Mekedaatu has been on my travel plate for more than a month now. After 2 cancellations, I finally seized the opportunity to undertake this trip. As is the case with most water-y places, August is the right time to visit the place. The fiery monsoon ensures there's enough water at such places.
Mekedaatu, meaning Goat's Leap, is where River Cauvery runs through a deep gorge.
Coming to the etymology of the place:
Legend has it that, the ravine is so narrow that a Goat can leap over it.
Folklore has it that, a goat was once chased by a tiger and in sheer desperation to save its life, leapt over the ravine and survived. In reality though, forget about a Goat, no living creature can cross it. Period.
Mythology has it that, The Goat that leapt over the the ravine was none other than Lord Shiva. Its always safer to settle down with a mythological version. There's never an argument on that one!!!
But getting to Mekedaatu is not so simple. You first need to reach Sangam before you make your way to Mekedaatu. Sangam, as the name suggests, is where two rivers meet. Cauvery and Akravathi meet here to make this place look magical. Here you need to take the coracle and get to the other side. Water here is pristine yet dangerous. If you are not a seasonal swimmer, its advisable to curb your instincts of jumping into the water. But yes you can always wet your legs and embrace the river within a safer periphery. The river bed is dotted with huge rocks and boulders and its always advisable to exercise caution when venturing into the waters.
After being at peace with nature for some time we headed for the rickety bus that would take us to Mekedaatu. Rickety is probably an understatement. The bus looked so old and fragile and dilapidated, that we had second thoughts about taking the bus. We could of course walk the distance of 4 kms if we choose too, but decided against it. The Rs.40 we paid for the round-trip was probably the most we spent on a 4km-jumpy-bumpy-rollicky and most uncomfortable ride ever!!!
By the end of ride, an X-Ray of our anatomy at this point of time would have revealed some interesting finds. Mekedaatu is pretty much as it looked like, in the pictures(hmm... as if thats a surprise!). The point of interest, is more like a bottleneck, and because of it the water gushing out of it is ferocious. The fiery nature of the water can be judged by the rock formations all over the place. The curvatures in the rocks is so smooth and refined, only nature could have sculpted this masterpiece.
There are plenty of areas here that one could explore. The only prerequisites being lots of courage and a little bit of agility. Fear is one factor that you would encounter here at close quarters while exploring the place. Along with fear comes exhilaration and mad adrenaline rush. Your moment of bravery lead you to what looks like an unexplored heaven. A cave-like opening with very minimal water gushing in. Its perfectly safe here... if you successfully make it to this place!
We had great fun exploring this place and just sitting there lazily listening to the thunderous roar of the water just a few feet away. Its not just Mekedaatu and Sangam that appeals to your senses. The last 10 km stretch before you reach Sangam is a rider's paradise. Pollution is quite literally non-existent. Try breathing-in the air while riding at 60 kmph and you would know what Im talking about. Since we started by around 6 from Bangalore, we reached Sangam by 8:30 and that included a breakfast stop at Kanakpura. Surprisingly the Tiffin Center at Kanakpura was not only edible but tasty too. The entire length of the ride once you leave Bangalore is very scenic. The roads is bad in patches only. There are also times when you drive through some old-world villages. Its as if time stood still here and only the roads progressed. After spending a couple of hours we finally decided to move on. By the time we climbed back up from where the bus dropped us off, we were half-dead. Luckily we were greeted by a man selling lassi. Quickly gulping three glasses, which were thankfully priced reasonably at Rs.5 a glass, we caught the bus back to Sangam. I say thankfully because both of us were running out of cash, as we made a critical mistake of forgetting to withdraw cash for the trip. What worried us more was the fact that there was one more stop for the day - Chunchi Falls. And that's coming up in the next blog.
Getting-there: Take the Kanakpura road out of Bangalore -> Reach Kanakpura -> At the forked road, take the one on the left -> Follow the road to reach Sangam.
Toll Gate: Rs.10.
Sangam Parking: Rs.10 (Bike)
Coracle Ride: Rs.40 (both ways)
Bus Ride: Rs.40 (both ways)
Must-Do: Wet your legs at Sangam. Explore the rocks at Mekedaatu while exercising caution.
Must-Don't: Try to be too adventurous. Extra baggage (including Food, warm clothes, bags) that will make your rock-climbing tedious. Carrying too much food also lead too much littering. So please avoid it.
Caution: Order of the Day.
My Rating: 7/10