September 26, 2014

Jog- The Mighty Falls...!!



It drizzled as I crossed Shimoga and the dark clouds that hovered for miles, made me smile. Rain was what I longed for, and thankfully it rained intermittently all the way past the winding roads and the green carpet of paddy fields on either sides. The beautiful landscape made it a delightful drive through the western ghats to Sharavathi adventure camp, the newly opened resort from Jungle Lodges and Resorts. 6 Kms away from the camp lay the reason behind this travel- to see Jog falls in the monsoons. My last visit to Jog wasn't really a memorable one. Jog is best experienced between July and September when Sharavathi river gushes at its furious best.

The road to Jog falls
Talakalale reservoir as seen from Sharavathi adventure camp
It was a pleasant surprise to hear that the Linganamakki dam had been opened up due to the previous night's rain. This happens only 4-5 times during the year, mentioned my guide as he stopped our vehicle on the bridge over the dam during the early morning drive from camp to the falls. I was thrilled to see the huge volumes of water thrusting its way and was even more excited at the prospect of seeing Jog at its very best as it is the same waters that take the plunge at the falls. Sharavathi flowed beautifully thrashing the jutting rocks between the thick vegetation on either sides. It drizzled as our vehicle made its way through narrow roads and splashed puddles en-route the Jog. The heavenly drizzle, the wet earth, the petrichor and the lush greenery made Western ghats absolutely mesmerising and surreal.

Water gushing when the Linganamakki dam opened
I gasped for a while staring at the furiously flushing falls as I got out of the vehicle. And then, all I did was to stare in oblivion for a long time. It was quite misty and drizzled intermittently. Mist covered the falls for a few seconds and then opened up spreading the beautiful four falls that make up Jog. The mist appeared and disappeared throughout my stay at the view point. Sharavathi was at its glorious best, plunging many meters and thrashing on to jutting rocks on its way down. Never have I seen a falls with such brute force looking so beautiful. It was a spray of droplets everywhere and seemed like fog as it splashed itself on to the rocks below.



Jog falls which is also known as Gerusoppa falls and Jogada Gundi, is made up of four falls, namely Raja, Roarer, Rocket and Rani. Raja is at its majestic best and is well known for being the second highest plunge waterfalls in the country at 830 feet after Nokhalikai in Meghalaya. Roarer is only partly visible as it falls through a vast concave drop before meeting Raja on its way down. Roarer is the most furious of the lot and one can have a better view of the same from the view point across. Rocket spurts out numerous jets and is definitely the most gorgeous of the lot. The way it splashes as it hits a jutting rock and creates a spray of fog all over is absolutely mesmerising. Queen is the elegant one of the four and makes her way amidst the greenery that sprout all over the rocks during the monsoons. It is not a plunge falls and cascades over the rock as it makes its way to the bottom. There are also many more tiny falls which are not as majestic and beautiful as these four. The two twin falls between the Roarer and the Rocket remains unnamed but are quite attractive. 


Rani to the extreme right, Rocket next to it and Raja to the extreme left. Roarer is invisible from this view point
There are steps which takes one to the base of the falls, but was closed the day I visited. One can also visit the the British bungalow viewpoint opposite the main view point which offers a different perspective to the falls with amazing views of the same. Roarer is best viewed from here. One visit did not satiate me, and despite the drizzle, I visited Jog falls again on my way back to Bangalore. All that I did was to gape at the falls and soak in the monsoons as the mist played around and curtained the falls frequently, only to open up shortly and spread the breathtaking scene at its very best.

Signing Note- Majestic, furious and spectacular...!!

Route- Bangalore- Tumkur- Arsikere- Tarikere- Shimoga- Sagar- Jog Falls
Distance- 385 Kms

September 22, 2014

Life is a Journey...!!

Not all travels or journeys are exciting, like backpacking across the Machu Pichu, riding into the Himalayas, diving near the Pacific islands, staying at a luxurious resort in the Alps, getting sprayed at the Niagara falls, hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro to soak in the first rays of the sun, gaping in oblivion at the terraced paddy fields of Bali, witnessing the annual migration in Kenya, relishing the tribal cuisines in Nagaland, counting waves on the beaches of Gold coast, interacting with the Bedouins of Sahara and seeing the Northern lights in Tromso.
Sometimes, life becomes the monotonous journey and journey becomes the monotonous life.

 From a Mumbai local train.


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