Saturday, 16 April 2011

The Golden Galvanizing Guys at Ulavi

 - d. B. GAVANI 

The Western Ghats, known as the Sahyadri Mountains, is a mountain range along the western side of India. It runs north to south along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, and separates the plateau from a narrow coastal plain along the Arabian Sea. The range starts near the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra, south of the River Tapti, and runs approximately 1600 km through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala ending at Kanyakumari, the meeting place of the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, at the southern tip of India. About sixty percent of the Western Ghats are located in the state of Karnataka.
These hills cover 60,000 km² and form the catchment area for a complex of river systems that drain almost 40% of India. The average elevation is around 1,200 meters. The area is one of the world’s ten "Hottest biodiversity hotspots" and has over 5000 species of flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species and 179 amphibian species. At least 325 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats.
Our neibouring district Uttara Kannada is located on the western coast with 140 Km length of Coastal line. Uttara Kannada has varied geographical features with thick forest, perennial rivers and rich in flora and fauna. The 80% of the district is covered by forest. Major forest is concentrated in Joida, Yellapur, Sirsi and Ankola Taluks.
The lush green forests with springs of holy rivers are beautifully erected with volcanic rocks in Ulavi. Ulavi is about 36 km from Joida via Kumbarawada and 46 km from Dandeli via Patoli dense forest. Chennabasavanna, son in law of Basavanna, reached Ulavi in search of Basavanna during the mutiny of Kalyan along with his Mother in Law Ganganbike, the wife of Basavanna who breathed her last breath on the bank of river Malaprabha near Mugata Khan Hubli, Father Shivabasavadeva, Mother Akkanagamma, Haralayya and so on. Thus, Ulavi is a major pilgrim centre for Veershaivas. It is famous for its Chennabasavanna Temple. An annual car festival is held here in February - March.
We, the students of Post Graduate Department of Studies in English, K. S. S. Arts, Commerce and Science College, Gadag, have an idea of educational tour for many days. But it was a far distant dream. This dream came true on Sunday 20th of April 2010 at morning 2-00 a. m. when we left Gadag to Ulavi. We reached Ulavi at The photo session begins and ends at Temple.
Our privilege has no boundaries to trudge in the deep and dense forest of Ulavi. We rambled down the foot hills of Sahyadri with shilly-shally steps with millions of multifarious visions of lovely nature in the early morning. Each has his sound to shout at his highest pitch to know his frequency of vocal chords. They roared like tigers! Just trekking the distance of 2.5 K. M., the Golden Galvanizing Guys giggled with thousands of joys and buoyancies. We enjoyed the amazing natural Water Spring (Chilume Honda) that ridges down like a spurting jet. It was a serene and cool sequestered valley where they had the bath in the   chilliness. The water was cool and icy. Sir! We are fortunate. Really fortunate!
Our sauntering started slowly down towards the slopes of the evergreen tall trees and rills. This photography session captured every guy in gigantic mood as we were fresh. We toddled between the two monumental rocks and stood beneath them.
Oh! This is ‘the Cave of Cow’. This is called “Akala Gavi” in vernacular language. This cave was a dwelling place of cows in the 12th century. This cave is naturally formed during volcanic period.
They are believed to have been formed during the break-up of the super continent of Gondwana some 150 million years ago. Geophysicists Barron and Harrison from the University of Miami advocate the theory that the west coast of India came into being somewhere around 100 to 80 million years after it broke away from Madagascar. After the break-up, the western coast of India would have appeared as an abrupt cliff some 1,000 meters in height.
What a splendid spot this is!
We strolled beneath the second cave. This is also really tremendous. The icy stones in the forms of cow’s breast are dumbfounded in this cave. The stony formations of cow’s horns are flabbergasting! What a lovely creation of God it is!
We strode down the dense forest in the golden shade of the tallest trees. It looked as if the trees are kissing the bowers of the skies with innumerable stolen kisses. We relished the ripened cashew fruits here with the great ease. Now we reached the zip-zapping brook wherein the incessant rain drain off the mountain sides leading to numerous and often spectacular ridges and waterfalls. We were almost 5.00 K. M. away from Ulavi.
Now the trekking marched towards the famous spot called “The Great Cave Home” i. e.,          “Mahamane Gavi.”  This was anew experience that we should amble up above the hill. We moved slowly and steadily enjoying the most enchanting farms of local dwellers of Shivapur. Here we were bit exhausted and just started water games in the neck deep floating water. It was a glorious experience. We were afresh. Our bellies were droning and buzzing with bee like hunger. It was a sumptuous breakfast at odd . The food was forgotten at the cost of mesmerizing sublime beauty of forests!
The march started up the hills and down the valleys. We had the chilled and thrilled bath wherever we found zigzagging brooks with melodies of ecstasy. It was a horrifying experience to trek on the slopes of rocky foothills with support of the roots of trees and the heavy aluminum wire. At last we reached “The Great Cave Home” i. e., “Mahamane Gavi”   This is the holy place of meditation where Chennbasavanna used to be in plaintive meditative moods. This was the most astonishing place where the stones have folded their bowers together. The rumbling water gushed across the labyrinth of whirlpools. The guys were curious to cross the ferry but they were stopped!?!
Now it was time to turn back. We were happy to have fun on the way. We tramped two miles with great enthusiasm. Then there was a tedious tiredness and fatigue. Some of us marched other way round missing the trodden way. Some of us were lagged behind due to muscle catch and pain of thighs. Yet we enjoyed glorious dipping in all the lurking waterfalls. We again paid a visit to natural Water Springs and got massaged in the spurting jet like water ridge. We relaxed and rejuvenated back our natural energies. It made our march up hill soothing and enchanting. We reached our destination with zeal at 7. 26. p.m. We trekked almost 32 k. m. in the dense forest. It reminded us the lovely poem by Robert Frost “ Stopping By Woods on Snowy Evening:

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep
Yet I have promises to keep
Miles to go before I sleep
Miles to go before I sleep”.

Then there was the twenty minutes time for prayer. It was followed by a delicious supper at Temple. We left Ulavi at 8.40. p. m. via the thickest forest of Cynthera rocks and Patoli. We had an eternally horrifying incident that the elephant was moving along the road and the driver stopped the car and turned off the lights immediately. It disappeared in the dense forest within no time. But everybody’s heart was pumping with flooded blood. They were holding their breath in their hands. They murmur was the last holy prayer. The relief was there at their exclamation. Hurrah! We were saved!
Let us march together in the journey of life as we marched here with great ecstasy. Bye! Adieu all my dears. Let Nature nurture and nourish our Nature.    


  1. It is nice to find that you enjoyed in the dense forest of Ulavi. Are there tigers and other wild animals?

  2. Hey! Please show me Ulavi once in my life time. Let me spend a few momemts of my life with a poet like you amidst lushgreen randezvous of the Universe. I am really impressed by your explanation.