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Old 6th September 2014, 00:01   #1
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Default Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls

Jog falls and Agumbe was an on-off plan since past couple of years. Finally this year we planned of visiting during Independence day weekend.

Plan was to start from Bangalore early, visit Jog falls and reach Agumbe by evening. Stay over in Agumbe for next two days, visiting any places nearby and enjoying the nature.

However stay options at Agumbe is limited. Apart from the legendary Dodamane there are no worthwhile stay options around Agumbe. So we decide to stay at Theerthahalli which is mid-way between Agumbe and Shimoga. There are numerous home stay's around Theerthahalli, however due to extended weekend I am not able to find rooms anywhere. Again plan dropped.

Prospect of sitting at home after planning an entire trip is irritating to say the least. So book at Hi-Point home stay for the next available weekend, a three day weekend from 29-31 AUG.

The plan

Start early from Bangalore on 29 AUG, visit Jog falls and reach Theerthahalli by late afternoon. We plan to visit places around Theerthahalli in evening and around Agumbe the next day.
On 31 AUG we plan to start from Theerthahalli early in morning and visit Gajanur dam, Sakrabyle elephant camp and Channagiri fort enroute.


29-AUG-14

We start from our home near Bellandur around 04.20 AM, we wanted to start bit early to avoid long-weekend rush at toll booths en-route. Though it is early in morning we decide to take NICE road to reach Tumkur road instead of going through the town.

It is 04.55 AM when we reach NICE road Electronics city entry. Thankfully Tumkur road toll booths are not crowded yet. We take our first break at HP bunk near Dabaspete. Though I had filled diesel before start of the journey, decided to top up from this HP bunk since I wanted to avoid filling from unknown bunks en-route.

Since earlier discussions on TBHP had mentioned that Tumkur bye-pass is not in great shape we decide to cross through the town. Since it is early we are able to cross Tumkur in no time and proceed on NH 206. Road conditions are good throughout and traffic is minimal.

There are two Cafe Coffee days located few KM's ahead and after Arsikere. We had almost made up our mind to make one of these as our stop over for breakfast during planning phase. However from route planning thread came to know about another hotel further ahead near Kadur. Hence we stop at Vinayaka Cafe just before Kadur.

The place was getting crowded and looks like a famous food joint around here. The food was tasty and rates reasonable, any-day better than CCD's.

After a break of around 30 mins we start at 08.45 AM.

Scenery starts changing and it starts drizzling.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_4948.jpg

Soon we reach near turn off to Jog falls

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5027.jpg

There is heavy fog around, our hopes of seeing falls have sunk.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5036.jpg

We reach the Jog falls entry and proceed towards parking area, the area around viewing point is well maintained. Time is 11.35 AM.

Parking charge is Rs. 30 for cars.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5119.jpg

We walk towards falls viewing area and this is the view that awaits us

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5048.jpg

We decide to wait for couple of hours in hope the view will clear, we walk around to kill time

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5063.jpg

There is a KSTDC run hotel near the view point, we have an early lunch from there. The food was nothing to complain about, after lunch when we came out of the restaurant the fog has cleared to a great extent. So we run towards the view area for this breathtaking view.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5070.jpg

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5086.jpg

Along with us all the tourists awaiting for fog to lift was furiously capturing the pics. However just as fast as it cleared the fog falls back

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5115.jpg

And in no time the falls is covered again.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5117.jpg

We don't have much hope of fog clearing anytime soon, so we start towards Thirthahalli.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 7th September 2014 at 19:05.
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Old 6th September 2014, 18:03   #2
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Default re: Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls

Thirthahalli

We take Sagar - Anandapuram - Ripponpet - Thirthahalli route. There was posts about road condition around Ripponpet bad earlier. However road conditions are great as of now.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5151.jpg

Hi- Point home-stay is run by a gentleman named Mr. Gowtham. He stays in the ground floor of the house and rents out the top floor.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5464.jpg

There is parking space for more than 2 cars inside the compound. Unlike other home-stays around Thirthahalli Hi-Point does not serve food. However there are couple of restaurants near by.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5152.jpg

First floor lobby, there is a bed here too which can be used if there is a bigger group.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5459.jpg

First bed room

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5460.jpg

Second bed room

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5462.jpg


It is around 04.00 PM, we take rest for around an hour and start towards Kuppali.

Kavimane - Kuvempu house

Kavimane is house of renowned Kannada poet Kuvempu. Kuppali is located around 18 KMS from Thirthahalli.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5154.jpg


Turn off towards Kuppali from NH 13

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5437.jpg

House of the poet is converted in to a museum. Household items, books of poet and other personal belongings are kept on display.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5160.jpg

House is managed by a trust now, a guide takes you around the house. It takes around forty mins to see around the house. Photography is not allowed inside the house.

Next to the house is Kavishala. This is the place where a monument is constructed for the poet.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5168.jpg

It is past 06.00 PM by time we return from Kavishala, there is a gallery next to Kavishala. Since it is late we give it a miss and head back to Thirthahalli.


Thirthahalli is a small town located between Shimoga and Agumbe.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5465.jpg

There are quiet few home-stays in Thirthahalli. For our food we visited Hotel Mayura during our entire stay over there. It is a veg only hotel and serves great food.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 6th September 2014 at 19:35.
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Old 6th September 2014, 20:04   #3
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller - Chasing the rains - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog falls

30- AUG - 14

Our plan is to visit around Agumbe today.

We start towards Agumbe, it is lush green all-around.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5701.jpg


Kundadri Temple

Our first destination is Kundadri Jain temple. For reaching the temple you need to take left while coming from Theerthahalli. You pass through lush greenery.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5259.jpg

The final ~5 KMS is a steep climb to top of hill.The hill is covered in dense forest with few streams originating from them.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5218.jpg

The route to temple is not marked in Map my India navigation, the temple is mapped though.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5247.jpg

We reach parking space of the temple, from there you need to take few steps to reach near temple.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5248.jpg

Entry to temple is allowed from 08.30 AM - 06.30 PM.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5249.jpg

Temple is covered in fog and apart from us there is only one group of tourists there

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5250.jpg

There are two small ponds next to the temple, the temple is said to be one of the oldest in Karnataka.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5255.jpg

Due to fog we are unable to see the valley from temple. We spend sometime around the temple and then proceed towards Agumbe.

Just before Agumbe town

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5263.jpg

Agumbe is a small village, there are no hotels to stay apart from the legendary Doddamane.

The 80's TV series Malgudi Days was shot in Agumbe, the forest around Agumbe was a maoist area till few years back. Though I am not aware of any attacks, till few years back there was a police outpost due to the same near the village.

Also these forest has the highest density of King Cobras.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5311.jpg

We drive across the village and proceed towards Sun set point, again it is foggy.

Sunset point Agumbe

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5288.jpg

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5300.jpg

Once done we return back to the village and stop over at Hotel Mayura, this hotel is owned by the same people who has hotel of same name in Thirthahalli. This is the only hotel we found in Agumbe, it is located in bus stand complex. Food is average and options limited.

Hotel cum bus stand complex -

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5312.jpg

Other stay option in Agumbe, this hotel is located almost opposite to bus stand.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5313.jpg


Once lunch done I take a walk around Agumbe, I walk towards Doddamane. Sign boards mentioning distances from Agumbe to other places -

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5314.jpg

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5318.jpg

Doddamane

Though I wanted to meet Kasturi Akka who owns Doddamane, was not able to find anyone outside the house.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5316.jpg

The house opposite to Doddamane is owned by sister of Kasturi Akka, they have two rooms on the first floor which is open to tourists. A rusty bus used in sets of Malgudi days used to be present in front of this house. However the gate was locked and bus was not to be seen.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5317.jpg

Disappointed I walk back to the hotel, another place I wanted to visit in Agumbe was the ARRS - Agumbe Rain forest research station.

ARRS

Before starting to Agumbe we came to know that the famous King Cobra tagging project was completed. While in Thirthahalli we came to know that both Romolus Whitaker and also Gowrishankar are not present at ARRS since they are on vacation.

Though disappointed, we plan to visit ARRS. The research station is located couple of KM's off the road. From Agumbe we take the road towards Thirthahalli and then just after town take a left. It is a dirt road which which does not have any directions.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5319.jpg

Soon the road becomes slushy due to the rain

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5352.jpg

The route passes through dense forest

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5358.jpg

We reach the research station

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5351.jpg

We spend some time there talking with the volunteers and then start back. We reach back at Hotel Mayura at Agumbe and after a short break plan of going to Sirimane falls near Sringeri

Last edited by mpksuhas : 6th September 2014 at 23:45.
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Old 6th September 2014, 22:39   #4
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller - Chasing the rains - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog falls

Sirimane falls

From Agumbe we take SH 27 towards Sringeri. Road conditions again is good

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5373.jpg

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5378.jpg

Just before reaching Sringeri town we take a right and proceed on NH 13, few KMS on this road we need take a right again for Sirimane falls. There are signboards in the last leg of the route.

Around 5 KM's before the falls road condition deteriorates

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5400.jpg

We reach the entry to the falls

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5403.jpg

There is sufficient parking area near falls

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5435.jpg

There is a ticket counter and restrooms near parking. It is required to take few steps down to reach near falls-

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5407.jpg

Falls are in full flow, it is possible to get in to water here since water at foot of falls is shallow. There is a changing room next to the steps too.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5410.jpg

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5424.jpg

It is past 04:30 PM and we start back to Thirthahalli.

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Old 6th September 2014, 22:51   #5
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Default re: Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls

31-AUG-14

We start at 10.30 AM after breakfast. For return we are planning to take Shimoga - Channagiri - Chitradurga route.

Mandagadde bird sanctuary

Around 60 KM's from Agumbe towards Shimoga we reach Mandagadde bird sanctuary. This can be termed as a drive-by bird sanctuary and is visible from road itself.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5479.jpg

All birds are perched on just couple of trees located almost equidistant from both the banks in the river. River is in overflowing from the banks, hence the trees may be outside water during other seasons.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5505.jpg

All the birds we saw were egret's.

After spending few minutes we start towards Sakkare Bylu elephant camp.


The road and scenery becomes beautiful, few places water level in river has increased causing partially submerged road.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5513.jpg

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5530.jpg


Sakkare Bylu elephant camp

Soon we reach elephant camp, elephants from here are taken inside forest during day time. Hence you need to be in the camp by 10.30 AM, when elephants are taken out.
It is around 11.30 AM now, luckily for us we reach when they are taking the elephants outside to forest.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5558.jpg

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5573.jpg

Whats in your rear view mirror ?

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5585.jpg

The camp

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5602.jpg

We proceed towards Gajanur dam


Gajanur Dam

Soon after crossing elephant camp we reach Gajanur dam. It is possible to view dam from the road. We park the car and walk towards the dam, though parking is charged entry to dam is free.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5622.jpg

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5624.jpg

We need to climb the steps down and go towards the substation on the left to view the dam fully.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5665.jpg



Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5642.jpg

It is 12.50 PM when we start from dam.

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Old 6th September 2014, 23:53   #6
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Default re: Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls

We cross Shimoga and take Channagiri route. Road condition is bit bad around here.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5705.jpg

Soon we reach Channagiri

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5707.jpg

Channagiri fort is visible from the road.


Channagiri fort

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5708.jpg

We take a right turn from highway towards the fort. It is not possible to take the vehicle till the fort. We need to park the vehicle near foot of the hill and walk to the fort.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5742.jpg

We reach fort around 02.10 PM

Details about fort -

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5709.jpg


Fort is almost isolated, there is a small temple on top of the hill.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5712.jpg


View of Channagiri town from top of the fort

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5734.jpg


We reach back to foot of the hill by 03.00 PM, we have skipped lunch and are in search of a resturant. On checking in town we come to know there are no descent restaurants near by.There is a pay and use toilet in KSRTC bus stand, we take a break there and start towards Chitradurga. En-route we stop for few minutes and have bread and jam that we were carrying.

Road condition is good between Channagiri and Chitradurga.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5758.jpg


One of the many wind mills around Chitradurga

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5808.jpg

We crossed Chitradurga by 04:40 PM and proceed towards Sira BPCOCO and Kamat located next to the same. I am running low on diesel, hence fill diesel and take a break for snacks.

Thanks to extended weekend the place is crowded like anything, it takes around an hour for us to get two plates of vada. We start towards Bangalore around 06:20 PM.

Traffic becomes heavy once we cross Tumkur toll and bad on crossing Nelamangla.

Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls-suh_5848.jpg

We take NICE road from Tumkur road and head towards Silk Board, it is 09.00 PM when we reach NICE road electronics city exit.

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Old 7th September 2014, 12:10   #7
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller - Chasing the rains - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog falls

Epilogue
  • Hi-Point home stay where we stayed has two bed rooms but only one bathroom. We were not aware of this while booking, I would suggest this place to anyone only if you will be renting one room.
  • Once you cross Tumkur, on Sagar - Jog route good fuel bunks are not available. As per TBHPian meetbadri an HP bunk located in Sagar almost here is the best bet.
  • Anyone travelling to Agumbe / Thirthahalli should take the Shimoga - Thirthahalli route once just to experience the beauty of that. Beautiful two lane road with forest on one side and river on other. TBHPian Ampere was harping about this route in many posts, on driving through there made out the reason why.
  • Few places which we did not visit to make trip bit more relaxing - Jogimatti, Onake Abbi falls, Sringeri Mutt.
  • Bangalore - Jog route thread (Bangalore - Jog travel. Where to Stay?).
  • Bangalore - Shimoga route thread.
  • There is a new Jungle Lodges property open near Jog Falls, this can be a good stay option for those visiting Jog.
  • Thanks to TBHPians Ampere, NPV Meetbadri, Fast_elegance for help with route planning.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 7th September 2014 at 18:48.
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Old 7th September 2014, 20:12   #8
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Default Re: Thread name to - Wanderlust Traveller - Chasing the rain - Agumbe- Thirthahalli -

Note from Support: Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 7th September 2014, 20:49   #9
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Default Re: Thread name to - Wanderlust Traveller - Chasing the rain - Agumbe- Thirthahalli -

A very refreshing travelogue indeed! I visited these places during December end. It was not the monsoon season, but still the beauty of these places was no less. We did Kalasa/Horanadu/Udupi/Kollur/Udupi/Thirthahalli/Shimoga.

Since it was Dec I skipped Jog. One place which you could have added is Vani Vilas sagar on the way back. No diversions needed.
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Old 7th September 2014, 22:52   #10
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Default Re: Thread name to - Wanderlust Traveller - Chasing the rain - Agumbe- Thirthahalli -

All the photographs are cool, and you did it at the right time during monsoons.
Another informative wanderlust travelogue. Keeps us wanting for more.
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Old 8th September 2014, 14:31   #11
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Default re: Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls

A must visit place during the monsoons. Journey being more beautiful than the destinations!!

Where next?
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Old 8th September 2014, 16:54   #12
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Default re: Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls

@suhas - Excellent travelogue and lovely pictures, the same places I visited few months ago look so different when they are drenched in fog & mist! More reasons to visit the same places another time
Thanks for sharing

Also:
-There is an Indian Oil bunk about 50m away from the road on right side after Sagar just before forest section begins (so it is at end of forest section when coming from Honnavara side and on the left side 50m away from road).
-There was a Jungle Lodges property just opposite the Sakre Byle Elephant camp, looked interesting but did not go inside to look at the place.

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Old 9th September 2014, 20:07   #13
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls

I think this is the first time I've seen my native on T-BHP and boy! Am I happy!? A few more places you could visit around Channagiri:

1. Shantisagara (for the nature lover) - around 15-18 KMs from Channagiri - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanti_Sagara

2. Muddenahalli Hanuman Temple (for the religious) - in the opposite direction to the fort

3. Shahaji Raje Bhosle's Samadhi (Shivaji's Father - for the history-lovers)
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Old 9th September 2014, 21:54   #14
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls

Excellent write up with mesmerizing supporting pictures

Lures me to take the route yet again.
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Old 10th September 2014, 09:30   #15
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Chasing the rain - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Jog Falls

Nice travelogue ! I just relived most of these places I visited 2 years back. Thanks for summing up the beauty of Malenaadu in your pictures.

Last edited by GTO : 19th October 2014 at 09:23. Reason: Typos
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