Wild Wonderful Karnataka

Mukti Hole                     

         trek up the hill
         closeup view

And so with a spark of energy back in all of us, we, group of friends (me, Anil, Anand, Manja, Guru and Satish) decided to trek the previous weekend before it got too hot in summer. After reading this article by SL on our very own dreamroutes, we knew that this is what we were looking for. Mukti Hole, enchanted waterfalls in the middle of Kodagaddae forest.

Mukti Hole water falls could be reached by two ways as mentioned in this article by SL and this article on prajavani. After talking to Mahadeva nayak in Hirebailu we decided on this plan. Leave Bangalore on Friday night and reach Hadinabala (10 km before Honnavar) on Saturday morning. Reach Hirebailu from Hadinabala (either by bus or jeep). search for Mahadeva Nayak's house, get help from his house and trek to Mukti Hole. If it is late evening then camp and trek back to Hirebailu the next day. From Hirebailu, back to Honnavar and then Bangalore.

As planned we took a bus to Honnavar on friday night and got down at Hadinabala at about 6:30 morning saturday. Since bus towards Hirebailu starts at 8:30-9:00 we decided to hire a jeep. Enquired about the same in few hotels at the bus stop but couldn't find any. Finally we managed to get hold of Auto carrier (yes three wheeler goods carrier), who agreed to drop us to Mahadeva nayak's house. It was a bumpy ride, but could get the glimpse of beautiful forest topped with morning breeze. We reached Mahadeva nayak's house at about 9:30 and received a warm welcome. Since Mahadeva nayak was not available, Janardana his son introduced us to Suresh who would be taking us to Mukti Hole. Without wasting much of time, we distributed tent pieces among ourselves and started the trek following Suresh.

Suresh showed us a mountain and told us that we would have to climb the mountain, get down the other side of it to reach a valley. We would have to walk about 5-6KM along the valley to reach Mukti Hole. It was not afternoon yet, so sun was not harsh on us. Dense forest also helped us against the sun. Trek inside the forest was really good, one of the best forest i had trekked. After about an hour of climbing Suresh started to search something between the trees on the right of the path we were walking. We asked what was he looking for and he said "we have to get down here, i am looking for the route". we were like "what! were is the route". He smiled and after about 5 minutes he told its bit further up. One can easily loose this turn, as it is so indistinguishable. That is the reason SL had asked us to take help of Mahadeva nayak. We crawled into bunch of trees and could see a small route down the steep hill. It was quite steep and we walked cautiously watching our steps. One thing we had to watch out here was for the green snakes, though not poisonous they strike your eyes and you land up becoming blind!! Quite scary right. Suresh told about 2 yrs back ppl lost eyes, and so we got down the steep hill amidst the think forest as quickly as possible.

Finally we reached the valley. It was a relief for us, the place was just awesome, we were in the middle of the mountain range covered with thick forest with stream flowing in front of us. Had a short juice session and started walking towards the source of stream. We walked and jumped on the rocks and stones against the stream, sometimes along and sometimes across. It was already 12:00 and we were feeling the heat. We walked for about 1.5 hours and it was beginning to become monotonous, we were tired and hungry. Suresh screamed from a distance, "its only 5 minutes from here". We rushed and there were were, finally Mukti Hole.

Mukti Hole turned out to be quite good, water falls in three stages, with the last being the biggest in height. Water falls has created a pond which is best for swimming. We sat down with no conversations and everyone looking at the falls, the surrounding mountains covered with dense forest and the stream running down from where we had started. Had the feeling of accomplishing something. We stuffed few chapatis, chocolates and so jumped into the natural pool to swim. What a pleasant feeling it was. Enjoyed chatting, cracking jokes and taking few snaps. There is a route next to the falls which leads to the top of the falls. Suresh also told that long back people had got gold at the top of water falls, we didn't try our luck though.

It was already 2:15, we thought we will head back so that we could spend next day lazing around at the beach in Honnavar. And so we walked back the rocky route along the valley next to the stream. The silence, the flowing stream occasionally sprinkled with birds cry, nowhere else will you find such a soothing ambiance. After walking for about 1.5 hours we reached the point where we had to climb up the hill. It was steep and it was long. We had luggage with us, but didn't have time. So we struggled and managed to get on the top. Once we reached a wider path all we had to do is climb down the mountain back to mahadeva nayak's house. We rushed with enthusiasm, with a feeling of finishing the trek within a day. Clicking snaps of the forest and stuffing overselves with chocolates. Suresh was with us all the way back till we reached home. It was 6:00 in the evening.

Mahadeva nayak was there, greeted us and gave us food. He is a Yakshagaana expert, with his 2 sons actively involved in Yakshagaana, Sugama Sangeetha and Naatakas performing all over Karnataka including DD Channel. His son showed us his keyboard, Harmonium, Drum set. We also tried out our musical talents and at about 10:00 went back to sleep at his house. It was a long yet memorable day.

Lohit Vijayarenu


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