I am someone who loves to plan. I get excited with the sheer thought of my pen and book, noting down my plans in detail. Which makes me the person who do not get excited nor comfortable with impromptu plans or makeshift solutions.
So to push myself, I decided to get out of my comfort zone this long weekend. I planned driving down to Shimoga, a place located right in the middle of Karnataka, India. Everything was pretty much last minute. I figured out a place to stay by Friday evening and I chose two places to visit during the two days I was there.
Day 01. I started early morning and I reached my hotel around 11:00 AM and checked in. Since it was all last minute, the only option I was left with was a veggie place but the rooms were very much up to standards and most importantly clean and safe! I personally loved the receptionist there who was more than willing to help me with the details I needed to know.
If you’re driving down, you will notice a burst of vibrant greenery with scenic views on either side as you get closer to this place. The drive is beautiful with mother nature standing tall and pretty!
This place has a lot of historical importance and archeological sites that add on to the beauty of this place. If you have time, you should definitely spend some time to figure out where all you want to go.
I freshened up and stepped out to grab lunch and later head straight to my first destination.
825m above sea level, Agumbe is one of the peak points in the Western Ghats. Getting here is a bit hard with steep roads and sharp curves with very little civilization on the way! This is one among the famous places for watching the sunset in India. This place is also known as the Chirapunji of the south, and if you’ve been to Chirapunji, you wouldn’t argue 🙂
Seeing the world from up there is simply breathtaking. It gets misty most of the time, blurring your sunset viewing, but the reflection of the setting sun over the lake is a sight on its own!
I started back quite late and by the time I reached back, it was time for dinner. So I packed some dinner and refreshments and headed straight to my room. I wanted to get an early start the next day to my second destination.
Day 02. The river Sharavathi takes a glorious leap from a height of 235m. That’s Jog falls, the second highest waterfall of India, for you. This guy can be pretty intimidating. The river has four cascades Raja, Rani, Rover and Rocket which merge to form the huge waterfall.
Best time to visit Jog falls is during the monsoon season when the falls will be worthy of its name, unlike my experience this time. But since I knew what to expect, I wasn’t disappointed.
You can hike down to the base of the falls but, you cannot take a plunge in the water. It has been closed with fences and there are security guards present throughout.
You have to mentally prepare yourself if you are going to hike all the way down. It is 1398 odd steps and they can get really steep. I did count while climbing up so it’s possible I would’ve missed my counts here and there 🙂
As you climb down diligently, it gets tougher, but not less enjoyable. When your heart is pleading you to stop, your curiosity makes you want to see what’s out there.
The first mistake you do while hiking, is having things in your hand. Leave all your belongings back in your vehicle. Carry a bottle of water and camera. Avoid wearing heavy clothes like jeans and anything black is best avoided.
Once you’re down there you will reilish the sight – the gorgeous view of giant showers bouncing off the rocks and reaching down as vaporous spray, with cold wind smacking your face.! A sense of achievement dawns on you and it all suddenly seems worth it! You will be ecstatic in many ways 🙂
Climbing back up is a pain and can be very scary. So, assuming 1400 steps, you could take 100 steps at a time giving you 14 breaks or 140 steps, giving you 10 breaks; whichever fits well with your body stamina. There are pit stops in between where you can buy yourself water, glucose some fruits like cucumber and pineapple, and a few refreshments. I had water with me, but I did stop for a glass of lemon juice with cardamom in it which was truly a life saver. Having that when you’re all drained out, you can really feel how fast it works on your body giving you the boost you really need!
By the time I reached back on top, I was covered in sweat and hungry like hell. There are washrooms available for those who wants to freshen up after the trek. They are quite clean and you have to pay a nominal amount to use the facility. There is also a decent restaurant right there, nothing posh, but good in terms of food and cleanliness.
After I freshened up and grabbed lunch, I started back. The weather on my way back got really bad which slowed my travel like crazy. I got home pretty late, but I was thrilled to be back on my bed and thankful to be safe after that blinding drive against thick sheets of rain. Tired and worn out, I slept off within minutes!
My quick getaway was quick indeed. Next week I have another travel planned, this time not an impromptu one! I just hope the weather doesn’t go all ruthless again!