Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Sublime Sunset and Magical Moonrise over Sanapur Lake in Anegundi - Let the Pictures Do the Talking

Muniswamy is impressed seeing your sincerity as you toil in the heat looking for little known monuments in Hampi. So he promises you a surprise when we go to Anegundi the next day. According to Muni, your regular cabbie in Hampi, such surprises are reserved for passionate travellers only and not for casual tourists. Now it is your turn to be impressed with yourself.

After discovering the Monkey Kingdom of Kishkindha in the charming and laid back village of Anegundi you make your way towards the surprise. Anegundi roads are picture perfect. Lush green paddy fields, swaying coconut trees and huge loose boulders piled up high complete the incredible looking countryside. Anegundi, one of the oldest plateaus of the world about 3000 million years old, has thrown up several surprises in the past few days including pre-historic cave dwellings and paintings. Several episodes of Ramayana have played out among these boulders including the enmity between the brothers Vaali and Sugreev and the ashram where Sabari fed sweet berries to visiting Lord Ram. 

In the early evening, driving among the paddy fields with windows rolled down, you come to an embankment on your left. Sitting in the car, the level of the embankment is above the eyeline as you run your eyes looking for the surprise. And then you hear water sloshing. Woow - the motorcyclist driving up front just got hit by a wave that suddenly leapt up over the embankment! While you were looking for a monument, Muni has delivered you to Apollo Bandar behind Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, right here in the middle of boulder strewn Anegundi. 
Sanapur Lake at Anegundi
Oh yes - you are definitely surprised and stop the car to see what is going on. The sight is mesmerizing. Just above the edge, lapping waves catch the hues of the sun as it sets over the distant hills. You thought the only water body among the boulders of Hampi and Anegundi was the Tungabhadra river. But here tucked away in complete isolation is the big surprise in the form of Sanapur Lake created by the reservoir of Tungabhadra Left Canal and named after the local village.

The difference is so stark - On the west is the glorious sun setting over rippling waves, while on the east, just beyond the embankment, green paddy fields stretch among the piled up boulders.
Sanapur Lake - Croc Alert!

The road turns to the right sharply and goes over a barrage that regulates the flow downstream. A sign cautions against going into the water as there might be crocodiles. Muni clarifies that no crocs have been sighted and foreigners who stay in Anegundi village are known to take a dip jumping off the boulders. 

Sun sets over the Sanapur Lake Anegundi

Even in an off-the-grid like place Anegundi, this setting is far greater amazing. Irregular shaped boulders line up on both sides of the road as it snakes beyond towards Rangapur. 

Downstream, few local fellows have arrived to catch fish. Coracles dry on the bank. 

You climb one of the boulders and absorb the surroundings. The water turns into liquid gold. All around it is supremely peaceful and serene - just the sound of lapping of water and a divine setting for company. This is a different world.  This is the time when the mind goes silent on its own and nature takes over you. This is the utopia called Sanapur Lake in Anegundi.
Moon Rises over Sanapur Lake

But the surprise continues. As the sun goes down in the west, the moon comes up in the East. You cannot believe your luck – it is a full moon night. The water flowing towards the east catches the moon light. It seems the men tossing the fish line into the water are trying to reel in the moon. Now this is astounding and phenomenal. You have never seen this before. It is like being in the middle of the sea. In the west, the water turns golden catching the dropping sun and here in the east, the water turns silver catching the rising moon.

This is the time to put away the camera and just give in to the moment. This is a moment to experience and feel and store in the cache memory of your mind. Something like this happens after years of travelling. You soak in the sights forever. As if hypnotized, you do not even remember the guys catching the fish leave. Muni is calling you. The spell is broken. It has turned dark and even quieter. Only the skies in the east seem to be lit up. And as you walk to the car, you see a shooting star - looks like your wish has already been fulfilled.

Sanapur Lake - Is that a Shooting Star?
Tungabhadra Dam turning into a Fairyland
On your way back to Hospet, you see the Tungabhadra Dam twinkling away in brilliant colours. Looking from the Hospet road bridge, it looks like a fairyland. What an amazing evening. In Hampi and Anegundi it seems as if every evening is different, heavenly and almost life altering. This is when you have not yet climbed Anjanadri Hill and Matanga Hill for their scintillating sunsets.

Getting There: Sanapur Village is few kms away from Anegundi in Koppal District of Karnataka on the road to Hospet. Turn right from Sanapur Village to reach the lake.