Holidaying in Shimoga
While I enjoy traveling, it is only recently that I realized that Jasmine, who also works with me, equally enjoys checking out some new places. And so it was that on a Thursday afternoon we decided we would be heading to Jog Falls in Northern Karnataka the next day.
Jasmine her sister Nazneen, their friend Prathipa and my friend Nagaraj, found ourselves in big comfortable Innova, which Jasmines friend let us have at a discounted rate. Eleven thirty on a balmy Friday night, while all the other young dudes of Bangalore were hip hopping it out at some glitzy pub, we were driving at 100 kms an hour, trying to put B’lore as far behind us as possible.
At the wheel was Mr Babu, and like all fast drivers, he’s crazy. In a city like B’lore where one drives at perhaps not more than 40 kms an hour, Mr Babu was like a horse let loose after being long confined to his stable. Thankfully Mr Babu had great motor eye coordination and so drove us 820 Kms in 24 hours flat!. Before this sounds like too much of fun, let me warn you the trip B-R-O-K-E our B-A-C-K-S.
Now Jog Falls is the 5th most beautiful fall in the world and Shimoga’s claim to fame. The district in Central Karnataka is about 275 kms from B’lore, saturated with water, if one is to go by the large number of dams the district boasts of and has the loveliest shades of green for jaded eyes. Government brochures says Shimoga is the rice bowl of Karnataka and so one can see huge stretches of paddy fields, little tanks that store water, farms upon farms of straight beetle nut trees with pepper creepers climbing on them and kilometers of thick green forest, interspersed with tiny sprawls of dwellings.
After falling over each other most of the night, desperately trying to get some sleep, morning broke in Sagar, a rather nondescript taluk were the Jog falls is located. A hasty breakfast of fresh idle and crisp wadas and we drove the last 28 kms to Jog falls, all excited with anticipation.
The river Sharavathi cascading from a spectacular height of 292 meters makes it the highest waterfall in India. Jog is a collection of four different falls, namely Raja, Rani, Rocket and Roarer, not particularly imaginative names for a wonderful fall. Unfortunately the water at the Jog falls are controlled by the Linganmakki dam, which is situated about 6 kms ahead of the falls, and for some who are looking out for the sheer spectacular – as shown in some movies- the sight would elude you. However the Jog falls is still breath taking for its sheer size and its beauty is really brought out if you take the trouble to walk the slippery steps all the way to the base of the fall, where everybody looks like tiny ants from 292 meters above, or drive to the source of the water fall, where you can actually look down at the 4 falls from 292 meters above!!. The Roarer and Rocket are dizzying and the photographer in Jasmine couldn’t help but whip out her cameras and take in all the fun.