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Old 12th July 2013, 00:09   #1
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Default Weekend Getaway to Uttara Karnataka

Weekend Getaway to Uttara Karnataka - A short Travelogue

Last weekend Gaurav, Anoop and I (3 frenzy freaks from office) agreed that we needed a short break and drive too as our hectic office life and personal lives took a toll on each one of us. It was perfect timing since our last jaunt and we all were waiting for such an opportunity. We had 4 days at our disposal starting 4th of July to the 7th of July. We have been to Bandipur and Mysore too often and were kind of getting bored with these places. All the three of us decided that we explore some places in Karnataka especially the Uttar Karnataka as we have never been there. We started our research on the Internet and Team BHP for suggestions and finally narrowed down to Jog falls, Murudeshwar, Gokarna (OM Beach), and if the time permits cover Chikmagalur as well. We decided to hit Jog falls first, pay a visit to Lord Shiva at Murudeshwar before we get tanned on the beach for remaining 2 days. We decided to drive our white Beast Skoda Rapid and carried Gaurav’s Nikon P510 to keep our Lensman (Anoop) busy. We also had our smart phones as a back up to take photos and arguably they proved their worth. The day before the journey all the three of us did some shopping (kites, Frisbee, and some usual boy’s stuffs) to squander away time in Gokarna and also filled up diesel in the car before the recent price hike.

A week before our travel, we booked a cottage near Jog Falls called Stay@Muthuga, thanks to one of our Team BHPians for his suggestion & a place called Makra Village which was near Gokarna. In Gokarna we booked 2 days cottage type accommodation in Makara Village but paid in advance only for a day and this turned out to be a good decision.

So we were all set to start next morning from Bangalore to Sagara but were confused which route to take between 1 & 2 mentioned below.

Route 1: Bangalore - Nelamangala - Dabaspate - Tumkur - Gubbi - Thygatur - Tiptur - Arsikere - Kadur - Tarikere - Bhadravathi - Shimoga - Sagara – 348 Kms

Route 2: Bangalore - Chitradurga - Channagari - Shimoga - Thirthahalli - Kollur – Sagara - 378 Kms .

One of Anoop’s friends suggested that we take the Ariskere route as the road conditions were good until Sagara. We went with the first option as suggested by our good friend.
Keeping in mind the traffic conditions in the city, we started early morning around 3.45 AM. Understandably, the last thing you want to face especially when you are in high spirit for a vacation is to get entangled in a trail of honking vehicles on the way to rejuvenation. So we continued on the good four lane roads till Tumkur and after which we got into state highway that was in good condition apart from a few camouflaged road humps. We drove till Gubbi at a stretch before our first pit stop for a nice tea and pack of Good-day biscuits from roadside vendors. Our car was consistently doing 100 Kms/hr until we crossed Arsikere and then when the daylight broke, we decided to slow down and enjoy the scenic plantations and coconut lagoons on the road side. We also had ample time to take some photographs on the way and our check-in time @Muthuga was anyway at 11 am. We were way ahead of our schedule so decided to click some photos on the way. We reached our first destination Stay@Muthuga around 11 AM. Few words about this place of stay, it’s an extraordinary place for people who are looking for peace & nature. It’s set of cottages managed by a family who stays there. It’s a place where you find peace and solitude. The definition of peace and solitude involves us giving up our cell phone signals. Sometimes, staying away from your mobile phones also help recreate your mind. Another important word of advice for people who prefer non-veg , they DO NOT serve non-veg food @Muthuga and there’s no good food to eat within 20kms radius so have your things arranged. We decided to skip lunch as we had very good heavy buffet breakfast in Royal Orchid – Shimoga.

Our cottage was decent enough but was infested with mosquitoes and strange insects and we even found snake skin in the balcony. Given the location of this Home stay, all these hindrances were inevitable. The Home Stay is located in an isolated place and there are no mobile networks or TVs. Without wasting much time we headed straight to Jog Falls after unloading our luggage and freshening up. On the way to Jog it was raining and we also noticed some landslides which happened a few days back. We were a little bit nervous after watching the recent landslides that happened in Uttarakhand. We reached Jog falls in a matter of 15 minutes from our place of stay. We parked the car safely to take a look at the falls. Since it was raining continuously there was thick mist and the waterfall was at its peak flow. The concrete steps were built all the way down to the falls and we decided to give it a shot. Halfway through the steps we realized that this is not for the faint hearted. It’s a steep descend for almost 30 minutes and offcourse some troublesome monkeys were all over the place but it was all worth the effort. We witnessed the breath taking power of Nature from the closest point possible. The gushing sound of the water made us deaf and view made us embrace nature at its best. We spent almost good 2 hours at the bottom of the falls and depended on the mobile phones for picture as we felt it’s risky to take the camera there. After a non-stop climb to the top (1803 Foot Steps approx.) we called it a day and headed straight to our cottage for a well deserved rest.

Day 2, we headed for our next destination i.e. Murudeshwar but not before enjoying the authentic Uttar Karnataka breakfast which was offered “on the house” by Stay @ Mutuga. A beautiful drive through the Ghats section amidst the hills, forest reserve and some of the best scenic places to join the state highway to Murudeshwar. We spent some time offering our prayers to Lord Shiva and offcourse clicking few pictures. Spent some good 2 hours in Murudeshwar and hit the road to Gokarna.

We had booked our cottage in Makara Village and even though it’s called a village it was very much on the highway. The rooms were good and they also had pretty decent non-veg restaurant attached to the hotel. This hotel was almost 11 Kms before Gokarna and almost 19kms before OM beach and we were not impressed by the distance of the hotel from the beach. Since we paid in advanced for only one day, we decided to find some places of stay near OM beach for the 2nd day. In the evening, we went to OM beach to do some reconnaissance for our next day stay and also to get some good view of the beach. We reached OM beach and went to the Namaste beach side café for evening tea. While enquiring at the reception, we found out that they had some rooms available. We immediately booked our next day stay and went back to Makara village.

Next day morning we checked out of Makara Village and checked in at Namaste Café. A word of caution for anyone planning to stay at Namaste Café, there are no card facilities there so you may want to withdraw cash in Gokarna town before proceeding to OM beach. There wasn’t anything extraordinary about OM beach apart from the fact it’s shaped like OM. The waves were rough and water was a little dirty. One of our friends suggested that we go for a trekking all the way to Half Moon beach through the hills and rocks. We just started walking all the way up to the hill and found a beautiful cliff facing the sea. The place was utterly marooned and it was a spectacular view of the Arabian Sea from the cliff. We stayed there for good 2 hours and returned back to our café to start with the other planned activities. We tried to fly kites and hats-off to Gaurav for his effort. It flew all the way up dancing in the wind. Then we started playing Frisbee for good 1 hour and were completely exhausted by the time it was sunset. In a way it was good that we planned some activities much in advance as there was nothing much to do at OM beach apart from sitting in the café facing the sea. July 7th morning after the breakfast we started off from Gokarna to Bangalore and took the following route. We chucked the Chikmagalur plan as we wanted to reach Bangalore before sunset.

Gokarna – Sirisi – Havari – Davanagere – Chirtradurga – Tumkur – Mysore – 500 kms

We covered 500 kms in almost 8 hours and the roads were mostly good apart from few bad stretch until Havari. All in all it was a memorable trip and a much needed break. Posting few pictures taken during our trip.
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Old 12th July 2013, 09:57   #2
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway to Uttara Karnataka

Some of the pictures remind me of the "anisuthide yaako indu" song locations! Jog falls is amazing! Had been there once and I loved it completely.
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Old 12th July 2013, 11:05   #3
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway to Uttara Karnataka

jeethucj

Were there other places to stay near Jog Falls? I'm planning to go there tomorrow, but not getting enough options online.

Thanks,
-Pallav
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Old 12th July 2013, 16:33   #4
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway to Uttara Karnataka

Getting drenched during those shots near the falls should have been a wonderful feeling. Looks like you all enjoyed the trip a lot. Thanks.
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Old 12th July 2013, 19:29   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe1980 View Post
Some of the pictures remind me of the "anisuthide yaako indu" song locations! Jog falls is amazing! Had been there once and I loved it completely.
Joe1980,

Good observation!Jog is really amazing if one has the will to go all the down to take a look at the fall. The view from the bottom is Magical !

Quote:
Originally Posted by gurha View Post
jeethucj

Were there other places to stay near Jog Falls? I'm planning to go there tomorrow, but not getting enough options online.

Thanks,
-Pallav
Pallav,

I'm not sure if I'm too late for reply as you're starting tomorrow. We didn't notice any place of stay near to Jog apart from Stay@Muthuga. Although there were some accommodations available in Sagara.Keep in mind that Jog is almost 28 kms from Sagar. I would suggest you put up your stay in Sagara leave for jog in morning and come back in the evening. There's nothing to do in Jog after sunset. Hope this helps!

Thanks
Jeethu

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ddrive View Post
Getting drenched during those shots near the falls should have been a wonderful feeling. Looks like you all enjoyed the trip a lot. Thanks.
Ddrive,

You bet!Worth experiencing.

Thanks
Jeethu

Last edited by aah78 : 13th July 2013 at 19:30. Reason: Posts merged.
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Old 13th July 2013, 11:41   #6
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway to Uttara Karnataka

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeethucj View Post
Joe1980,

Good observation!Jog is really amazing if one has the will to go all the down to take a look at the fall. The view from the bottom is Magical !
I had been there once with one of my friend who lives very near to Shimoga. We went down and got wet just by the splashes from the waterfall. It was an awesome experience getting down and coming up again.
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Old 13th July 2013, 13:08   #7
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway to Uttara Karnataka

Very well written travelogue, jeethucj! Skoda Rapid looks wonderful parked at the resort. Nice pictures especially at the base of the falls. I may plan to do this trip in this monsoon with my family. Your detailed information will definitely help us.
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Old 13th July 2013, 16:40   #8
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway to Uttara Karnataka

Nice Travelogue, thanks for sharing!
How were the roads between Jog falls-Honnavar-Murudeshwar ?
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Old 15th July 2013, 20:21   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satshan View Post
Very well written travelogue, jeethucj! Skoda Rapid looks wonderful parked at the resort. Nice pictures especially at the base of the falls. I may plan to do this trip in this monsoon with my family. Your detailed information will definitely help us.
Satshan Sir,

Thanks much.I would defensibility recommend you to do the trip. It's worth it.

Regards
Jeethu

Satshan Sir,

Thanks Much. I would definitely recommend you to do the trip. All the best.

Regards
Jeethu

NPV,

Thank you. The roads between Jog and Honnovar is really scenic. We drove through some Ghat sections. Honnavar to Murudeshwar is a good 2 lane state Highway!

Regards
Jeethu

Last edited by Technocrat : 16th July 2013 at 03:05.
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