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Old 25th July 2013, 15:03   #1
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Default Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka

Life should not be measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments and places that take our breath away"

Monsoon has always been my favorite season starting from the long walk in the rains wearing knee-high gum boots and a long plastic raincoat to school through the forests of Borivali, Mumbai (yes, it could have been categorized as a jungle back then) to my monsoon drives every year as documented partly here (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...s-temples.html (Monsoon Break : Hills, waterfalls and temples!)).

The initial plan was to drive to Rajasthan particularly Pushkar but that got shelved. Then, I was torn between the HVK fans monsoon drive which promised to be a grand affair or a lonesome twosome trip with wifey to the interiors of Karnataka…. I settled for the latter!!!

The very fact that I deliberated over the choice of destination till the last moment meant that I was not able to make any bookings…just called a few places, confirmed availability and hoped that the Rain Gods would allow us to reach there.

I just can’t get enough of the rains and this year God has thrown the kitchen sink at us....so off we went towards the Western Ghats in the trusted Xylo. This is the story of a wet wet wet holiday!!

The first stop was Bison River Resort in Ganeshgudi, Dandeli around 650 kms from Mumbai so had an early 1am start and made our way to NH 4 in some moderately heavy truck traffic. Once on the expressway it was smooth sailing till Pune after which there are umpteen diversions to accommodate construction of over passes and flyovers which have damaged the roads till around Satara..It was smooth sailing after that and we reached Kolhapur city by around 7am, had a quick breakfast and moved on towards. Belgaum where we had to enter the city to make our way to Khanapur. The GPS on wifey’s Xperia SL guided us ably and threw us out of the city in no time.

Early morning on the NH4
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-nh4-early-mornig.jpg

Tararani on her steed!!
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-tararani-kolhapur.jpg

The real drive started after Khanapur….acres of verdant countryside rolled by culminating into dense forests at Ganeshgudi. The last few kms after Ganeshgudi to Supa dam and onto the Bison resort were particularly amazing with narrow roads rolling through all shades of green.

NH4 near Belgaum
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-nh4-near-belgaum.jpg

Verdant countryside after Khanapur
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-after-khanapur.jpg

'Twain shall not meet'
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-tracks-after-khanapur.jpg

Ganeshgudi Forests
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-ganeshgudi.jpg

The rain was incessant all the way through but we made it to the resort by 1pm, Bison resort is nestled on the edge of the Kali river and has lots of options for adventure sports. A sumptuous lunch was served by 2 after which we went down to the river for some kayaking and splashed around in a spot called “Natural Jacuzzi”. Essentially, it’s a rapid created by the river falling over rocks at one end of the resort and believe me, it’s a good experience.

View from the room at Bison river Resort
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-bison-view-room.jpg

Kayaking in the Kali Nadi
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-bison-2-kayaking.jpg

The Kali Nadi from Bison River backyard
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-bison-kali-naid.jpg

Natural Jacuzzi!!
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-bison-natural-jacuzzi.jpg

The predator...
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-bison-leech.jpg

And the victim
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-bison-victim.jpg

Cottages at the Bison River resort
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-bison-accomodation.jpg

Coming back to our room by 6pm, we had nothing much to do except roam around the resort listening to the roar of the rapids, watching the monkeys and listening to the plethora of jungle sounds all around us. Had a leisurely dinner and crashed for the night.

Another rainy day and another wet drive through the dense forests beckoned as we made our way to Sathodi falls. The lady in the GPS was sulking due to loss of network and we had to rely on a detailed map made out to us by the manager at Bison. The route from Bison is through Bapail – Potail – Kulgi – onto (Haliyal-Yellapur road)- onto (Hubli - Karwar road) for around 65kms.

The road branches off towards Sathodi from a small archway named Mysore minerals after which it’s a 25kms edge of the seat drive. There were lots of fallen trees along the route which were culled in the middle to make way. The last 6 kms are unpaved and with the rain still coming down, were slushy as well. Luckily we didn’t face oncoming traffic and could make it to the parking area.

Enroute to Sathodi falls
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-enroute-sathodi-1.jpg

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-enroute-sathodi-2.jpg

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Shooting...A fight scene being shot enroute to Sathodi Falls
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-enroute-sathodi-shooting.jpg

Last edited by nix1976in : 25th July 2013 at 20:59.
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Old 25th July 2013, 16:13   #2
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Default re: Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka

It’s a short 500-700 walk down to the falls through a dense forest and the unpaved ‘kaccha’ walkway has been almost washed away. We were egged on by the roar of the waterfall and it was a sight!. Though the height is around 50-60 feet, the sheer volume of the water and the roar of the falls makes it formidable.

Sathodi pathway
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-sathodi-pathway-1.jpg

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-sathodi-pathway-2.jpg

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Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-sathodi-pathway-5.jpg

And now behold the falls....
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-sathodi-falls-1.jpg

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-sathodi-falls-2.jpg

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Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-sathodi-falls-5.jpg

Reaching Yellapur, we had good lunch at Hotel Mumtaz on the main highway…the parathas laden with butter, the chicken 65 and the chicken sukka were finger licking to say the least...a must-visit if you are the in general area.

From Yellapur, a left takes us directly onto the Sirsi road but we made a mistake and continued on the Karwar road for around 20kms before realizing that we were on the wrong route. Made a U-turn and came back to Yellapur and joined the correct road to Sirsi. The roads are good and we reached Bakula Home Stay around 8kms from Sirsi town by 5.30pm.

Enroute to Sirsi
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-enroute-sirsi-1.jpg

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Bakula Homestay belongs to B.C.Hegde, a genial gentleman who has set up this place around 5yrs ago. The place has 6 neat and spacious cottages with a river flowing around 20 metres away hidden from view by the dense undergrowth and areca nut trees. I made good friends with the caretakers tiny 3 year old daughter Soundarya and we babbled away…she in kannada and me in gibberish!!

We went down to the river in the fading light after which Manjunath, the caretaker, organized a small covered campfire for us. Now, Mr Hegde also owns a bar and restaurant in Sirsi town so the dinner and brew came in from there and we crashed for the night.

The river behind the cottages
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-bakula-homestay-river.jpg

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-bakula-homestay-1.jpg

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The resident guard chilling by the campfire
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-bakula-homestay-mottu.jpg

Early morning saw us opening the bedroom window to the sight of a peacock right outside pecking away to glory till the resident dog ‘Mottu’ drove it away.

Peacock outside the bedroom window
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-bakula-homestay-peacock.jpg

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The river behind the homestay
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-bakula-homestay-river-1.jpg

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-bakula-homestay-river-2.jpg

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-bakula-homestay-river-3.jpg

We had a sumptuous breakfast of dosas, honey and red chutney and moved on towards Yana Rocks with fond memories of the homestay and Soundarya!!

The lady in the GPS was still sulking and we had to make do with another detailed map made by Mr. Hegde. He even helped us with numbers of KSDTC officials in Jog Falls to help book our hotel stay for the day.

Yana is around 45 kms from the place and the route is through Sirsi – Hegdekatta – Devanhalli – Vaddi Naka –Yana. The roads are good till the Vaddi Naka, after which it dissolves into a narrow path winding through the dense forest. It’s a lovely drive but I was apprehensive of a fallen tree or a huge bus blocking my path for those last 4-5 kms.

Enroute to Yana Rocks
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-enroute-yana-1.jpg

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-enroute-yana-2.jpg

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-enroute-yana-3.jpg
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Old 25th July 2013, 20:48   #3
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Now, Yana Rocks are essentially 2 gigantic monoliths, with the bigger one being accessible through a 1km downhill trek. There is a cave inside the rock and one can circumambulate the temple while passig through it however one has to do this small trek without footwear and trust me when I say that its sheer torture since the pathway is not paved and is strewn with sharp jagged rocks and slippery moss all the way. I stumbled all over the place before finally making it out huffing and puffing like a steam engine after which there is the 1km uphill trek back to the parking spot.

Yana Rocks Photologue
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-yana-1.jpg

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-yana-2.jpg

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Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-yana-9.jpg

Exhausted!!! ..I really need to go the gym now!!
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-yana-exhausted.jpg

We retraced our steps back to Devanhalli and took a left towards Manjuguni temple. The road winds through the verdant countryside passing small hamlets and converges on the small but beautiful temple dedicated to lord Venkataramana and Devi Padmavath and is also referred to as the “Tirupati of Karanataka”

Had a quick darshan and moved towards the Sirsi-Kumta road and retraced our steps all the way back to Sirsi giving Unchalli falls as miss as I didn’t want to walk another step!!!

Enroute to Manjuguni Temple
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-enroute-manjuguni-temple-1.jpg

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-enroute-manjuguni-temple-2.jpg

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Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-enroute-manjuguni-temple-6.jpg

Sirsi – Jog is a butter smooth road and we made it to Jog by around 6pm. Checked into the KSDTC Sharavati which has beautiful spacious rooms with amazing view of the falls right across. We could just jump out of the window and hop across to the view point.

Being a Sunday evening, the place was teeming with crowds but they all cleared out by 7pm. We walked down to the mess for dosa-idli breakfast and then watched the laser show and dancing fountains for a bit nearby.

Jog Falls
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-jog-1.jpg

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-jog-2.jpg

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-jog-3.jpg

View from the room at KSDTC Sharavati.
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-jog-view-room-1.jpg

A/c Deluxe Room at KSDTC Sharavati
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-jog-room.jpg

View from the room at KSDTC Sharavati.
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-jog-view-room-2.jpg

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-jog-view-room-3.jpg

Dinner was arranged by the caretaker from the mess and we crashed for the night.

Woke up nice and early…it was a foggy morning and Jog played hide and seek with us before giving us a glorious view finally…

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-jog-fog.jpg

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-jog-monkey.jpg

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Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-jog-morning-4.jpg

Checked out and went to the top view of Jog falls near the British Bungalow. The rain was incessant but the view is worth an arm and a leg….

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-jog-top-1.jpg
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Old 25th July 2013, 20:58   #4
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Default re: Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka

Some more Jog Top views

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-jog-top-2.jpg

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-jog-top-3.jpg

After spending around an hour watching the falls, we made our way back to Sirsi and finally joined the NH4 at Hubli and docked for the night at Hotel Opal in Kolhapur at around 6pm. Took a quick darshan at the Mahalakshmi temple and had a great carnivorous dinner at the famous Opal dining hall.

Enroute to Kolhapur
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-enroute-kolhapur.jpg

Opal Hotel, Kolhapur
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-opal-kolhapur.jpg

Mahalakshmi Temple, Kolhapur
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-mahalakshmi-temple.jpg

The ride home was sweet and simple from Kolhapur and packup was around 4pm with 1835kms on the odo.
Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-final-kms.jpg
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Old 26th July 2013, 08:20   #5
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Default re: Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka

Note from Mod : Thread moved to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing
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Old 26th July 2013, 16:30   #6
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Default Re: Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka

Beautiful pictures, Where was that picture of the railway track shot
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Old 27th July 2013, 14:05   #7
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Default Re: Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka

Awesome pics yaar,esp of Jog falls.

Looks like you guys had a blast.
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Old 27th July 2013, 14:55   #8
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Default Re: Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka

Wonderful travelogue. Loved seeing the pictures of the Monsoon.
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Old 27th July 2013, 21:45   #9
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Hello ,
took a quick glance through your TL and i can feel that anticipation feeling within me of wanting to do the same route that you have done.It definitely deserves to be done.In some time i am gonna go through the TL minutely but wanted to ask you if it is possible to share the details including contact numbers of the various places that you stayed for the night. It would be a major help while i plan this trip.
I would also take this opportunity to complement on the excellent photographs that have been posted , am sure there are many more just waiting to be posted.
regards
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Old 29th July 2013, 11:34   #10
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Default Re: Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka

Beautiful. Picturesque. Magnificent. Awesome photos mate. Really enjoyed watching. Seems like monsoon was in its full glory.

P.S - Would be helpful if you could put the entire route in gmaps here
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Old 31st July 2013, 09:09   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SR-71 View Post
Beautiful pictures, Where was that picture of the railway track shot
Thanks buddy, the shot was taken somewhere after Khanapur on an empty unmanned railway crossing...
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Old 1st August 2013, 23:18   #12
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Default Re: Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka

Just awesome. Thanks for sharing. It was as if I drove to all these places! Please give me more details about Ganeshgudi and Sirsi stay. I have been wanting to visit these places...ever since!
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Old 5th August 2013, 12:20   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsdbsd View Post
Just awesome. Thanks for sharing. It was as if I drove to all these places! Please give me more details about Ganeshgudi and Sirsi stay. I have been wanting to visit these places...ever since!
Glad you liked the pics. The details of the stay are as below...you will get all information from the mentioned websites.

Dandeli (Ganeshgudi) : Bison River resort : Contact person : Nixon (098862 30539) : Tariff : 2250 per person.

Sirsi : Bakula Home Stay : Contact Person : B.G. Hegde (9902043256) : Tariff : 1400/- per cottage.

Pls let me know if you need any other details.

Regards,
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Old 7th August 2013, 08:35   #14
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Default Re: Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka

Quote:
Originally Posted by swsumit View Post
Hello ,
took a quick glance through your TL and i can feel that anticipation feeling within me of wanting to do the same route that you have done.It definitely deserves to be done.In some time i am gonna go through the TL minutely but wanted to ask you if it is possible to share the details including contact numbers of the various places that you stayed for the night. It would be a major help while i plan this trip.
I would also take this opportunity to complement on the excellent photographs that have been posted , am sure there are many more just waiting to be posted.
regards

Hi Sumit,
Glad you liked the pics. Pls see the above post for details of 2 places where we stayed. In addition to this we also stayed at the KSDTC Shravati at Jog Falls and the Opal Hotel at Kolhapur. Both these places have detailed websites if you look them up on Google. Pls let me know if I can be of any more assistance.

Regards,
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Old 7th August 2013, 17:27   #15
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Default Re: Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka

Bonus Pic : Panorama at Bakula Guest House.

Monsoon Break 2013…Hills, waterfalls and temples (Redux) : Mumbai to Karnataka-dsc_1217.jpg

Ps: Pls view in full size in a separate window!
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