Jog Falls: Feel a river coming down from heavens

Have you ever imagined, how it feels like, standing right under a river which is coming down from the heavens?

You could feel it, if you come down to Jog Falls, the second highest plunge waterfall in India.

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Our much awaited tour to Jog got a bumpy start as a train got derailed just in front of ours and we had to take a much longer detour.

It was a six hour overnight journey to Shimoga from Bangalore, which became a sixteen hour endeavor.

But it provided us with a great opportunity to see the beautiful country side.

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We reached Shimoga (which is the nearest rail head for those who visit Jog Falls) by 5 pm.

There we found the famous toy train, which used to take people pretty near to Jog Falls.

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To compensate for the lost day, we quickly moved to the Bhadra Dam site where a light drizzle and a refreshing breeze washed away all the tiredness.

Next day early morning we were off to Jog, through the lush green Malanadu or the Rain Country, and it really was a roller coaster ride through the winding roads.

Once we reached Jog falls, we were treated with the amazing view of the Sharavathi river valley.

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Enjoying the view of the valley and the falls from the edge of the falls we moved to the observation deck.

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The observation deck is the best place to get the complete picture of the water fall, where you could see all four different falls (Raja, Rani, Rocket and Roarer) forming the mighty Jog.

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From here we can go down to the river bed through bushes and steep steps cut in rocks( around 1400 in number).

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The view kept changing and the whole ambiance became so dramatic and refreshing with a drizzle created by the falls.

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And finally we had to turn off our cameras and just feel the ambiance. Looking up, I felt, streams were descending from clouds and meeting the river silently.

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No one felt like coming back from this extravagant show of nature, but with limited time we had to explore a few more places before catching our train back to Bangalore.

Other places of Interest nearby:

Ikkeri temple: The old temple of Ikkeri is a less known place and worth exploring.

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Sringeri: We managed to explore the Vidyashankara temple and the matha of Adi shankara. The stone carvings of the temple were mighty impressive and show cases the development of the craft some 700 years ago.

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Best time to visit: Jog changes from a mighty intimidating falls to a narrow stream from time to time.

During the peak monsoon months(July and August), people are not allowed to go down the steps to the river bed and

during  the summer months (January to May) Jog won’t impress you with a scaled down version 🙂

To me, the best time to visit Jog would be just after the monsoon(September and October).

Places to stay: Even though Sagara is the nearest town to Jog falls, more options for accommodation would be available in Shimoga.

 

 

In and Around Bangalore: Nandi Hills

Another Saturday, another short trip… this time to Nandi Hills.

The idea popped up during lunch and in half an hour we were on our way.

Nandi Hills is a popular hill station near Bangalore, which used to be a summer retreat of Tipu Sultan and the British.

There are plenty of useful information on this place in web

There are clear sign boards once you hit NH-7 and navigating to this place is not at all problem.

Take care not to miss the left diversion at “Rani Cross(Nandi Cross)” while cruising through the High Way, this place is around 10km from the International airport diversion.

From Rani cross, Nandi Hills is 22 km away and the road was in very good condition.

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There was hardly any traffic and the route was pretty scenic. Image

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We reached there by 6 and wasting no time we moved towards Nehru Nilaya.

The horticultural department has maintained a very good garden around the historic bungalow.

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Sun was about to set by the time we reached the temple premises and we were treated with an extravaganza of colors.

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Behind the temple, we can have the best panoramic view of the valley, especially the airport and NH with thousands of electric lights.

Here, we felt like the sky is upside down.

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As always, I felt, I should have started early and we could have spent some more time exploring the place.

Okey, let’s go to Nandi Hills again when an opportunity comes, it’s worth it.

In and Around Bangalore: Sri Champaka Dhama Swami Temple

Bannerghatta National Park is a must see place in the check list of most of people who visits Bangalore or a weekend destination for those who resides here.

Living in Bangalore for the last ten years, I have visited this park a number of times, the Big Cat safari, Zoo and the Butterfly park all being some attractions.

But, there was something I missed for all these years, the Champakadhama swami temple at bannerghatta town.

Every time, while taking a left turn at the junction to the park I used to see the temple tower on a small hillock on right side.

Thinking of exploring the temple on my way back, I used to proceed straight to the park, but never stopped while coming back.

Last week, we planned to visit the park again with my brother and family, but started off pretty late than planned.

By the time we reached Bannerghatta it was cloudy and light started fading, instead of the left turn I took the right one towards the temple.

We were greeted with the sight of a magnificent Temple Tower, it’s surpassed our expectations.

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and there was plenty of action around for our cameras to capture.
Devotees, Priests, Monkeys… lot of subjects…

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Taking a walk around the temple compound wall I met a few kids, they were planting “Sampige Tree Saplings” .

There was one person, Mr. V Anand who was leading the activity. We had a lite chat and I came to know that, the name of the temple came from the Sampige flowers offered to the main deity, one of many forms of lord Vishnu.

They were planning to plant 101 saplings around the temple.

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The architecture of the inner sanctum is somewhat different from other temples of same era.

I found some valuable information from web following http://ramubangalore.blogspot.in/2013/02/suvarnamukhi-and-call-of-wild.html

After exploring the temple and trying to capture some monkey business, we moved to the Laxmi Narasimha temple behind on a hillock.

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This temple was renovated recently and the best part was the panoramic view we get from the temple premise.

It was cloudy in patches and drizzling, sun was setting behind the Ramnagara hills and on one side we could see the high rises of Bangalore.

We spent some great time there just savoring the ambiance and felt pretty relaxed.

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Image How To Reach: There are frequent buses plying to Bannerghatta town from Kempe Gowda bus terminal, Majestic, Bangalore. You can catch Bus Number 365 or 365J from Platform No.17.

Please find the driving directions from city center to Bannerghatta below, the temple gate could easily be found on the right side, once you reach the town.