Myristica swamps and other things

The Monsoon trip is supposed to be freewheeling. You are not supposed to have a plan. You end up near Jog Falls. And then freewheel. But over the 3 visits, over 2013, a dry ‘15, and ’18 we seem to have come up with places to tick off. The Chaturmukha Basadi is a must-see. A stopover at Belur or Halebeedu on the way back. A stay at the Forest Department nature camp. This time there was no A, while S made his debut.

This time, the Monsoons had been plenty. The reservoirs were full. We expected to see Jog in all its glory. Except that the rains the past few days had slowed down. The reservoir was shut, there was below average outflow. The falls were there, not glorious, not a thin wisp of water either.
Joga with its rainbow. Continue reading “Myristica swamps and other things”

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Back in the ghats

It’s odd charting the same path after 2 years. That novelty is no longer there, and you almost always brace yourself for disappointment. Seldom are things better the second time around, at least in these times where you only see a larger and deeper human presence, and the consequent decadence in the form of plastic covers and garbage.

Two years back, we drove to the Jog falls via Tumkur, Tiptur, Arasikere, Kadur, Birur, Tarikere, etc. The rains caught up at Kadur and didn’t let go for the whole journey until the last day when we crossed Bhadravathi and got back into the inner side of the Ghats. The whole place looked like a gigantic bathroom, and was damp and wet all the time. This time there were sporadic bursts but nothing steady or substantial. There was that feeling of cloudiness, but even when it rained we knew it would let up soon. We could even see stars in the sky at night!

This meant that while Jog Falls 2 years back looked like this:

Jog falls

This year was mostly this:

Continue reading “Back in the ghats”

The temples in the middle of nowhere…

It was supposed to be a 1.5 Km trek through the forests. That was the second-hand info we’d got. But a car could go the whole distance. That was what we were told by the locals. We drove along from a magnificent Jog falls towards Gerusoppa, the GPS helping us along the way with names like Anehalli for what turned out to be Hanehalli (ಹನೇಹಳ್ಳಿ). The Sharavathi viewpoint turned up and we could see only clouds forming a grey veil over it. There were boards all along that reminded us we were in ‘Lion-tailed Macaque’ territory. I tried spotting one in the trees as we drove, with no luck. Near Gerusoppa, there was the entrance to the Dam, closed with warnings against photography, against unauthorized entry, etc. Basically, we weren’t welcome. We drove along. As we neared Gerusoppa there was a fork leading away from the road, with a board that said ‘Chaturmukha Jain Basadi’ egging us towards it.

We drove along that road until there was a gate and a sentry with his assistant. We asked the assistant directions and were told that we’d need to go further down, cross the bridge over the river and then there would be a Pukka road on the right on which we’d need to drive 4 Kms to get there. We crossed the bridge over the river with the dam forming an impressive background, and the river in full spate. The pukka road turned up soon after. There was a board also which said that the Jain Basadi was 4 Kms away. Just that the road didn’t seem drivable for a Hatch.

Gerusoppa Dam
Sharavathi in spate near the Dam

Continue reading “The temples in the middle of nowhere…”