Monday 17 September 2018

Jog Falls and the scenic routes on the way

When some plans get cancelled at 4.30am others are made at 5.30am. That is how our trip to Jog falls happened last weekend. Our friend couldn't come with us on a planned drive to Jog falls because his daughter was not keeping well. Poor girl, she was the most excited about this trip to a waterfall. Once we cancelled the trip at 4.30am the immediate was to cancel the accommodation and get back to sleep. But the wanderer partner of mine, wouldn't sleep and started thinking about plan-Bs. Thus Revv automatic Celerio was booked at 5.30am and was delivered at 7.30 -an hour earlier than promised. From the previous experience, it was too much to assume Revv will not do on-time delivery.

Pedalling really hard back home from weekend ride, we were cruising through NICE road to Tumkur road (NH48) by 8am. The route was Ecity – NICE Road – Dabasbet – Tumkur – Tiptur – Arasikere - Kadur – Birur - Tarikere – Bhadravati – Shivamogga – Ripponpet - Hosanagara – Nagara deviate right towards Nittur– Nittur – Siganduru road – (right at Sasigolli to proceed to Huruli ) 443 km. Click here for Gmaps

After Shimoga the traffic was smooth and tarmac was really nice. Ganesha troops made us stop at every 10km and delayed our ETA at least by an hour. It was sure that we will be missing the last launch at 5.30pm to cross Linganamakki dam. So we detoured via Hosanagar-Nagara-Nittur towards Byakodu. Many more Ganesha troops to come! Finally we reached Huruli by 8pm.

The early morning walk around Huruli was breathtaking. The green paddy fields bordered by the mountains, I was spellbound watching the overflowing river and the fog above that. The lush green grassy lands after the heavy monsoons was mesmerizing. Later we visited the cattle shed to see the newest member of the group - a tiny calf born a few days ago. Then it was time for a delicious finger licking breakfast of dosa and freshly made butter with liquid jaggery. Sunay fished out a chess board and pieces, almost 40yrs old, somewhere from the attic of this century old house.

There are two ways to get to Jog Falls from here. One going to Sagara then through Talaguppa to Jog Falls (click here for Gmaps). Other is more scenic with good views and winding roads, which goes through Kogar, Muppane and then to Jog (click here for Gmaps). We chose the second option.

Though there was not much water in the falls, it was a gratifying experience hiking all the way to the bottom of the falls. It is not the same as it used to be, with all the fencing around for safety. It used to be a good hike - no staircase with handrails - but now it is a walk through 1000 odd steps. A visit to Jog Falls is not complete without hiking down and watching the mighty Falls from down below. This makes it look more gigantic. Megha had stories to tell about the time when she stayed at Jog with one of her cousin. Also, how it used to be a mandatory visit (and hike) to the Jog Falls and Kodachadri every time she would go from Bangalore to Huruli.

When we reached Jog Falls parking lot, maybe due to the excitement of seeing the falls, I had forgotten to switch off the parking lights of Celerio. Mea Culpa!Being really exhausted from the hike , I tried to start the car in a hurry and the it won't crank. The rental car Celerio with an automatic gearbox, we can't push and start in 2nd gear. So we called up Revv customer care. They arranged a call back from Bangalore. Later, I got another number to call to reach the Road Side Assistance. Help was offered and frequent updates were given by SMS and calls.

We had our lunch and were watching the rainbow overcast waterfalls, whilst waiting for help from RSA to jump-start the car. At around 4pm, I told Megha to try her golden hands to switch on the engine. Maybe because of her golden hands or the warmth of the Sun, engine started!! Our way back was through Talaguppa – Sagara and then to Shimoga. Stopping at Tarikere for dinner we deviated from here to come through Hosadurga and join the NH at Hiriyur (click here for Gmaps). The tarmac on this route is fantastic except for a few bad stretches, way better than the other Arsikere-Birur route. Occasional spells of rain and heavy traffic on NH48 made it more difficult to drive. We were home by 2.30AM.

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