BENGALURU: After spending two days in the dense forested areas of Hosanagara and enjoying the hospitality of the Bhat family at Bomagadde, we made our way further, climbing the hilly terrain amid pouring rains. We could hardly see our way in this weather with our destination being the famous Chakra Dam. This balancing reservoir now abandoned and situated in the god-forsaken village of Chakra was not so easy to find in the fog that had enveloped the verdant hilly terrain.
It is better to ask for directions on these narrow twisting roads or you may be going around in circles. As we made our way to the small rockfill dam, we saw to our amazement that the entire place looked ghostly and was now in a dilapidated condition. One has to be very careful on the Chakra Dam Road as it abruptly ends with no barricades to the reservoir and rash driving can take you straight into the waters. As the mist lifted and the sun peeped out, we could clearly see the panoramic view of the Shola mountains but for only a minute or two.
This dam was built to act as a balancing reservoir and feed water to the Linganmakki Dam through a canal. As we went up some broken down structures, we could see that the place had no security manning this small dam although it is supposed to be managed by the Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd.
However it is a tourist wonder and the majestic reservoir stands in the midst of mist covered mountains and dense forests. On one side, on a clear day, one can see the famous Kodachadri peak while on the other side is the canal structure where today no water flows. Despite all this, it is a popular destination for Sandalwood and has become a regular spot for shooting of Kannada films.
Built before the construction of the Linganmakki Dam, the Chakra reservoir has been abandoned with its purpose unfulfilled. The place is hardly maintained while most of the buildings are in a state of collapse. We could not find any shelter as it was raining heavily.
Shivering in the cold winds blowing across the mountains shrouded in silvery clouds, we desperately felt the need for some hot drinks or snacks. But alas! This is a place where you get nothing and one has to traverse at least 10-20 kilometers to get a cup of hot coffee or tea.
As we left the dam site and travelled further, we came across a series of buildings in a town which had lost most of its doors and windows while the place had an eerie, ghostly look. The place is so desolate that one feels the vibrations of a thriving township and one questions the reasons for its abandonment.
With Karnataka government proposing to locate the Western Ghats Research Centre here, maybe this place may see some activity soon.You should visit this place only if you are prepared to get wet and cold as there are no facilities in the vicinity. However the place is serene, calm and one can de stress in this isolated locale, forgetting the mad rush of the city.