MYSORE (MYSURU)


  1. Destination: Mysore (Mysuru), Karnataka, India
  2. Visited on: January 30th 2016 – February 1st 2016
  3. Peak Season: Can be visited anytime
  4. How To Reach:
  • By Train – There are number of trains going to Mysore from Bangalore. From there, one needs to hire an auto rickshaw to reach hotel. Also may book an Uber or Ola cab
  • By Bus – Number of buses are available from Bangalore which goes directly to Mysore.

About: Mysore, officially renamed as Mysuru, located at the base of the Chamundi Hills about 146 km southwest of the state capital Bangalore.

Our Journey Starts:

My parents visited Bangalore where I stay currently for work. I planned to take them to Mysore this time. Mysore is very close to Bangalore and takes around 3 hours. We booked train tickets in advance. There are many trains and buses going to Mysore from Bangalore every day. We reached early in the morning in the Majestic station and boarded a train. On reaching Mysore station after a journey of 3 hours, we had to bargain with an auto driver to take us to the hotel MB International. The bargain settled at Rs. 120 approximately.

On reaching hotel, we freshened up a bit and finished our breakfast. After that, we took a short walk to reach St. Philomena’s Cathedral. This is a beautiful yet a very old church maintained properly. The photo of this church is also inscribed on the walls of Mysore palace. From there, I booked an Uber cab to visit Chamundeshwari temple. The cab came and the driver informed, the cab doesn’t go through the hills to Chamundeshwari temple. He asked me to take a Volvo. However, I paid him extra and requested him to take us there. He agreed and we reached Chamundeshwari temple. One can take an auto or a Volvo AC bus from Mysore to reach Chamundeshwari temple. Taking a Volvo bus would be the best option.

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Chamundeshwari Temple

On reaching the temple, we had to buy tickets for approximately Rs. 10 per head to enter into the temple. It is a beautiful temple. Need to be in a queue to enter inside. After visiting the temple, we decided to visit Mysore Zoo. We boarded Volvo bus from the stand next to the temple and reached Mysore zoo. The zoo is located very close to the Mysore palace. This zoo is one of the most popular attraction in Mysore and one can witness mighty African elephant there.

This zoo is huge and takes a long time to visit every corner. One can witness mighty African elephant, Indian elephant, Tiger, Lion, Zebra, Giraffe, Rhinoceros, Turtle, Snakes, etc. For us, it took around 3 hours to visit the zoo. Then we booked another Uber cab and reached Mysore palace. We entered the palace premises after buying tickets. The palace premises is huge and one need to be in a queue to enter the actual palace. The architectural style of domes of the palace is commonly described as Indo-Saracenic and blends Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles. The palace has three entrances: the East Gate (the front gate, opened only during the Dasarah and for VIPs), the South Entrance (for public), and the West Entrance (usually opened only during the Dasarah). The sculpture inside the palace is immaculate. The queue moves slowly inside the palace. While moving, one can witness beautiful paintings and sculpture.img_4798-3

The entire palace lit up with lights at night. Witnessed that and came back to hotel. Next day, we planned to visit Brindavan Gardens. I booked a cab for the next day. We woke up early in the morning and went out for Brindavan gardens. On the way, we stopped at Srirangapatna. There is a summer palace of Tipu Sultan. After that, we have seen Colonel Bailey’s Dungeon and Tippu’s death place. Then the hired cab dropped us at Brindavan Gardens around 2 PM.

The Brindavan Gardens is a garden located in the Mandya District of the state of Karnataka, India. It lies adjoining the Krishnarajasagara dam which is built across the river Kaveri. The garden is maintained by the Cauvery Niravari Nigama (Cauvery Irrigation Department), a Government of Karnataka enterprise. It is spread across an area of 60 acres (240,000 m2). Adjoining it is also a fruit orchard spread across 75 acres (300,000 m2) and 2 horticultural farms, Nagavana (30 acres) and Chandravana (5 acres). The garden is laid out in 3 terraces which contain water fountains, Ficus trees, foliage plants such as Duranta plumaria and Euphorbia and flowering plants like Celosia, Marigold and bougainvillea.The garden is open to the public and an entry-fee is charged. We spent around 3 hours there sitting in the lawn and roaming around. There are also accommodation available, if anyone opt to stay inside Brindavan Gardens. But that would be an expensive stay.In Brindavan garden, we took a boat ride also. It’s a speed boat ride for 10 mins

In the evening, “light and sound” show is organized. After watching that show we boarded the hired cab and returned to our hotel. We had an early train next morning. Completed dinner early. In the morning, booked an Ola cab around 5 AM through Ola app. Boarded the train and reached Bangalore around 9AM.

Note:

  • No need to hire cab for sight-seeing in Mysore. Book cab while visiting Brindavan Gardens via Srirangapatna
  • Go inside the Mysore palace during day time and also see the palace when the light is lit in the evening
  • Mysore can be visited any time of the year. But, summer can be hot
  • Bargain while booking cabs
  • Kindly follow no trace policy and save mother earth.

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RANGANATHITTU BIRD SANCTUARY & KRS BACKWATER


  1. Destination: Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary & KRS Backwater, Karnataka, India
  2. Visited on: December 13th 2015
  3. Peak Season: Winter (December – February)
  4. How To Reach:
  • Car/bike – One can reach this sanctuary by own car/bike or by any hired vehicle

About: Ranganathittu bird sanctuary is in Mandya district of Karnataka, India. It is the largest bird sanctuary of Karnataka. It is located 3 Km away from historic town Srirangapatna and 16 Km north of Mysore.

Our Journey Starts:

Visiting Ranganathittu bird sanctuary in winter was in my plan for quite a long time. This time, Bangalore Adventurers organized an event to visit this sanctuary. Without wasting any time, I and Anindita registered for the event. We met with the group in front of Decathlon at Mysore road at 6.30AM. We were a group of 9 people including I, Anindita, Narendra, Kushagra, Sandeep, Vijay, Raju and the organizer Sachin. After a short introduction, we started our journey in Sachin and Narendra’s car.After half an hour, we made a halt for breakfast. The place is renowned for Thatte Idli. Food was amazing there. After a heavy breakfast, we boarded the cabs and started our uninterrupted journey towards the sanctuary.DSC_4307

We crossed historical town Srirangapatna on the way and reached Mandya. After a journey of total 3 hours, we reached sanctuary. The sanctuary is being monitored by the forest department. After paying an entry charge of Rs. 60 per head, we went inside and parked our car. Quickly, we went to a bird watching view-point where we observed birds like Storks, Pelican etc are breeding and enjoying the hot winter climate. We all captured the flying moments of this birds.DSC_4588

Then we decided to go for a boat ride which costs Rs. 60 per head or one can hire the entire boat for Rs. 1000 which accommodates around 15 people. The boat ride was the best part of this trip. We took a closer view of all the birds that migrate all the way and reach here. The water is also infested with crocodiles. Never been so close to live crocodiles. Seen crocodiles taking a sun-bath (lol) from a distance of 2 feet. We were provoking Kushagra to put hand in the water and feel the cold water. It is one of the best places to see all sorts of colorful birds including Kingfisher. We also got a breath-taking view of Storks and Pelicans catching fish from Kaveri Lake in the flight.

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Photo of Crocodile taken from boat ride

After a successful boat ride, we walked around inside the sanctuary. Total activity took around 2 hours. Then we moved out and headed towards Balmuri waterfall. It is situated at a distance of 30 minutes from the sanctuary. It is called a waterfall, but it is actually a stream with a drop of only 2 feet. Vijay, who was very interested in seeing a waterfall actually got syked seeing that. Narendra and Kushagra took a bath there.

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Balmuri Fall

From there, we headed back to the Mysore road and stopped our car in a nice restaurant for lunch. After having good lunch, we started our journey towards KRS backwater. We reached there after a journey of 30 minutes. It is located very close to Brindavan gardens. KRS backwater is being enclosed by the KRS dam. Huge Venugopala swamy temple just next to the backwater added charm to the place. The temple is still undergoing construction. After taking many pictures around the backwater, we went inside the temple. The temple is enormous and sculptured beautifully. One can witness sunset there if staying till evening. Raju, Narendra, Kushagraha and Sachin again took bath there.

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Venugopala Swamy Temple at KRS Backwater

By this time, all were tired of the scorching sun and wanted to head back home. We boarded cabs and came to a halt near the sanctuary again as it was on the way back. We calculated all expenses and shared equally. Later, we gathered around and shared our positive feedback as there was no negative feedback to share after such a wonderful trip.

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Hunting Fish

We boarded the cab again and headed back home. On the way, we stopped for 15 minutes for tea break. I moved from Sachin’s car to Narendra’s car so that he can drop us at Silk board crossing which will be on their way. Similarly, Vijay, who was in Narendra’s car moved to Sachin’s car. After saying ‘Adieu” to all, we headed towards Silk board. Narendra had some great collection of music and played in the car. On the way, we again met Sachin and his co passengers near Banashankari which was quite a coincidence. As we all do not know the way to reach Silk board, we started to follow Google map. Due to some wrong turning or whatsoever, the map is always showing the way through “Niece: road which we didn’t want to follow. After a lot of confusion and with the help of Anindita and Kushagra’s navigation skills, we reached Silk board. Narendra and Kushagra headed towards a Dhaba in search of “Naan”. I and Anindita headed back home from Silk board.DSC_4585

It was a wonderful trip. I personally enjoyed the sanctuary and the backwater a lot. Will definitely look forward for any such events organized by Sachin or Raju or by the Bangalore Adventurers team.

Suggestions:

  • Try “Thatte idli” on the way
  • Carry spare clothes for taking bath in Balmuri falls and KRS backwater
  • Kindly follow no trace policy and save mother earth.

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL PICS OF RANGANATHITTU BIRD SANCTUARY

SHIVANASAMUDRA WATERFALL


  1. Destination: Shivanasamudra Falls
  2. Time Of Visit: During monsoon (July – October)
  3. Visited On: September 2013
  4. Suggestion: Carry extra set of clothes as there is nice provision of taking bath in water-fall
  1. About: The Shivanasamudra Falls is on the Kaveri River after the river has wound its way through the rocks and ravines of the Deccan Plateau and drops off to form waterfalls. The island town of Shivanasamudra divides the river into twin waterfalls. This creates the fourth largest island in the rivers course. A group of ancient temples are located here and there likely was a village.

This is a segmented waterfall. Segmented waterfalls occur where the water flow is broken into two or more channels before dropping over a cliff, resulting in multiple side by side waterfalls. It has an average width of 305 meters, a height of 98 m, and an average volume of 934 cubic meters / sec. A common misconception about these waterfalls are that the left segment is called Gaganchukki and the right segment is

CORACLE RIDE AT BHARACHUKKI

CORACLE RIDE AT BHARACHUKKI

called Bharachukki. In reality the Bharachukki falls are a few kilometers to the south-west of the Gaganachukki falls. This is due to the Kaveri river itself splitting a few kilometers to the south into western and eastern branches. The western branch results in the twin waterfalls of Gaganachukki, whereas the eastern branch results in the Bharachukki falls. The Gaganachukki waterfalls are best viewed from the Shivanasamudra watch tower. There is another approach to the Gaganachukki falls from the Darga Hazrath Mardane Gaib (Imam Ali). Despite warnings being posted, people climb down the rocks and attempt to view the waterfalls from behind/top, resulting in many fatal accidents. It is 139 km from the city of Bangalore.

  • How To Reach: The two falls are not well connected by bus. Buses fly regularly to Kollegala from Bangalore as well as Mysore. From Kollegala, one can hire cab or autorickshaw to reach the falls. However, buses to Kollegala can be crowded and hiring a cab from Bangalore or Mysore is advisable.
  • The Journey Starts: We were in a group of 12 people. So we booked a Tempo Traveller (TT) from Bangalore which is a perfect vehicle for 12 people. We all boarded the vehicle at 5AM and reached Shivanasamudra after a drive of 3 hours. We had breakfast on the way in Mysore Road. There are some good restaurants which serves nice veg food. We had a lovely Dosa there.
GAGANACHUKKI

GAGANACHUKKI

Once reached Gaganachukki falls, the view is breath-taking. It’s a nice waterfall. We climbed down through boulders to experience the fall from the closest range. To get down, there is small broken gate on the left. Getting down is difficult and could be risky. It is not advisable to get down. Never take a chance of getting down if going with family. Water is gushing out just next to us with a roaring sound. Spend quite a long time there, taken photos enjoyed every bit of it. Then we boarded the vehicle once again to reach Bharachukki falls which is about two kilometers from Gaganachukki. We went there with a mindset of taking bath in the falls.We changed dress in the vehicle, took around 100 steps in stairs to get down. The view is nice from the stairs itself. Once we are down, we found a small stream passing by, which needs to be crossed to reach the main waterfall. One should be always careful in these streams and waterfalls. Slightest of careless movement can break your bones.

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PEOPLE TAKING BATH AT BHARACHUKKI FALL

We reached the waterfall after crossing the stream. It is a huge and magnificent waterfall. All were taking bath there. We also rushed to the fall to take bath. In one part of the fall, there a section caved inside. Go inside that, you will find yourself behind the water. People do jump around and swim. Caution once again – Don’t go too deep in the valley, as water current might pull you inside. There are security guards blows whistle to make one alert if going too deep.This is the step taken after reporting lot of accidents. One of my office colleague died there two months back, when water current pulled him far away while taking a bath and moved too deep inside. One can enjoy Coracle ride also in the stream. They charge quite a bit. Don’t forget to bargain. After taking bath, taking number of photos, we all climbed up the stairs and boarded our vehicle. On the way again, we had nice Veg-lunch served in banana leaf. After completing lunch, all were too tired. We boarded the vehicle and got back to Bangalore. It took around 5 hours while coming back in heavy traffic of Bangalore. In the end, it was a nice fun and my first ever bath taken in a water-fall… It’s a lovely day out…Don’t get scared with lot of warnings. Be matured, stay safe and enjoy every bit!! Click Here to See All Pics Of Shivanasamudra

200TH FLOWER SHOW AT LALBAGH


Click Here To See All The Pics Of 200Th Flower Show At Lalbagh

  1. Destination: 200th Flower Show At Lalbagh Botanical Garden, BangaloreIMG_1202
  2. Time Of Event: Every year on Independence day (15th August) and Republic Day (26th January)
  3. Visited On: 16th August 2014
  4. Timing: 9AM to 5PM
  5. Suggestion: Don’t forget to take a camera
  6. Note: Variety of plant seeds are also sold there in shops
  7. About: Every year on Independence Day and Republic day, flower shows are organized at the Lalbagh Botanical Garden. The event is jointly organised by Department of Horticulture and Mysore Horticulture Society.The flower show is the most awaited events in the Garden City. Exhibition spreads across the garden. Main attractions are placed inside the Glass House. The garden is a lush green paradise with an area of 240 acres in the heart of the city. Nearly 673 genera and 1,854 species of plants are found in Lalbagh. The collection of the plants has made it a veritable treasure house of plants. The visitors are treated with some of the most exquisite floral arrangements

The Flower Exhibition: IMG_1280I feel myself lucky in experiencing the 200th flower show. The event during Independence day 2014 was for two weeks from 8th August to 17th August. One can enter the flower show from any of the four gates of Lalbagh. The entry fee varied from Rs. 40 to Rs. 50 for an adult and for a child the entry fee is Rs.10 . The cool and sublime weather condition of Bangalore adds to the splendor of the Flower Show in more ways than one way. Undoubtedly, a must visit place for the whole family. This time the theme was “Mysore Palace” and “Mysore Dasara” procession. The Mysore palace has been recreated with 300,000 roses – red, yellow and white. The flower palace is 45-ft long, 12-ft wide and 27-ft high.Flower orientation depict elephants carrying the “golden howdah” and the statue of goddess “Chamundi”. Four horses and six soldiers armed with weapons are also carved out of flowers.   IMG_1252Spider Flower           RoseIMG_1302             Forget Me Not           Bonsai Click Here To See All Pics Of Lalbagh 200th Flower Show

BOULDERING AT HAMPI


  1. Destination: Hampi
  2. Time to Visit: Any time. But summer could be really hot.
  3. Suggestion: While taking accommodation, don’t cross the river.
  4. Note: Foods are costly and need to buy drinking water even in hotels
  5. How To Reach:
  • By Air – The nearest airport is at Hubli, 143km away from Hampi. Kingfisher Airlines used to fly from Mumbai and Bangalore.
  • By Train – The nearest railway station is Hospet Junction, 13 Km away from Hampi. Overnight trains run several times a week from Bangalore Hyderabad and Goa. One can take Hampi Express from Bangalore City Junction at 22:00 which will reach Hospet next day at 07:50.
  • By Bus – KSRTC operates daily bus to Hospet from Bangalore. From Hospet you can go to Hampi on a local bus for Rs.25.  Book your tickets in advance if you want a coach or an air-con service, because the number of travelers is large (given that the place is very famous with foreigners) and the frequency of buses is less.

About: Hampi was the capital of Vijayanagar, a 14th century empire. The ruins of this imperial capital are spread out over an area of 26km. Before the fall of Vijayanagar, diamonds were sold on the streets, but the main street selling diamonds and other precious stones was surprisingly called Pan Supaari Street (translated in English, it means betel-leaf betel-nut street). A visitor can still see the exact location of Pan Supaari Street in Hampi, which has been marked with a board by the Archaeological Survey of India. Hampi is well worth the visit. The area is simply stunning and you will be in awe of the millions of boulders surrounding the area. Within this arid landscape lies a little oasis with lush palm, banana, and mango trees nestled near the river. Hampi is a great place to spend a few days wandering around and discovering the rich, vibrant history while also having a bit of ‘your’ time. Hampi hosts Hampi Utsav every year during first week of November. It is a visual delight as all the monuments/ruins are lit at night and it is a cultural extravaganza of dance and music. 2010 marked 500 years since the Vijayanagar king Sri Krishnadevaraya ascended to the throne. Our Journey Starts: Me and my friend Niloy planned to go to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Hampi. We booked our tickets in KSRTC Volvo (Airavat) well in advance. The bus started at 9.15 PM from Majestic. While waiting for the bus to depart, I decided to smoke. For smoking, I have to pay a fine of Rs. 200 there. What a start to the journey. So refrain from smoking at least in Majestic. After a comfortable nice journey, we reached Hospet the next day morning at 6AM. We freshened up in bus terminus washroom and took another bus to Hampi. The fare was Rs. 25. If you are taking an auto from Hospet, don’t forget to bargain. It took exactly 45 minutes to reach Hampi from Hospet. You can clearly make out once it reaches Hampi by seeing temples all around. Some are ruins, some are in good shape. After reaching Hampi, we started look for hotels. Few brokers tried to barge in. But without paying any heed to them, we started to look for accommodation of our own. There are plenty of ???????????????????????????????accommodations, and all are equally good. Don’t expect duper deluxe hotel there. There is a river in the town. One can take accommodation on both sides of the river. Most of the guest houses are on other side of the river (area called Virupapur Gadde). To access them, you need to cross river by Motor boat (Rs. 10 for locals, Rs. 15 for tourists, boat runs until 18:00. If you cannot get on the boat, you have to pay auto Rs. 500-600 to take you other side via Hospet-Hugili- Hanumanhalli, which is a 40km tour. During moderate/high rains, the gates of Tungbhadra dam are opened which increases the water level and water flow in the river. In that case, you might get stranded on the other side of the river (Virupapur Gadde area). Alcohol is allowed on the other side of the river and not on the side of the temples. So think before you decide. My suggestion would be while taking accommodation, don’t cross the river. We managed a hotel in a very cheap rate of Rs. 400 per day as it was an off-season then. After finishing breakfast, we moved out of the hotel and our journey in archaeological site begins. The first temple you will find to visit is Viruprakasha Temple. It is quite a big one. There is an

VIRUPRAKASHA TEMPLE

VIRUPRAKASHA TEMPLE

elephant inside. The elephant give blessing with his trunk on paying Rs.10. There is a travel desk inside the temple run by Govt. Get a travel map from them if you don’t have one as it is very useful while going different places in Hampi. After seeing the temple, come out and take the long straight road. On both side of the street, you will be able to the ruins of Paan-Supari bazaar. Once this bazaar ends, there is monolithic bull in front of the hill. You can trek to the hill-top. While trekking, you will find ancient markings on the stone which depicts war and other stories of that time. Then come down from the hill and take a right just after a curio shop. There is a nice temple on

ACHUTARAYA TEMPLE RUIN FROM HILL TOP

ACHUTARAYA TEMPLE RUIN FROM HILL TOP

the Tungabhadra River. There are lots of boulders too. You can do bouldering and move ahead, you will find may small temple ruins, small caves and stone engraved with images of gods and goddesses. You can also take Coracle ride there. On the same day, after visiting these places, come to the river near Virupaksha temple and enjoy sunset.Take rest and don’t forget to have food in Mango Tree (A renowned restaurant with a brilliant ambience). Wake up next day early in the morning if you wish to see sun rise. Climb the right mountain from

SUN-RISE FROM HILL TOP

SUN-RISE FROM HILL TOP

the monolithic bull (mentioned earlier). At top, climbing may be difficult. Take precaution. Once you reach the top, a magnificent view of sun rise along with temple ruins between the hills can be observed. From the top, a great view of ruins of Achutaraya temple can be seen. Once it is done, come back, have breakfast and hire a car or a bike to travel other places of Hampi. Bike is the most easy and cheap way of convenience. Bike here means basic Moped which will charge you Rs.250 for entire day. Fuel extra. 2 litres of petrol is enough to excavate Hampi. We took a Moped the next day. Gear and break alignment are completely opposite in compare to other bikes, I first started the bike and my friend Niloy sat on it. On starting, I couldn’t keep

MOPED

MOPED

balance and we both fell from the bike. Luckily no one got hurt except minor scratches. I thought it’s a problem with me. However, I have seen other people are struggling too in the beginning. After driving for sometime, you will get used to it. Visit Zenena Enclosure and Royal Enclosure with bike/car. These two enclosures are like two sectors, in which you will find many temple and temple ruins. These two enclosures are very closely situated. The distance of these enclosures from Hampi is around 5KM.On visiting these enclosures; you will cover almost entire Hampi. You can get to see King’s Balance, Two stoned Gateway, Underground Shiva Temple, Band Tower, Hazara Rama Temple, Elephant Stables, and many more. One the way back see Krishna temple. Don’t miss out on seeing Vittala Temple. There is a huge stone chariot inside which used to run long time back. At night, the temple ruins are lighted with halogens from outside. It gives a beautiful view. Only the temple ruin is standing among all darkness. To be honest, I got tired at the end of the day after seeing so many temples. But to be honest again, all the temples have fine sculpture which I can’t stop myself from admiring.

WATCH TOWER IN A FORT

WATCH TOWER IN A FORT

Come back and take bus at night from Hampi to reach Hospet. You can have dinner in Hospet or in Hampi. From Hospet, you can get bus to Bangalore and Mysore. Keep your tickets booked in advance. I got fever while coming back. After coming back to Hospet, bought few medicines for fever, soared throat and running nose. Took all the medicines together and lied down in AC sleeper coach. However, on boarding the bus, the conductor announced the AC is not working and they will refund the AC charges. We got worried, how to travel an entire night in a closed shell. But, they kept the blower on. Actually, we didn’t have to suffer for that. Later at night, I used blanket to sleep though there was no fever at that time. In the end, journey was comfortable. We had a nice time in Hampi. I thanked my friend Niloy for planning such a beautiful trip, as planning to come Hampi was completely his idea, I just joined. It is quite a unique place. I have been to so many places, but nothing like this. All temple ruins…so close to history…All the time we read in books about these,. Now here I got a chance to actually see it through my own eyes. Never miss an opportunity if you ever get an opportunity to visit Hampi…And at least stay for a night to cover entire Hampi. Hampi will never betray your expectations…

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JOG FALLS AND JUNGLE TREK AT MUPPANE NATURE CAMP


  • 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 IN JANUARY

    JOG FALLS IN JANUARY

    Shimoga District in the central part of the state of Karnataka, India. It lies on the banks of the Tunga River. The city is popularly called “The Gateway of Malnad“.

  • 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 MajDSC06674estic 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.
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JUNGLE GETTING OVER AT MUPPANE

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 DSC06641front. 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.

STAIRS TO REACH VARADAHALLI TEMPLE

STAIRS TO REACH VARADAHALLI TEMPLE

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

IKKERI TEMPLE

IKKERI TEMPLE

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

AT IKKERI TEMPLE

AT IKKERI TEMPLE

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…  

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