Sleepy misty hilly town

Trip Start Aug 10, 2012
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Trip End Aug 15, 2012


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Flag of India  , Karnataka,
Sunday, August 12, 2012


The next day was an outing to Castle Rock, which is a town further ahead from the Doodhsagar waterfalls, at the end of the Braganza ghat section. We had our reservations in the Amravati Express and boarded it from Kulem early in the morning. This is a really steep ghat and the train taken an hour to get to Castle Rock from Kulem. The train route here is as beautiful as it was the previous day, so we didn't at all mind the slow moving train. We reached Castle Rock at around 10 AM. When we told the station master we wanted to explore Castle Rock, he was stunned and probably thought we were idiots. He asked us to leave for Doodhsagar waterfalls. We had to explain to him that we had been there already, and now wanted to see Castle Rock, he vehemently told us that there was nothing to see here. Nevertheless, we stepped out of the station and proceeded towards the town. 
Castle Rock is a hill more of a railway town and most of the residents there are railway employees. The infrastructure there is also probably made by the Indian Railways, there's a small school, some railway institute, something like a club and an officer's bungalow. It being a Sunday, all of these buildings were closed, and we didn't see anybody out on the roads. Apart from these railway buildings, the place is a small village, where people have poultry at homes and they cook and heat water in wood fired stoves.
 
After walking through the village for a while, we came to what felt like an opening. Through the dense mist, we realised it  was actually the railway track. This is used for parking the engines and other rakes like the medical van and the accident relief rake. Wandering around and wondering if there was anything else to do, we came across a board saying "Castle Rock Adventure Camp" run by the Karnataka government. We followed the tree lined misty trail and it eventually led us to the campsite.
 
It was a quaint little area, with a few adventure sports set up. There are a couple of cabins there for the visitors to spend the night, each equipped with 12 bunk beds. A staff of 2-3, who take care of the meals and anything else that might be needed. On that cold misty afternoon, it looked really picturesque.
 
The outdoor seating for food and benches are strewn around at vantage points.
 
Visiting this place felt like discovering a hidden treasure on an adventure. Had we known of this place earlier, we would have definitely planned to stay here for a night. 
The Karnataka government is doing a good job at promoting eco tourism and encouraging people to visit the vast rich forest cover that the state has. Their tagline "Discover a new trail trail every time" is rather charming.
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