Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Adrift in the Kali @ Ganeshgudi

As the Omni van winded its way up from Supa dam, we felt the cool crisp air from the forest on either sides and enjoyed the visuals the Ghats threw.  It was around 2.30 we reached the banks of River Kali at Ganeshgudi. The river here is famous for adventure sports  and has plenty of activities like kayaking, raft boating, white water rafting, zorbing, natural jacuzzi, river crosssing,flying fox etc....a perfect place for people craving for adventure water sports.

Unlike many such tourist places, the place was not too crowded and also thankfully, no one tried to sell massages, local crafts, boat rides and fakestuff here.  The weather was good although the  sun was shining above us, we did'nt feel the sunny weather and were constantly under the canopy of the lush green forest cover even by the sides of the River. 

Time was slipping and we were done with the formalities for getting into the water . Everyone in the family was excited and gearing for the relaxed adventures in water except me. I hate water and was not too excited, Infact, I was fearing that my family would force me to be a part of the adventure and was finding ways to excuse myself from the fun. But, finally they won  and before  I knew I was wearing the life jackets and my family had already slipped into the water and were kayaking  away while the guide was rattling the rules to me. Some rules and caution were -  to move right,i should paddle on the left side and push the water backwards and to move to my left, i should paddle right.  I  should'nt move to the right of the river as there were rapids, i should'nt move straight as there was a 90 degree fall and I should move only to the left of the river.

He gave me a double bladed paddle and helped me to the kayak. As a final advise,  the guide told me not to worry, if i fell into the water, the life jacket would hold me afloat and  when i asked,  how deep was the water. He answered - 80 feet deep.

God!! That  was  enough to scare me more, but with prayers on my lips as I often do at tough times,  I unleashed the adventure streak in me and then like the quote goes " There is always a first time for everything" and this was my debut with  solo adventure water sport.

I started paddling pretty confidently and moved  onto the middle of the river on the left side....once or twice i drifted towards the 90 degree fall, but i was guided by my guide who was circling around to paddle right. My family of 3 ofcourse was out of my sight, they had ventured far. I was alert and conscious most of the time, but when i drifted towards the wrong side, i blanked out not knowing which was 'left' or 'right'.  After a  20  minute exercise, i decided to move to the banks as my upper arms were aching due to paddling and pushing. I reached the banks of the river and was totally satisfied with my first solo water adventure. I think i did a fairly decent job and as i was waiting for my family to return , i thought i should have been in water for some more time. It was'nt scary after all!!

Next adventure was raft boating( not rafting...rafting is done on rapids and we did'nt do this)..All of us were on a raft boat paddling across the calm river to a place where the water fell 90 degree. Our guide travelled with us and anchored the boat there and we had to get down the small rocks. Only when we walked down the rocks did we feel the intensity of the shining sun, the rocks were too hot but we walked cautiously on the steep rocks  and slid down into the  waterfall which was promoted as natural jacuzzi. The force of the water on us acted like a natural massage no doubt. The water gushed from all the sides with good force on us and even had the power to wash us away if we did'nt have a proper hold or grip. A thick long rope was tied just in case we were washed away, we could catch hold of that and save ourself. But even if one lost the grip, the  natural safety net was through two boulders which blocked us from washing  away to the next steep fall. The sheath of water was totally relaxing and healing and  even had a  lulling effect. After we had enough of this experience, we walked up the rocks again and boarded the boat and rafted back to the other bank. 

The next sport in line was Zorbing....walking on the water from inside of  a round inflatable ball. With every step inside the ball, the water ball rolls into the water giving you a feeling of river  walking. I and my daughter tried this first. 

If the surface is dry, it is easy to walk but if it is wet, it slips and one is unable to walk.  The guide there was splashing water, we lost grip on the surface we slipped and fell inside the ball.  Generally, water is not splashed but our guide was throwing water so that we enjoy the fall and have fun. This was a total fun riot for close to an hour when we took our turns. During the whole zorbing exercise, all of us fell inside  the ball uncontrallably laughing. We felt child-like. Once the son even fell laughing  into the river, and then swam to the banks.

The river crossing  and rapelling was suspended on that day.  From the pictures posted at the place, the river crossing looked very easy but my daughter and the husband who have tried this said, it was not easy as it looked, one has to kick with legs and push with hands to move forward on the rope and cross the river else one gets stuck on the rope.. White water rafting is highly recommended here but we did'nt do this as well.

We were pretty exhausted  and famished too after the high-octane activities on the rather clean  Kali waters that whimsically changed its flow from calm to  white rapids at different places. Now, It was time to retire for the day. It was around 5.30 when We drove to our jungle stay some 3kms away.

                 the calm water on the "left" side ideal for kayaking

            the sonny boy kayaking

                     The dot trying to be successful with zorbing. At the far end in the river is one of the turbulent white rapid.

 there was a time when civilizations fluorished on river banks, today resorts fluorish...one of the resort cottages at Ganeshgudi.

 No pictures were taken at  jacuzzi as we were in water.



  1. Very nice. Yes, these are opportunities to become children once again, aren't they ?

    Had no idea what zorbing was. Now I know !

    Although not suitable for water sports, the place must be absolutely heavenly during rains. And it pours there at monsoon times - must have started now.

  2. Hey; after zorbing what ?? Next installment please :)

  3. Haha...you might even visit & comeback ...that is how slow I am...too many distractions...will post tomm. Thanks for asking

  4. Wow! I am truly impressed. You did it all, Asha! These adventure sports truly show us that we are capable of achieving a lot more than what we think we can. I was so skeptical when I first did rappelling, but after the first few steps, it was so much fun. And the feeling of exhilaration of doing something new and different is amazing!

  5. Yes Shilpa, initially even i was unsure but once i started, there was no stopping me.Absolutely exhilarating and sort of liberating too. I enjoyed it thoroughly and yes, i remember your rapelling experience post. unfortunately for us it was suspended that day.