Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A day long stay in Majestic Jog Falls

24 August 2013

It's finally time to visit the famous Jog Falls :-). Planned just a week ago, we had tough time to find some lodging due to flurry of tourists. Also all of us were chasing nasty bugs in office at the last moment. Whatever may be was the reason, we decided to visit Jog falls for a day. The plan was to reach Sagar, get refreshed and travel to Jog falls. There was room crunch at Sagar too :(. My uncle helped me to book a room at Sagar and eventually travel seemed seamless. Albeit, there was hesitation until all of us reached KSRTC bus stop ;-). You can also book train till Talaguppa if you plan beforehand. Since we planned just 3-4 days prior to journey, there was no possibility of getting train ticket.

We had booked tickets in sleeper bus till Sagar. My uncle had booked a lodge for us to refresh in Sagar through his colleague. There was an option to book a stay near Jog itself, however they turned up to be too expensive to afford. Instead, Sagar is best option and from there one could find frequent buses plying towards Jog Falls. We boarded the bus and it finally took off from Majestic bus stand at 10:20PM. Barring some initial hiccup, the journey was very smooth. The beds were neat and very good condition too. The bus stopped at Kamat Upahar near Dabaspet for brief break. Around 6:15AM, we reached Sagar. The journey was smooth however with deficient sleep. The bus dropped us exactly near lodge which is nearby NH-206 and 3kms away from town limit towards Shivamogga. The road condition seemed relatively good. The NH-206 runs between Tumkur and Honnavar. The road is known to be Bangalore-Honnavar highway but technically should be Tumkur-Honnavar highway.

Leaving the unwanted stuff apart, we were ready for breakfast around 8:30AM. I was very much hungry too! There is a vegetarian restaurant nearby lodge which serves limited variety of breakfast. The breakfast quality and taste was very good albeit the high price. The price was somewhat matching Bangalore standards :-) but we had very tasty and hefty breakfast. Few hours after refreshment, we took an auto towards Sagar private bus stand. We waited in bus stand for some time to catch the bus. Few minutes later, the bus arrived and we were ready to start. The bus was jam packed with college students who get down after 3 stops.

Jog is around 30kms from Sagar. It was drizzling in Sagar and as we traveled deeper into Malnad towards Western ghats, the rains got stronger at times. However not the vigor which could be seen during July monsoon season. The scene from Sagar to Jog is absolutely stunning as expected. The beautiful streams, lush green paddy fields, well built roads and of-course the rains were simply marvelous to watch. The travel from Talaguppa to Jog was absolutely mind blowing with western ghats and rivulets. The riads were also in good condition. We could have stopped at many spots if we had own arrangements. Even then I enjoyed from inside the bus to full extent. The bus had stamp of Non-Stop service but was stopping everywhere :-).

2kms before Jog, there is a deviation from NH-206 to reach waterfall site. The interior roads are not so good but manageable. It was around 10AM we reached Jog Falls. It is required to buy a ticket of Rs.5 to enter the premises. The ticket is valid for entire day though. Jog falls comprises of 4 water plunges namely Raja, Rani, Roarer, Rocket. When we neared view point, the falls was completely covered under clouds and mist :(. We could not view anything at all. Few minutes later, clouds faded away and we could somewhat see all of them except Raja. The powerful plummet of Raja water falls coupled with narrow gorge, creates huge mist cover around it which does not fade away so easily. Either Sun or strong winds only can blow them away.

A taxi driver was compelling us to show some of the view points nearby through which can see falls bit close. I knew about British Bungalow view from many people who visited the place. After brief discussion among ourselves, we decided to hire the taxi. He promised that if we notice only mist for most our time, we need not have to pay for him. The British Bungalow view is around 6kms from main view point. One has to travel again along NH-206 to reach the place. When we alighted at this place, we saw only mist again :(. The driver re-iterated that we would see the falls very soon clearly. Both Rajesh and Sudhir started staring at me since I was the person who convinced them to hire :D. Fortunately the clouds and mist faded away and bright SUN turned up after few minutes :-). What a ravishing sight to watch with Rani, Roarer and Rocket. They were so clearly visible with roaring sound. The velocity was not as much during the time water let out from Linganamakki reservoir, however it was considerable. The Raja falls is located sideways and visible only from view point few steps down. An unfortunate incident during past week had forced the authorities to close the view point path :(. Few drunk people tried to execute some sort of adventure by crossing the Raja falls. All of them fell into the deep gorge without being traced. It is difficult to understand why is it not possible for people to just enjoy landscapes than engaging in nasty stuffs :(. Those lives are no more, however there are huge number of people who get affected by such incidents especially local businessmen.


Meanwhile, we had very nice views of all waterfalls except the Raja falls for the reasons stated above. Next the driver carried us to a view point near Rani falls. We had closeup feel of the Rani falls. Absoultely stunning nature in between dense western ghats. There was also abandoned bungalow nearby site. After the small journey, we were back in Jog falls main site. At a few distance from Jog falls view point, one could even have glance of Sharavati River valley. The source of water in Jog Falls is the Sharavati River itself stored in Linganamakki reservoir. The excess water from reservoir actually brings back the glory of jog falls. The river finally joins Arabian Sea in Honavar which is 60kms from here. Not to mention, the Sharavati River basin in Honavar is picturesque destination with beautiful nature.

There are two more waterfalls nearby which are only alive during monsoon. One is gerusoppa falls and other Gowri shankar falls. Both seemed non-reachable. The gerusoppa falls can only be enjoyed from view point and not possible to reach nearby. It was only 12:30PM when we finished our short view journey. We wanted to spend entire day near jog falls due to mist cover. We were hoping atleast for few minutes we could have full view of waterfalls. As expected, even nature did not betray us. The waterfalls was completely unmasked and we had fantastic view of all of the four :-). That was really gorgeous sight! We took some snaps from slightly elevated point nearby a bungalow.




This cat seemed to have hefty food and was drowsing under rarely visited Sun. The cat was very much friendly and stayed even if went nearby it.

We had packed food packets to relieve our intermittent hunger. A monkey saw our food cover and started following us :D. We all had umbrellas to chase it away. The monkey did not leave us for very long time :-). Somehow Sudhir managed to cheat the monkey by disguising the food packet from monkey's sight. Through out the pursue, the monkey was threatening us to hand over the food packet but we were also ready with umbrellas :D. It also got raged by camera's flash ;-). Fortunately, it was alone. Had it been in group, we would have given up easily. Sudhir's trick and pouring rain eventually made monkey to lose battle. But we really appreciated its persistence before giving up.


Time for lunch ;-). We went to have lunch at nearby Mayura hotel. There are also lots of local vendors inside Jog premises, however Mayura was best option. The charge was Rs.60/- but food was not good. We had no option since we were very much hungry. After having lunch, we walked towards resting place nearby. There were lots of monkeys here! The number was high since many people were having packed lunch here. However a guard nearby used to chase monkeys away and hence they never dared to enter the resting place. Despite of that, they were waiting outside the place despite of heavy rains hoping for some share!

After lunch, it started to rain heavily. It is impossible to get view of falls in rain since cloud covers entire area. Time for small nap ;-). We had power nap on benches of resting place. We had alternate sessions of nap so that at-least one will be awake to look after luggage :-). 45 minutes later, the sight became fully clear and it remained clear till 4PM. Later the rain started pouring again. It was time to say goodbye to beautiful waterfall site. We had in tea nearby shop and I cannot resist churumuri during Monsoon weather :D. Me and Rajesh had churumuri which was relatively expensive too! We caught bus to Sagar and it started around 5PM. Some pictures after clear sight.

The bus takes detour and enters Mahatma Gandhi power station to pick up employees of the power station. Later it reaches Kargal to pick up passengers from there before finally taking normal coarse to Sagar. Throughout the journey I enjoyed the paddy fields, streams and beautiful western ghats. We really missed those spots since we did not have private arrangements. Nevertheless, we had great time in Jog falls. Around 7PM, we reached Sagar town. We had healthy 2 more hrs to catch bus. We wandered around the town for sometime before having dinner in one of the restaurants. The food was good. Eventually it is time to say goodbye to gorgeous Malnad region. We plan to visit again when authorities let out huge pile of water from Linganamakki dam which may happen only next year!

Some milky ways

I could not grab full milky way of Jog falls since it was open sight. Despite the overcast weather, the open space could not bring down the exposure to at-least .5s. Also the falls was not plummeting with huge amount of water and hence at-least 5 second exposure was required to capture flow. A ND filter would have served the purpose which I did not have. Eventually I took some close-up milky way with tele lens which can go upto f/45 @300mm. Some pictures blurred out, since it was difficult to hold camera steady due to heavy lens weight. I required tripod here.


When to visit:

Watch out for the water outflow from Linganamakki dam in newspaper. When the dam authorities let out huge amounts of amount of water, start immediately :D. Of-course it will be raining heavily too! You need to compromise on certain things in life ;-).


Stay in Sagar and make sure you book lodge in advance. There is flurry of visitors during these seasons. Jog accommodation is too costly. Make 3 day plan. Don't miss the magnificent boat ride along Sharavati river backwater to Sigandhur Chowdeshwari temple (around 60kms from Sagar I believe). We could not visit the place since we did not have own arrangements. One more day better stay in Sirsi which is 70kms from Sagar to visit Unchalli falls and Magodu falls near Yellapur, an hour journey from Sirsi. Whatever may be the  complexity, visit during monsoon season ;-).

Whats special this time?

1) HDRs and Panorama documented here.

2) The clouds and mist intermittently enveloping and de-enveloping falls, provided perfect setup for timelapse ;-) along with sneaking Sun. It is short but I hope its sweet ;-). Do watch it!

3) Here is the compilation of videos shot during our visit. Hope you enjoy the same

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...