First Part – Exploring Keonjhar: Odisha's Waterfall District (Part 1)
We left that place and started retreating back from where we came. We entered another village and asked around. Same answer. Though few people told us that if we go to Telkoi we could find some accommodation there as it was a bigger town. It was already dark and Telkoi was 10 kms from that village. But having no choice we decided to go to Telkoi.
Around 7:30, we finally reach Telkoi and find a Government Guest House. After cajoling the caretaker, he agreed to let us spend the night there at Rs. 300 for a double bed airconditioned room. It was one of the best rooms I had seen for the price. We kept our bags, went out to have dinner and settled for the night.
Day 3: The Elusive Putughargaghi and Gundichaghai Waterfall
Next morning, we paid the caretaker and found a new route to reach Bhubaneshwar from Telkoi. Since we had a relaxing night, we decided to givePutughargaghi Falls another try. We mapped our route in such a way that Putughargaghi and Gundichaghai Waterfall (5th on our list) would both fall on our way to Bhubaneshwar. Little did we realise that it was gonna backfire badly.
Fate had something else in store for us. After riding for some 20 kilometres deep into the Harichandanpur-Telkoi Forest Reserve, we hit a dead end. A bridge in front of us had collapsed into the river and there was no way around it. By that time, we had accepted our fate that Putughargaghi was not for us. Second issue was that there was some problem with our bike’s chain sprocket and it made a noise while riding uphill. We had to pass through a valley in the reserve and it was one mean valley. There were just long stretches of muddy, waterlogged patches of soil in the name of roads. The path was so steep that we weren’t able to ride up it. I had to get down to push the bike while my friend carefully rode it. Then I had to walk upto him again repeat the process. There was also a genuine fear of wild animals in that forest. We did this for 10 kms until we found “rideable” roads.
We were exhausted, sweating profusely and hungry. But then we passed along a river which came as a blessing in disguise. We probed the place and after we were sure of our safety,we stripped and got into the water. Swimming, frolicking and relaxing for anhour. All our exhaustion had subdued and we rode again with a renewed vigour.
We reached the town of Harichandanpur around 1 pm and took adiversion from Kolipasi for Gundichaghai Waterfall which was 12 kms away. Gundichaghai waterfall was pretty huge and wide. We clicked photos, made videos and decided to ride upstream to take bath in the river. Again.
After we’ve had our share of fun, we left around 3 pm for Bhubaneshwar. Riding continuously for 3.5 hours we reached Bhubaneshwar around 6:30 pm. My friend had a train to catch at 8’o clock. I dropped him off to the station, returned our bike to the rental company and settled at my house for the night with lifetime memories of those three days.