When I clicked the above picture standing on a private road, I could only recall one thing. The placid lake in 3 idiots, Leh, Ladakh ( Pangong lake), where Aamir Khan, Omi Vaidya and the rest meet. Maybe not so blue like Pangong but this looked so much like that place so dreamy, tranquil and so full of peace. This is Supa lake.
So, After the hiking trip , At 11.30, our driver Yunus came from Dandeli to take us to Supa. Enroute, the van's open windows framed vistas of easygoing, sleepy, rustic village charm, a village which was going through its regular morning routine.
When we reached Supa after a 3o minute drive, what greeted us was a huge locked gate. We took a round about the gate and walked through the beautifully tarred road for more than a kilometer which looked like a black carpet. While to our right was a sloping valley and a curvy road beneath, to our left from a sleepy village there was a dramatic change of view - what unfolded to our left was a huge lake with not much of water but so clean and so pristine. Immediately, like i said above in my opening lines, the lake reminded of the Leh lake in 3 idiots...or atleast i have never seen a lake so beautiful. Most of the lakes I have seen generally have a touristy touch with a few eateries or hawkers and a few garbage canisters or strewn plastic covers. This spot was so refreshing , with its depth from where i stood and one could go on gazing dreamily at the placid lake. If only, it was part of a tourist brochure, this would be promoted as nature's cradle , refreshing getaway etc....thankfully this is the property of KPCL and requires special permission and so not much tourists or people around and no eateries or garbage around.
Just as we were standing there admiring the place and clicking them for posterity, Yunus who drove us to this place and who was also an employee of west coast paper mills pointed to the thick forestand said the thick forests (Dandakaranya) gave the place the name Dandeli and Lord Rama passed the place during his exile and the forests around Diggi was the place where Shoorpanakha's nose was cut by Lakshmana and even today one can see Leeches wherever her bleeding nose spilt the blood. That was an interesting trivia or legend for this corner of our country which is rich in legends and lores.
Legend aside, there is another modern story to this place. The lake in the above picture was a village before 1994 and this is the back water or reservoir or Saddle dam( as the KPCL board had labelled) of River kali. In 1994, when the dam got an inflow of more than 100%, the river water submerged the bustling farming village of Supa and the villagers were displaced to the neigbouring Ramnagar, Joida and Naghjauri ( beyong the green forests in the picture). Some even moved to the neighbouring Goa in search of occupation. Even today, many of the villagers come as an annual trip to visit the temple or have a look at what was once their village.
On our way back to the van, he told us about the paper making process in his mill and also that River Kali took birth in the westernghats of north karnataka near Diggi and not in Goa.
Some pictures below: