‘Mekedatu’ is the place where the Kaveri (Cauvery) River flows through a narrow ravine. Legend has it that the channel was so narrow that sheep would jump across, and hence the name Mekedatu (Meke = sheep/goat, datu = cross in Kannada), more on this a bit later.
Mekedatu is about 93Kms from Bangalore. The first 89Kms till Sangam can be undertaken in a vehicle, but for the last 4Kms we need to cross a river and either take a different transport bus or go walking.
I and my friends had booked a Qualis for the journey. We started on our journey at 9:10 AM. The route to reach Sangam is via Kanakapura. Since we were unsure about the availability of food at Sangam, we had our breakfast at a hotel in Kanakapura, I am unable to recall the name of the hotel, it was some sort of Upahara.
We moved on after breakfast and most of the initial part of the journey was good, but the last 20kms or so was bad, but it may be due to the fact that they were in the process of tarring the road. But anyway the journey was not too tiring; and we reached Sangam at around 11:30 am.
You may be wondering about why the place has been named ‘Sangam’, well this is because this is the place of confluence of two rivers – Arkavathi and Kaveri (Cauvery). It is a nice place to relax and enjoy. We wanted to stay here, but this ‘Goat’s Cross’ enticed us, why would a place where Goats crossed become famous?
So we crossed the river which separates the two banks. Now we could either take a Bus or walk for 4 Km to reach the spot. We decided the later and went walking. The walking part was not as much fun as we had expected as the sun was really belting down on us and the tree cover over the road was really not something to speak about. But since the road runs parallel with the river, we were offered some fantastic views, the rock formations were just majestic to say the least. We had an urge to go to the bank, which we did at one location, but since we wanted to reach the Mekedatu point early we continued on.
Finally we reached the point, what we saw left us spell bound, we were just waiting to see if someone would come and say ‘Bakra’!!! if you know what I meant. The meaning is so simple right, the place were Goats used to jump across, If you come here you would agree that the place is so precariously up the slope that at this point I suspect even the goats would fear to venture leave alone jump!!
Enough with the literal meaning, moving ahead this is the point where the Cauvery comes through the Narrow gorge. The scenery is quite pleasing and the rock formations are just breath taking. But one should be very careful not to go to near the edge as the rocks are slippery to say the least. We sat around here for quite a while before heading back. If you came expecting to just across just like the goats used to do, you will be disappointed to say the least. But it is worth a visit if you have come till Sangam.
We were extremely tired, so we hopped onto a Special Bus which would take us back to Sangam, I am mentioning Special Bus since even though the charge is Rs 20 for 4 Kms! they charged us Rs 25 each, saying that Rs 20 is for round trip people who would be charged Rs 40. You actually need to see the bus to realise how special it is and how suited it is for the journey. We finally reached back to Sangam around 3:00 pm after a 10 horrific minutes on the bus.
We crossed the river again, and headed to the ‘Hotel Tender Coconut’!!! for the lunch. If you are planning to go into the water and would like to change into something more suited then you change here. We had a heavy lunch; and around 4:00pm we headed back to the river to chill out.
Before we moved into the river, our cab driver mentioned that there were crocodiles in a particular part of the river and asked us not to venture in that part. He mentioned that on 2nd of Jan which is just a couple of days back, the croc had caught a person and dragged the person underwater and it was just today i.e. on 6th that the croc released the body and it came up. The person was going to be cremated today. To how much extent it is true we do not know, but we believe it was true sine there are quite a few warnings posted all over the place about crocs existing here. At the max the driver must have added a bit of spice to the story that’s all.
We spent nearly two hours in the waters, before we decided to call it the day and we started to head homeward. We reached back Bangalore at 8:30pm, with a travel time of about 2hr 15min.
All in all, it was a bit different kind of experience when compared to the other two places that I ventured last week. A good place to spend time with friends, although there is nothing much to explore except the rocks.
- Mekedatu is 4 Km away from Sangam; which in turn is about 89 Km from Bangalore.
- You can either walk or take a bus, the bus would cost you Rs 20 per head.
- Food items mainly fish items are available on the road side.
- There is a restaurant at Sangam called ‘Tender Coconut’ where you can have your lunch.
- Nothing much to see except water and beautiful rock formations at Sangam, and the gorge at Mekedatu.
- Take lots of water!!!
- Crocodiles exits in the water at one particular portion, so be careful and do not venture out to remote places.