Monday, September 13, 2010

Chunchi Falls - Sangama - Mekedatu

Info: Chuchi falls  is a lesser known and a medium sized waterfalls, more known for the rocks and gorges around the falls. The ride down the kanakapura road is a bikers treat. Sangama is the joining place of river Cauvery and Arkavathi and the spot is frequented by tourists. Sangama has a vast stretch of Cauvery river where we can take a dip in the shallow free flowing river. Mekedatu which literally means a deep gorge as narrow as a goat’s leap is at a distance of 3.5 Km from Sangama and can be reached after crossing the river Sangama by a Coracle/boat.
Distance: 95 Km from Bangalore
Best time: Post Monsoon (Aug to Feb)
Ride: The roads are decent, right till the Sangama. The chuchi falls stretch is a bit narrow and along the village roads.
Route: Bangalore=> (Bannerghatta Road =>NICE Road )=> Kanakapura Road => Kanakapura => Sangama Road => Chunchi Falls => Sangama => Mekedatu
Ideal trip: Start by 7 am after packing breakfast and lunch. Spend time to relax and explore the places. Start back at 6.30 pm and reach Bangalore by 8 pm.
Chunchi falls, I would say is meant for those looking for a more of a laid back road trip down the country side. The route from Bangalore was simple, down Bannerghatta road/Kanakapura road till Kanakpura and then towards the Sangama and would not exceed more than 95 kms one way. Neverthless the plan was to cover Chunchi falls, Sangama as well as Mekedatu with in the day. 10 enthusiasts turned up for the trip and we started off at 8 am in 3 bikes and a car after a light breakfast.
The road down the Kanakapura road covered beautiful greeneries, paddy fields and the country side. To our luck the rain had gotten over just before we started and the whole way was accentuated by the just ended drizzles. We stopped by Kanakapura in search of a decent hotel and after some local help managed to find a decent ‘Sagar’ near a circle in Kanakapura before the turn towards Sangama road. We realized that we could have packed food for the entire day as there were no good eateries at all, all along the trip. After a round of Masala dosas, rava idlies and puris we also packed puliogare for the lunch.
Kanakapura road
Road to Chunchi falls

Chunchi falls initial stretch

The falls that appears after the trek
Sangama coracle crossing

Mekedatu view

Mekedatu gorge
Nice Road on return during Sunset
Trek down to the falls and up to the watch tower:
 The trip down Sangama road was even more fresh and along the village roads. We had to take a left towards Chunchi falls after about 15 Km from Kanakapura. At 11.30 am, after a 6 Km stretch we reached a completely deserted Chunchi falls, a place that looked devoid of any sign of water.  After a brief trek down, we reached the rocks and could hear the sounds and see the falls flowing down the rocks. We saw some locals diving down to the waters from the rocks but the place looked quite treacherous for bathing. We spotted another stretch of big water falls at about a Km from this place and an old guy around that place guided us to the route to reach the bigger falls. Most of the foot path towards the falls was non existing and had to climb across rocks. Halfway 4 of us got to split in the middle of the trek and realized that the one group was going down to the falls and the other to a watch tower at the peak of the hills. The views from both the places were amazing though we didn’t get enough time to spend near the water falls. The adventure lasted about 2 hours and we were desperately short of drinking water. Going down to these places is not recommended unless there are locals to guide along. We regrouped at the place where we parked our bikes and took a long rest after starting towards Sangama at 2.15 pm.

Road route till Sangama:

View Larger Map

The place Sangama was dotted with tourists and the big river offered a great place for bathing and picnic near the banks. We had to take a coracle ride to cross the river. We spent some time in the water struggling to have our foot in the strong current. And then had a fulfilling lunch - Puliogare and fresh fried fish.
From this side of the river there were public vans ferrying people to the Mekedatu. By 3.15 pm, we managed to rush into the heavily crowded van and reached Mekedatu after a 40 min ride. At this place the river Cauvery flows through a very narrow gorge and offered stunning views. After spending some time and a round of pictures we started back in the van. It was quite crowded that some of us even had a chance to ride the beautiful stretch on the roof of the bus. At 5.15 pm, we started back towards Bangalore from Sangama without any other stops.