such flowers in Coorg this monsoon when I trekked the Thadiyendamol range in the monsoons.


I was very curious to know their name and hence I asked our trekking guide who told us that this shrub bears flowers once every seven years and once they bloom, it signifies the end of life for that shrub.


Apparently, the pollen from the flowers get spread during this season and thus enabling a new generation of such shrubs in the region. My guide also told me the plant and the flower name in Kannada, but unfortunately, I don’t remember either of those names.


Shortly, we reached the Barakona falls view point. The view was simply breath-taking. The entire valley below and around us seemed to be covered in dense greenery and the Barakona falls seemed to be right in the middle of all this greenery.


My guide was telling me that during the monsoons, he can hear the sound of the waterfall from his house, which is about 5 kilometres away. Now, ain’t that an interesting piece of statistic.

 
We took some rest at this view point while soaking in nature’s pretty views and soon made our way back to Malandur.


The entire trek was about 8 kilometres in total and we covered this in 2 hours including the break at the view point. One can also visit Barakona falls while trekking through Narasimha Parvatha, though that trek would lead to the top of the waterfall.



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