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Old 7th September 2011, 01:05   #1
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Default A road trip from Mumbai to Jog Falls

Must say that I was waiting to have a long road trip since quite some time. My friends, two of them, childhood buddies in fact, were in the same boat so the road trip plan started to take shape when we met at my friends place. Somehow the talk of having a road trip came up and memories of our previous road trip to chikaldhara came back to life. With rains at their natural best and the long weekends coming up for Eid and Ganesh Chaturthi, we decided it was time we hit the roads again and have our much awaited road trip fulfilled. Now the only question was where to go? We had 5 days and we wanted to make the best use of it by visiting a place away from Mumbai we hadn't seen before. Ideas and suggestions started flowing instantly but in the end we couldn't decide on the one place. So next day I decided to do some research and forwarded this tentative route plan to my friends.

Mumbai > Pune > Kolhapur > Belgaum > Dharwad > Hubli > Mundgod > Sirsi > Siddapura > Jog Falls

Strangely, the thought of going to Jog falls didn't strike us earlier, though I always wanted to see it. I made a quick call to my friend who stays in Dharwad (spoiler - we visited his farmhouse and the vintage cars and bikes we saw in his garage was quite a sight) to know if this was a good time to see the falls and he immediately said yes. I emailed the plan to my buddies and they were in right away. We were still a week away from our journey. Apart from Jog falls, we decided to see around Honnavar, Murudeshwar, Gokarna and Palolem in South Goa while coming back but we wanted the journey to be adventurous and let the place and time decide for us where we would be actually going. So we didn't do any prior bookings and luckily that way it worked out best for us. Finally, the day came. I had spruced up my car, Maruti Swift Vxi, just a year old, with all the necessary checks done and new set of vipers and we were ready to embark upon our road trip.

Day 1: Fri - 26th Sep
We planned not to bunk office on this day and work a little more than a half day. I left at around 5pm and picked my friend from the Goregaon, Oberoi mall. Next we stopped at powai on the way to pick up a friend who needed a lift till Pune. We had planned to halt in Pune anyways for the night at my friend's uncle's place so that we could start next day early morning fresh. The decision paved off as we encountered huge traffic powai onwards as we had anticipated and it took us almost 2 hours to reach the eastern expressway from where I picked my other friend. It was almost 8.30pm by then. We took the Airoli route and from then on traffic was minimal. Stopped at McDonalds, Panvel for a quick bite and hit the Pune expressway by around 9.30 pm. We reached Pune at about 11pm and dropped our friend at Kothrud and headed at my friend's uncle's place at Sinhagad road after a light dinner in a nearby restaurant. Must say that the stay was very good and just felt like home.

Distances covered
Mumbai to Pune - 175 kms (almost 6 hrs due to heavy traffic and one halt at McD)

On the way
Lots of traffic exiting mumbai,
Halt at McDonalds, Panvel

Day 2: Sat - 27th Sep, 6am
We had a good 4 hours sleep previous night and all of us were ready by 6 am to start for the real fun. We thanked uncle for the stay and the hot and refreshing chai he made for us and were off by 6.30 am to the enchanting NH4 - Pune Bangalore highway. Once hitting NH4 there was no stopping except for one when we felt like taking a small break to capture some scenic views at khambataki ghat. Next we halted at Sai International hotel for a much needed breakfast, reached there at 9.30 am. It has a good spacious family restaurant and things that we ate were nice and hot. The sabudana wada and misal pav though a bit spicy were good. We left at around 10.30 and barely 10 kms ahead we reached kolhapur. After re-fuelling the tank to the full capacity we started heading towards belgaum which is around 110kms from kolhapur. It was raining all the way but we had no problems cruising at speeds of 100+ along this stretch. We were at belgaum within an hour and it was time to call up my friend in dharwad to get a sense of direction to reach his farmhouse. In fact we stopped at a distance few kms before dharwad where he came on his Royal Enfield (which apparently belonged to his sister) to escort us to his farmhouse. By 1pm we were inside the magnificent farm where we could see tomatoes, paddy, coconut, chikoo and mangoe plantations to name a few. The best part came when we went to his garage in the basement and it was quite a sight to see the beetle 1303S model from 1974 and vintage bikes like 1948 Triumph, two Matchless models from 1954-57, AJS 1955, a 1964 Vespa scooter and Yamaha 350 - 1985 model. The pictures would say the rest. After spending some time seeing the farm we headed to his home in dharwad which was another lovely place. We had a a quick round of cold drinks over which we discussed our future journey for the day and places we could visit. We were done with the lunch which by the way was really delicious made by his mom and left for Sirsi at 3.30 pm from dharwad. We took a small detour to hubli where my friend had to pick up his Zen after which he saw us till Varur and then we proceeded from there to Mundgod which was on our way to Sirsi.

We had an option to reach Sirsi via the scenic Yellapur road - NH 63 flanked by forest on both sides and see Magod and Sathodi falls on the way, or pass via Mundgod, continuing on NH4 to visit the Doeguling Tibetan Settlement, also known as the mini tibet, having 7 monasteries. We decided to pass via Mundgod and visit the monasteries located just 6 kms from there and didn't regret in the end. We walked through the lanes and streets. Strolled through the beautiful monasteries. You will see beautiful statues of the Buddha and Tibetan deities. You will see incense sticks and the huge colourful chanting drums. You will see Tibetans dressed in their traditional attire waiting for a taxi or engaged in their daily chores. It was a great experience talking to the Tibetans, watch the children study and play. Exiting Mundgod, we had some hot medu wadas and chai at a stall that refreshed us completely. We started on our way to Sirsi, another 65 kms around 7.30 pm from Mundgod. Finally after a bit shaky drive through the NH4 potholed forest road from Mundgod, we reached Sirsi at around 9pm. Started searching for hotel Panchvati though we didn't have bookings (thanks to our adventurous motives) we had known that its a good place to stay with decent food options. We reached Panchvati with great help using GPS on my friend's blackberry and got a decent room for 545 bucks only. Took a quick shower and headed straight for dinner. The food was strictly OK but I think we liked it since we were hungry.

Distances covered
Pune to Kolhapur - 240 kms (~3hrs+1 hr break at Sai Food court, road condition excellent)
Kolhapur to Belgaum - 110 kms (1 hour flat, no halts, road condition excellent)
Belgaum to Dharwad - 77 kms (1 hour, road condition excellent)
Dharwad to Mundgod - 45 kms (50 mins, road condition good though few patches in between)
Mundgod to Sirsi - 65 kms (1.5 hrs, road condition not good, many potholes on the way)

On the way
Halt at Dharwad
Doeguling Tibetan Settlement at Mundgod

Stayed at
Hotel Panchvati, Sirsi
Cost for 3 ppl, Rs. 545, 1 night
Food quality - Good

Day 3: Sun - 28th Sep, 8am

After a good night's rest we were all set to start our drive to Jog falls. For the sake of fact, Jog falls is the second highest waterfall in India, is located about 50 km from the coast midway between Udupi and Karwar. The Sharavati river drops 253 metres in 4 separate falls
  • Raja (King): Named so because of its apparently 'dignified' and 'serene' fall.
  • Roarer: This stream appears out of a mass of rocks, making a tremendous amount of noise.
  • Rocket: Consists of a large volume of water streaming out of a small opening at a very high speed.
  • Rani (Queen), also called Lady Dame Blanche: The stream has a winding, twisting trajectory, said to resemble the movements of a female dancer.
The highest is the Raja with the fall of 253 metres and a pool below 40metres deep. The 50 km long Hirebhasgar Reservoir and the Linganamkki dam regulates the flow of the Sharavati river to generate the hydro electricity.

Coming back to when we left Sirsi. The excitement was now heightened as the weather was just perfect, with the sky being partly clear, and no mist or fog in sight that could have hidden the falls from us. The road to Jog falls can be described as a wild and beautiful country around, covered with a wealth of luxuriant vegetation on both sides (attached a few pictures to depict that) and small roads on the sideways leading to interior villages. We ventured onto one such track just for the kicks with me shooting the video and with half of my body leaning outside the window to capture the silence and beauty of the small settlements. The locals were out watching the show as if we were some celebrity out shooting, but it was fun. We turned back after going some 300 mtrs back on the main route to Jog. We reached Jog at around 9.30am and could hear the sound of the falls right outside the gate of British bungalow, a place from where you can get a view of the falls from the top. We parked our car and headed inside to get our first view of the mighty falls. Crossing a few steps through some rocky and puddled path lead us closer to the falls, we just stood there for some time gazing at the beauty of the four falls in front of us. The height can give you a chill down the spine especially when you lean and try to look down from the edge of the cliff. We could see rainbow formation at will on looking down spanning across the falling water with clouds of spray continually ascending heavenwards in slow and majestic motion. We spent around an hour or more witnessing the magnificent beauty of the falls and then went to the Mysore bank, the other side of the falls to get bottom view. From this side a descent may be made to the pool below, the water in which can be as deep as 130 ft (40 m). But this is a difficult undertaking and the ascent extremely laborious as you have to climb around 1500 steps.

We didn't want to miss out on our adventure and so we decided to travel all the way down and must say that it was worth the effort in the end. Descending the steps across the winding gorge itself gave us a lot of breathtaking views of the falls and once down we hit the natural pool with the falls spraying water on us in all directions. The rocks inside the pool were very slippery so one must be careful while going nearer to the falls. I almost slipped about 5-6 times but managed without a scratch in the end. But the real difficult part was climbing up which took us more than an hour. The total time we spent down at the falls including the ascent and descent combined was around 3 hrs. This would easily get raised if you halt more often while ascending. So if you wish to go down the gorge plan your time accordingly. We were back up at around 2.30pm, changed into dry clothes as we were all wet and took rest in the car for some time. We were out from there by 3.30pm, picked some masala cucumber and bhel for our journey ahead and hit the gerusoppa road in no time to head for Honnavar. We also had salty masala lemon soda which was great and strawberry ice cream on the way. Strangely ice creams are a rarity in this part of Karnataka at least. So if you are an ice cream lover you would either hunt for it or grab one like we did at Jog.

Once on the gerusoppa road we were full of excitement once again eager to experience the rest of our journey. The entire road passes through dense forest and with rains playing hide and seek we didn't restrict ourselves from taking a few video shots of the scenic stretch. There was some disappointment though as large part of the gerusoppa road is pot holed. But I guess the surroundings were pleasant enough for us to soon forget the bumpy drive we had at times.

We reached Honnavar by around 5pm and asked the direction for Honnavar beach. The road to the beach passed through a small village settlement and after crossing a few huts and small fields and rivers there was a vast stretch of land bare and open with only 1 hut in view and the beach in front of us. Check out the video and pics. I set myself loose and went on the beach to catch the waves. My friends were happy doing the clicking.
Next we went to Apsar Konda known for the Apsar Konda falls and a panoramic view of the beach from a machaan built 250 mtrs high. We went to the machaan and got a splendid view of the beach. Felt like having a house over there

We left Honnavar by sunset for Murudeshwar another 45 kms drive. By the time we reached Murudeshwar it was already 9pm. We checked in at RNS Guest house, a well known hotel right at the beach. We got a sea facing room just for 515 bucks, I guess the fact that we didn't booked our stay in advance really worked to our advantage. By this time we were damn hungry since we had skipped our lunch earlier so headed straight to a nearby restaurant at palm grove hotel where we had delicious food both veg and non-veg till we were full.

Distances covered
Sirsi to Jog Falls - 63 kms (~1.5 hrs, road very beautiful and excellent condition)
Jog Falls to Honnavar - 75 kms (~2hrs, scenic but road condition poor)
Honnavar to Murudeshwar - 30 kms (1 hr, road condition not great due to potholes)

On the way
Jog falls
Honnavar beach and Apsar Konda

Stayed at
Hotel RNS Guest House, Murudeshwar
Cost for 3 ppl, Rs. 515, 1 night
Dinner at Palm Grove hotel, food quality good

Day 4: Mon - 29th Sep, 9am
Although the main part of our journey was over we still had lots of stuff remaining. We started the morning by having hot idli's with chatni and sambar chole and cutting chai at a local stall outside the hotel. The sound of the beach seemed like an endless melody and we were beaming with full energy now. We visited the temple and gufa where the 2nd tallest Shiva statue (237.5ft) is placed followed by the Murudeshwar temple. This temple is built on the Kanduka Hill which is surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Arabian Sea. It is a temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva, and a 20-storied Gopura is constructed at the temple.The view from the 18th floor where you are permitted to go for a fee of Rs 10 was captivating.

By 12pm we were done with the sight seeing in Murudeshwar and decided to go to Om beach in Gokarna, around 85 kms away. Gokarna literally means 'Cow’s Ear', as the Arabian Sea on one side and the rivers Aghanasini and Gangavati on the other make an angle resembling a cow’s ear. The road was good once on NH-17 and we reached Om beach by 1.30pm. The drive up the winding path that leads to Gokarna is scenic, with the rocky mountains and Western ghats on one side and the Arabian sea on the other. The beach is really beautiful and there weren't many people barring a few hippies for which the beach is well known for. After a brief stroll we felt hungry and there were 2 options we had at Om beach. Either to go to Namaste cafe or walk down 250 mtrs to another one called Ganesh cafe. Somehow we chose the latter and it turned out to be a mini adventure in the end since we couldn't use the main entrance for going in as it was inaccessible by knee deep water blocking the entrance. So I shouted at the other person standing in the cafe who seemed to be running the place and asked how to come inside. He shouted back saying we could climb some rocks and enter from behind. It almost took us 15 mins to figure out our way in but we were so hungry now that we didn't want to leave the place without having something to eat. Finally we were in and asked what was available. As we expected they had only basic stuff like omlette toast, boiled eggs, noodles and fried rice. We were happy to have omlette and some cold drinks, I must say we couldn't have asked for more for the hot and delicious omlette and the alluring beach in front of us simply made for our brunch special. It started to rain slightly on our way back, we also saw the Paradise beach which had its own appeal. We had a quick Nariyal Paani there and hit NH-17 to reach our final destination for the day, Palolem beach in south Goa. You know when you enter Goa the acceleration comes down automatically and the surroundings start taking its effect on you in a magical and vibrant way. It was a treat to drive the curvy roads with lush greenery around and small shops and houses beautifully decorated pass you by. We were at Palolem beach by 7.30pm and checked in Seagull hotel right on the beach after checking a few other hotels. Couldn't go at the beach since it was dark and raining a bit. So we changed into something good for the night to celebrate our road trip that had gone so well. We found the Draupadi shack on the beach bustling with people most of them foreign tourists with good music being played in the background and nice seating arrangements. We took one without wasting time and the party started. Had some great food, the best on our trip so far and our feast continued until midnight.

Distances covered
Murudeshwar to Gokarna (Om Beach) - 84 kms (~2hrs drive)
Gokarna to Palolem - 108 kms (~2.5 hrs)

On the way
Om beach and Paradise beach at Gokarna
Karwar

Stayed at
Hotel Seagull, Palolem
Cost for 3 ppl, Rs. 600, 1 night
Dinner at Draupadi shack on the beach just before Cocktails and Dreams restaurant

Day 5, Tue - 30th Sep:
This day we were supposed to head back home. But we had no intentions to leave Goa so early and so went upto Madgaon and then Kolva beach around 55 kms from Palolem. Had lunch at the Kentucky's restaurant near the beach and after that it was time for some serious driving back. We were strongly advised not to take the route via NH-17 as there was news of flooding on the bridges and some landslides. So the natural option was to first take the NH4A route which starts after crossing Ponda, and after reaching Belgaum take the route to Pune via NH4. The drive up to Ponda (NH-17B) was uninteresting for most part but the road started to become exciting after Ponda with beautiful scenery around upto the Mollem national park where we were able to cruise at 100+ with ease. But the real fun started once we were on Anmod ghat. This ghat is almost 25-30 kms scenic drive with many hairpin bends on the way. After about 15 kms we experienced dense fog with very poor visibility reducing the speed to near 30 kph. It looked like a never ending ghat but when it actually ended we wished it never did in first place. That's because the rest of NH-4A was marred with several potholes some big enough to hit the bumper and cause a dent. Anyone coming via this route should prefer to take SH-30 at Anmod when the ghat ends. At this junction the road splits into two ways ultimately leading to a triangle with the SH-30 road forming the hypotenuse side and NH4A the remaining 2 sides. We expected NH-4A to be better and took that route, knowing it would be longer, but unfortunately it was badly marred with potholes at every km. Finally we reached NH4 at 7 pm overcoming the foggy Anmod ghat, bad NH4A road after Anmod ghat ended and slow moving traffic while crossing Belgaum city. It took us 5 hours to cover just 155 kms.

The rest of the journey was faster, thanks to NH4. We drove from Belgaum to Pune non-stop and reached the Hinjewadi-Wakad bridge at around 11pm. Stopped at a local dhaba for dinner. At 12am we were on the Mumbai-Pune expressway and were home by 2am, exactly 12 hours later we left Goa.

In the end we had an excellent road trip covering 1850 kms in all. Hoping another one is not far away.
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Old 7th September 2011, 09:06   #2
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Default Re: A road trip from Mumbai to Jog Falls

Nice writeup Chintan. Your friend has a real nice collection out there. Is that Beetle in Drivable condition?
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Old 7th September 2011, 09:46   #3
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Default Re: A road trip from Mumbai to Jog Falls

Nice Pictures and Writeup Chetan. Jog falls and Murudeshwar look lovely. One friendly suggestion - It will be good to provide a caption for each picture as it will help those who are not aware of these places.
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Old 7th September 2011, 11:55   #4
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Default Re: A road trip from Mumbai to Jog Falls

Nice travelogue Chintan, it would certainly have been lovely.

Please do label the pictures and post some more pictures of the places you traveled to, so we can enjoy the same.
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Old 7th September 2011, 14:22   #5
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Default Re: A road trip from Mumbai to Jog Falls

Nice write up and wonderful snaps. Simply loved the aerial snap of Murudeshwar and the snap of the steps going down to the base of Jog Falls.

Now itching to go to Jog Falls soon. How crowded was the place?

Also as suggested others please provide captions against the pictures in future uploads. It makes it a much more interesting read.
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Old 7th September 2011, 14:37   #6
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Default Re: A road trip from Mumbai to Jog Falls

Good writeup, can you please confirm when was this trip done ? in Sep 2010 ?
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Old 7th September 2011, 15:55   #7
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Default Re: A road trip from Mumbai to Jog Falls

Chintan- Can you put up some pics of the AJS and Matchless in your friends` garage ?
Fantastic drive thru the roads in and around my college town Hubli...we did Jog in July 2002 and Anmod ghat last in June 2005.
Your postings brought back those days...
( sitting in my office desk in Madras, i just had an insane urge to take my car and drive to Jog right now)
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Old 10th September 2011, 01:57   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tabrez02 View Post
Good writeup, can you please confirm when was this trip done ? in Sep 2010 ?
No, it was a couple of weeks back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Nice Pictures and Writeup Chetan. Jog falls and Murudeshwar look lovely. One friendly suggestion - It will be good to provide a caption for each picture as it will help those who are not aware of these places.
Is there a way to add captions after uploading the pics?

Last edited by Zappo : 10th September 2011 at 02:18. Reason: Please post in one go. Use Multi-response option to respond to multiple posts in one shot.
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Old 10th September 2011, 02:25   #9
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Originally Posted by Yamahead View Post
Chintan- Can you put up some pics of the AJS and Matchless in your friends` garage ?
Fantastic drive thru the roads in and around my college town Hubli...we did Jog in July 2002 and Anmod ghat last in June 2005.
Your postings brought back those days...
( sitting in my office desk in Madras, i just had an insane urge to take my car and drive to Jog right now)
Glad that you liked the post. I'll try to post the AJS and Matchless pics if possible as I don't have them right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
Nice write up and wonderful snaps. Simply loved the aerial snap of Murudeshwar and the snap of the steps going down to the base of Jog Falls.

Now itching to go to Jog Falls soon. How crowded was the place?

Also as suggested others please provide captions against the pictures in future uploads. It makes it a much more interesting read.
Thanks for the feedback Amit. The place wasn't crowded as such though it was a Sunday when I was there. I can't find a way to add captions after pics have been uploaded. Is there a way to do that and also re-order them so that they show in the order of places mentioned in the post?

Last edited by Zappo : 10th September 2011 at 04:20. Reason: Can you please stop making these back to back posts within 20 mins? Use multiquote option.
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Old 10th September 2011, 08:32   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chintan.kanal View Post
I can't find a way to add captions after pics have been uploaded. Is there a way to do that and also re-order them so that they show in the order of places mentioned in the post?
Now you would not be able to add captions to it. My suggestion was for your future threads.

Steps:

1) When you reply or write a new thread upload all the photos.
2) Write the captions in the post
3) Insert the relevant uploaded photos before or after the caption.

Also do not do back to back posts. If you are posting within 20 mins you can Edit the earlier post.

I hope this is helpful.
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Old 10th September 2011, 12:37   #11
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Nice writeup Chintan. Your friend has a real nice collection out there. Is that Beetle in Drivable condition?
Yes they all are in drivable condition.
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Old 10th September 2011, 13:52   #12
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Very nice trip with details. I simply love driving that side of Karnataka.

JOG is in fully glory now.

Ravi.
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Old 10th September 2011, 14:29   #13
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Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
Nice write up and wonderful snaps. Simply loved the aerial snap of Murudeshwar and the snap of the steps going down to the base of Jog Falls.

Now itching to go to Jog Falls soon. How crowded was the place?
the glory of Jog is short lived and is in full glow only in monsoons and that too at the end of Aug. It is in full glory now. It is never crowded and has enough space for everyone to enjoy.

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Glad that you liked the post.
Did you go upto bombay guest house and watched falls from there? It is mindblowing and gives you different feel.
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Old 10th September 2011, 15:30   #14
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the glory of Jog is short lived and is in full glow only in monsoons and that too at the end of Aug. It is in full glory now. It is never crowded and has enough space for everyone to enjoy.

.
Thanks Fauji for the update. That means now i would have to plan for it next year. Monsoons are almost over.

I am really surprised that it is not crowded. Could there be some reason for this? Even checked the snaps in this thread and looks like Chintan was the only one at the falls.
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Old 12th September 2011, 02:43   #15
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Originally Posted by chintan.kanal View Post
Day 5, Tue - 30th Sep:
This day we were supposed to head back home.


Nice write up. But, I think the date's should have been for August unlike September as mentioned by you.
What place is the Lord Shiva statue?
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