Mr. Iyer called me up at 1 a.m and ordered me to pack my bags as we are going to Yana at 6 a.m. My reply was “Chalo!” Entire night searched for what-to-see, how-to-reach, foods and fares, etc, which a traveler seeks for. We had to reach Kumta, which is the nearest Railway Station. We took Bikaner-Kochivali Express and covered the 150km distance in 2 hrs. After that I was pretty sure that we will have a bus for Yana. But since it was a forest region, bus times were fixed. Next bus was at 12pm. Oh No! Cab walas gathered around us. Now what to do, we both were staring at cab walas, who were giving their best shot in fooling us. Since we had no option we hired a Maruti Van for 24 km far Yana, by somehow negotiating the price, we reached there in an hour. A stall at the parking was well stocked with sodas, ice creams and snacks. Then we walked for around 2 km on a mud road leading to a forest. We were walking under a canopy of tress, with streams running along and small waterfalls enhancing the beauty. The flow of the water was not much.
Then we came across a magnificent mountain, which was made of Black limestone, named Mohini Shikhara(300ft). For once I wanted to climb that mountain, but as I reached close to it, I saw those needle-like coming out of of the mountain. We explored a small area under this. Quite a picturesque place.
Then we headed to Bhairaveshwara Shikhara(390ft), the bigger one. Within the cave, there is a bronze statue of Chandika, an incarnation of the goddess Durga, there is also a Shiva Ling and a Chandihole from which water continuously pours on Shiva Ling. That’s magical and has been investigated by many geologists. This a perfect place to visit during Maha Shivratri. The story behind formation of these two huge mountains is a fight between Lord Krishna and Bhasmasura. Bhasmasura, a devil got power from Lord Shiva that if he puts his hand on anybody’s head, it will burn into ashes. This devil want to try this on Lord Shiva. To help him, once Lord Vishnu changed his avatar to a beautiful lady named Mohini, who flattered Bhasmasura. She challenged him for a dance competition, mesmerized by her beauty he agreed. During the competition, she did a step where she put hand on her head and Bhasmasura did the same and burnt himself to ashes. The ashes formed the two hills.
After getting out from the temple, you can see two small stalls, we had Coconut water and snacks here. Then there’s a cave behind, shoes have to be removed before entering, you can see openings at the top revealing the sky above. That’s actually the highlight of cave. Under the cave you may find some interesting places, with some black dirt on walls and bat smell. Exit through an open rocky area, which is not maintained at all.
It was just 11 in the morning and we were worried if the trip was already over. Then asked a guy named Harshit, if there was something else to see. He told us there are Vibhuti Falls at a distance of 6km from there and they could reached by Jeep. We the student and our money problem! We inquired every person around, if there was any way we could trek and reach the falls, everyone suggested its risky and you will be lost if you go alone. Damn, what to do now. We met that guy again and he agreed to come with us on trek. I was super excited for this 10km two-way journey. We started with normal jungle, villages, small rocks in flowing water.
Since he was making his way, we also had to break and push branches. Thorns on the way tore through my t-shirt, also it very risky as we were on a steep mountain, we could easily slip and roll down. Walking across dense forests with Tiger Biscuit as the energizer was the best part of journey.
After 2 hours we managed to reach the falls. Finally, got all drenched and lay on the rock for a while. That was a peaceful time indeed. But since we had a train at 6, we had to rush back to where we started. Literally we were running, luckily we got into the moving Mangalore express without a ticket. What a perfect ending to a tiresome hiking!