It’s the 18 of June, 2010, and a Friday evening: the end of a tough week, and the beginning of a much-sought-after weekend. Riding home from office, an idea strikes me. Why not take a short trip somewhere – some place far away from Bangalore. I shot off the idea with my friends, and they were more than willing. A half-an-hour’s debate later we decided to head for the Jog Falls. After much research and asking-around, we figured out that the best way to get to the Falls was via Shimoga.
Back home, a quick shower and hurried packing later, I set off to Majestic to catch a bus. At the Majestic (Kempegowda Bus Stand) Inter City bus stop, we procured round trip tickets for Shimoga. Since our bus was to depart only at 10:00pm, we went out to grab a quick bite before we boarded the bus. The bus, however, did not depart from the station until 11:00, which was an hour later than scheduled. As a result, we reached Shimoga at 5:00 the next morning.
Then began the hunt for a hotel. There were plenty of backpackers just like us, who had arrived on a whim and without reservations. By 7:00, though, we were had got rooms and had checked in too. After freshening up, it was time for breakfast, which comprised of oven-fresh idlis dunked in hot sambar, and steaming coffee. A handsome tip to the boy who waited our table got all the information we needed about local transportation, places to visit, etc.
We boarded the bus specified by the waiter from the exact location mentioned at 8:00 and were on our way to the Falls, which is around 110 kms from the main town of Shimoga. The bus halted at 9:30 for refreshments mid-way at Sagar, which is among the important towns in this region.
By the time we reached the Jog Falls, it was close to 11:30. It was an awful day to be visiting the falls, as it was raining and the fall was covered by dense fog. All we could do was hear the roaring sound of the fall. A little disappointed, we dubbed the event as a visit to the ‘joke falls’. Since there was not much else to do, we took the same bus back to Shimoga, promising all the way back that we would come back the next day.
After a late lunch at Shimoga, we headed for the Lion safari. The safari is 10 kms away from the town and takes about 15 minutes to reach. A small-scale safari, zoo, and park it was, and it was quite exciting to watch the animals in the semi-wild. Despite being in such a remote place, the zoo grounds are very well maintained. Once over, we caught a bus returning to the town and headed back to the hotel.
As promised, and not ones to give up, we headed for the Jog Falls again the next morning. Catching a bus at 9:00 we reached the Fall at 12:00pm – praying all the way for sunshine and clear weather. Our prayers were answered, and now we could see the waterfall clearly right before us. We wanted to go the base of the fall – which can be reached by a flight of stairs – however, the stairs were under renovation.
After taking in the view, we grabbed a quick lunch of egg-toasts and Maggi and took another return bus back to the town. Since the bus was late, we didn’t have much time to pack up, as our return bus was just two hours off. Either way, we managed fairly well and reached the bus station on time, caught our return bus at 10:00, and arrived promptly at 4:30 the next day at Bangalore, ready and rejuvenated to face another week.
Bit of info:
From Bangalore we headed towards Shimoga in KSRTC bus. From Shimoga we went to Jog Fall which is 110 km and local bus frequency is 20 min. Within Shimoga to visit is Tyarekoppa Lion Safari which is 10 km from Shimoga bus stand. There are 2 other places which can be visited. They are Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary which is 30 km and Tunga Anicut Dam which is 13 km.
Jog Fall is the highest waterfall in India which is 253 meters.
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