Goa is blessed with abundance of beaches, from the famous ones of Calangute and Miramar to the lesser known ones like Morjim, Keri and Palolem. But what cannot be missed is that Goa is equally blessed with a rich blanket of greenery as well, its forests, which are a home to a wide and wild variety of flora, fauna and yes off course the numerous waterfalls.
So recently my overdue bike trip happened. Well happened without any much planning. It was just a matter of instincts, and tell you what, the unplanned are the best- it was a bike ride to Chorla ghat.
Chorla ghat is a part of the Western ghats between Goa and Belgaum-Karnataka and belongs to the Sahyadri mountain range. These are lushious covers of thick greens. So when we woke up in the morning and stated with the only objective of finding something peaceful and a treat to the eyes, chorla poped up immediately.
Though I have passed by Chorla ghat a couple of times, usually while on my trips out of state, I never really got a chance to just explore it.
Located at a distance of 55 kms from the capital of Goa- Panaji and at a riding distance of 1.5 hours. This long ride from the Bicholim taluka of Goa takes you on unending wide beautiful roads and ends you ride where the clouds and vast stretches of mountains layered with mountains greet your way. You’ll be mesmerized with the calmness it has to offer you.
Well it’s a ghat so obviously it’s laden with twisty tangly roads and that’s a crucial part of a road trip isn’t it? Our first stop was to the Anjunem dam in the pristine village of Keri. Located between one of Goa’s highest peak Vagheri hills and surrounded on the other side by Morlemghad, Anjunem dam is an option you can stop by to appreciate the calmness right in the lap of mother nature. However, special entry passes are required to enter this place which has be applied for in the office of the chief engineer, water resource department, Panaji.
Up ahead-On the way up to the ghats you are bound to catch a glimpse of some hidden unaccessible yet breath taking waterfalls. There are a few eco resorts on the way too (wildernest, swapnagandha) and is an ideal option if you are planning of spending a night here.
Moving further on and riding ahead way beyond, you cross the state borders, and enter Karnataka. We went up right ahead as our empty stomach were screaming hell. We rode ahead until we found a restaurant. Having fed ourself with fish curry rice- the staple’s we tought of turning around but not before we could take a glimpse of the nearby waterfall. Unfortunately the entrance to the exact point we had planned to go to couldn’t be accessed even after trying improper ways to get it, we failed.
Slight dejected we took a roundabout to return, however there was something special in store. Just a matter of pure instincts and an a ride down the “road less travelled ” led us to the most gorgeous view I have ever seen till date- that of a eye popingly stunning waterfall. We spent quiet some there-enjoying the solitude, breathing in the calm and clicking in loads of pictures just with the fear of loosing that view forever.
With loads of memories back we returned just to encounter another pleasant site. Did I mention earlier about the rich fauna of the western ghats? Yes, so. There it was an Indian Bison/ Gaur or ‘Gadho redo'(in Konkani ) the state animal of Goa staring right at us. Just enough to take a glance and then vanished.
Luckily, ahead we had an encounter with another of its kind. It’s a different experience to watch this creatures live and breath freely in their natural environment unlike any zoo you know.. There is some kind of charm to it.
The ride back was equally mesmerizing. Tired, but the breeze to calm us down. It was an end to a ‘Terrific’ day. One to forever hold a proud memory and to initiate many more such trips to experience the beauty of the Western ghats.