The effects travel has on the soul are not unknown. Living in the hustle and bustle of the city, burning the candle at both the ends, not just gets our bodies exhausted but also our spirits. A break is very important for the upliftment of the energy, but more important is the planning of a travel with the family makes the bonds stronger. I along with my friend decided to take my parents on a one day trip. I was looking for places near Bangalore which would not require too much of a journey. So, I shortlisted a few places and finally decided “Shivanasamudra Waterfalls” which is approximately at a distance of 135 kilometers from Bangalore with a 3 hours drive without any breaks.
On the way to Shivanasamudra
We booked a cab for the day and left at around 7 in the morning. We took the NICE road, driving from Electronic City via Mandya and finally reaching Shivanasamudra. On the way to Shivanasamudra, we halted at a place called Ramnagara for breakfast. Ramnagara is situated 50 kilometers from Bangalore. It is the fictional place, Ramgad where the shooting for Sholay took place. We had our breakfast at a restaurant with the same name, Ramgad. I inquired whether the location had been turned into a tourist spot. He told me, it wasn’t but people do come regularly to visit as it serves a great place for hiking, photography and trekking. To reach the hill which served as Gabbarsingh’s abode, one has to reach Ramnagara and take an auto. People who are interested in taking a look at this place, and have time to spare can halt and spend some time here. But since we are not great movie enthusiasts, we decided to move on.
Shivanasamudra, is a small town situated in the banks of Kaveri river in the district Mandya, in the state of Karnataka. Shivanasamudra also happens to house one of the first hydro-electric power stations in Asia. One can visit this place too but since we had limited time, we chose not to drop by. We headed towards the water-falls. One can already witness the beauty and serenity of Kaveri River as they enter Shivanasamudra. The Shivanasamudra falls are a set of twin water-falls, Gaganachukki and Bharachukki. Bharachukki waterfalls are located in Kollegal in the district of Chamarajnagar. The scenic beauty of Bharachukki is captivating. Since we did not visit during monsoons, the flow was not very rapid and hence we were allowed to take the boat ride which took us exactly beneath the waterfalls. To reach the base point we had to walk down a flight of stairs. Visitors were also allowed take a few dips in the water but it is not advisable to go too further as it can be dangerous. Small cane boats which can accommodate up to 6 people were used for taking visitors under the waterfalls. Though I was unsure at first but later after getting into the boat, I felt very comfortable. It was a ride of almost 15 minutes and one of the most memorable and thrilling boat rides of my life. One ride cost us 100Rs each but was completely worth it. Taking the stairs flight back to the entrance was a huge task for us. I was extremely tired and de-hydrated by the time I reached back. I would advice; people who do not have the habit of regular exercising should take short breaks on the way back, or would be extremely difficult.
Boat ride under the Falls
A Perfect Picturesque
At the entrance of Gaganachukki
Shivanasamudra is named after the Hindu God, Shiva. It literally means Shiva’s sea because of the great volume of water. Shivanasamudra was originally known as Heggur. It is said that Shivanasamudra got its name when Lord Shiva saw the River Kaveri’s magnificence and named it “Dhanya Kaveri” meaning blessed Kaveri. Goddess Parvarthi, on seeing how the river amazed Shiva, gave it the same “Shivanasamudra”. This place also holds a great importance in the history of South India, dating back to the Hoysalas, the Vijayanagara Kings and the Palegars. It is said that after Nandiraja became the ruler of the Palegars, his queen and himself were convicted of ceremonial offense. They were told by the priests that if they voluntarily embraced death, they could escape hell. Hence, to commit suicide, he along with his wife jumped off the the Gaganachukki Falls. The two daughters of the King were given to two poor commoners in marriage and they acquired their wealth. Due to which they were not happy and insulted their husbands that the wealth they acquired is their father’s. Unable to stand the insults, they invaded Shivanasamudra. Gangaraja-II defeated them and killed the men and women but died in the battle. This made the people of Shivanasamudra quite furious and they raged against them. To escape the people’s rage and death at their hands, they took their wives to Gaganachukki Falls and pushed them and later they jumped off the cliff, thus ending their dynasty. Taking advantage of this chaotic situation Jagadevaraya of Channapattana and Srirangaraya of Talakad, looted away the place. According to the local folk tales, it is said that the sounds of the horses can still be heard sometimes at Gaganachukki Falls.
The other place that can be visited is Talakad, which is approximately 30 kilometers from Shivanasamudra. This place has many temples and is of great historical importance. We were already running out of time since we were supposed to return back the same day. Hence we visited the Kaveri River, took a few dips in the river and also took the boat ride yet again which was very soothing and calm. The boat rows deep into the waters and the calm and serenity it gives is refreshing for the soul. Then it was time for returning back.
We paid Rs 3000 for the cab which I felt was quite reasonable. We had packed our lunch from home and so we were able to save a bit. I felt the trip was very economical. Most importantly, my family enjoyed the trip and that was all I wanted. Travelling back in time and away from the city into the picturesque, was an experience I would treasure forever. I was very happy at the end of the day.
On the way to Talakad
On the basins of Kaveri