Best time to visit: Shimoga (All Season), Jog (Aug – Nov)
Recommended for: All
And this is how it started,
Me: Shall we go out for a ride?
Harish: Yes, why not. Let’s go in my vehicle.
Me: Have you filled the petrol? Checked the air pressure? How about the engine oil level? Mine is all good by the way.
Harish: In reserve, air pressure checked three weeks back, engine oil is at the right level and good for a long trip too, with this said my bike is ready for the ride.
Me: What? Alright then, if you’re confident with your bike. We are going to catch the Pune NH.
And we didn’t have a clue that this will mark 2017 TLT’s Milestone
16 Sep 2017 Day 1 The Blessing Rainy Day, Shimoga
01:00 Started for the trip. Nothing much to carry had the power bank fully charged, and the camera bag with us. Luckily we came across the petrol station nearby, filled the petrol and off towards Pune NH. The drive was smooth until Nelamangala highways, on crossing the toll road we felt the fear of driving at late nights, there was a truck at the left lane, moved to the middle lane on the move to overtake the truck, within fraction of seconds we were surrounded by trucks , 1:00 AM not the right time to start the ride, from then left lane was our den, didn’t take any risks. Reached Sira, it was then all the basic checks on the vehicle were done and so do our destination. This is the weekend that 2017 TLT milestone will be achieved, ride to the world famous Jog Falls (Joga). The enthusiasm and the adrenaline that we felt on saying those two words, unexplainable, it gave us the energy to invade all the outcomes.
We decided to stay on the Pune AH47 and not take the Bhadravati route since during the night we didn’t want to take any risks. Decided to spend Saturday at Shimoga and Sunday early morning to Jog falls, we were 300 KM behind Shimoga and we exchanged the ride for every 100 KM’s. In fact my first ride with this machine after 2010. Pulsar used to be a dream for every teenager during mid-2000, and I wasn’t an exception, it was because of this machine the craze on bike ignited in me and I was happy to drive it after such a long time. And also about my beast running on my mind as to how the bike that I hated the most once had become a part of my every day ride and yes, felt uncomfortable for not being on my Milestone journey.
It was 15 KM behind the place where we needed to take the left turn to Chitradurga-Shimoga road, we were in the reserve and we had all the twists for another 45 KM, patience testing rumblers conquered roads, riding in fumes, not speeding the vehicle with petrol level on mind, stopping at every village in search of a petrol station, we were like people in a desert in search for water. We had the relief breadth on spotting a petrol bunk at 6:00 in the morning. Then the ride to Shimoga was simply awesome, a rain hit ride.
7:30 reached shimoga bus terminal. Checked an auto driver for a lodge, found a decent lodge near by the city center, decided to sleep for few hours until 12 PM, get ourselves refreshed, have lunch and start to explore Shimoga.
1:00 pm had lunch and started towards Gajanur dam. Entry ticket of 5 rs and then a bad news as well as a good news was waiting. The bad news was the dam had restricted entry with photographs strictly prohibited, the good news was, the guard was a Tamilian and he was from Salem. Now you can imagine the rest.
Visited lots of reservoir in Tamilnadu but have never came so close to behind the scenes of the dam. Thunga being the water source, this dam has 22 barriers storing the water body which serves for the entire north Karnataka.
Learnt from the guard that Sakrebyle(Elephant Camp) is open only in the morning between 8:30 to 11 am during which the mahout takes the elephant to the thunga river for refreshment. People can visit during this time and enjoy a ride with the tusker too with a ticket, costs around 150 to 200.
Also asked us to try the fish meal in the near by village, which is just few meters away from the Gajanur Dam. We already had our lunch so decided to try fish fry. To be frank it was the best fish fry we have had over times, equal to home made food. No garnishing food presentation, fried in a huge pan, served hot with onions and ginger paste, just yummy
And reasonable too. Two plates, four pieces just cost us less than 200 bucks.
And rain started again, and we too started our ride. Our next stop was Lion Tiger safari.
Timings: visit before 5 in the evening
Our first safari and a best one. The safari will be taken through the forest and will last for an hour. One can spot deers, lions and tigers but no elephants. And yes lions and tigers wandering near the jeep/van you are in, a perfect one.
On seeing the tiger, I wanted to get a perfect shot, went on to ask shall I open the van door and everyone started yelling noooooooooooooooo. Though managed to get have few good shots.
Now coming to Shimoga. This town felt something different from the others, had a native feel of Kerala, raining all day, greenery all around, the silent city, surrounded by water source, people are so welcoming and friendly. Didn’t feel that we were in a new town. And this is how the entire town was surrounded by
18:30 Returned to the lodge and out for exploring Shimoga streets.
Newly constructed city centre,
Roaming in the Town Hall,
Shimoga street chaat,
Wandering in search of a native non veg hotel and finally getting hold on the right one (no for restaurants, since our taste buds are worn out of the restaurant food)
Back to room, thanks to vijay TV bigg boss for making us sleep early
17 Sep 2017 Day 2 Dream come true, Jog Falls
5:00 woke up, refreshed and sharp by 5:30 started towards jog. And it had rained the previous night the wet streets showed that. Had a hot tea at the bus terminal before 100 km journey.
It was a dreamy ride, it was drive through the forest, we drove and drove and drove before coming to a stop for mistaking a herd of buffaloes to elephants
Had breakfast at Sagar, went past Talaguppa and finally to see arch saying welcome to the world famous jog falls.
Jumped from the vehicle, moved to the view point, the way was blocked, jumped past all the barriers to reach the point where the mighty Joga was revealing itself from the fog (we were ready to accept the outcome if we were caught by the department officials). The wait was over, planned for 2016 but dropped out, even this year it was almost dropped but we held it at the end and pulled it towards us. It was like a curtain covering the 472 m high joga. Stunned by the beauty, lost ourselves, stood like a statue watching the beauty of joga before a localite warned us this is not the place for you guys to enter, come back. I guarantee no videos, none of the movies can replicate the view that your eyes can witness and feel. It was like our dream come true. A must visit place for each and every person.
The fog adding extra bit of spice to the scene, the falls was visible only for few minutes, and the fog covering the falls in seconds. And we were waiting and praying pls fog unravel the falls we have travelled 500+ km for this beauty. Spent ample time taking videos photos and people moved us back from that restricted area
Learnt that the point from where we were standing just few meters away the back side of the falls can be seen. And that point is called as Mungarumale (pre-monsoon rain), need to walk through rocks to reach this point, it was because of this point it has been blocked for viewers and the construction to go down from this place has been stopped since mungarumale point is highly dangerous and more than 1000 known deaths has been reported. And it was then we both looked at each other’s and said shall we go ahead? Again the localite stopped, saying no guys, this is the specialty of this falls, it will be attracting and forcing one to come and due to exaggeration people have lost their lives. The rocks are very slippery and fully covered by fog, can’t see your feet itself, this is the reason for blocking and mentioning trespassers will be prosecuted.
He redirected to the main view point from where we need to trek down 1500 steps and that will open after 9:00. We still had 30 minutes, so we moved to that location and by the time the gate was also opened. And the walk started, each and every moment during the walk was a mesmerising one. We were hypnotized by the beauty, we are short of words to express our feelings, just, just, just look at the photos
At the end again we met the traveller whom we met at the first view point. He also mentioned two years back there was no restriction, people can go near the falls. But now have put on the barriers and two guards too, watch out for the guards they are ready to pull you out when trying to break the rules.
And the weary trek back started, easily walked down, but getting up 1500 steps was not an easy task. Reached the top and way we went down on the rest area for a power nap after the draining walk. 1 hour of power nap, tried out the chaat items out of jog falls as we planned to have lunch at Sagar.
12:30 bid good bye for the world famous Joga and thanking for accomplishing TLT’s 2017 milestone. In fact jog falls gets the pride for marking TLT’s first year milestone.
13:30 reached Sagar, stopped at a decent north Karnataka hotel, enquired what’s best here, he mentioned fish is best, we decided to go for pomfret fish fry with briyani rice, as he mentioned yes it was the best of that town, the fish had the fresh taste, yummy , but we didn’t stop went for another round of the fish fry. I thought it would cost us 1000 bucks but to my surprise it cost us just half the amount. Apart from Bangalore all the cities have a reasonable price on the cuisine
14:45 So yes then the return journey started, yet another 414 km to be covered. Changing the rides for every 100 km and stopping by at every coffee shops, having snacks, sharing the memories of Shimoga and Jog 400 km never seemed hectic one. 23:59 we were at our home, a big thanks to the almighty for bringing us safe. It wasn’t simply that we called this as a milestone ride, 950 km in two days, a fully satisfying ride. And this will be my first and the last long ride without by Apache, never ever will this happen again, missed him a lot at each and every moment.
- Never start a journey at 1:00 am in the morning. Best time to start is after 3:00 and especially for bike riders.
- Sagar to Talaguppa watch out for the dogs, they come from no where.
- Tumkur to Pune AH after Hiriyur watch out for the rumblers, not so hurting for the rider but for a pillion it is, it is. During night times they are barely visible.
- Please fill in your petrol if your taking pune AH and Chitradurga-Shimoga route as there are petrol stations only at 30km intervals.
- Carry jerkins as Shimoga is raining all day during monsoon season.
- Please avoid Bhadravati route to Shimoga, you can save 50 km here but not the time. The roads are worst and not safe for driving too.
- AH47 well connected with petrol stations and hotels, dhabas so no worries while travelling on this route.
- Sakrebyle Elephant Camp (Shimoga): Open from 8:30 to 11:00 (all days)
- Lion Tiger Safari (Shimoga): Open till 5:00 PM in the Evening (all day)
- Jog Falls the walk down: Open from 9:00 Am to 5:00 PM, (depending on the weather conditions)
Last but not the least, only the 2017 TLT’s milestone has been completed, still more rides on our cards. Until next time stay tuned.