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Shivanasamudra an entwinement of enchanting droplets and flourishing cascade

Discussion in 'Travelogues' started by Debapriya Deb, May 23, 2015.

  1. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    What's the similarity between torrential rain and Bangalore traffic? Either of them has the ability to bring life to a standstill. It was one such Friday evening when both decided to mingle together. The end result? Well, your guess is as good as mine.

    At the wheel of my car with all windows shut amid incessant rain and constant honking, I was cursing my luck at the prospect of yet another weekend getting washed away. I had promised to take my better half for a drive over the weekend, but it was quite evident to me that it would go down as another promise that her beau could not accomplish.

    It was raining throughout that night. The morning, however, greeted us with a sunny smile. My 3.5 year old daughter was quick to remind me about our proposed plan. I, too, was itching to venture out and obliged gleefully. Wife had gone to the kitchen for arranging a quick breakfast, leaving me all alone to ponder over the possible destination.

    It had to be a day trip, as I had already planned for a concert the following day. "How about Shivanasamudra falls?" - I put forward my suggestion, with the reasoning that because of the overnight rainfall, it is expected to be in its majestic element. Her almighty ruled in favor of my argument and soon we three set off towards Shivanasamudra with our trusted companion - a blazing red Maruti Alto 800 .

    Clock was yet to strike 8 in the morning when we were through to Bangalore-Mysore highway via NICE bypass. The road was surprisingly deserted and it took us little more than an hour to pass Channapatna - a small suburban locality famous for wooden toys. Maddur, the place from where we were supposed to deviate from NH-209 on to a barely tarmaced road, was hardly 20 minutes drive.

    Before getting on with the reminder of the travelogues, let us take a look at some factual information about our destination - the Shivanasamudra Falls.

    Shivanasamudra - The Fact Sheet:
    • Destination - Shivanasamudra.
    • Attractions - Gaganachukki and Bharachukki Falls.
    • Originating River - Cauvery.
    • District - Mandya (Karnataka)
    • Distance From Bangalore - 135 KM.
    • Route Taken - Bangalore - NICE Road - Bidadi - Ramnagaram - Channapatna - Maddur - Malavalli - Shivanasamudra (135 KM).
    • Alternative Route - Bangalore - Kanakapura - Malavalli - Shivanasamudra (179 KM).
    In true sense, Shivanasamudra is a twin segmented waterfall. The Cauvery river bifurcates in to two segments and flows through the rocky ravines before dropping off over two different cliffs. The Eastern channel results in Bharachukki falls, while the Western branch, the bigger of the two, constitutes the Gaganachukki falls.

    Now It's Time for a Trivia:

    Did you know that Asia's first ever hydro-electric power project was set up in India? Yes, you heard it right. Gaganachukki holds the distinction for being Asia's first hydro-electric power, which was established in the year 1902. The plant is still functional.

    Let's now get back to the travelogue. We reached Maddur at 8:15 in the morning and took the left diversion towards Malavalli right after Maddur KSRTC bus stand. Karnataka tourism department has put up a direction board at the junction which lists down the nearby tourist attractions along with the distance. And they for sure deserve a pat on the back for providing the directions in English and Hindi alongside the state's official language, Kannada.

    The condition of the road was good at the beginning, but as we proceeded further, it started to deteriorate. At some places, there were hardly any tarmac on the road. We had to slow down but still I was able to move at the pace of 50 KM/H. We reached Malavalli town at around 8:35 and managed to cruise to the entrance of 'Shivanasamudra Hydro-Electric Project' in another 10 minutes. This stretch of road from Malavalli to Shivanasamudra is well maintained and it's a very scenic drive through the valley along a moderately hilly terrain with a number of turns and bends.

    We crossed a narrow bridge from which the road splits in to two directions. While the left sided road takes you to Gaganachukki, you should take the right one to reach Bharachukki falls. We decided to proceed towards Gaganachukki first and took the left sided road. The viewpoint at Gaganachukki is just a couple of kilometres from that point.

    There's ample parking space available right at the view point besides Karnataka Tourism Department's Guest House 'Mayura'. The view was breathtaking. White waters flowing down from the height of 98 metres created a misty appearance with its tiny droplets. Although it offers a majestic view, the falls can't be accessed from that place. It can, however, be accessed from Darga Hazrath Mardane Gaib, from where you need to climb down a rocky pathway to reach the river bed. It can be dangerous, though - especially during monsoons.

    After capturing a few moments from different angles at Gaganachukki viewpoint, we decided to proceed towards Bharachukki to take a dip in the inviting waters.

    The distance between Gaganachukki to Bharachukki is only a few kilometres. We had to cross the Cauvery river en-route. The bridge was in shambles though - with no railing on either of the sides. To make the matters worse, I noticed that it was trembling alarmingly as the vehicles passed by.

    By the time we reached Bharachukki parking lot, the clock had touched 11 o'clock mark. Although parking was free at Gaganachukki, we had to pay INR 30 to enter Bharachukki - which is maintained by the Forest Department.

    Bharachukki was equally impressive, if not better. Moreover, the possibility to climb down to the river bed and either take a coracle (a round shaped boat made of bamboo) ride or a dip in the crystal-esque water, is a temptation that can't be resisted. We climbed down the 150 odd stairs to reach the foot of the falls.
    Due to overnight rainfall, Bharachukki was at its full glory. However, that was also the reason behind our decision against going for a coracle ride as the water appeared to have strong current. Nevertheless, it was mesmerizing to lie down on the submerged rocks and cherish the beauty of nature as the water kept swirling along.

    Finally, it was the time to bid adieu to this splendid creation of nature. We had lachcha paratha with Rahu fish fry in a road-side eatery before setting off for the return journey.

    As soon as we began our descend, it started to drizzle a bit. Soon the sky opened up and it was pouring heavily. The visibility was quite low and I had to drive with utmost care. It slowed us down a lot and reminded me of the previous evening. This time, though, I wasn't complaining. 'Yeh sham mastani' in Kishore-da's romantic voice coupled with my ladies' ecstatic moods proved to be the perfect foil for making it an unforgettable trip.

    Places of Interest Around Shivanasamudra:

    1. Somnathpur (55 KM) - ChennaKesava Temple made of stone sculpture, a marvel of Hoysala architecture.

    2. Talakad (45 KM) - Temples (from the 12th Century) buried in sand, few excavated successfully.

    3. Ranganathittu (89 KM) - A bird sanctuary built on tiny isles situated on and at the banks of Cauvery river. Migratory birds and crocodiles are the major attractions.

    Precautions and Tips:

    The place is inhibited by monkeys. Especially the kids are their soft targets, so keep a close watch. Also be careful if you are carrying food items.

    Pieces of broken glasses are not a rarity on the river bed. So be careful if you are removing your footwear.

    The stretch from Maddur till Shivanasamudra is not in a good shape. It's highly recommended that you carry a spare tyre.

    Where to Eat?

    The place has no decent eatery. Couple of roadside shops are available, but if hygiene is important to you, then it's better to bring packed lunch boxes.

    Where to Stay?

    Shivanasamudra is better covered as a day trip from Bangalore/Mysore. However, if you are keen on staying there overnight, then the only option is Mayura Guest House operated by Karnataka State Tourism Department (KSTDC). It's located next to Gaganachukki viewpoint.

    Finally, the Trip Logs:

    Trip Duration - 1 Day Trip.
    Travel Date - 16th May, 2015.
    Trip Meter Reading - 292 KM Total (Bangalore - Shivanasamudra - Bangalore).
    Fuel Consumed - 14 Lts (approx).
    Travel Duration - 2 Hrs 25 Mins (Bangalore to Shivanasamudra; 3 Hrs 40 Mins (Shivanasamudra to Bangalore).

    Last edited: May 23, 2015
    DhongiBaba, Chahal, BadBoy and 2 others like this.

  2. Gori Bride

    Gori Bride Member

    Nicely written. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures. Will visit this place when I get a chance to visit Bangalore next time. I have been waiting for my husband to get some time off from work so hopefully soon :)
    Chahal likes this.

  3. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    Thanks. I am sure, you won't be disappointed. Just ensure that you are planning the trip between May-October.

    Chahal and Gori Bride like this.
  4. BadBoy

    BadBoy Active Member

    Extremely well written!! nice pics!:)
    probably the best travelouge on the forum ;)
    Debapriya Deb, Chahal and Gori Bride like this.
  5. JaiPatra

    JaiPatra New Member

    Beautifully written and superb pictures. You are lucky to be living near such beautiful natural surroundings.
  6. Chahal

    Chahal ਜੱਟ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਕੀ Staff Member

    This thread has received 6165 Facebook likes so far. That is a lot of people who have hit like for this post I shared on facebook. You can see the number of likes at the bottom of the page under the heading "Share This Page"
    BadBoy and Debapriya Deb like this.
  7. BadBoy

    BadBoy Active Member

    the cover photo of the page looks great...thanks to GoriBride for such a great picture of tigers.
  8. MonikaGulati

    MonikaGulati New Member

    Such a beautiful waterfall, this is in Karnataka isn't it?
  9. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    Yes, Shivanasamudra is in Karnataka. It can easily be covered as a day-trip from either Mysore or Bangalore.
  10. DhongiBaba

    DhongiBaba Active Member

    You have a very good flair for writing. I wish I could write that well. Very well written and beautiful pictures. +1 to you :)
  11. Akshay

    Akshay Member

    Are there no other options for accommodation apart from the guest house run by the KSTDC?

    Generally where there is a government run accommodation there others as well, which is why I am asking.

    What is the KSTDC accommodation like, my experience with government run hotels has not been good?
  12. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    There's no other accommodation option besides this KSDTC operated hotel. I have covered this place as a day trip from Bangalore, so no idea on the quality of accommodation or the tariffs offered by them. I would highly recommend staying in either Bangalore or Mysore to access this place.

    As a second thought, hotels located in and around Ramnagaram (and Mandya) would be another feasible alternative.