Monday, 25 November 2013


CHAPTER—5 Of (15)


Picture clicked @ "OM BEACH" Karwar, Karnataka

The Brief History of Kashmir & its rulers

The Kashmir valley was ruled in a sequence, by Hindu Rulers, Buddhist Rulers, Muslim Rulers, Mughal Rulers, Afghan Rulers, Sikh Rulers and then the last were Dogara Rulers.

If not, for the adamant, stubborn, unyielding, inflexible KASHMIRI PANDITS of those years, who ardently refused the regular humble requests of the Buddhist Ruler Rinchang, (a Tibetian from Ladakh  who ruled Kashmir (1320-23), to adopt Hinduism?

Rinchang out of disgust later adopted Islam & Muslimism? Seeing the King converted to Islam, many of his loyal subjects too got converted to Islam. This laid the foundation of conversion of Hindus to Muslimism.

Had adamant Kashmiri Pandits agreed to the request of the Buddhist King to adopt Hiduism, the conversion to Islam could have been deferred by at least half a century.

From time to time, during the periods of brutal Muslim rulers, especially during the heinously, brutal and merciless Afghan Rulers and Mughal ruler Aurangzeb, most of the Hindus were converted.

There were three types of Hindus, first one were those, who under little force and little monetary gains immediately agreed to convert to Islam.

Then the second types were those, who initially refused to convert. But, as they were regularly coaxed and threatened, they finally yielded and agreed to forceful adoption to Islam.

Then the third types were those, the toughest of the lot, who even after threatening, refused to convert. They were finally brutally butchered, beheaded and to cause more scare in society, their mutilated bodies were dragged, crucified and horrified displayed throughout the valley. They preferred to die rather than conversion to Islam.

The last types were the meek, weak, docile and timid ones, who were fulltime dedicated to idol worship. These Hindus to survive had to pay heavy taxation, not as per each family, but as per each head of the family. That’s why Hindus started having small numbers of the family members, so that they have to pay small taxes. By paying ill-affordable taxation, many Hindus became  poor, poorer and the poorest. Whereas Muslims started having  bigger families and started enjoying the bigger monetary comforts of conversion to Islam.

That is why because of olden years of heavy “Hindu-taxation”, today Muslims number in Kashmir valley, are enormously more than those of Kashmiri Pandits.


Myself being a Kashmiri Pandit, It's my request that all the "kashmiri Pandit" organisations from all over the world, under whatever banner they may be, at least to honour the divine sacrifice of "Guru Tegh Bahadurji" sholud pay collective tributes  on his " SAHEEDI DAY" that come on 11th of Nov. every year 

The Muhhal Emperor, Aurangzeb cherished the obsession with the ambition of converting India into an Islamic country.

A minority of the conversions of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir happened peacefully. Yet, the Emperor's experiment was carried out in Kashmir. The viceroy of Kashmir, Iftikhar Khan (1671–1675) carried out the policy vigorously and set about converting non-Muslims by force.

A group of  Kashmiri Pandits (Kashmiri Hindu Brahmins), approached Tegh Bahadur for help. They, on the advice of the Guru, told the Mughal authorities that they would willingly embrace Islam if Tegh Bahadur did the same.

Orders of the arrest of the Guru were issued by Aurangzeb, who was in the present-day Khyber Pakhtunhwa of Pakistan  subduing Pushrun rebellion. The Guru was arrested at a place called Malikhpur near Anandpur after he had departed from Anandpur for Delhi. Before departing he nominated his son, Gobind Rai (Guru Gobind Singh) as the next Sikh Guru.

He was arrested, along with some of his followers, Bhai Dayal, Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Sati Das by Nur Muhammad Khan of the Rupnagar police post at the village Malikhpur Rangharan, in Ghanaula Parganah, and sent to Sirhind  the following day. The Faujdar (Governor) of Sirhind, Dilawar Khan, ordered him to be detained in Bassi Pathan and reported the news to Dekhi. His arrest was made in July 1675 and he was kept in custody for over three months. He was then kept in an iron cage and taken to Delhi in November 1675.

The Guru was put in chains and ordered to be tortured until he would accept Islam. When he could not be persuaded to abandon his faith to save himself from persecution, he was asked to perform some miracles to prove his divinity. Refusing to do so, Tegh Bahadur was beheaded in public at Chandni Chowk on 24 November 1675. The Guru is also known as "Hind Di Chadar" i.e. "The Shield of India", suggesting that he gave up his life to protect the religious freedom of non Muslims in Mughal India.

By Nature

The beauty and the salubrious climate of the valley were known even from the ancient times. The mythological traditions supported fully by the research of geologists confirm that the valley originally was a huge lake called "Satisar", ( the land of goddess Sati, consort of Lord Shiva ) and its waters were blocked near Baramulla (ancient Varahmulla). The huge lake must have been twice the length and three times the width of the lake of Geneva, completely encircled by snowy mountains as high, and higher than Mount Blank, while in the immediately following glacial period, mighty glaciers came wending down to the Sindh, Lidder, and other valleys even to the edge of water."

Kashmir's greatest historian Kalhan writes about his native land: Kailash is the best place in the three worlds (Tri-lok), Himalayas the best place in Kailash, and Kashmir the best place in Himalayas"

According to the oldest extant book on Kashmir, "Nilmat Puran", in the Satisar lived a demon called Jalod Bowa, who tortured and devoured the people, who lived near mountain slopes. Hearing the suffering of the people, a great saint of our country, Kashyap by name, came to the rescue of the people here. After performing penance for a long time, the saint was blessed, and he was able to cut the mountain near Varahmulla, which blocked the water of the lake from flowing into the plains below. The lake was drained, the land appeared, and the demon was killed. The saint encouraged people from rest of India to settle in this valley. The people named the valley as Kashyap-Mar and Kashyap-Pura. The name Kashmir also implies land desicated from water: "ka" (the water) and shimeera (to desicate).

Hindu Rulers

During the long Peaceful Hindu rule, literature, art, philosophy, religion, was at glory. It was the most glorious and peaceful era, Kashmir ever had Shivism.

In the field of Philosophy Kashmir's contribution is the "Shiva School of thought", which assumed a distinctive character in the valley. "It is known as Trika (Triple) Shastra, as it pertains to the three vital matters of greatest importance namely (a) man (b) his universe and (c) fundamental principle which keeps on restoring order, equilibrium and harmony in the universe. The three great Acharyas of this school are Vasugupta, Kallatha and the great Abhinavagupta. Hundreds of other Kashmiri philosophers, and thinkers wrote masterpieces on this philosophy in the subsequent periods of our history.

Kashmiries are justly proud of the literary glories of their land. For centuries Kashmir was the house of the greatest Sanskrit scholars, and at least one great Indian religion of 'Shaivism' has found some of its most eloquent teachers on the banks of the Vitasta. Some of the greatest Sanskrit scholars and poets were born, and wrote in the valley and from it has issued in Sanskrit language a world famous collection of folk-lore." (Panchtantra.)

Buddhist Ruler

Another distinct school of philosophy was the emergence of Mahayana form of Buddhism during the time of Kanishka, when the 3rd Buddhist Council met here at Harwan. It was Vasumitra and Nagarjuna who gave shape and form to this new school of thought. This creed became very popular in China, Japan, Tibet and Ladakh. Nagarjuna has been raised to the exalted position of Buddistava and enjoys the reputation of being the greatest thinker of the age.

Establishment of Muslim Period

Rinchan was a Tibetan from Ladakh and he ruled Kashmir (1320-23) and was instrumental in establishing Islam in Kashmir.
Rinchan was a Tibetan prince from Ladakh who revolted against his uncle, who was the ruler of Ladakh, Rinchan was defeated and fled to Kashmir. King Sahdev of Kashmir appointed Rinchan as a minister. Shah Mir was a Persian Muslim Sufi. He was appointed as a minister in Kashmir by King Sahadev and he became good friend of Rinchan. Mongols under their leader Dulchoo, invaded Kashmir with 70,000 soldiers and defeated King Sahadev and Rinchan fled to Tiber. After the departure of Mongols the Kashmiri Chief of the state, Ramchandra, took advantage of the anarchy and occupied the throne. Rinchan defeated Ramchandra and became the ruler of Kashmir. Rinchan marriedKotarani  the daughter of Ramchandra to legitimize his rule and he agreed to convert to Hinduism. The adamant and stubborn Hindu Brahmin Pandirs did not accept Rinchin into Hinduism due to his race and ethnic origin.

The Muslium Sufi missionaries from the Middle East and Central Asia had settled in Kashmir and had converted many Kashmiri Pandits to Islam. There was competition and conflict between Buddhism and Hinduism in the court of King Rinchan. Shah Mir convinced Rinchan that he could choose to convert to Hinduism, Buddhism or Islam . Shah Mir suggested to Rinchan that he could convert to the religion of the first person they encounter next morning. The next morning when they left the palace the first person they met was Muslim Sifi Sayed Sharafuddin Bulbul Shah who was performing his  (Fajr) morning prayers. Rinchan converted to Islam and adopted the Muslim name of Sultan Sadruddin. According to historical sources, Shah Mir pre-planned the morning meeting with Bulbul Shah to convert King Rinchan to Islam.

Rinchan was attacked by rebels and was badly wounded and died in 1323 A.D. Shah Mir attacked his capital city and wanted to marry Kota Rani. Kota Rani fought bravely. Shah Mir then attacked her and was forcing her to marry him. Rather than marry him, according to the historian of that period Jonaraja, she committed suicide and offered her intestines to him as a wedding gift.

After the death of Queen Kota, Shah Mir ascended the throne under the name of Sultan Shamas-ud-din, and his dynasty ruled the state for 222 years. This period is one of the most important in the annals of Kashmir, in as much as Islam was firmly established here.

Mughal Period

The Moghuls remained in power here, from 1587 to 1752, and in this period undoubtedly the people enjoyed peace and orderly Govt. There were some rapacious officers, but on the complaint of the people the Moghul rulers immediately removed them. It was in 1579 that illuminated Moghul emperor Akbar visited Kashmir. About eighty thousand Kashmiris were entertained by Akbar at Id-Gah. During his reign Raja Todar Mal, the great Finance and Revenue Minister, made revenue settlement of the valley, which in its broad features forms the basis of the present revenue settlement in the valley. 

The great emperor visited the valley three times, and with him, came a large number of Moghul grandees, noblemen and army generals. The fame of the valley spread throughout the country and a very large number of people started to visit the valley. But actually it was in the time of Jahangir that the beauty of the state attracted thousands of visitors to the happy valley. The great emperor visited the State thirteen times. The Moghul rulers never came alone, but were always accompanied by hundreds of Nobles, Amirs and Umras, Princes and Army Generals. Jahangir came virtually, under the spell of the scenic beauty of the place, and wherever he found a hill coming down gently to a spring or a grove of majestic Chinar trees or a beautiful lake, he utilised the place for planting a pleasure garden. Shalimar and Nishat gardens on the banks of Dal Lake, would keep Jahangir's love for natural beauty ever fresh in our memory. He laid gardens at Achable and Verinag. Perhaps no other ruler has ever paid so much tribute to the beauty of Kashmir as Jahangir did.

Shah Jahan also visited the happy valley a number of times and he too was accompanied by a large number of nobles. Owing to the long peaceful rule of the three Moghul Kings, hundreds of people now began to come to Kashmir to find mental peace, to regain their health or attain spiritual salvation. Shah Jahan laid the garden of Chashmashai and also built a portion of Shalimar. The Moghul Governor Ali Marden Khan also laid out a number of gardens. Aurangzeb visited Kashmir only once in 1665.

Aurangezeb's reign was a signal for revolts and rebellions in several parts of the country. In distant parts of the empire commenced an era of lawlessness, anarchy and disorder. Many states became independent under their subedhars who founded new independent states. A reign of disorder also started in Kashmir. The Moghul Governors began to loot and plunder the people, and at the same time ruthlessly started a policy of religious bigotry and fanaticism. There was absolute chaos in northern India after the invasion of Nadir Shah of Persia. The people of Kashmir could no longer tolerate the misrule of Moghul satraps, and accordingly when Ahmad Shah Abdali of Kabul was at Lahore in 1752, two Kashmir nobleman Mir Muquim Kant and Khwaj'a Zahir Didmari, waited upon him at Lahore, and disgracefully requested him to bring Kashmir under his control.

Afghan Rulers : (1752 – 1819)

During this rule Sultan Sikandar imposed taxes on non–Muslims, forced conversions to Islam, and earned the title But–Shikan for destroying idols and temples.
Ahmad Shah, a free hooter of Nadir Shah gladly accepted this offer and immediately dispatched a strong and a powerful Afghan army under the command of Abdullah Khan lshik Aqasi, to occupy the valley. The Moghul satrap offered a strong resistance, but was defeated and the Afghan Governor planted the Afghan flag on the ramparts of Akbar's town at Nogar. The rule of Moghuls in Kashmir came to an end although it continued to exist in northern India, nominally up to 1857. Kashmir remained a dependency of Kabul rulers till 1819, roughly a period of 67 years.

The Pathan rule is the darkest period in the history of our state. The rulers of Kabul were great despots, and they ruled all the parts of their kingdom ruthlessly and with an iron hand. The corner stone of their policy was terror. As many as twenty eight Durrani Subedars governed Kashmir during these sixty seven years. The Kashmir nobleman had expected that Abdali would give them a good and a stable government, but the very first Afghan governor Abdullah Khan Aquasi, immediately after assuming powers started a reign of terror. People began to be looted and killed indiscriminately, and even the petty Afghan soldiers began to amass wealth by the foulest possible means. Most of the well to do people of the valley were summoned by the Governor to his palace, and ordered to surrender all their wealth on pain of death. Their houses were completely sacked, and many people were put to sword. There was complete gloom and despair on every side. All the prosperity of the valley was gone, and the people could not even move on the streets, for fear of being robbed of even their scanty clothing. Each and every day for a Kashmiri was a day of struggle and uncertainty. As ill luck would have it, only weak and worthless Amirs governed Kabul, after the death of Abdali. These Amirs would either be quickly deposed or assassinated. Naturally accession of every new Amir would mean appointment of a new Subedar in Kashmir. Hence every Governor expected his recall or dismissal at any time. This uncertainty made these rapacious governors ruthless, and they squeezed every penny from the people mercilessly.

It is true, that all sections of people suffered here during their time, but the chief victims of these fiends were the Hindus, Shias and Bombas of Jhelum valley. The Pathan rulers are now only remembered for their brutality and cruelty, and it is said of them that they thought no more of cutting off heads than plucking a flower.

Sikh Rulers: (1819-46)

Maharaja Ranjit Singh

Maharaja Ranjit Singh Leading Sikh Army

General Jorawar Singh in action
At last the reign of terror broke the patience of the peace loving people, and a deputation of Kashmiris led by Pandit Birbal Dhar, and his son Pandit Rajakak Dhar, left for Lahore and fervently requested Maharaja Ranjit Singh to conquer Kashmir. Three prominent Muslims helped Pandit Birbal Dhar in his escape from the valley. They were Abdul Qadoos Gojwari, Mallick Zulfiqar and Malik Kamgar. In 1819, 30,000 soldiers of Maharaja Ranjit Singh attacked Kashmir, defeated the Pathans, and the state became a part of Ranjit Singh's empire. On receipt of the news, Maharaja Ranjit Singh bestowed honours in Dhar family and Lahore was illuminated for three days, Sikh rule lasted for only 27 years and during this period 10 Governors administered the country one after another, out of whom the last two were Muslims. In the beginning Sikh rule also proved to be oppressive. " It must have been an intense relief ", writes Lawrence, " to all classes in Kashmir to see the downfall of the evil rule of Pathan, and to none was the relief greater than to the peasants who had been cruelly fleeced by the rapacious sardars of Kabul. I do not mean to suggest that the Sikh rule was benign or good, but it was at any rate better that that of the Pathans. "The Sikh rule over Kashmir lasted only for a brief span of time, during which the rulers at Lahore were far too pre-occupied at home to pay any attention to the affairs of this outlying province of theirs. The misery of the people increased due to natural calamities as well, such as premature snow falls, which would destroy a ripe rice crop leading to famines. These famines were followed by diseases like cholera and plague, resulting in a heavy loss of life. Thousands of people migrated to India during these hard days, and no wonder the population of the valley came down to two lakhs from 8 lakhs.

Such was the general condition of the state when Maharaja Ranjit Singh died in 1830. His death was a signal for the mutiny of Sikh Army which become uncontrollable, and plunge entire Punjab into confusion and chaos.

Dogra Rulers : (1846 1947)

Mahara Gulab Singh

The two Anglo-Sikh wars led to the final extinction of Sikh sovereignty in the Punjab and by virtue of the treaties of Lahore and Amritsar the British who had by now become undisputed masters of India, transferred and made over in perpetuity, the independent position to the Maharaja Gulab Singh and heirs male of his body, all the hilly and mountainous country situated to the east of Indus, and west of Ravi river. In consideration of this transfer Maharaja Gulab Singh paid to the British government the sum of 75 lakhs of rupees. Maharaja Gulab Singh entered Srinagar on 9th November 1848 at 8 in the morning. The Dogra royal line traces its descent from the ancient Kshatriyas mentioned frequently in Mahabharata. The Dogra ruler claimed that they belong to the Surya Vanshi (sun born) race. Maharaja Gulab Singh was a man of great vigour, foresight and determination. He repressed opposition and crime with an iron hand and he was universally feared and respected. He crushed gangs of organized plunderers, and murderers in the valley known as Galwans, and also broke the power of Bombas and Khokhas the inhabitants of Jhelum valley region below Varamulla, who brought havoc to every home in the valley by following a policy of arson and plunder. Large number of forts were built in their territory which were garrisoned with troops. It was because of his energetic measures that the conditions of the people improved and after many years some confidence was inspired in the permanence of administration. The people got a spell of peace and order, after centuries of lawlessness. The greatest service of the first Dogra ruler is the foundation he laid of the modern Jammu and Kashmir State. It was Gulab Singh who conquered one by one different places and regions of the state, Jammu,. Poonch, Ram Nagar, Basoli, Bhahderwah, Kishtwar, Bhimbar, Rajauri, Sikardu, Kharmang, Kiris, Khaplu, Sheghar, Astor Gilgit, Chitral, Yasin, Hunza, Nagar, and Punial. In the words of K. M. Panikar an area of more than eighty thousand sq. miles including part of Tibet, as well as part of Pamier, besides the genuinely kingdoms of Jammu and Kashmir came into Maharaja Gulab Singh's possession. This area had never been effectively united under one ruler and much of it with of course, the exception of the valley of Kashmir had never known any settled govt. " Writes P. N. Bamzai : " Mahraja Gulab Singh is the only Indian ruler to have carved out a state during the 19th century out of the wreckage of the great kingdom of Sikhs. Moreover he is the only Indian ruler to have extended the frontiers of India to their natural boundary ." Even Dr. Soft who is not very kind in his comments writes about him: "Gulab Singh was unquestionably a remarkable figure in the history of Northern India during the first half of the 19th Century. He was a distinguished soldier and diplomat and knew the state craft of his own days exceedingly well."

Maharaja Ranbir Singh-(1830 to 12th Sept. 1885)

The Maharaja died in 1857 after a rule of 11 years, during which period he laid the foundation of a sound system of administration. He was succeeded by Maharaja Ranbir Singh who ruled from 1857 to 1885. It was in his time that the rule of law commenced in the state. Almost all the laws, civil and criminal, which the British had introduced in India were with some modifications made applicable to the state. The various state departments were organized on the pattern of departments as these existed in British India. A slight attempt was also made to assess the amount of land revenue at a fixed amount.

Maharaja Pratap Singh-(1848-1925)
In 1885 Maharaja Sir Pratap Singh ascended the throne and he ruled for a period of 40 years. It is in the time of this Maharaja that the real modernisation of the state took place and several progressive reforms were carried through. Sir Walter Lawrence carried the first assessment of land revenue system in the state on scientific lines. The two mountain roads-Jhelum valley road and Banihal Cart road were built linking the state with the rest of India. A scheme for drainage of the valley reclaiming waste-land and preventing floods by digging flood channels was put into operation. Construction of water reservoir at Harwan and establishment of electric generating plant at Mohra was also undertaken during this period. Two colleges in the state besides large number of education institutions were also established by the order of the Maharaja. The administrative machinery was completely overhauled. There was development in the means of communication and telegraphs, telephones and post offices were opened in many places. The isolation of Kashmir from the rest of the country was now a thing of the past, and large number of people, mostly Europeans began to visit the valley. The fame of the valley, its climate and beauty spread in all parts of the world and it can truly be said that an era of tourist traffic started in right earnest in the state. Many efforts were made by Englishmen to obtain the right of purchasing land here for building houses. This would have turned Kashmir into a British Colony. The Maharaja stoutly refused to entertain the proposal, and this actually led to the construction of House Boats.

Maharaja Hari Singh

After the death of Maharaja Pratap Singh his nephew Maharaja Sir Hari Singh ascended the throne in 1925. He continued to govern the state till 1947. He was the last  King who ruled Jammu and Kashmir.

This mass Exodus of 1988-1989 of Kashmiri Pandits,  is nothing  new for us. When we were small, I remember, our grand parents tell 101 incidents of small and mass Exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. I was told that  once only 11-Families of Kashmiri Pandits stayed Behind in Kashmir, rest almost all the remaining Kashmiri Pandits enmass fled out of Kashmir.

One of the proof of the earlier en-mass Exodus is that all along the "Konkan Coast" which starts from Maharashtra and goes down right upto Tip of "Kanayakumari", there is a living community who are called as "Konkanis", their sur-names are KAMATH, PAI, SHANBHOUH, NAYAK etc, etc. Their proof of history says that they are the migrated Kashmiri Pandits from "Satisar Lake" and like Kashmiri Pandits they too are "SARSWAT & GOWDA-SARSWATS only". And they call them selves descendant Kashmirir Pandits. 

So the MORAL of my narration is that "IF WE Kashmiri Pandits, SURVIVED EARLIER MASS EXODUS, WE WILL & SHALL DEFINITELY SURVIVE THIS MASS EXODUS ALSO". It's just a question of time. No one can trample our "SPIRIT OF KASHMIRI PANDITISM"


Ashok    Parimoo

Chapter-4, Mughal Road link
Chapter-6, Mughal Road link

Chapter-6 to be continued

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


Brief Introduction of “KUDUMURY” Waterfall
Near Byndoor ( Udupi District)

The total distance from Udupi to Chadth-Kal (the nearest village to Kudumury Waterfall)  and back to Udupi was approximately 170 Km. The route what we took to reach Chadthkal was from Udupi / Kallianpur / Brahmavar / Uppoor / Pandeshwara / Saligram / Kota / Kumbashi / Koteshwar / Kundapura / Uppina Kudru / Trasi / Marvanthe /Padukone /  Bijoor / Byandur / Chadth-Kal.

At the end of Byndoor town itself, on the right hand side of the national highway (NH-17), is a newly constructed government bus stand of Byndoor. At this very junction we had to take the very first right turn, to go to Chadth-Kal. It’s a small village road, which once upon a time may have been a tar road, but now 14 Km from the main highway (NH-17) to village Chadthkal, is a narrow, worn out, muddy and uneven gravel road.

The distance from the house of Joseph (a rubber estate worker) to the Kudumury waterfall must have been round about 3 ½ Km to 4 Km. But it took us nearly 2 hours and 45 minutes to reach the bottom of the waterfall. As per goggle, the height of the waterfall is 475 feet, but to our naked eyes it looked more higher than that. Anyway it is a glorious, gigantic, majestic, magnificent and the most splendid waterfall. It’s a marvelous feast to eyes, to see the white water gushingly, cascading straight right from top to bottom, almost at nearly 90 degrees.

Now here comes the real melodrama

During this trek, those YHI-Udupi’s hard core trekking veterans, because of some reason or the other, who couldn’t make it this time, I, on behalf of YHI  want to say that we missed you all. But then at the same time we thank all those YHI members who participated in this “Kudumury waterfall’s trek”. The YHI members who participated in this trek are ;---

(In case if I have missed any one’s name or spelled wrong spellings of any name, I am sorry, it’s unintentional)

From Bangalore :-- Arvind, who had reached Udupi in the morning by Bus from Bangalore, and went back to Bangalore the same evening. We highly appreciate his enthusiasm and his love for trekking, because he had travelled up & down, just to trek to “Kudumury waterfall”.

From Mangalore :-- Subhash Pai / Shobha Pai / Ramesh Kamath / Sudhir  Prabhakar / Damodhar / Dayanand

From Udupi ;-- Raganna / Guru dutt / Jaghdish / Vivek Kinni and his son Vishal Kinni / Umanath / Pranav / Subhash Nayak / Ganesh Prabhu / Vasanth / Prabha Kiran / Premanand Kalmadi / Rohit Shetty / Sukesh / Dhan Raj /Nagendra Nayak / Ashok Parimoo

On 17th Nov. 2013, as Scheduled, I reached “Mythri complex” sharp at 6:45 Am. Other than me, Premanand Kalmadi, Subash Pai and his wife Shobha were already there. Within another 15 to 20 minutes there came rest of the YHI members. Among all of us, only Raganna (since he was the coordinator, I can understand his anxiety) was under stress and tension and was busy going round and round like a crazy “top”. His problem was that because of the communication gap and the improper feedback, he had booked only one traveler van, which could accommodate only 20 members. But as of now since the number had gone up to 25.  Raganna was stressfully worried that at the last minute how to accommodate the exceeded members of the members. To Raggana’s relief, Shubash Pai suggested that he would accommodate in his car, 5 members including his wife and himself and would follow us behind our van. So there comes a big relief and big smile on the face of stressful Raganna. All the way from Mangalore Shubash Pai along with his wife had driven down by their car.

Thanks to Rajesh Nayak, who had come to Maythri complex, just to see us off and he wished us all, the best wishes for our safe trekking. 

Sharp at 7:30, we left Udupi bus stand and as per Raganna’s plan, for breakfast, we stopped at “Parijatha Restaurant” at Kundapura. And then from there after finishing the breakfast, we proceed to our final destination, a village called as “CHADTH-KAL”

At “Parijatha Restaurant” because of the acute labor shortage, it was only a self-service counter which was functioning. Imagine the plight of the customers, crowding at that “2 by 4” feet small window type of serving counter, where we 25 YHI members plus the regular early morning customers plus the customers who had come to take away the carry home parcels. The service window counter got jam packed with almost every one trying to push and shove their heads through that small window counter, to collect their order. Seeing so many shaking heads, so many order coupons waving  hands and so many shouting for their orders, that the few serving guys inside the counter got through confused, and in the  chaos and confusion, few times the serving guys gave wrong breakfast items to  the wrong customer. Anyway it was just a chaos. Because of the confusion, we got delayed. We took nearly 45 minutes to finish our breakfast. Whatever said and done, the breakfast was good, especially the Vadas were very crisp, pooris were fluffy and hot samber was tasty and their coffee was hot,  aromatic and delicious. In the bargain, though delayed, but it was worth have delicious and refreshing breakfast.

Right from Udupi itself, in the running van, nonstop suppose to be, “Devotional Subhprabhatha  Bhajans” were blaring out from the ill-matched and  badly worn out speakers, which sounded more a cacophony than a soothing devotional bhajans. And on top of that almost everyone in the van was fully excited and busy narrating their heroic trekking escapades of their past trekking.  The scene was something like of those army personals, who  full time are busy, narrating  the most bravery experience sequences of war zone . The best part is that those who really fought the war on the front line, most of them either died or the ones who survived, this front line brutal enemy assault,  survived either with their limbs blown up by land mines or the tanks-shells finally got stuck, lifelong on the wheel chairs. The living handicapped army personals never ever “YAP” too much about their war experiences and their grief filled silence speaks the volumes of the war miseries. But those army personals who have not factually fought at the front line of the war zone, are the ones who whenever get a chance, they Yap and Yap and rattle endlessly too much of their imaginary heroic glorious deeds of their imaginary involvement in the war.

Same was the case of our some of the YHI- new-enthusiast, those who were busy narrating with full actions and josh, how on their previous treks, they managed the impossible to make it possible and where as the actual hard core trekking veterans just sat quite with a amusing comical smile and quietly listening to the imaginary glories of the new YHi-recruits.

By the time we finished our breakfast at “Parijatha Restaurant”, it was 8:40 AM and then by the time we started our trek from Chadth-Kal, it was 10:30 AM.

At Byndoor junction, once we entered the village road, it was ok. But may be after 2 KM the road to Chadthkal village got rougher, tougher and narrower. On either side of this narrow road, there are endless rubber plantations, small huts and about more than half a dozen newly constructed churches. These rubber plantations are mostly owned by Mallyallies. And we were told that the owners of these small pieces of land, after selling their piece of land to these rubber estate owners. Whatever money they got from the proceeds of selling the land, they happily wasted the money by merry making and endless country liquor drinking. And are now working as  laborers in the same land, that once they had owned.

To reach to the correct destination, at quite number of junctions, we had to enquire from the enroute villagers for the correct route to reach Chadthkal. Once we reached Chadthkal, Mr. Joseph (one of the rubber estate workers) was waiting for us. Over the phone Joseph had promised Raganna that he would even skip the Sunday church prayer just to accompany and guide us the correct way right up to the waterfall.

The way the ground reality looked, during the beginning of this season, our group must have been the very first trekkers group, those who were venturing to this Kudumury waterfall. Because the constricted narrow path was not accessible at all and was full of thorny shrubs, bushes and other wild spread branches of wild jungle foliage, those were hindering our passage to reach the waterfall. The distance from the house of Joseph to the waterfall must have been round about 3 ½ KM to 4 Km. But it took us nearly 2 hours and 45 minutes to reach the bottom of the waterfall.  

Anyway we blindly followed our guide Mr. Joseph, who with his chopper was busy chopping off the thorny bushes and the hindering branches, to make way for us. The scene of the whole scenario was amazing, because the Joseph was climbing the mountainous path with  such an ease, that he walked effortlessly like a mountain goat and all of us YHI enthusiasts running after him like a herd of small unsteady bleating lambs, who climb mountains with tottering gate and small swaying unsteady steps. We regularly requested Joseph to go slow, so that all of us could keep a steady pace with him, without getting lost in the dense forest.

Mind you the going was getting tough, tougher and toughest. I suddenly stated humming few lines of an English song which say, “WHEN GOING GOES TOUGH, TOUGH KEEP GOING” And that made me push my “WILL-POWER” to make sure that come what may, I keep going.

After nonstop walking nearly for two hours, finally we sat on a huge flat rock and rested, till every one came. To reach to this landmark rock, we had to cross the gushing fresh water stream three times. First we crossed the stream from left to right, then after walking for some distance we once again had to cross the stream by climbing the huge slippery rocks. Then once again after some distance we again had to cross the river over the bigger and bigger slippery rocks.

It was not the journey of the forest that made us feel exhausted, tired and fatigued. But it was those huge boulders and rocks of the forcefully flowing river water, which we had to climb up and then come downs repeatedly and endlessly. Moving across these rocks with the unsteady wobbling , wet slippery feet, cause a stressful scare that in case any if one of us falls from any of these huge rocks, may break, either his head, or his arms or his legs. So this was one of the main scare that caused us stressful fatigue to our mind and body, because it was not only the physical fatigue, but it was practically mental fatigue also. So to cross the big rocks of the river, whatever steps under our wobbly, shivering, weak and unsteady feet we took, we made sure that the next step of the foot is firmly gripped. Mind you it was a very stressful event, of balancing act of coordinating the body and the mind actions.

Generally, in usual rock climbing sports, they make you climb the straight cliff of a rock, with the dangling ropes, metal gripped hooks, belts and saddle straps, so that even if you slip and fall, still you are safe and unhurt.

Whereas for all of us here comes the last stretch of the most toughest rock climbing event. This portion of the endless big boulders of  round shaped rocks, which had no protruding or rugged edges for the hand grip, and were as smooth as any freshly clean shaven human head. While climbing on one of those rocks, I fell with a force, flat straight on my all fours. My both the knees and both the elbows got bruised and started bleeding; my legs started shivering with weakness, my painful aching knees felt like soft jelly. It was such a nasty fall, that during the day itself, I could see stars, comets, planets’ and even the milky-way galaxies, right in front of me eyes. Since I am prone to accidents and have already survived the multiple fractures, so I got scared that this fall of mine may have broken some bone or the other of my body.

Just to avoid to make fool out of me, and to come out of the shock, I just sat down quietly for couple of minutes, till I regained my strength to move ahead. Before getting up, I flexed my body limbs and thanked God that this time none of my bones was fractured.

2nd time I once again slipped from a rock, but this time luckily Kamathmaam, Damodar, and Subhash helped me by giving a helping hand.

The last few feet nearing the bottom of the waterfall  was the worst climb. Not because of tough rock climbing, but because of, almost all the surrounding boulders all around here, were coated with a thick layers of green moos, that was caused by the continuous and nonstop showers of water vapors that continuously get spray on those surrounding rocks.

So, because of the thick coated green moos, it caused the whole place so slippery like oily, greasy and slimy, where we could hardly have had any grip for either hands or of feet. Even our dog could climb this mossy last stretch of the rocks. He started whining like a small pleading puppy to help him move around. Though he was a grown up dog, but he got so scared, may be he would have thought that he may slip and fall from the cliff and die. He started look at us haplessly pleading, wimping like a helpless small puppy.

At last we reached at the feet of the waterfall in three batches.

 First batch:-- along with Joseph those who reached the top, are Shobha Pai, Pranav, Ganesh, Vasant and Dhanraj.

Third Batch was Guru, Jagdish and  Umanath

And rest all of us reached in second batch.

As soon as Joseph reached our first batch, to the top, (near the waterfall), he immediately ran back saying that since no one was at his home, he had to go back to tend his cattle. Because he had to milk the cows and it couldn't be postponed. Imagine our frightful plight, how to go back without any guide.


The forceful constant and regular breeze of the mountain winds, continuously sprayed the cold dense water vapors, right from head to toes that enveloped our whole body. The feelings of getting drenched, wrapped and entrapped in to the cold  shivering, chilled water vapors,  was amazingly so blissful, full of ecstasy, enjoyment, happiness, amusing and delightful. Though almost everyone was shivering with cold water spray, but still no one wanted to move away from that blissful cold water splashing with force against our bodies. Mind you the whole effect, of the surrounding scenery, the fresh and lush greenery of the thick forest and effect of cascading waterfall, made us feels if all of us were sailing on cloud-9. The blissful feelings were amazingly, amazing.

However hard I may tray, still I don’t have any proper appropriate words in my vocabulary to explain the blissful feelings of those moments what we actually experienced, while standing under the cascading waterfall. No words can ever explain the beauty of these feelings of this Cloud-9.

At the top, after staying nearly for one hour, and the time was running out, we started moving downwards and once again settled ourselves of the same landmark flat rock, where we had sat and taken rest, while climbing up also. Here while relaxing on that flat rock, all of us had our respective “inorganic lunch” as well as we even shared each other’s lunch also.

Since Adiga Sir and family were not there, that’s why this time no “Organic Lunch” Anyway Adiga sir and family, we missed your presence and modest hospitality.

Right from Joseph house, one of his pet dogs while wagging his tail, kept on faithfully following us. While climbing up towards the waterfall, Joseph kept on praising his dog by telling tall stories that his dog is a very trustworthy and very dependable “guide-dog”. So, anyone can depend on him, for his trustworthy guiding instincts.

Since recently, I had read in a News paper that one of the dogs named as “Rupee” is the one who climbed up to the base camp of the Mount Everest. Since our dog also climber with us up to the waterfall, I thought he deserve to be called at least (1/4th of a “Rupee)

So, since Joseph had disappointingly deserted us, we had at least a small consolation that come what may while coming back down, our (1/4th of a “Rupee) will definitely guide us safely back to his owner’s hose. Now all of us were solely dependent on this supposed an excellent Guide-dog (1/4th of a “Rupee). But to our shocking surprise, (1/4th of a “Rupee) was good for nothing. Whenever he leaded us back, he took us to wrong directions, on the wrong trails and made us loose our tracks couple of times.  If we had blindly followed his instincts, we would have never reached to Joseph’s house. At certain junctures, (1/4th of a “Rupee) would look at us with innocent pleading drooping eyes to show him the way how to go back. At the end we realized that (1/4th of a “Rupee) was more dependent on us rather than we depending on him.

 Then we realized that the directions (1/4th of a “Rupee) was leading us, would have been going to his girlfriend’s house, and that may have been on the other side of the mountain. Imagine our disastrous plight, if we had blindly followed (1/4th of a “Rupee), we would have crossed over the mountain top and reached somewhere near Jog falls.

Finally out of desperation we decided that come what may, better we use our own instincts and proceed.

Right at 3 PM we started moving down and reached back to Joseph’s hose by 5:30 PM. But somehow our escort team managed to reach us safe up to Joseph’s house where our vehicles were parked.

Now comes the final summery

Since Mangalore members had their own car, so they left immediately as soon as they reaches Joseph’s house. Then rest of us, after settling all the financial accounts chores, started back at 6 PM. If I am not mistaken, Joseph refused to accept any money as a guide fee?

In the nutshell, by the time we reached back to Joseph house, almost all of us were dead tiered, exhausted, our knees ligaments either torn or worn out, felt like jelly. Our weak feet couldn't carry our body weight. Every tendon and every muscle of our body was mass of excruciating pain, fatigue, weakness, wobbly legs and painful lower Back ache. Mind you, even to carry our heard on on shoulder became an unbearable effort

 It was more like something as if our bodies were put in to the “Atta Grinding Chakki” where our bodies got grounded, mashed, trampled and at the end pulverized. Even the Contour of every ones body and the face had changed.
While driving back, though outside on the road there was lot of noise of honking, speeding vehicles, but inside our van, there was pin drop of silence. The only noise that we could hear was our own, hard, laborious and effortful gasping and breathing.

IN the evening when we were returning, we had to pass through the crowded traffic jam, because on the way at Koteshwara, there was yearly festival called as “Guddi Habba” going on. The whole area was decorated with colourful, banners, buntings, hoardings and the sequence of flickering and running electric lights. There were all sorts of giant wheels, giant swings, for small children. Merry go round wheels with attaches wooden horses, wooden elephants, and wooden airplane were going round, round and round. Ear-drum shattering, piercing and blaring distorted music was playing at full 2000 watts power. Men, women, children and the rest of the crowd were fully overdressed in their best of the clothes to suits the eyes and draw the attentions of their admirers. In normal situation, seeing the crowded festival celebrations, we would have passed some funny comments. But today we had no energy to pass any comments. All of us just quietly stared out of the window of our van, at the whole arraignments, with the fatigued, tired and exhausted eyes.

In the morning everyone was in full spirits and enthusiasm of cracking jokes, telling funny stories, funny incidents and practically everyone was laughing loud and enjoying. But in the evening, even our tongues couldn't move, even to say a simple hello. Even Kamathmaam, was as quite as an exhausted kitten.

 There are people who cracks jokes on others and then laugh, but same time if any one creak a joke on them, they get seriously offended. But there are exceptionally very few people like Kamathmaam, who crack jokes on themselves also and then make every one laugh. This is the greatest assets and the beauty of Kamathmaam’s joke telling art. Kamathmaam, please keep this humor alive and mind you, no trek will be humorous without your jokes. Your company is an asset to all of us. Thank you, Kamathmaam.

At the end, at Udupi bus stand, when I got down from our van, literally I had to drag the lower portion of my body, just like that of a dog, whose rear portion of  the body gets run over by a fast moving vehicle. He doesn't die immediately, but with excruciating pain, still struggles hard with his all the effort to drag his dangling hind legs.  

Everybody whatever their age may be and whether they agree or not, was exhausted beyond wild imaginations.

I am very sure that at previous night itself or early in the morning, everyone would have packed his carry bags , just like a “Big-Hamper” . But in the evening we got so exhausted that it turned out to be a “Big-Damper” 

Anyway whatever said and done, this Kurumudy waterfall trek is going to be the most memorable one and it was an experience of its own kind itself.

Since this time I could not click pictures, so on this blog, I have pasted pictures courtesy  Subhash Nayak, Guru, Ganesh Prabhu, Rohith shetty and others.