Once upon a time there lived four bosom friends, by the rocky edges of a green mountainside. Oh! I should have said there live four bosom buddies since ages. In abundance and in scarcity they go side by side. They even go fat and lean in togetherness. They are Raja, Roarer, Rocket and Rani. My story revolves around these four characters.
Raja, as the name suggests, is magnificent. He has a strong character and remains unbroken like a tall thick pillar. Roarer, the noisiest of all is a short guy as compared to others. While Rocket loves to maintain his high shooting speed. On the other hand, Rani the gentle one quietly follows her other friends.
Confused about these four buddies? 🙂 I am talking of the four streams of the famous Jog Falls. Also known as the Gerusoppa Falls or the Joga Falls. With the monsoon approaching its end and almost every corner of India receiving plentiful of rain this year, Jog was my first preference for a weekend trip.
I planned my trip after checking the weather forecast in the region. It showed cloudy days with occasional showers. There was something else in store for us. On reaching Shivamogga early morning, we could not catch any hint of the weather. It was still dark. We boarded the Airavat, the KSRTC bus that was waiting on its platform in the bus terminus to load passengers to Sagara.
I luckily managed the seat in the front row just behind the drivers. This provided an awesome view of the winding roads. The fluorescent strips attached on the roads and the stem of the trees on either side of the roads glowed like glow worm guiding our path. The leaning branches provided the perfect canopy covering this glittery underpass.
The crowd free small bus terminus of Sagara was a peaceful stop after the night long travel. With the breaking of dawn, the daily chores of a bus terminus began. The adjacent cafeteria opened up for cleaning before it can welcome the passengers for refreshment. While on the other side the express train stranded on the platform of this small station, whistled to move off after its halting time was over.
A strong refreshing tea from the cafeteria gave the morning kick. We boarded our bus to Jog Falls. The sky was loaded with clouds, the temperature was mild with cool winds blowing over. It seemed the day would remain the same. As the bus took off through the village roads we could see the beauty of the surrounding in broad daylight.
Vast stretches of paddy fields, various trees and in between small localities. The village bus stops were far off from one another. So the bus rushed from one stop to the other. It was an enjoyable ride through this idyllic roads, twisting and turning, moving up and down. Like a joy ride in some fun park without the sophistication of any man made landscapes.
With the ascend the sky seemed condensed with thick low clouds. No sooner the rains arrived. The mist gradually took over the vistas. We moved on through the narrow serpentine within the forest and hills and finally, our destination was there. The Jog Falls Bus stop. To cover ourselves from the rain we jumped into the bus stop. The fog and mist followed us and in a moment covered the surrounding roads and the hills.
This year the Rain God was overly pleased with me. I found it accompanying me on almost every trip, this monsoon. As we moved for our stay at Sharavathi Adventure Camp the cloud hurried to empty its stock. Heavy showers with a strong gust of winds welcomed us here. Our stay by the Talakalale Reservoir was in itself a destination. I shall share about my stay in a separate post.
After the day long rainfall, the clouds rested for a couple of hours next morning. This was a good time to meet the four friends. We were taken to the circuit house located within the serene surrounding of the lush hills. The road to this place was truly amazing. Every twist and turn amazed us even more.
And finally, we got the first glance of the famous four. Although from this view point they did not seem to be close to each other. The thick, strong and white column-like Raja takes a deep unbroken plunge of 830 ft. The Roarer falls rushes half way down from a hill on the other side. Then the Rocket shoots like a jet getting branched into multiple narrow fast streams. While the last but not the least Rani flows gently into the silky smooth foam.
There was an iron railing to prevent visitors to move beyond a certain point near the deep gorge. While some enthusiastic travellers jumped over those rails to trek down to the point where Raja came rushing down with its full might. The young lady lied on belly over the rocky floor to catch a good view of the mighty Raja. I envied them. Then I consoled myself saying I am a good law abiding citizen. It was like – ‘The Grapes are Sour’.
Our next destination was the main viewpoint made by the Tourist Department. The beautiful PWD guest house is also located within the premises. There was a good view of the Mahatma Gandhi hydro-electric project down the gorge. Even in this misty weather, the trolley carrying the workers down the hill was seen. Another waterfall near the power plant flowed down quietly. As if unattended and ignored.
Then came the view of Jog Falls as known to us. The famous four all together side by side flowing all the way down the cliff. Meeting and greeting each other and flowing off as one. The mist and the drizzle were with us all along. It appeared from nowhere and again vanished at a distance. Thus they veiled and unveiled the famous four.
We were overjoyed to see the famous Jog falls within the green surrounding. The flowing clouds were playing the chorus for this sweet song of nature. Though we could not see the Jog in its fullest as seen in many pictures. On enquiring, we came to know that in the year 2005 huge quantity of water was released from the Sharavathi river. Which resulted in thick overflowing streams of Jog or I would say, four fat friends.
Our expectation was raised by the pictures taken in that year. So what? It was our first visit to Jog and the falls in its present state were appealing enough. We enjoyed the view, drank the beauty to our heart’s content and soaked in the moist weather to the fullest. Thus Jog became a part of my sweet memory… and the famous four became the characters of my travel story.