Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Solo bike ride to Shivanasamudra and Talakaadu (Part 2)

Read part 1 of the blog here: Solo Bike Ride - Part 1

Hurrah! It's last part :-)

Bharachukki falls is around 12kms from Gaganachukki falls. A small junction could be spotted just before Gaganachukki falls. One of them will lead to Bharachukki falls. Take help of guards if you get confused. The road will lead you to NH-209 and after few kms of travel, you need to deviate further to interior road. The ride was really fabulous en-route. What a beauty! Water Water everywhere. The overflowing lake water to the main road was bit scary though :D. The gushing water at distance, the beautiful channels, the green hills and of-course gorgeous rural landscape filled my soul with glory. It was really worth such long bike ride. Along NH-209 I encountered a narrow bridge where Cauvery was just below the bridge level. There was tremendous gravity pull too :-). Had to be really careful since slight tilt would end up in accident due to narrow roads. Sometimes I felt, would really fall out of bridge :D. I stopped nearby bridge and took some photos. The bridge is so narrow that two heavy vehicles cannot cross over simultaneously. Since traffic flow was less, there was no scope for  jams.

Few kms later, a junction directs you to Bharachukki falls. From here, the sight is around 6kms. There is one more narrow bridge enroute. There was traffic jam here due to flurry of tourist vehicles. Nearby the bridge, torrent of Cauvery attracted me. I parked the bike in vacant area and stepped on the bridge beneath. There was huge water gush and heavy breeze too! OMG that was great sight to watch and scary too :-). After relaxing at this spot, I resumed my bike journey. By that time, the traffic also got cleared. There are few temples on the way to Bharachukki falls. An entrance fee of Rs.10/- is levied again on two wheelers. Similar to the earlier one, the roaring sound of waterfalls could be heard even from distance. There was huge crowd here too! This was bit wider also. Now time to energize soul for second time ;-). I do not know the geometry behind these two falls. Some where they divide and consequently flow along different paths. Bharachukki spot has around 300 steps to go down to falls. However it was closed due to huge torrents. They would re-open the steps when conditions become favorable to allow. I have same feelings as felt in Gaganachukki falls. Absolutely gorgeous nature. I took videos at different angles and also snaps. At times I wish, I had a wide angle lens ;-). Landscapes are so much enchanting to shoot :-).






I had two full cucumbers to satisfy physical thirst. When I was about to leave, I could see the distant view point from falls. I again parked the bike aside and stepped to the top of the platform. What a majestic sight to capture the beauty of water falls! Absolutely eye-catching view! From here 18mm is far enough; wide angle was not required ;-). I had one more photo-shoot here too ;-). This time I could not shoot milky ways due to presence of SUN. The photos were overexposed even at around f/36. ND filter was must.

After some more time of stay, I started journey towards Talakaadu. You need to return along the same route to reach Talakaadu. After the narrow bridge along NH-209 as mentioned earlier, there is a deviation with crisp and clear signboard to reach Talakaadu. Talakaadu is around 23kms from this cross. The road is absolutely marvelous. No problem at all in maintaining 60kmph. Also very few humps nearby village limits. I enjoyed the ride as well as the beautiful rural landscape with monsoon clouds. The scenery along this route is absolutely stunning. Due to lack of time, I could not take photos enroute but they were simply eye-catching. Few kms after, there is left deviation towards Talakaadu. But one of local immediately stopped me and asked me to take an alternative route. This path is submerged under water due to too much water being let out. I thanked them before proceeding along alternate route. Few kms further, one more deviation towards will lead you to Talakaadu. From here, it is around 9kms. This stretch has landscapes beating the other stretches mentioned earlier. Especially once you near Talakaadu, the sight of Cauvery river flow is beautiful to watch. Also there was storm building at horizon which would have been one more great timelapse. However due to lack of time, I skipped the spot :(. Around 4PM, I reached Talakaadu. The main attraction here is Panchalinga Darshana which is 5 shiva temples. Panchalinga Darshana happens for every 12 years and the last time it happened was on 2006. There will be huge gathering at this time. Read wikipedia entry to know exact details. At this time, the poojas happen at a time in all the 5 temples. During my visit, I could get only 3 (Vaidyanaatheshwara, Maraleshwara, Pataaleshwara). I missed the other two may be since I was in a hurry (Arakeshwara and Mallikarjuneshwara). The vaidyanaatheshwara temple is made from stones and surroundings are very well maintained. The deity was very well decorated too! It is believed that people take bath in cauvery water and visit this temple to heal their diseases. Not so many people were seen at this place. Later I walked along sand path to visit few more temples. Mainly I noticed Maraleshwara (The eeshwara temple on sand?), Paataaleshwara and chowdeshwari temples. It took almost an hour to visit all of them. Slowly hunger started haunting me.  I had lunch in one of the mess. The meals was not so good but enough to get rid of hunger. There is also Udupi mess near by vaidyanaatha temple but meals were closed here. It is run by Udupi people itself (they speak my language which is Tulu).


At around 5PM, I left to view Cauvery river basin nearby. There was nothing much to see here except the river water had overflown. You can also have ride on coracle for short distance and they charge Rs.20/-. Due to lack of time I skipped that too! I also dropped plans of visiting Somanathapura :( Next time I will dedicate more time for Talakaadu and Somanathapura to enjoy beautiful architecture :-).

It was 5:30PM when I started my return journey towards Bangalore. After traveling for few distance, thick clouds gathered around the place and started pouring. That was really thick drops. I took shelter in an under construction temple for 30minutes before rains could recede. I enjoyed those beautiful rain droplets. Even though this site is common in my hometown, I believe there is uniqueness in rains of each and every place. Around 6PM I resumed my journey. I enjoyed the beautiful landscapes again. There is an inner-route to reach Malavalli which eventually joins NH-209.

30 minutes later, I reached Malavalli. This time I gave try to travel along Kankapura road instead of busy four lane highway. So I had to drop plans of visiting Kanva reservoir which would have been impossible even if I had taken four lane route due to lack of time. What a surprise! the road is really fantastic and perfectly even ;-). This road is far better than Maddur one. No humps, beautiful landscapes, hills and less traffic too! I felt, should have chosen this route. Barring few potholes, the road is absolutely smooth. Only problem in this route is feeble food outlets and also crossing cattle :D. I was bit speeding in this section around 70-80kmph to reach as near to city as possible to city before twilight. If you are experienced driver, you know the apathy of riding/driving during those hours. Everything seems invisible and high beams of HTVs add to the horror story! Around 7:00PM I was almost 20kms behind city. Thereafter, no question of speeding due to high beamers. Had to really cut down speed to 40-50kmph. It was around 7:30PM when I reached city limits. Heavy rains started pouring and it was difficult to ride too. Also bad roads added more trouble. Once bad roads start, you know you are in city limits. Not sure why corporation repairs roads during rainy days rather than drier one. Leave that apart, meanwhile I was fully drenched in rain. I enjoyed it to maximum. 9:10PM sharp, I reached home due to hectic traffic jams. Since camera bag had raincoat and I had jacket, no damages happened barring wet jeans and shoes.

Thats end of what I call my tiny adventure (This was kind of for me). So many memories :). Those plunging water, beautiful landscapes, gushing water, smooth roads and lovely locals filled my eyes and heart. Especially I cannot forget lovely local people who helped and guided so much in right way at many places. Not to miss tasty cucumbers and sugar cane juices too! As guessed earlier, I could spot many lone riders like me but did not talk to anyone though.

When to visit:

1) If you wish to see full glory, watch out for news reports on KRS reservoir status. This will be usually around July-September time frame.
2) If you wish to enjoy excursion nearby waterfalls, visit post monsoon season when rain recedes and inflow decreases.

Which route:

As of now, I highly recommend Kanakapura road. If you have sufficient food packed, please take this route. Mysore road is full of humps and nasty traffic.

Whats up this time!

1) A HDR of Gaganachukki falls which is documented here: Gaganachukki in HDR

2) I wanted to shoot timelapses of one of the falls with cloudy backdrop as well as storm rising nearby Talakaadu. Due to dearth of time, I could not capture even a single timelapse. I wish to travel again post monsoon which I believe will be able to capture some if there are clouds!

3) Here is a compilation of videos of the visit

Hope you enjoyed the lengthy 2 part blog :-). Your critiques on content, grammatical approach and pictures are highly appreciated and welcome.


I forgot to mention some details. The Gaganachukki waterfalls has two view points. One is 12kms from Bharachukki falls and another is nearby Bharachukki falls itself. The one 12kms away is main view point. The nearby view point is also good which gives closeup look of gushing water. Due to time constraints, I did not visit the other view point.

Edit 2

Recently when I traveled again along this route, I had lunch in Vasu Hotel situated in Kanakapura main town. They serve delicious vegetarian south Indian food for very less price.  The variety is very minimal however whatever they serve is really good. It seems to be one of the old hotels of Kanakapura (had antique look like MTR, Bangalore).

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