Monday, 1 October 2007

The Falls Trilogy

The idea for the Falls Trilogy came to my mind as we started planning for a trip to the Jog Falls last month. And then I realized that with the Jog, I’d have visited (& enjoyed) 3 waterfalls in Karnataka. So the trilogy goes in the order in which I visited these places and it also, incidentally, matches my ranking of them.

We visited Shivanasamudram ( in July, 2004. There are two falls at Shivanasamudram – Gaganachukki & Barachukki. Shivanasamudram is about 100 kms from Bangalore. Although the roads leading to the place are quite bad but I would say that it’s definitely worth going there. In 2004, the monsoon in Karnataka was very good & so the falls were overflowing with water. Wow !!! what a sight that was. In fact, you can actually go till the bottom of one of the falls (can’t remember which) & we did go all the way there. Since there are no steps, it is kind of difficult to go, esp. if one is not very athletic. Altho’ I’m not an athletic person, I make that up with my enthusiasm & repent badly on the way up … and then feel elated that I did it once it’s done. :-D

In August 2004, we visited Coorg & went to the Abby falls (, which is about 8 kms from Madikeri (Coorg district). This was truly amazing !!! The path that leads to the falls is not very prominent & you have to enquire from the locals quite a few times before you can actually locate it. Once you’ve located it, you’ll find that there are steps leading down & after about 20 steps or so you can hear the roar of the waterfall but can’t see it still. Then suddenly after another 50 steps (or probably less), the Abby falls suddenly appear in all it’s majesty. Unfortunately, because of some recent accidents over there, it’s not anymore allowed to climb all the way down to where the water falls. Abby falls is not very high but still very majestic. The best thing about Abby falls is that it suddenly appears in front of the eyes, in all its magnificence, when you least expect it to.

August 2007 saw us making a trip to the Jog falls ( I must add that the planning started after much hype was created in all the newspapers about how the Jog had returned to its full glory after 12 long years. Both S and I were extremely excited & started planning for the trip with a lot of gusto least realizing that so was the rest of the world or at least, Karnataka. Jog falls is 110 kms from Shimoga, so we decided to travel by train to Shimoga and stay in some hotel there, of which there are many, is what S had told me. When we reached Shimoga we realized that ALL the hotels were booked & we actually had to sit an hour in the reception of one hotel since the kind manager there told us that some room would surely get empty in an hours’ time. Well, we did get the room finally & suffice it to say that the room was nothing to write home about. But at least, we had a place to stay. After some rest, we freshened up & started out on our journey to Jog. When we reached, there was a light drizzle & the mist from the falls was so high that the falls were almost invisible. Now, the Jog is actually a collection of four falls – the Raja, Rocket, Roarer and Rani. Although the water was not much, it still looked good & once again, I gave in to my enthusiasm (disregarding the warning signals being emanated from my brain) & started to climb down to the place where the water falls. I must add that, unlike at Shivanasamudram, this place looked like it had proper steps to go down. However, soon after we had taken about 20 steps, the promised stairs gave way to rocks, mud & slush!!! Now this waterfall is about 990 feet high but when you consider the circular route downwards, it must be at least 4 times that (at least it felt so)!!! While going down I kept reminding myself that I would have to climb all the way up too. About 10 feet from the bottom, the path became too narrow & I decided to stop there & treat myself to some soft drinks while S carried on. I chatted with the soft-drink vendor & was astonished to know that they climb up & down this steep path about 2 to 3 times everyday with all their load. The whole process of the trip down and back along with the stops in between for rest took us about 3 hours. I’ll leave you to imagine the cramps in my leg the next day!!! At Jog, you can also go (by car, thankfully) to the point where the falls start from, and only a couple of days prior to our visit a girl had slipped and fallen from the rocks there. So, one should be very cautious. Though I have no idea how the falls got their names of Raja, Rani, Rocket & Roarer, it seemed to me that the Rocket definitely looked like one because the water gets split by the rocks & makes it look like the shuttle attached to a rocket. Could be my imagination, but…

I would definitely suggest to anyone visiting Karnataka & all those who stay in Bangalore to definitely visit Shivanasamudram, especially during the monsoons. It is not too far from Bangalore & definitely the best of all the waterfalls that I have seen in Karnataka so far.

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