This trip started with the six of us meeting up at Bangalore and reaching Sagara with a one night stopover at Shimoga. Since we had made prior bookings, it was pretty smooth this time. Here I would pause to tell a few words about our hosts. The guys at Western Ghats Eco Escapes were awesome to say the least! The deadly duo of Neha and Ganu made this trip for memorable for us by their friendliness and care. If you plan a trip to the Jog falls, I strongly recommend that you go with them.
So we finally reached our home stay, a farmer’s house in a village called Nandigodu, nestled deep in the Sharavathy valley. It was a beautiful place, with rice fields and forests all around and tents to live in! Even though it gave a rustic look, the place was equipped with all the basic facilities for a comfortable stay. Frankly speaking, I am yet to see such a scenic ‘hotel’.
The first thing on cards on Day 1 was a visit to Sharavathy backwaters. Sharavathy is a river which originates near Shimoga and then goes around 130 km to meet the Arabian Sea, creating the Jog Falls in the process. Since the area experiences good rainfall, there is always enough water in the river. So this backwater where we went was basically the catchment area formed after a dam was built on the river. We reached there after a long drive along narrow paths surrounded by greenery. It was a lake of sorts surrounded by grasslands and woods. There was a lone hut nearby. When we reached there, a little girl came out and tied us Rakhi, much to my happiness since it was Rakshabandhan. Once we came to the lake, Neha asked us to don our life jackets and once done, we jumped in the water. That was the time when I actually learnt to swim. The water was very clean and quite cold, the weather was cloudy and it was drizzling slightly. For close to two hours we swam, splashed and when tired, just floated in the water. We even tried diving but I ended up getting a lot of water in my nose in the process. Overall it was great fun to be children again, amidst all the natural beauty.
Fully drenched, we came back to our home stay, changed, had a delicious lunch and then started for the Second adventure – rappelling at a hillock called Kippadi. Basically it involved going on the top of the hill with a steep rock front and then coming down with the help of ropes and the rock climbing gear. Easier said than done; so we realized when we started trekking up the hill. The terrain was steep and rocky and rain and moss made maintaining the footholds a bit difficult. After about 45 minutes, we reached the top of the mountain. The view from here was breathtaking! We could even see the Sharavathy backwaters where we did the swimming in the morning. But we were not very comfortable with the idea of going down this steep slope with the help of a rope! Neha and Ganu came to the rescue again, they tied the ropes to two very strong trees and prepared the whole gear in a professional so as to not to leave any scope of error. And then finally we all went down one by one, at first scared, then panicked and at last, delighted. By the time my turn came, it was pretty dark and I managed the last lap almost blind, but it added to the fun part in its own sweet way. All that remained was to do a small trek back in pitch darkness. We managed that too with me falling just once (!) and returned back happy with our little adventures.
Shravathy and Jog Falls, a Flickr Photoset