- Trek Destination: Jog Falls (Shimoga ) & Muppane Nature Camp (Jungle Trek)
- Difficulty: Easy
- Time to Visit: Any time. Favorably in monsoon.
- How To Reach: Shimoga can be reached by train from Bangalore or Mysore. There are many trains running from Bangalore since morning till late night everyday.
There are ample buses from the state capital Bangalore during day as well as night time. There are various classes of buses which one can take as per their wallet size. It takes nearly 7 hours by bus and it traverses through Tumkur, Tiptur, Arsikere, Kadur, Tarikere and Bhadravati before reaching Shimoga.
- Other Options: If you are not interested in jungle trek, you can simply visit Jog falls and few temples around.
- About: Shimoga (also called Shivamogga in Kannada) is a city in
- Jog Falls is about 101 kms from Shimoga. This is the highest waterfalls in India and during the monsoons the 4 jets of water named Raja, Rani, Rocket, and Roarer gush in full strength.
- Tour Planning: Bangalore -> Jog Falls -> Muppane Nature Camp (Trek) -> Varadahalli Temple -> Ikkeri Temple -> Sagar -> Shimoga -> Bangalore
- Our Journey Starts: Me and another friend of mine Anindita reached Majestic to board Airavat (KSRTC Volvo) for our journey to Jog Falls, Shimoga. We booked our tickets earlier online. If anyone doesn’t book tickets also, there are ample buses going Shimoga from Majestic. The bus started at 10.30 PM. Journey in Volvo is always comfortable. We crossed Shimoga town at 6.00AM and reached Jog Falls at 6.30AM. So, while booking, try booking till Jog falls and not till Shimoga. You can see the mighty Jog falls from the bus stop only. Before taking a closer look, we decided to freshen up in the Pay & Use Washroom. That was moderately clean. After that we approached the waterfall and had breakfast first as we were hungry. My friend Anindita is a great cook and prepared nice Sandwiches with Mayonnaise. As we went in the month of January, the waterfall was not in his own form. Still it was splendid enough. We admired the fall from all angles. We walked around the area. If you go left, keeping the fall on the right, you can see a nice man-made dam. The beauty of the place is serene. Previously people used to trek down to take bath in the fall. However, that was stopped from that month onwards due to an accident.
We took an hour of time to cherish every bit of magnificent Jog Fall from every possible angle. Apart from Jog Fall, trekking was also in our plan. We hired a Tata Indica there. After quite a bargain, we agreed to pay Rs. 1600 for 6 hours. The driver took us to “Muppane Nature Camp” which is 5 Km from Jog fall for a Jungle Trek. We haven’t done anything of this sort before. We were really excited. The driver stopped in front of a jungle. It has a nice mud trail. We started to walk along the trail. The more we were getting inside, more dense jungle we are facing. If you are a birdwatcher, you will love that place. Variety of birds chirping all around. You can also hear insect’s buzzing sound. While walking down the forest, among all other bird chirp, suddenly get to hear sound from common wood-pecker. We started to look for it. Finally found it at the top of a tree hiding between leaves and doing his all time favourite work, i.e. pecking wood. The best part is yet to come. While moving through the jungle, suddenly we saw something flashy in front. It’s quite big. We kept approaching towards that. As we moved ahead, we came to know it a back side of a water-dam. We were so eager to see that, we started to move as fast as possible. Suddenly, the jungle gets over and the water of the dam starts. It is very hard to believe, we were the only people at that time in that place. Rippling sound of water, chirping sound of birds from the jungle, gusty winds from the open stretch, few small islands to admire. It was a complete package. Felt like in heaven. If anybody loves nature, and going to see Jog falls, my utmost request, definitely visit this place. We stayed there for an hour. Then trekked back through the jungle to the car. This trek was not hectic. Then according to the plan, we decided to move to Varadahalli.
Varadahalli is a small hamlet that is off the main road near the town of Sagar. This is the place where Guru Sri Sridhara Swamy meditated for salvation. There is a temple here and like most other temples in the region, free lunch is provided at a communal dining hall every day to all visitors between 1230 – 1400 hrs. The fare is a simple vegetarian meal consisting of rice with rasam, sambar, and buttermilk. After seeing the temple in Varadahalli and having the free lunch which was OK sort of, we came to know that we can trek there also. One has to take around 100 stairs to reach the temple. From there, there is a spot on the top of the hill where Sri Sridhara Swamy spent all his time in
meditation. But the catch is, you have to do the trek bare-footed. Without a second thought, we started trekking bare footed. For some time it was ok. After 1 Km , the road is full of small loose pebbles and all sorts of thing which can damage your foot. We had to walk somehow on that and reached hill-top finally. We were too tired by that time as we are not used to walk bare-feet. Then again we came down 3Km bare-footed to take the car. By the time we reached base, our foot was literally paining and turned complete red. Decision for this trek turned out to be completely wrong. Then we boarded the cab once again and started journey for “Ikkeri Temple”. This is a nice
temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. As we had time, after seeing the temple, we walked around the village. It was very beautiful, both the temple and the village surrounding it. Now the plan is to come back to Bangalore. We reached Sagar by cab. “Sagar” is a main bus stop after Shimoga. We took Rajhamsa (KSRTC Bus) and reached Shimoga Station. We freshened up a bit at station and then had dinner. For dinner, there is nothing much in station or outside the station. You have to come to the Shimoga town, which is 1Km from the Shimoga Station. Had good food there, again took an auto to reach the Station. We boarded Bangalore Exp. From there at 22.20 and reached Bangalore early morning at 04.30. From there we took an auto towards home. A day packed with travelling, trekking, bare-foot trekking (Oh My God!!)….It was a lovely day out…