Post Trip Write up for Emperor SUV/Car Trip to Karnataka and Goa

Excellent Write up from Ravi Sankar:

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I love to travel more and almost every month I am going for a tour / trek for the past 2 years. This late summer I have a plan to go for Jog falls and Dudhsagar trip. By the time I received a mail from Prem (from CTC) for Jog Falls and Dudhsagar SUV trip. I was so happy and immediately registered for this trip. It was in the month of May when I registered and in between I went Nagala East trekking with Arun and Courtalam Trip my friends. And I am waiting for this SUV trip since then. Up to July last week I didn’t get any mail from Prem about the preparation and final plan. So I called up Prem and asked about the plan as I have to plan for the leaves and some initial preparations. Prem said the total no of participants are around 60 and may be we will go by Bus and 2 to 3 SUV’s. Also he said he is going for an exploration trip to Jog falls and Dudhsagar falls, after his visit he will post the mail for preparation and trip plan. (In that exploration trip, the car met an accident but thank god everyone survived, then only they changed the SUV plan to Bus trip, we came to know this only after the trip. Thanks Prem and organizing / Exploration team for the care on us) I said ok and he posted the preparation mail on 8th August. 
In that mail I saw the starting time from Koyambedu was 2.00 pm Wednesday 14th August and I was little worried as I have some important work in my office. Immediately I called up Prem about the start timing as we can delay any further, he said no as we have to reach dudhsagar by morning, so at any cost we have to start by 3.00 pm. So I have no other way that I have to reach3.00pm to board the Bus. In between we received chain of preparation mails from Organizers and self-introduction mails from the team. On Tuesday itself I packed all my things and ready for the trip. On Wednesday somehow I managed and reached CMBT bustand by 3.45pm, but the bus was waiting there for few of us and finally it was started by 4.15pm. 34 of us boarded in the bus out of 57 and 3 cars are arranged separately for the backup team and they are waiting for the other team members. 
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Day 0:
We headed towards Bangalore and in between few more people are boarded in the bus in Sriperumbudur (Siva and Family), Vellore (Naveen and Anu) and Catty & team in between Vellore. It was a sleeper cum seated bus and we had fun playing cards and chit chatting with each other. Few of the peoples in this trip are met in my earlier treks, (Prem, Chandru, Yazar, Ananya, Yoganand, Dhana and Vikram). So it was easy to me to mingle with the big group. 
Organizers are well prepared for this trip and they bought 40-50 packets of Mutton Briyani and Veg fried rice for the lunch / evening food. All are had their evening food in the bus. Around 10.00pm we stopped near Hosur for Lunch. Everybody had their lunch and headed towards Bangalore. The bus reached Bangalore by 1.30 am and the second bus towards Jog falls was ready for us.  Everybody boarded the second bus and it was started in few minutes. It was a 3+2, 56 seater bus and we are 44 now in that bus. 
Day 1:
On 15th morning we reached Jog falls by 10.30 am and there was rain drizzling around the place. We get down from the bus and enjoyed the beauty of the Jog Falls. Actually we have a plan that, we will get down the hill and reach the down of the Jog falls for a refreshing shower. But due to rain, police guards are not allowed to go down. So we took few photos from there and returned to the bus. 
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Jog Falls is the second-highest plunge waterfall in India, Located near Sagara, Shimoga District of Karnataka state, these segmented falls are a major tourist attraction. It is also called by alternative names of Gerusoppe falls and Jogada Gundi.
Jog Falls is created by the Sharavathi River falling from a height of 253 m (830 ft), making it the second-highest plunge waterfall in India.
The Sharavati, flowing over a very rocky bed about 250 yards wide, here reaches a tremendous chasm, 290 m (960 ft) in depth, and the water comes down in four distinct falls. The Raja Fall pours in one unbroken column sheer to the depth of 830 ft (250 m). Half-way down it is encountered by the Roarer, another fall, which precipitates itself into a vast cup and then rushes violently downwards at an angle of forty-five degrees to meet the Raja. A third fall, the Rocket, shoots downwards in a series of jets; while the fourth, the Rani, moves quietly over the mountain side in a sheet of foam. The Tourism Department has built steps from the view point till the bottom of the hill where the waterfall can be seen at the opposite side. There are approximately 1500 steps built to reach the bottom of the hill.
Nearest Railway Station to Jog falls is Talaguppa (13km) and Sagar (43km). Major Bus station is Sagar and from there you can find transport facilities to Jog Falls. 
Then we headed towards our next destination Dandeli for water Rafting. In between we had lunch in Sirsi and in the night we had dinner & stayed at Yellapur. It was a big function hall and it can accommodate all of us in one roof. In the night we had an interesting introduction session and everybody introduced themselves. We have 3 doctors and 2 lawyers in our team and everybody known each other in that introduction session. We slept at 12.00 in the night and woke up in the next day (16th August) by 6.00 am. 
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Day 2:
There was only one wash room but everybody was ready by 7.00 am and waiting for the breakfast. The Hotel was provided us the Breakfast by 7.45am and we finished our breakfast by 8.15 and headed towards Ramanguli (28km) for water rafting. It was a private Resort (Sri Sai Riverview Jungle Resort) and they are having Rafting, Kayaking and accommodation facilities. First we went for Rafting in 3 boats of 6 peoples each and the others enjoyed their kayaking. If the first group finished their rafting, 2nd group will go for rafting and the first group will do Kayaking.It was an 8 km long way and we have enjoyed a lot by doing pedaling and jumped in to the water sometimes. After our rafting we have to walk back to the resort around 6-8 km and we are ready to walk in that climate. We walked 1-2km distance and our bus came to pick us from the point, but we are not ready to board in to the bus as we have enough time and we enjoyed in the ghat roads with rain drizzling. Few kilometers ahead we saw one small stream and immediately everyone jumped in to the water and taken a nice bath as our clothes are mud due to rafting river water. This was awesome in the middle of the forest road we are enjoying our bath in the small stream water. Finally we reached the resort and we did kayaking. Everyone changed in to dry cloths and had nice food arranged from nearby hotel by Prabhakar and Guna. 
In the evening everybody boarded in the bus and I changed to Duster to enjoy a SUV drive on the Ghat roads. On the way our Car reached near Goa and we entered into a No man’s land beach. We took some photos and headed to Vasco for the night stay. The entry fee for the Car to enter in to Goa city is very high, they charged Rs.250/- per car. All the three cars are well ahead than the Bus, so we reached Vasco first and had a food in Anandashram hotel. I thought it was an Ashram and they serve vegetarian food. But my assumption was wrong, it was an Family Non veg restaurant and Bar. In Goa it is very difficult to find a Vegetarian hotel and restaurant without a Bar. 🙁
We had food in that restaurant and reached our room by 10.00 pm(Actually it was a Ram Temple premises and have rooms and dormitories for guests and it was arranged by Dr.Arun) and waited for the bus to come. They reached the place after 30 minutes. Everybody had taken rest in the dormitory for the night. 
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Day 3: 
We woke up in the morning by 7.00am and went to Bagmola beach in Goa by 8.30am. We played there some time in the beach and took some photos. The team was very naughty and they throw everyone into the water without their permission. Everybody is wet now and the rain also started. After tea by 11.00am we headed to Dudhsagar, everyone’s dream place. We reached near collem railway station by 3.30 pmand had our lunch there near the station brought from some hotel. After lunch we started our trek to Dudhsagar falls. It was around 13 km distance and we have to walk on the railway tracks only. In between some tunnels will come and trains will pass through. We take a compact back pack consists water bottle, one dry cloths set and sleeping bag / mat for the night stay. The journey was breath taking as there was rain drizzling some times, train passing through us when we are crossing tunnels and moreover the tracks laid on one side of the mountain slope and other side is deep valley. We reached the Dudhsagar falls around 7.30 pm by the time it was dark and the campsite we planned was almost fully occupied. We spent some time there near falls, the falls was flowing heavily as its showering on us even if we are in 100 feet distance. 
Dudhsagar Falls (Sea of Milk) is a four-tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi River in Goa on Goa’s border with Karnataka state. The waterfall is located in the Bhagwan Mahavir Wild Life Sanctuary at Collem in South Goa in the Western Ghats. It is 60 km from Panaji city by road and 46 km from Madgaon railway junction by train. At the base of the waterfall, there is a small pond. One can bathe in it only during non-rainy days, that too at one’s own risk. There are fish in the pond, the water is very cold and the pond is slippery. 
Dudhsagar is one of the world’s most exquisite falls. It lies high up in the Mandovi River’s watershed and so are not particularly spectacular during the dry season. During the monsoon season however, the falls are transformed into one of the most powerful falls in India. Dudhsagar Falls is listed as India’s 2nd tallest waterfall at 310 meter. The water plummets hundreds of meters (over a thousand feet) in large volumes during the rainy monsoon season, forming one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in Goa. It is a major part of the Goa ecosystem. It is a four-tiered waterfall with a total height of 310 metres (1017 feet) and an average width of 30 metres (100 feet). There is a railway station called Dudhsagar Falls (station code DWF or DDS) where trains stop for a minute or so for technical reason (to test brakes while going downhill) but no tickets are issued to or from this station and it is not a commercial halt for trains. The next railway station is Collem (Kulem) on Madgaon-Castle Rock-Londa track, 13 km from the falls. The railway route for reaching the falls from Goa is Madgaon-Collem- Dudhsagar Falls. However, one can get down at Dudhsagar Falls railway station itself that lies between Castle Rock and Collem and walk the short distance to the falls. Then one can come back to the same station and take a freight train by requesting the guard and taking his permission. All the trains including freight (goods) trains stop at Dudhsagar Falls railway station while going towards Madgaon (but not while going in the reverse direction).
Trekking in Dudhsagar is a famous tourist attraction. There are two abandoned shelters for the refuge of trekkers (left to the falls and right side beside the railway track). They are available on the first-come-first-served basis. Medical and pure drinking water facilities are not available around Dudhsagar but one can approach the station master at Dudhsagar Falls railway station in emergency. There are some trek routes to reach Dudhsagar Falls, of which only two are accessible in monsoon.
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Route 1 (Castle Rock Route) :This is the most famous route during the monsoon. Reach Castle Rock station and start a Scenic 16 km hike to Dudhsagar Water falls along the railway track. It normally takes 5–6 hours to reach. The route passes through a number of railway tunnels, a board reading “Welcome to Goa” and also great views of the Valley. One has to be careful of trains while walking along the railway track.
Route 2 (Kulem Route) : This is equally scenic but less popular as compared to Route 1. One has to get down at Kulem (Collem) railway station (Station Code: QLM) and walk towards the falls which is about 12 km away. It normally takes 4–5 hours to reach. The famous photograph of Trains passing through before the waterfalls can be seen in this route and also the complete stretch of the falls will be visible while you hike towards the waterfalls.
Route 3 (Transport + Hike) : In Kulem one can hire a 4X4 SUV to reach the foot of the Dudhsagar waterfalls. There is a taxi stand called ‘Dudhsagar Taxi stand’ where one can hire a vehicle and get dropped near the falls which is just 1 km hike from the dropping point. This is suitable for large groups with kids and ladies but it cannot be used during monsoon season. Also Motor bike hiring available up to the base and they are charging Rs.600 per person to and pro. 
Prem and team searching for the night camp site and finalized a one site for few peoples in a temple (Vailankanni Church) near track and for others down the valley in Mahaveer National park. Siva & family, Naveen & Anu and few others went to church camp and others are proceeded towards the valley camp. The path leading down to the valley park was very steep and slippery. Raja, Prem and Aravind are tied a rope on the tree to get down easily and they prepared the camp for rest in night. The rain was showering slowly and everyone reached safely to the camp. In Western Ghats there will more be leaches compared to other Ghat sections. Few of our team members got bite of leaches and they removed it immediately. The whole night it was raining and we are somehow managed to sleep in a small place in that tent. 
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Day 4:
So we have no other way to return to our original route to reach the Dudhsagar falls. When we reached the falls, the other team members stayed in church premises was started their trekking / walking to castle rock, where our bus was waiting for us. So we had some bun (Vada pav) and tea and started our walk towards castle rock station aroundMorning we woke up by 6.00 and after our morning duties, we started to climb up on the other way to reach the Dudhsagar falls. After some distance we have to cross one stream and the flow was very heavy, so we couldn’t cross that stream. (One of our team member Raja’s camera missed in stream crossing and two others shorts were wiped off 10.30am. It was scenic 16 km walk along the railway track and passed through a number of railway tunnels. In between we took a nice shower in one of the falls on the way. There are so many small falls flowing all over the route. We drank as of water from the stream falls directly as we have no other source for food. We reached Castle rock station by 5.00pm after a pleasant journey with great views of the Valley.  We had some refreshments in that station and changed to dry clothes. The bus now headed towards Bangalore carrying us with the unforgettable memories of this trip. We had dinner on the way and reached Bangalore in the morning. From Bangalore we boarded another bus and reached Chennai in the afternoon. 
It was a life time trip for me with the energetic CTC team of 57 souls…
Thanks for Prem, Prabhakar, Guna, Arun, Manick and team for such a wonderful trip…. 
Another Beautiful Write up from Anuradha:
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Excitement, curiosity, anxiety, tension, happiness- could not imagine more words of what I could feel when I thought about this trip.
Busily packing and looking at the clock was the only thing I was acquainted with since morning. The mail read that we would start from Koyembedyby 1.30 pm. I didn’t know anybody in that trip and the inquisitiveness of making new friends was pulling down my nerves. 
It was a late start though. I joined the team at Vellore around 7 pm. It was indeed a warm welcome by everyone while my special sweets were getting circulated around in everyone’s hand touching everyone’s taste buds. A bus with 40 souls and 3 cars with 20s of those made a motion. Some more would be joining at Bangalore and thus began our journey at last.
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‘Happy Independence Day’- the day began with our team singing the national anthem. We halted for breakfast at a restaurant at Shimogaand proceeded towards Jog Falls- our first destination. We reached Jog around 1 pm and what should I say? First time I saw something sounding more promising than a chattering lady. 
A rainy day- Misty roaring Jog- 60 new friends- cameras clicking- amazing views of the falls- people awestruck with open drooled jaws – I almost jumped out of my skin – discussions hit the movies which were shot at there- I must say Jog is a place you must visit before you die. Did you scribe it on Bucket’s list? You should.
Folk moved to another point as if we were buying an Arabian horse and inspecting the horse moving all around.  See the falls from here- Beauty from different angle, a treat for the eyes. Gallons of water feeding tones treat to our eyes. We had carrots, cucumber, rice flakes and almost whatever we saw on the way. Then we proceeded for lunch which was followed by a full day journey in the bus. Crisscrossing through Western Ghats and Indeed, that was the best journey I ever had. Full of fun, as we played so many games and got to know about each other better.
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We stopped for the night at Yellapur in a wedding hall and had an intro session about all the people in our group. That was a very good idea. Thanks to the organizers.

We rushed for breakfast as we had to move to our next destination, Rafting at Ramanguli near Yellapur. It was another 2 hour journey.
Since there were only 3 rafts we had to divide ourselves and proceed in 3 batches. In the meantime the others indulged themselves in kayaking, photo clicking and enjoying the heavenly showers that was bestowed upon them.
Raining- rafting- rowing kayaks – munching snacks- the whole day was busy. Since I was in the 2nd batch we went for rafting around lunch time and on the way back we spotted a small stream of flowing water. Would we leave that and walk away? NO WAY. All of us jumped into that water too and enjoyed the freshness of the water splashing and flowing. It was heavenly- an ethereal experience.
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It was evening already. We had lunch late though, came back to our spot and changed to our dry sets and proceeded towards our next destination.
Go Goa- 365 days on a holiday.
As the tag line goes, we entered goa around 11 in the night. Had goan dinner and stayed in the navy quarters at Vasco for the night. Ah! Idea of staying in navy quarters gives some hardy archaic army feel in goa?
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Woke up around 6 am in the morning and proceeded to Baina beach at Vasco. Nevertheless to say it was raining as again and some members of our team didn’t w wanna get wet. But they were certainly not spared by the others. Rakshasas, they are. People were either dragged or carried into the roaring waves and dropped into the water. Eventually everybody ended up getting wet. It was fun though which could not be explained in words. It could only be felt if you go there and see it for yourself.
Drenched in the rain, soaked in the salty waters of the beach and posing for the pics of the super duper photographers we almost forgot the time. It was around 10 am which seemed like 6 am. It was already late and we had to proceedto our next biggest destination of our agenda- the mighty dudhsagar.
We had to skip breakfast but our excitement didn’t subside.
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Reached kellem around 3 pm. Had the lunch there and started to trek on the railway tracks to Dudhsagar. It was a 12 km trek. We didn’t take much break coz we knew it would get dark before we would reach there. But we didn’t miss to pose for our photographers who captured all the scintillating moments there. It was a trek of a lifetime of course. We reached Dudhsagar around 7. It was dark and raining heavily. So it was not possible for us to cook too. We just dined upon bread and jam and rested under a tarpaulin in the falling rain. Whole night of pitter-pattering.,  Before that we went to see the falls and watta view it was. The milky sprays, as the name suggest, from the falls due to the cool breeze and the trains passing by rapidly and the camera clicks brought us to astonishment. We were made to think can nature be more beautiful than this? It was alas a heaven on earth. The night just passed by but the rains never stopped pouring.
Early morning woke up soaked and drenched in the rain. Some went for seeing the waterfalls. Some were enjoying the rain and getting wet. Some others went for taking a bath in the nearby small waterfalls. At last we decided to trek for  another 14 kms from 
Dudhsagar to Castlerock. Some were exhausted and decided to take a train to Castlerock. 
Trek and rain and trek and rain- An unending cycle.Atlast reached Castlerock around 4 in the evening and had hot pulav and upma in the station and came back to the bus and changed from wet to dry, packed our things and started by 6 in the evening. I knew our trip was coming to an end. But everything started should finish at some point of time.
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Reached Bangalore around 8 in the morning. Tired and exhausted everybody was sleeping till we reached our breakfast spot at Hosur. Had a wonderful breakfast. The hotel guys might wonder if at all we left anything for the rest of the people. We had a sumptuous breakfast and started off to Chennai with the same spree with which we started. Again games, shifting from one place to other, chit chatting, we parceled biriyanis and curd rice for noon at Ambur.
Atlast the bus arrived at Chennai around 4 in the evening. Alas people from our team got good amount of doses from their bosses for taking an extra day holiday. But it was ok. It’s nothing when compared to the memories of our trip.
Finally a special thanks to our organiserswithout whose efforts this wonderful trip would not have been possible and also a special thanks to our super duper photographers who made awesome clicks throughout the trip and made this trip a more memorable one.

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