Jog Falls, Worlds 7th largest


I was helping Som, to reach Bengaluru early from his scheduled Mangalore trip and ended up having a new itinerary and I also joined the trip. Plan was to visit Jog Falls via Shimoga and then visit Murdeshwar via Sharavathy valley and then take a train to Udupi along green route on Konkan railway. It was ambitious, packed and I was keeping my fingers crossed.

Trip started on a disastrous note. It was raining cats and dogs on Thursday night and there huge were traffic jams everywhere. Ended up walking 3-4 kilo meters to the railway station and thankfully train was delayed and we reached just in time. Wonder how many missed train,bus.. What about people planning to travel with kids? How many would venture to travel out after this kind of experience. There are hardly any sign of improvement in the condition of infrastructure in Bangalore.

We had booked First Class AC as that was the only available category. This was the first time I travelled in 1AC. Seat/Bed/Berth was certainly more comfortable and surprisingly there is socket for charging laptop with 110V and US type socket. Also there is a rest room status indicator in every cabin. Cabin can contain 2 or 4 berths. After the long run I did not feel the cold but was hungry at midnight along with body pain. The train does not have pantry car. Reached Shimoga at 6:20 AM with a cloudy weather. Car we had booked was waiting for us.
Elephants at the entrance of Aghoreshwara Temple, From Jog Falls

We had a packed schedule and there was only one our to get ready and have breakfast. Coloured hot water came out of taps for taking bath. I convinced Som that the colour was due to the fact that locals treated the water with herbs to make it soft and usable. He realized I was joking only when he was explaining it to Santosh and I told him the truth, which was well after the trip. We got into the car at 8:15 AM to see Jog falls. We quickly paid a visit to Aghoreshvara temple and then rushed to Jog falls, worried that heavy rains can potentially spoil the fun of watching falls. All along the road we were greeted with green cover on both the sides and cool climate. To add some difference to the ambience every now then there were breif drizzles and children marching on with the flags celebrating independence day. Looking at those children we got nostalgic and regurgitated memories of independence day celebration we were part of as kids!

On the way we went past the now closed railway tracks of only "Rail bus" in the world. It had only two carriages and one would buy ticket once you got into the train. There used to be a conductor moving around issuing tickets on the way! Amidst all the talking we reached mist covered Jog Falls. There were hundreds waiting for the mist to clear up as falls played hide and seek behind. Little a bit of waiting and we got glimpse for few minutes with people cheering around and hordes of photographers who were waiting for this minute so that they can have somebody to take an instant photograph with falls on the backdrop. It was precious business time for them.
Raja, Roarer, Rocket, Rani From Jog Falls

After having some hot Maggi Noodles at a small shack in tourists complex, we visited other view point below travellers bungalow. One can go really close to the mouth of Raja, one of the 4 falls from here. After some diligent walking we reached the mouth and took some good photographs.

From here the next stop was Murdeshwar through Sharavathy valley. Its a treat to drive through this valley. Even at 2:00 PM it was covered with mist. Atmosphere was cold but not chilling. There are numerous baby falls, view points and zeals on the way with forest on both sides of the road. Traffic is low and as it is ghat section one can slowly move, looking at the surroundings.
Fog covered Sharavathy Valley From Jog Falls
Murdeshwar Beach From Jog Falls

We had our lunch at Honnavar and reached Murdeshwar around 4:00 PM as planned. We spent some time at park with Shiva statues with cool breeze passing by. Visited the temple and then went to the beach and touched the chilling water! It was so good, long time since I went to a beach during monsoon.

There were already people thinking of settling down there, but for we had a train to catch at 6:30 PM. Reached Udupi around 9:00 PM by Madgaon Passenger of Konkan Railway which is one of the beutiful routes to travel on. That was end of the trip for me, but for Som&Jayeeta there were more places to be covered before they started to bangalore on Sunday afternoon from Mangalore.

How to reach

We took Shimoga express which leaves bangalore at 11:40 PM and reaches Shimoga Town at 6:00 AM in morning next day. Note that there are two stations Shimog town and Shimoga, later is a deserted station with hardly any amenities. Make sure you get down at Shimoga town station which is well connected and easily one can get Auto or a Taxi. There will also be Buses to Sagar from here and one can catch a bus to Jog from Sagar. We had booked a car which took us around and dropped at Murdeshwar via Honnavar on NH 206. From Honnavar one can travel north and go to Gokarna, Karwar, Goa etc.

Where to stay

Sagar is ideal place to stay but as there are really few hotes it is very tough to get accomodation during monsoon. Check out the link to notes for phone numbers. We stayed at Mathura residency in Shimoga just enough amenieties to freshen up and have breakfast.

What to see

  1. Tyavarekoppa lion safari - A few kilometers from Shimoga on the way to Jog falls.
  2. Ikkeri - 4 kms from Sagar has Aghoreshwara Temple built 500 years back with carvings on the outerwalls. Supposed to built in Vijayanagara Style architecture built by Keladi Nayakas Though I saw royal emblem of Hoysala among temple carvings style distinct from other Hoysala Temples. The main diety of Shiva with 32 hands was 300 hundred years back and is placed outside the temple. The existing "Shivalingam" along with "Nandi" was installed 200 years back. Preist told that In India one can rarely see a temple platform so high from the ground. There is small Akhilandeshwari temple is next to this temple.
  3. Keladi - Though we could not visit due to lack of time and bad raods, its worth visiting if you want to see some more ornately built temple. Its 25 km away from Sagar.
  4. Singdhur Choudeshwari temple - Around 10-15 km from Sagar and Situated on a island fully covered with forest. Supposed to have very scenic view and one has to catch a ferry to reach the temple. Our driver emphasized about the ferry ride than the temple. We could not visit this place.
  5. Jog Falls - Has 2 main view points. From the first one can see all the four falls Raja, Roarer , Rocket and Rani. One can also trek down and see the falls from bottom, but not during the monsoon as it is not allowed. Other view point is below the travellers bunglow and if the water is low one can up till the mouth of Raja and also hear roaring sound made by Roarer. Side view of othere 2 falls is also very good from this view point.
  6. Sharavathy Valley - NH 206 passes through the valley and there numerous small falls and zeals on the way. There are also couple of elavated view points watch the valley.
  7. Murdeshwar - is on the beach with Shiva Temple and statue park.


Visited Yercaud on 19th and 20th of July. After the Yelagiri experience I had convinced myself to not to set too high expectations. Especially considering that we were visiting during off-season. But did not repent on Som's choice. Yercaud situated on Shevroy hills close to Salem is approximately 1500 ft above sea level. We started by 7:00 AM and managed to reach around 12:30 PM despite taking multiple breaks.
We could not manage a home stay as we always do. But after checking out couple of options and nice south Indian meal settled for recently opened small lodging place.

From Yercaud

After small nap moved to see Botanical Garden maintained by Botanical Survey of India. To our disappointment it was closed on all Saturday and Sunday. I had read that it is closed on Sunday and we wanted to check this out first so that we wont miss it. I was very eager to see insect eating plants. It also boasts a third largest orachidarium in India. Next we visited Pagoda Point, Ladies Seat, Gents Seat. Best part was the hot Bajjis available almost all the places. Bajjis with onion rings spread on them and masala powder sprinkled tasted awesome with instant chutney made out of curry powder and oil. That was the best part of this trip! We had Chilli Bajji( Shimla Mirch or Muluga in the local lingo) and banana bajji(made out of raw bananas). Every point is accessible from the centrer, big lake.

From Yercaud

We spent the evening discussing about the upcoming confidence vote and things to do next day. Had a nice dinner at Star Holidays full of Dosa and Parotha. Looked like we were the first ones to get up early based on the vehicles outside our lodging place. First we visited the Kiliyur falls. The road is narrow and there is a watching point after 3 km travel. There was a small well laid road next to the watching point there was also a small sign indicating no vehicles on that road. But that looked as if vandals had put that sign. We ignored that sign and took that road only to repent later on. The road was narrow, has sharp turns and at point really long slope. We had to struggle to come up that slope. There was very little room at the end of the slope to take a U turn. From the place we parked the vehicle it was around km trek to the falls. It was not worth the anxiety we had gone through thinking about going back. May be we had parked the vehicle at watch point we would have enjoyed falls better.

Next stop was Rose garden it was a treat and I managed few of my best macro photographs. Then we went for a boating ride, dont know why they charge 10 bucks for the camera during boat ride. Had some more Bajjis and skipped the dear park, Anna park, aqurium rtc. It was time to start to go back home.

From Yercaud

For information on How to get there and Things to see check out "Yercaud on"

Things to Do :

  • Take a boat ride on the lake. One has the option to choose peddle or row boat. Make sure you have the energy peddle for 1/2 an hour before you take one.
  • To reach Killiyur falls one has to trek around 1 km in uneasy terrains.
  • In the morning go birding at Rose garden. Its larger than expected and saw many birds and herd chirping of the birds.
  • 52 weekend gateways by Outlook suggests going for night walk to ladies and watching mettur dam from the telescope available there. Avaialability of telescope might be based on your luck !

Stay and Food:
There lot of options for stay and food for every budget. We ate south Indian food. But there are a number of multi cuisine restaurants. For a simple south indian meal go to Star Holiday. Lake forest has European options.



Wanted to blog about the trip for a long time... Never managed to do so and its almost 6 months now. It was another event full trip with the duo Prem and Som .. Visited Muthunga, Soochipara falls, Edakkal caves and Kuruva islands
High points -
  • Managed to get home stay quite close to the Muthunga wild life sanctuary. As the cottages were booked or ventured to stay in tree house. It was an experience. Rest room was on the ground and bed room on the tree and bucket and a pulley to take our paraphernalia to the top.

    It took nearly an hour and lot of adjustments to take this snap without flash in the moon light.

  • Food at the home stay was simple and tasty. Taught the cook how to make pea-nut masala
  • We enjoyed the drive to Soochipara falls on winding roads through scenic Harrison tea estate, though we were getting restless due to the ever changing directions given by locals.
    From Wayanad

  • Thankfully the security guy at the Edkkal caves explained the stone carvings/painitings or whatever you call. Who is the king, queen etc.
  • Kuruva island is great place for birding - prize sighting was the racket tailed drongo. Others bird watchers had found 3-4 Black Baza. Its serene, calm and not that commercialized.
Low points
  • Biggest disappointment was the wildlife safari. We had asked Jeep guy to come at 6:00 clock to take us to the sanctuary. By the time he arrived it was 7:00 and by the time we went inside it was already 7:30 and every one had gone to their hidings. We did not even sight one Cheetal. Only wildlife we could see was Adjoint Stork and elephant from far away.
  • Getting directions turned out be very difficult due to language barriers. Even when we managed to convey we got different answers from every individual answered. Adding to the confusion were the milestones side by side showing different distances! At some stretch there were 3 sets of milestones with its own distance. I guess its real democracy out there. 1 meter might be 100 cm for some and 90 cm for other.
  • We could not visit the Chembra peak which is supposed to give very scenic view.
Here is the link to the notes I collected before the trip about Wayanad


Leaving Las Vegas


I was very eager go to west coast. I started off around 2:15 pm and by 4:00 pm had finished the security check in. But around 5:00 pm I came to know that due to thunderstorm at New York the planes are delayed by 3 hour. But then I had a connecting flight from New York. So I was put on a flight to Oakland which was supposed to leave at 11:00 pm. That was first time my flight was getting delayed for so long and was in for a experience of “The Terminal”. I was anxious and worried what will happen to the flight we had the next day to Irvine. I had to spend 6 hours alone and thankfully the terminal had points for charging the laptop and was happy to use laptop though not connected to the net.

At around 10:00 pm they Jet Blue guys started serving snacks at the boarding point and 15 minutes later they announced the New York flight is canceled. Butterflies started fluttering in my stomach. I called up Nikhil to find out the alternatives I had in case the flight got canceled. I came to know that the planes do not take off after 12:00 pm in US airports. When the boarding started at 12:00 am I was relieved. I reached Oakland around 3:30 AM and Nikhil and Mun Mun were just in time to pick me.This was my first real "flight delay". Never before I have waited for so long and so much of anxiety.

We reached San Jose around 4:00 and then I had my dinner which included delicious samosas and baingan ka bartha. Dinner and talk lasted till 6:30 am and we took a “power nap” of 3-31/2 hours before we started packing for our trip to Vegas. When we reached San Jose air port we came to know that the flight was delayed by 1 hour. This time I was happy at the delay and I and Nikhil happily utilized the time to quench our thirst with drink and satisfy the appetite with some Pizza. I was surprised that they were serving chilli flakes along with pizza which was not the case in east coast pizzerias. It was a short flight to Orange County. When we took the bags and came out Shetty was ready in his recently bought BMW to pick us. We went to his home to pick his stuff and some CDs and without wasting much time we were on the road to Vegas!

Mojave Desert

Our first pit stop was buying essentials for the trip then we we took another break to have some delicious Mexican food in the desert. It was pleasant drive to Vegas across the Mojave desert. At some places the speed limit was 80 mph and with the allowed tolerance of another 10 mph we were flying on the highway. As the sun started to sink the sky was sprayed orange and blue. With the occasional tall electric poles it on the mountain peaks it was getting scenic by the moment. I guess Nikhil managed a "Power" nap in between while I was trying to take some snaps from inside the car moving at 90-100 mph. At around 8:00 pm we went past first of the casino cities. Around 9:30 pm we had checked into MGM Grand. I was amazed by the look of the casino. After relaxing for really short time we were out on the the Vegas streets.

On the card was to watch all the shows put up the different casinos. First was to musical fountain in a lake in front of Bellagio. I captured the my best video ever of the swinging fountains to the tune of "Heart will go on..." by Celine Dion. The next was the simulated volcano at the Cesar's palace. Though we wanted to go to Wyn which was the latest kid on the block the time was close to 12:00 midnight we returned in search of a casino where the rookies like us can play on the table.

We settled down at Hooters for the dinner and there after gambling . To start with I lost some quick money at the slot machines. Then looking at the success of Nikhil at roulette table, I decided to try my luck. As it turned out be that was certainly not favorable as I lost some money after playing for more than an hour the fun was worth the money lost. After a while NP and VS moved to the Black Jack table as I did not know the ABC of this game remained as a spectator for some time. Then I found Black Jack on the terminals which gave me the opportunity to try the tricks learned so far. I got deeply engrossed and when VS and NP came searching for me it was already 6'o clock in the morning. It was time to go to bed. But now I was addicted to "Black Jack". Later on this became the most frequently played game on Fedora)

Cesar's Palace, From Las Vegas

We got up around noon and hurriedly got ready to visit the Hoover dam which is one of the symbols of American determination. Though I had visited many dams earlier it was nothing more than mere staring at the big turbines and some thrill of hearing the gushing waters. But this visit turned out be impressive with the guided tour which included a documentary show and an enthusiastic young lady explaining history and working of the dam. There was also a museum which brought alive the conditions when the dam was under construction. On the way back we were thinking of a helicopter ride, but did not venture as it was getting dark.

Back in Vegas we purchased tickets for the Zumanity show by Cirque de Solil and spent some time at New York New York, eating and gambling. Zumanity show was stunning and sensual display of acrobatics. We watched without closing eye lids. When we came out it was close to midnight and time for some grub then again to gamble! By this time I had brought a card explaining how to play Black Jack which certainly helped to learn the tricks of the trade :)

Next day morning we roamed around watching all the architecture. Treat of the day was the view of Vegas from Effiel Tower replica at Paris Paris. VS managed to win everything lost in two with a stroke of luck at slot machine. Our memorable trip of Vegas was coming to an end. When NP was repeatedly asking me to have a nice vacation I had not thought it would be this great! Thanks NP and VS for such good begining to the vacation at west coast.