Thursday, March 22, 2012

A picnic memory that never fades

Indiblogger has lined up  sponsored contests and each week i get mails on interesting topics and this topic on an incredible experience  threw me back in time to a road trip that happened in the  summer of 98, my memory of this  trip will never fade.

Why??!!

Read ahead.....
My mom’s younger sisters stayed in the north and it was more than three long years since the sisters all met together. So after a long gap the sisters met at my parents place at Bangalore. During their stay, my dad and aunts had planned for a picnic so that we could have some outdoor fun. I who was alone at that time( my husband was on deputation) decided to join my parents, younger sis and my aunts for the fun one day outing along with my 1.5 year old daughter.


We hired a car to fit us all in. Our destination was Mekedatu, a picnic spot 90kms from Bangalore. Around Bangalore, there is no dearth for weekend getaways or picnic spots and so Mekedatu was one such idyllic and scenic spot. Mekedatu ( meaning Goat’s leap in kannada) is a deep gorge so narrow that many presume that once shepherds allowed their goat’s to cross the gorge and so it was called goat’s leap or mekedatu( in kannada meke is goat and datu is leap).


To reach mekedatu one has to travel through kanakapura taluk and reach the banks of River Sangama. The place where two rivers Cauvery and Arkavati merge. We too reached the banks of the river. It is the last motorable point to reach Mekedatu, so we got down. The driver instructed us that we had to cross the broad sandy river bed and walk another 4 kms up into the forest after the other bank to reach the gorge. We all chitchatted, picked up the shells from the broad sandy river bed and leisurely walked over to the other bank and were gearing up to climb the muddy track that lead into the forest, that’s when we heard loud cries and shrieks. Taken aback, we turned around to find water flooding the river bed which we just crossed. The water gushed in such great force that in no time it filled the depth of the bed and was close to the banks. 3 people who were just crossing at that point were rescued by the locals there.


The gates of the river water which was dammed upstream was opened and hence the flash floods, generally there is an alert before the opening of the gates. Anyways, we aborted our trek to Mekedatu and were stranded with 20 other picnickers awaiting our rescue now. The village boy who was amongst our midst said that the only way to cross was either to swim or wait till the tenders for the coracles were finalized which would happen only by 5.00p.m.


Thankfully before noon,buckling to our pressure, two locals rescued us in the coracles. We heaved a sigh of relief when we reached our car, though disappointed at not reaching Mekedatu. We sat in the car sending our prayers up and thanking our luck,  what if we had been held in the forceful water while we were happily picking up the shells.


But wait, another adventure in store for us.

 Disappointed at not reaching Mekedatu, we decided to go to Mutthathi another picnic spot which is closeby . Mutthathi is a small village on the banks of river Kaveri. The road to mutthathi runs along the river and you can stop at places to spend time on the bank and dip your feet in the shallow side of the river. Many urban souls  camp  under the shady trees to make tea on chulha and barbecue their prized river catches here.This place is close to the Cauvery wildlife sanctuary and you have a lovely fishing camp called Bheemeshwari which is famous for the Mahseer fish where you now  have facilities for angling, river rafting, camping in log huts  etc.,  This is a famous shooting spot for films.


The driver drove through a bypass route to reach Mutthathi. It was a muddy moundy track where we find some kuccha huts. We enquired a few people who told there was no route that way to mutthathi. But our driver who had been here before, was confident and drove over the muddy moundy track telling that he could see a temple there and there must be a short way to reach that place. Just as he was pointing to the direction of the temple, the driver missed the track and swerved to a slopy downhill track. On my side I could find deep valley down ahead. The driver calmly tried to reverse the vehicle with great care and here on the back seat I was all panicky. I told him we will get down from the other door side and then he could bring the vehicle up. He told me to calm down for sometime and slowly and skilfully reversed the vehicle and swerved towards the temple side. Those fifteen minutes, I and my folks never realized the intensity  of the situation, because of our confident driver.


On reaching the plains, the driver said had we got down, the vehicle could have easily slipped into the valley and it was the weight of the people which held the car.We were shocked and numbed, with no more mood for fun or frolic, we thanked our God, lucky stars and the driver for saving us from a mishap.We drove back to our city to reach home by 3.00p.m


We recently drove to Bheemeswari (mutthathi) and found the muddy track has been replaced by a pucca tar road albeit with potholes.But the memory of this trip never fades, whenever we all meet, we recall the journey of this picnic which never reached its destination .

This post exclusively written for Indiblogger's ' Incredible experience'.



                                The gorge at mekedatu (Pic courtesy : google images)

13 comments:

  1. Phew! That was quite a thrilling "picnic" you've had :)
    Nice post :)

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    1. Oh yes, a life time memory which refuses to erase:)

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  2. :) exciting trip :)
    reminded me once we colelge mates wanted to go to renuka lake , no one knew the way and we got it horribly wrong and ended up somewhere else but that was beautiful tooo.. the picture of the gorge reminded me of that day :)

    Bikram's

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    1. it must have been fun with friends :)

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  3. Oh Yes - the popular getaways from Bangalore. Never realised the element of danger there. I went to Bheemesweri in the summer of 98 too - maybe even saw you :):)

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  4. epdinga ipdilaam ezhuthareenga? :) enamo kooda ukkanthu paatha mathiiri iruku :)

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  5. What a trip!
    This is what is called an adventure trip.
    Wish you all the best!

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    1. absolutely, it sounds like fun now but that day we were all shaken.

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  6. Oh you had a lucky escape, thank god the driver was a sensible one.
    nice post ,good luck to you

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  7. welcome here indu, absolutely, he was a sensible one. thank you

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  8. What puzzles me is why they opened the floodgates without prior notice or at least checking to see if people weren't trapped there. That is uncaring and dangerous. Still, all's well... Lovely description and picture of the Mekedatu gorge.

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