Prashant's Weblog
Random Brain "Droppings" of yet another software engineer







Wednesday, October 04, 2006

de-stress at Wild valley farm

Only through first hand experience can you really appreciate the benign effect of a concoction of clear sky, un-polluted air, a visual extravaganza of colors that’s created when a kaleidoscope of green shades merge with the vibgyor colors of the sunshine, a cappella by swaying green vegetation closing with a melodious cadenza of a distant bird chirping, breeze, cool and fast hissing a orchestra around you before whooshing away.

We happen to have a healthy dose of this concoction over the last week end, around 200KMs away from Bangalore at a place called Wild valley farm a.k.a. Daniel Farm. Left to negotiate and cope with perpetual chaos of Bangalore traffic, pollution and ubiquitous network of gadgets, day in and day out, I experienced a new definition for solitude in this wild valley, solitude from nerve-wracking symphony of horns amidst regular traffic jams. solitude from the "tech smog". solitude from blaring television. I loved every second of it.

After two last minute drop-outs, five of us, Shankar aka Shanky, Satish, Chimpoo aka Chetan :), Yogesh and myself started at around 7am on Sunday. We traveled along the Mysore road, passed Ramnagar and stopped by at MTR Shivalli for a sumptuous breakfast. I must admit, Khara Bath was really awesome. After breakfast we started for Shimsa falls.

Shivansamudra falls, it’s truly a magnificent sight to see river Shimsha, a tributary of the Cauvery, split up and make twin jumps as Gaganachukki and Bharachukki. After watching the falls to eye's content, had a photo session with the group, ate amla served with mixture of red chilli powder and salt and then started for Danny's farm.

We traveled the same route specified on the website, Shivanasamudra falls, Kollegal, lokanhalli, Odeyarpalya and then cross over to Tamil Nadu and then through Germalam to our final destination.

Daniel farm, its a lush green forest covered area spanning around 100 acres. It gets its name from Mr.Daniel who owns this farm. You really get the feel of the magnitude of 100 acres of wilderness, when you hear to Daniel saying that in close to 25 years of his stay there he has not been able to "visit" all the parts of land he owns. He has now converted close to 12 acres of that land for cultivation of vegetables, spices, maize and coffee. A small piece of flat grass covered land hosts our camps. He has setup few tents overlooking a flat land, in the middle of which there is a provision for camp fire. There is a neat kitchen/dining room around 50 meters from tents where they serve breakfast/lunch and dinner. Toilets are well maintained. There is a room for playing carom. Nets have been setup to play badminton and Volley ball.

So after five hours of nearly back-breaking journey, where Shanky behind the steering wheel was trying his best to maximize the time our car tyres are in contact with anything resembling tar on the road, otherwise most of the time it was gravel, stones, potholes or mud we were traveling on. After reaching the farm, a glass of chilled lemonade was really a welcome idea. We gulped it all. We were shown our tents and we relaxed for some time after which it was lunch time. We had a sumptuous meal. Food was great. Then we relaxed for some more time before embarking upon a 2.5 hrs trek through the forest.

The "batch" that had trekked the same route in the morning was lucky enough to be chased by a wild elephant. Shucks!! We had no such good luck. We had to be content with watching buffaloes and Oxen from neighboring town grazing. We then took a stroll of the town and happen to visit a old monument that looked like a temple...only later did Ramu, our guide, tell us that it was not a temple but grave of Gowda(head) of the town. Also he remarked that the Gowda's son looked exactly similar to me..my happiness knew no bounds. I started to dream about all those old Hindi movies where the hero was son of Surpanch who owns zillions of acres of irrigated land and was flirting around with all those gorgeous gaon ki gori(s). But this time there was a small twist, the hero who does all these macho stuff was me. As all other good things in life, my dreams did not last long. Tiredness took over and put a full stop to my dreams. I was transported back from tinsel town to stark reality. We continue to walk for some more time and reached our camp site.

Soon Night started to fall. For the first time I saw a color that matched the theoretical definition of black(its really difficult to see pitch darkness in Blore these days). Slowly moon emerged. lying on bed of green grass with a blanket of twinkling stars basking in soft white light of 3/4th moon floating above, slightly cold wind whistling around you, trust me you wont ask for heaven. Soon we had campfire burning bright. Relishing the warmth from burning wood, we chatted for long time. Later had really tasty dinner and slept. Slept like a log.

Next morning we got up early and played Volleyball, Badminton and enjoyed running around a Frisbee. Later got refreshed with a cold water bath, had breakfast, settled all our bills and started towards Bangalore. On the way to Bangalore we visited the Dhondenling Tibetan settelment in Oderyarpalya. We visited the Dzogchen Monastery. The richness of colors and design on the monastery wall paintings or the artistic richness that you get to see in the carpets hung to the monastery walls will simply amaze you. I wanted to visit his Holiness the Dalai Lama's palace and the carpet weaving center, but due to lack of time we could not make it. Probably next time.

We reached Bangalore safe and sound in the evening. All in all it was a long weekend spent well. Looking forward for more adventure and many more discoveries.

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54 Comments:

  • Hi Prashant
    Being another software engineer in Bangalore, I could fully relate with what you mentioned about life in Bangalore.
    The Wild Valley Farm does sound very interesting. Can you provide me the details of the place and how i can get a booking done. My email ID is madheshr@yahoo.com

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