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Ladakh - Planning The Trip

Over 2000 Km by road, in around 10 days. Stunning landscapes, wonderful people. That sums up our Ladakh trip. But how did it actually work? How did we make it happen? Read on to find out!  Leh, the capital of Ladakh , is accessible by air and road. Flying into Leh is the easiest, and time-saving option, while the road is the time consuming one, but with the added advantage of driving past some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country. Each option has much to recommend it, and we chose the road for just one reason – altitude sickness. Altitude sickness was one of my biggest concerns, since I suffer from motion-sickness. Yes, I do travel a lot, but that is despite my condition, and, over the years, have learnt how to handle it. I struggled with it when we visited Nathu-La in Sikkim, and wondered if I would be able to manage a week at the even higher altitudes that we would encounter in Ladakh. This was the reason we stuck to a basic plan, of only 9 days in Ladakh, though we

Jog Falls - A Foaming Curtain of White

A white curtain covered the entire landscape. There was no trace of the green which was so evident all the way up the mountains, and the fog was so thick that even the person standing next to me seemed to blur. And then, as if on some hidden cue, the cloud curtain parted…… and brought this into view….



The Jog Falls!





Standing there, in the pouring rain, over the next 24 hours, we watched this drama unfold… over and over again. The roar of the falls was the only constant, rising and falling with the wind, the spray hitting us, far as we were; the clouds parting, and then closing in again, and in between, the spectacular sight…..



Tucked deep inside the Western Ghats, in the Shimoga district of Karnataka, the Jog Falls are created by the Sharavati River falling from a height of 253 m (830ft). The river here flows over a rocky bed, about 250 yards wide, and reaching a huge chasm, 260m (960ft) deep, descends  in four distinct falls – Raja is the highest, falling in a single, sheer column from the height of 830 ft, meeting Roarer halfway down. A third fall, Rocket, shoots downwards in a series of jets, while the fourth, Rani is the quietest of the lot!



Standing in the Tourist Complex built conveniently for observing the falls, we simply waited and watched as, one by one, each of the columns appeared…. And disappeared!



The falls must have been hard to get to, once. Today, well laid roads bring loads of tourists, even during the heaviest of rains, to see the second highest plunge waterfall in India. We were, by no means the only people there, on that rainy day, but among the few who simply sat for hours, watching the clouds meet and part, feeling the falls grow louder and fuller with the rain, making the most of the experience, etching every glimpse in memory, forever!



We did take a break, to see the falls from the other side – the side they cascaded down from. Here is an old bungalow, built by the British sometime in the 1800s, and rather unimaginatively called, ‘British Bungalow’! The view from here is not as spectacular as from the other side, but it is nevertheless an imposing sight, for it is only from here that we can see the force of the water, as the river plunges into the depths of the chasm.



There are a few other interesting sights around, such as the turbines of the hydroelectric project (seen from quite a height, since, obviously we aren’t allowed anywhere near!), and the Linganamakki Dam. .
However, the real USP of the place isn’t in the sights, but the experience – of feeling nature’s force, and her beauty, at the same time!


Information:

  • How to Reach:
    • By Road: The falls are approachable from Shimoga (100 Km) as well as Honnavar (60 Km). The road is quite well maintained, but buses are few. There are only a few services operating the route. It is much easier to hire a car, and combine a visit to the falls with other places nearby.
    • By train: The nearest railway station is at Talguppa, (15Km), which has regular trains to Bangalore.
    • By Air: The nearest airports are at Hubli (130Km) and Mangalore (135 Km).
  • Where to Stay:
    • For the best views, stay at the Tourist Complex. There are two wings – Tunga and Sharavati. Certain rooms in the Sharavati Block have the best views of the falls from huge windows, which make a stay there worthwhile. 
    • There are also homestays around, which offer a more complete, and relaxed experience.
  • Where to eat: There is just one restaurant inside this tourist complex, and choices are limited. However, there are a few shops outside the complex too, offering local food.
  • When to go: The best time to visit Jog is during the monsoon, but after the rains have picked up and the water levels in the dams have risen. More the rains, better the sight! Late monsoon is the best possible time. Be prepared for crowds, however, especially during weekends! Rooms at the tourist complex tend to be booked well in advance. 


This article was originally published in the Bangalore edition of The Hindu Traveller. You can read the original article here or download it here

Comments

  1. The Pictures are Amazingly Beautiful.The Beauty Of Nature.
    It Is One Of The Beautiful View I Had Seen In India.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I must say amazing waterfall! Must have been an awesome feeling to witness such beauty. :)


    http://renuka-voyagerforlife.blogspot.in

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Renuka. It was indeed an amazing experience!

      Delete
  3. The falls look so gorgeous! Those are lovely captures.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, this looks stunning! Hope to visit someday!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is so so so beautiful Anu.

    ReplyDelete

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