“ Life is Like a Waterfall,it is always moving
and there is always an uneven Flow to it”
After a long wait,finally my plan to visit the majestic Jog falls was fulfilled.I had read about the falls in my school days but that was text book knowledge,after reading and seeing pictures and videos of the falls it became a must visit site for me.So when Krishna of Darkgreen Adventures sent me the itinerary I seized the opportunity and I also asked my friend if she was interested in joining me,she was as excited as I was !!! So we immediately booked spots for ourselves.I was both excited and apprehensive,as I was taking a train journey after a very long time.
We had booked tickets in Matsyagandha Express which starts from LTT (Lokmanya Tilak Terminus) and has stops in Thane and Panvel.
Waiting for the Train at Panvel Station
The D- day finally arrived and filled with excitement, we reached Panvel station,the train however was delayed by about 30 minutes.
The other members of the group had already boarded the train from Thane.At 1645 we boarded S5 our coach and we were lucky to get two window seats(33,36).
The advantage of going by the sleeper class is you enjoy the lush green scenery and the cool breeze soothing your frayed nerves from the hectic city life.You wont be able to enjoy these pleasures if you travel by AC or if you take a flight to the nearest airport.The lush green fields,the small water bodies,the streams and rivers with the misty mountains soothes your soul,particularly a Mumbaikar who is surrounded by concrete jungle and breathes the highly toxic and polluted air.
The train passed through many small stations and chugged into Mangaon at 1830 hrs, it waited for about 10 minutes, way beyond its scheduled 2 mins halt.As it was waiting for a train to pass by.As I looked out of the window it seemed as if mother nature had adorned the mountains with a green carpet.We were so engrossed watching outside, we didn’t realise that the sun had set.We now started chatting with the other passengers and soon a member of the group who was in another compartment dropped in to say hello,we chatted for sometime and then decided to have dinner.We shared our dinner of Lemon Rice with Veggies and Pickle and Puri(Indian Bread) and Aloo Sabjee.(Potatoe vegetable)
After dinner we chatted for sometime and soon fell asleep.I was anxious that I would miss my stop,so was wide awake much before the scheduled time,and woke up my protesting friend as it was only 5 am,our stop was still an hour away The train finally pulled in at Honaver and it stopped exactly for 2 mins. Ours was a small group with five members.The Organiser was waiting at the station, and after saying hello to each other and to our driver Nagraj , we hopped into the Tavera.
After about half an hour we reached our first stop of the day the Shravathi Suspension Bridge or more popularly known as the Hanging Bridge.
It was so refreshing to be at the place early in the morning( it was (0645) It was a unique experience to walk on the planks over the Sharavathi river.We found two wheelers also plying on the bridge.
The view of the Sharavathi flowing with the lush greenery on either side of the bridge was very soothing to the eyes.
Our cameras and phones went click-click.There was a slight drizzle which changed into a downpour in no time and we rushed to take shelter in a Dhaba(roaadside eatery) which was also the place for our breakfast.
We relished on the fresh Idlis, Dosas,Chutney and Omelletes.We spent about an hour and left the place at about 0745.One can do boating on the river too.
After driving for sometime we reached our next destination the Gerusoppa Dam.The Gerusoppa Dam Project was completed in 2002 with the main purpose of generation of electricity. It is constructed near the Gerusoppa village in the Uttara Kanada district.
It has a height of 56 metres and a length of 545 metres.The Dam is guarded and you don’t have permission to stand on the culvert to have a better view and you are also not allowed to go near the Dam.After clicking some amazing pictures of the Dam we made our way to our vehicle, much to the relief of the guard.
We left the place at about 0815 hrs.After driving for about 45 minutes we reached our next destination – the side view of the Jog Falls.One can view the falls from two different angles one is the side view and the the other is the top view.
Jog Falls are located in the Shimoga district of Karnataka Four cascades, known as Raja, Rani, Roarer and Rocket merge to form the huge waterfall on the Sharavathi River.The falls are locally known as Geruoppe Falls, Gersoppa Falls and Jogada Gundi.
Jog itself is a Kannada word, which means falls. Jog Falls is unique as the water does not stream down the rocks in a tiered fashion,it thunders down the slope losing contact with the rocks, making it the tallest un-tiered waterfall in India.The beauty of the waterfalls is enhanced by the lush green surroundings and misty mountains which provide a scenic backdrop. Jog Falls is created by the Sharavathi river dropping 253 m (830 ft), making it the second-highest plunge waterfall in India after the Nohkalikai with a drop of 335 m (1100 ft) in Meghalaya.
We spent an hour enjoying the stupendous waterfall and getting bewitched by it.The mist and the fog was playing hide and seek, as if the falls were a new bride and was feeling shy to uncover her face.
Whatever feelings I had is hard to describe and even harder to capture the glorious sight.Nevertheless we clicked lots of photographs trying to capture the essence of this wonderful experience.
We were now on our way to the homestay. On the way we sampled some very delicious juicy pineapples.
After reaching the homestay we dropped our bags and after a hot cuppa we walked to the waterfalls to have the top view of the waterfalls.The ticket is only Rs 5 per person.Vehicles charges varied depending on the size of the vehicle but it did not exceed Rs 100.
It was raining and inspite of the heavy rains the place was crowded.I saw lot of people risking their good cameras in the heavy rain to capture this magnificient sight.
Besides taking pictures from our phones and cameras we had one clicked by one of the professional photographer(for 50 bucks he had asked 80 🙂 ) I would say he did justice to the magnificent waterfalls.
We were once again spellbound by this nature’s marvel.There are about 1000 steps which leads to the waterfalls,here one can splash around in the water.But we were disappointed when we found the gates, were closed for the steps, due to safety reasons.So bad luck, we could not have a closer view of the magnificent falls.
Nestled amongst the dense forest on the other side of the falls was the British Bunglow.I had to zoom my camera to capture the Bunglow.
We didnt feel like leaving the place but we had to make our way to the restaurant for lunch as it would close down and also to calm our protesting tummies We had lunch at Mauraya Restaurant which is in the Waterfall Complex.The food was quite good we enjoyed Paneer Butter Masala,Dal fry,Chicken Curry,Rotis,Rice and Jeera rice.I would recommend not to try the Rotis which are comparable to Papad. After a satisfying lunch we walked back to the homestay and hopped into the Tavera and left for our next destination The Padmavati Temple.
One has to take permission to enter the area as the temple is inside the hydro electric power project.After obtaining the required permissions we drove through the the dense forest to reach the temple.We enjoyed the cool breeze and the greenery all around.It took us around one hour to reach the place.
Goddess Padmavati is a popular Jain goddess. She is the Shasan Devi of the 23rd Tirthankara, Lord Parshva. A snake hood covers her head, and she sits on a lotus flower. Often a small image of the Tirthankara is placed in her crown.
Padmavati is the main deity at Humcha, the famous Jain pilgrimage centre Humbaj. We first visited the Padmavati temple, here people offer green bangles to the deity.We found large number of green bangles in a huge basket the collection from the offerings made to the deity.After offering our prayers the priest offered us bangles as prasad which we happily took and wore them.
Since it was raining, the way to the temple was full of puddles.
We made our way back to the main temple.Here photography is not permitted. After offering our prayers we were offered prasad which consisted of delicious Payasam, Rice and Sambhar.
We left the place at about 1530 hrs and reached the homestay about 1630 hrs.
The owner of the homestay is Mr Nooruddin. It is a very comfortable and spacious place.What surprised me was the hot water from the taps.The heating system is very unique with wood heating the water not gas or electricity.The homestay is situated in front of a lake with greenery all around and a well in front of the house.After a refreshing bath we all enjoyed playing UNO.There was lot of bonding over the game.
By now it stopped raining and we ventured out to enjoy the weather and the lush greenery.We walked to a quaint little bridge.
After crossing the bridge there was a short trail which led to a village where we enjoyed the hospitality of a gracious local family.
We enjoyed hot coffee with home made chaklis(Indian Snack).As we prepared to leave it started pouring and we had to wait for sometime while waiting we sipped on fresh coconut water( Freshly plucked from their garden). After reaching the homestay we made our way to the delicious dinner awaiting.Lip smacking Sambhar Rice Papad,Pickle a very tasty Beans coconut veggie with Rotis.The food is cooked by the owner and his son helps him to serve the food.After dinner we called it a day as we intended to get up early and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
We were up at 6 and enjoyed several cups of hot ginger tea and biscuits/snacks which we had carried from home.
After tea we proceeded to Linganamakki Dam,the place is also popularly known as China Gate.It forms as the reservoir for the Mahatma Gandhi Hydro Electric Power Station.We were spell bound by the gushing and swirling waters of the Dam and the River.
It was drizzling which soon turned into a downpour.We rushed to take shelter to a roadside stall selling corn.Chitchatting with the hawker,we came to know that the force of the water is so strong that one can actually see fish flying out of the water.
The Linganamakki dam was constructed by the Karnataka State Government in 1964. Located in the Sagara taluk, the dam has a length of 2.4 km, stretching across the Sharavathi river.Behind the dam is large reservoir.
Linganamakki Dam receives water from incessant rainfall and from Chakra and Savahaklu reservoirs which are linked to the dam through a canal.It is one of the largest hydro – electric stations in India and a significant source of electric power for Karnataka.
After spending some time we returned to the homestay for breakfast. Delicious Dosas,Sambhar and Chutney accompanied by delicious Puliodharai(Tamarind rice).
Breakfast at the Homestay
After a relaxed breakfast, it was time to say good bye to this beautiful place.We left around 0930 hrs for Murudeshwar which is about 2 hours, on the way we made a number of stops,the first stop was a viewing point,after clicking a few pictures we continued with our onward journey.We had planned to carry some of the delicious pineapples but got disappointed when the hawker told us he did’nt get the supply.Disappointed we continued with our journey.
We were delighted when we spotted pineapples on display near a picturesque waterfall.We not only ate but bought bagful of pineapples to carry home
We clicked some beautiful pictures of the waterfalls.
The pineapples with the waterfall as the backdrop was indeed magical.On the way we listened to some melodious songs played from the mobiles of the members of the group.We reached Murudeshwar at 1215 pm.
Murudeshwar is a well known pilgrimage and beach destination located in the Bhatkal Taluk of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka. Murudeshwar is a picturesque place situated between Honnavar and Bhatkal. It is bound by the Arabian Sea and Western Ghats and is one of the most famous tourist places to visit in Karnataka as a pilgrim place apart from being a popular beach resort.
The Murudeswar town was earlier known as ‘Mrideshwara’. It was later renamed as Murudeshwar after the construction of the temple. Murudeshwara is the famous abode of Lord Shiva and a popular pilgrim center in South India. According to the legend, Ravana was a devotee of Lord Shiva,pleased with his devotion Shiva gives him the Lingam with a promise that it should never be placed on the ground.If its placed then all the powers will return to Lord Shiva.Lord Ganesha and Lord Vishnu tricked Ravana on his way to Lanka. Lord Ganesha kept the Linga on the ground which was given by Ravana as he wanted to perform his evening puja. Angered by this, Ravana tried to uproot and destroy the Linga. The broken pieces of the lingam were cast away. The covering cloth of the lingam fell at Kanduka Giri and the Murudeshwar temple was built at this site.
Murudeshwar is famous for the world’s second tallest Shiva Statue (123 ft) & tallest temple tower (249 ft) of Murudeshwar Temple. The sea on three sides surrounds the temple towering on the small hill called Kanduka Giri. This is a great place to watch the sunset. Murudeshwar is also known for the Murudeshwar Fort and the wonderful beaches. Nearby Netrani Island is also a very popular spot for tourists as it offers excellent boating, snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. Sirsi,Karwar,Gokarna, Kollur,Udupi, Mangalore, Dharmasthala and Subramanya are the nearby attractions here.
We first rushed to the Shiva temple as the temple would close for Darshan at 1 pm.We took the lift to the topmost floor(18th,the charges were Rs 10 per person)The spectacular view of the second largest Shiva with the roaring sea as the backdrop was indeed a sight to behold.We took some amazing shots of Shiva and also of the sea.Compared to the salubrious climate of Jog Falls ,Murudeshwar is like any other coastal place, warm and humid reminded me of Mumbai.
I wanted to linger on for some more time but then my friend nudged me as we would get late for Darshan.(sighting of God/Goddess)
When we reached the temple,we were disappointed as the temple had closed ,however the window was open so we could pay obeisance to the deity.
After Darshan we went to the base of the Shiva statue,the temple there was again closed.So dear readers keep this in mind if you want to do a peaceful Darshan, you must reach by 11.30 am.After roaming around for sometime.We proceeded to have lunch in Naveen Beach Restaurant as we were not very hungry we shared a South Indian Thali (Rs 70) and lime juice(Rs 25).One gets spectacular view of the sea from the restaurant.
We wrapped up lunch and as there was ample time we strolled around enjoyed some ice cream, clicked more photographs,some went shopping but there was not much to buy.
We left for the station at 3 pm as the station is just 2 kms away.We reached the quaint little station at about 3.15 pm. It’s a small station and there is only one platform.
Our train was on time and we were all in the same compartment S12 except one person.We had bonded so well by this time that we all wanted to be together.As soon as we settled, the UNO cards came out and after several sessions of jeering and cheering and masti it was time for dinner.
We had ordered from the railway pantry. I would recommend not to ever eat the food in this route from the railway catering as it is unpalatable.It is better to pick up something from Madgaon where the train halts for about 10 minutes.
It was now time to call it a day but we were short of one berth.One of us made the supreme sacrifice of sleeping down and this was my dear friend Dr Jessy.This blog is dedicated to you, dear Jessy I admire you for your selflessness.I have been with people including myself who think of their own comfort first. So I am so impressed by this gesture of yours !!!
My anxiety played again and I woke up people who had to disembark at Panvel, much before the designated time 🙂 as my friends jokingly told they need not worry about missing the stop as I would wake them up at Ratnagiri( I didn’t do that though I was tempted 🙂 ) We bid goodbyes to others who were disembarking at Thane.We got off the train with fond memories of the trip. After getting down from train, I collected the pineapples from Krishna and bid goodbye and thanked him for a wonderful trip.The pineapples had cost only 30 bucks each, while in Mumbai they cost 80 bucks each and they are not as juicy and sweet.The trip was well organised and for that I thank Krishna of Darkgreen Adventures.We(Jessy and myself) took a homebound local train and by 6 am we were home.On reaching I shared my wonderful experience with my family members over a hot cup of tea.I thank all the Group Members for sharing the photographs especially Jessy for all the train photographs.
“There is a hidden message in every Waterfall.It says,if you are
flexible , falling will not hurt you !!
The best time to visit Jog falls is during the Monsoon.
- Carry two bags, the first bag in which you can pack all your clothes and other essentials the second carry a small backpack which can hold your phone/camera,rainwear,wallet,a bottle of water,medicines if any and some dry snacks which you can carry while sightseeing
2) Carry a bag cover to protect your belongings from the rain.
How to get There :-
1) You can book your tickets in Manglore/Kerala bound trains(Check the stoppage time.Book your tickets at least two months in advance if you want a confirmed berth.
2) Many hotels are available like Hotel Maurya which is in the waterfall complex.Many Homestays are also available.There are budget hotels as well as the expensive ones.Book one which suits your needs and pocket.
3) Public transport is available but frequency is not so good.So its best you book a private vehicle for your stay.With private vehicle you can have unscheduled stops and enjoy the scenic beauty of the place.