Saturday, May 2, 2009

Yaana(aka Yana) & Jog Falls

Yaana is situated in the evergreen forests of the Sahyadri Range of Mountains. It is known for two gigantic rock formations of a height of 90 meters and 120 meters respectively called "Mohini Shikhara" and "Bhairaveshwara Shikhara".It is a fairly popular place for trekking/visiting. All people like us saw some pics on the internet and were enamoured by the twin towers and decided to go there only to return rather disappointed - more of it later..

This is probably our first multi-day trekking trip and was not in our plans at all. One of our lecturers (actually our favorite !!) was getting married in Shimoga and we decided to go along to the wedding and jog falls as most of us had never been to it. With Yana being close by it looked like it would be perfect.
We had new additions to our group as well.

New Character:
Sudhindra(aka Su): His josh for trekking can be obtained from the fact that he never came back trekking in any our future trips :). Extremely jovial and sporty and a poet as well. His combats with avinash are the best to watch.

The Trip:

Date and Time: May 2006 9.30 pm

Day 1:

Took the bus from Majestic to Sirsi. Nothing special on this bus ride(compared to our previous journey to talakadu) except avinash who kept sleeping on one old
guy's shoulder. The road was pretty good on the whole and most guys got few hours of sleep at least (except me the poor soul who can't sleep in the bus :( ). We reached Sirsi early morning around 6 am. There is a bus that leaves from Sirsi to Kumta at 7 am. We caught the bus and got off at Vaddi Cross. There is a path from here to Yana that is motorable for some distance but not completely. It is exactly 12 km from here and there are milestones as well as boards that indicate the distance regularly. We started walking with full enthu as it was still only 8 and the path was almost through a forest kind of region with lots of trees around.

Now though we were all from Computer Science dept, we were still far from being net-savvy. No eat, sleep and breathe internet(a state which we eventually reached). So we had not done enough research about this place(other than seeing 1-2 pics) and what we knew from someone' some friend had went to this place some time back etc kind of stories and all of us thought we will be starting trekking( as in climbing up and not on flat surface) soon and continued walking. It was frantic pace and sun was not yet burning us, so in an hour we covered 6 km and took few pics here and there. Still there was no sign of any climb at all. Each sighting of a mountain was welcomed by the gang with anticipation that we were going to ascend that(though they didnt actually match the pics we had seen). But ended in dissapointed. After a while motorable road ended and we had to follow a small walkable path.

After exactly 2 hours after we started, we finally saw the 2 shikaras. They were visible from a distance and it was awesome. Pavan and Datta went full on with photography while me, keerthy and srikanth were in awe as to how we were going to trek this mountain as it looked fairly vertical !! We thought it was worth the long walk we had ..We reached the base of the mountain and there were quite a lot of tourists many of whom had hired jeeps and tempos to come here instead of hiking like us. That is where it hit us. Much to our chagrin, we got to know that this was the destination and the end of trek not the beginning as we had hoped. Without nothing else to do and totally disapointed, we just looked around the mountains and few caves that were there and took lots of pics. After some break and lunch, we were left with option of walking back and catch a mini-bus to Kumta. With no enthusiasm left and moderately tired we decided to catch the bus that was supposed to come to Yana.

We waited - asked someone - waited again - continued this cycle for some time as no bus was coming and there was no fixed bus stand there as such was really hot and we walked further in the hope of atleast hiring a jeep in the nearby village. The path was made of hot red soil. By 2 everyone was sapped out and just laid on some grassfield and couple of guys even slept off. Me and avinash(who surprisingly had the best stamina left) went looking for a jeep and after knocking multiple doors eventually got a person who was ready to take us the main road where bus comes. He was asking for 800 for 13-14 Km ..I totally left it to gupta to bargain who did a tremendous job considering how tired we were and we paid 600. It was a rocky ride on one of worst roads possible and we reached main road from where we took an open tempo to Kumta. Finally there was some breeze and it was a cool ride in more sense than one. We reached kumta and took bus to Shimoga and driver was dead fast at times even there was some ghat section to cross. Slept in a hotel that night totally exhausted.

Day 2:

Hoping for a better day, we got up next day and went to the marriage for which had come in the first place. It was a nice place and our lecturer was looking seriously beautiful in her traditional attire. Had awesome food and left for Jog Falls. It took couple of hours from Shimoga to Jog again crossing Sagara which we kept crossing to and fro and reached by 3 pm.

Now we knew it was May and summer and were not expecting tons of water there. But when i was actually staring at Jog Mountains, i actually asked my friend if we need to walk further to reach jog as i could see only mountains in front of me !! Eventually one of guys asked me to focus on supposed Rocket falls and i could see a thin stream that resembled more of someone pissing from top of mountain than any falls i have seen. After Yana, this was double whammy ..With nothing to do and more than 3-4 hours left, we decided to go down. So we finally Trekked !! it was nice steep path to the bottom and we went directly under one of falls as there was hardly any force and not much danger. Spent some nice time and started steep climb up. Sudhindra who till now thought trekking was a synonym to walking had his most difficult time and refused to climb after a while and it required all of gupta's swearing in telugu to push Su to reach the top again. We emptied one shop of all his lime-sodas and the event is memorable still for Gupta getting high on 'Shoda'

Some guys took bath in some public bathhouses while rest waited and we eventually boarded the Ksrtc bus which we had booked at 7.30 pm and reached bangalore next day morning.

And ya it was Sudhindra's birthday the previous day and he ll never forget Jog falls.

Overall somewhat dissapointing trip though the Yana Shikaras are an impressive sight to see.

Route to Yana:

1. From Bangalore take the bus to Sirsi - around 430 km
2. From Sirsi, you ll get buses to Kumta that pass through vaddi cross - 40 km from Sirsi
3. Get off at Vaddi Cross and walk to Yana - 12 km

Alternative option would be to take bus to Kumta and take a jeep directly to Yana to skip the hiking part.

Distance to Yana: 480 km from Bangalore.

Better to Know:

1. At Yana, there are no hotels/shops etc. So it is necessary to carry food.
2. Unless the road has improved in last couple of years which is unlikely, it will be difficult to reach Yana on a private vehicle like car.

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