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Old 17th November 2010, 18:15   #1
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Default Shivanasamudra Falls and Somanathpura

When I bought my Punto 6 months back, my initial plan was to visit some neighbouring tourist places every alternate weekend. Ofcourse, this hasn't happened and the only trip i had done before this , was to Lepakshi.
Once my Lepakshi trip was done, I had been planning for a trip to Shivanasamudra for a long time, but the trip kept getting postponed every weekend due to some reason or the other.

Finally, everything came together on the 31st of October ( Sunday ). Since 1st November was a holiday in Karnataka, I would get some time to recharge myself before getting back to work on Tuesday. So the plan was fixed and we decided that we ( me, my wife, my friend, her husband and her kid ) would all travel in my Punto.

We originally planned to start at 6:30 AM but it was 7:30 AM by the time we left our home in Marathahalli. Our planned route was as follows :

Marathahalli --> Bannerghatta Road --> Nice Road --> Kanakpura Road --> Shivanasamudra --> Somanathpura --> Malavalli --> Bangalore

Traffic was light and we reached Bannerghatta road by 8 AM. Here, we made our first stop for breakfast. It was around 8:30 AM by the time we were done with breakfast and started again.

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Since this was my first time on this road, I kept asking for directions to Nice road, but I realised later that you don't really need to ask for directions. The turn to Nice road is quite clear when you reach it. Nice Road was a pleasure to drive on. We paid the toll till Kanakpura Road (18 Rs ) and then took the Kanakpura Road exit when we reached there. From there it was a matter of just following the Kanakpura Road.
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The road here was quite good except that we had to pass through a few villages and towns where people seem to feel below their dignity to let cars pass or stop chatting and get off the road when you see a car. There were a few small potholes here and there in towns, especially in Kanakpura, but it wasn't that bad. I had reset my trip meter before resuming my journey after breakfast. When I checked the FE near Malavalli, I was pleasantly surprised to see this :

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Once we crossed Malavalli, there were clear directions for Shivanasamudra. Normally, you turn left to Shivanasamudra on this road to go to the Gaganchukki falls. But having read from other BHPians that the view from this place is almost the same as from the Dargah on the way to Barachukki, I decided to not waste time going by this route. Turns out that it was a good decision. After going further, we reached a place where many people had stopped. I took this opportunity to click a few pics of my Punto, while the others looked at me like I was weird .

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After this , we kept going straight till we crossed a few bridges that were wide enough for a single vehicle. Once we cross the 3rd bridge, there is a left turn immediately, to go to Barachukki falls. The directions board says that this is the road to the Dargah and you have to take this road.

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The road from here is bad ( although not as bad as some roads that we were to encounter later ). It had rained the previous day, so there was one part where we had to wade through water for around 10 m. The Dargah is around 6 Kms on this road. Once we reached the Dargah, I parked my car and then went to take a look at the Gaganchukki falls. There is ample parking place near the Dargah , so you need not worry about the parking. From here, you can see the view point on the opposite side , where people who take the left turn for Shivanasamudra end up. The view seems to be almost same from both sides, so I don't see the point in driving an extra 12 kms only for this, when you can get the same view from here .

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The view point from the other side can be seen in the above pic.

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However, a word of caution. The area where you stand to take a look at the falls near the Dargah is extremely dirty. If you are not careful, you might step on human faeces. Seems like the people who have shops here have no other place to go to relieve themselves .

After spending around 10-15 minutes here, we moved forward to visit Barachukki Falls. This is where the actual fun is. These falls are smaller than the Gaganchukki falls, but they are no less majestic and we can have a lot of fun here. I parked my car and then we started the climb down the steps. The steps here are not very good and if it rains, people could very easily slip and fall a considerable distance, so we need to be careful here. Near the bottom, there are a few vendors selling some eatables and this could be a good place to recharge yourselves before starting the climb back.

Once you reach the bottom, you can see 2 major falls. The one in the below pic is where you can take a boat ride for 100 Rs and the boatman takes you very near to the falls.
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We decided to take the boat ride first and we had a lot of fun. Once we got close to the falls, I couldn't take any more pics as there was a lot of spray on the lens. The ride itself was very exciting and there is a spot where the boatman rotates the boat for some time. Everyone on the boat enjoyed it a lot. My wife wanted us to go for another round but finally, we decided against it.

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In the above pic, I keep wondering how people managed to write those words on that rock.

Now, we turned our attention to the other falls at this place.
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Here, there is a place, where people had to cross the river by holding each other and the rocks, so that you could reach these falls and then take a bath right under the falls. The task of crossing the river was quite tough for people who had kids or baggage. The rocks were very slippery and the current was fast. So you had to hold onto whatever you got and cross it slowly. People were quite friendly here and kept helping each other when someone slipped.

To be Continued....

Last edited by Newpunter : 17th November 2010 at 18:18.
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Old 17th November 2010, 18:38   #2
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Once we crossed this , we reached the other side, where people were enjoying a lot under the falls. This was easily the best part of the trip. I decided to join the fun and got into the water along with my wife. Immediately, I realised something I hadn't planned for. I was wearing my contacts and the force of the water was such that I could easily lose my contacts. I had no spare with me at that time and since I was the only planned driver ( my friend could drive too , but I wouldn't let anyone else touch my Punto ), I had to come out of the water pretty soon.

The rest of my time here was spent snapping pics while everyone else had fun. Atleast my wife and my friend's family, especially her kid had a lot of fun.

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After around an hour or more time spent in the water, we started our way back with a heavy heart. My wife didn't want to leave the water at all. Now, we had to cross the water again. This time, it felt a little more difficult than the first time. I had put my camera belt around my next and started crossing the water. When we reached around half distance ( the width is only around 10 m -15 m ) , I slipped on a rock and had to put my hand on one of the rocks in the water to balance myself. Meanwhile, my other hand hit my wife and she fell into the water and started floating alongwith the current . Luckily, someone got hold of her and meanwhile, I recovered myself and caught her too. After this, we crossed the water without any incident.

When we reached the other side, I found that my camera had gone underwater in the incident and it wouldn't switch on. Now, this was the opportunity for the ladies to give me some good lectures on how to keep things safe. I told them to relax and told them that i would take the camera to a service center and get it fixed. I was disappointed coz we still had Somanathpura to cover and mine was the only camera on the trip.

We started climbing the steps slowly after having a few snacks at the bottom. The climb wasn't that bad as we had imagined( although my wife was tired halfway and we had to stop for some time ). Once we reached the top, I changed into some dry clothes and then checked my camera again. Luckily it switched on , although there was some moisture on the screen.

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By the time we started on our journey to Somanathpura, it was around 2 PM. Our plan was to reach Somanathpura by 3 and then spend time till 4 PM there. Well, things don't always turn out according to our plans.

Last edited by Newpunter : 17th November 2010 at 18:47.
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Old 17th November 2010, 19:05   #3
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The route that we had planned to take to Somanathpura was the one where, while returning from the Dargah route, once you get back to the highway, turn right ( towards Malavalli ) and once you cross the first bridge, there is a left turn immediately. There is a board here that says Somanathpura 30 Kms. I had looked up this route on Google Maps and this seemed like the shortest route to Somanathpura from Barachukki falls.

The other route would be to keep following the NH and go round a long distance and get to Somanathpura. On hindsight, this would probably have been a better route. The road that we took was very bad. In some places, there wasn't any road at all and it was just small rocks that passed off as roads. There were some good patches on the way, but it was very less. The bottom of my Punto scrapped the road a couple of times. The route is pretty straightforward though. You just have to keep straight on this road till you reach the SH after around 27 Kms or so.

One good thing though was that the greenery around this road is very good. There were a couple of places where we were tempted to stop for a while. There was one spot which would have made an ideal picnic spot with a lot of trees and fallen leaves on the ground. It was beautiful. But we didn't stop anywhere as our plan was to return to Bangalore before nightfall.

Finally, once we reached the SH, we had to take a right turn and Somanathpura is only around 3 Kms from here. The road on this patch is very good. Once you reach Somanathpura, you take a left turn into the village for about a 100m to reach the Kesava Temple. There is some parking place but you are charged around 20 Rs for a car. I parked the car and took the tickets ( 5 Rs each ) to enter the temple.

Once, we entered the temple, we forgot all the bad roads that we had to put up with to reach here. It was simply worth all the effort. Our eyes and mouths were wide open in wonder as we set our eyes upon the most beautiful temple we had ever seen in real life. I was surprised that there were so few visitors to this beautiful temple. I switched on my camera and clicked away merrily.

There were very few visitors here and one of them was a foreigner who remarked that this was a Jewellery box full of Jewels. I couldn't agree more with him. The carvings on the temple were beautiful . I read a little about the history and found that this was built around the 12th-13th Century by a general of the Hoysala kingdom called Somanath and he named the village after himself.

A few pics :

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Old 17th November 2010, 19:27   #4
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Nice!! Guess I will make this trip in the coming month too. Thanks for the travelogue, now I am inspired to repeat your journey

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Old 17th November 2010, 20:31   #5
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After clicking away to my heart's content ( there are a lot more pics but I'm too tired to post them now ) , we finally started our way back at around 4:30 PM. The route from here is to continue straight on the road that we had came on till we reach the right turn to Malavalli. Once we reach Malavalli, we get onto to Kanakpura road and continue till Nice Road.

The road from here till the turn to Malavalli was very good generally but was horrible near the villages. I don't know what bureaucratic procedures are involved in this , but the roads were very well laid just till the entrance of a village and from there till the village ended, the road was horrible to say the least. After crossing a few villages, my Punto's bottom scraping the road became a common occurence and at some places i had to drive perpendicular to the road to avoid some huge potholes. This was the trend till we reached the right turn to Malavalli ( don't remember the name of town/ village where we take this turn ). From here, the road was consistently bad, but not as bad as the village roads that we met earlier. It was driveable with some pot holes here and there.

Once we reached Malavalli, we got a bit confused as to which way to go to reach Kanakpura road. thankfully, there was a cop on the road who pointed us the right way. But we had lost so much time negotiating the bad stretches that in a little while after we got onto Kanakpura road, it got dark and we had to switch on our headlights. I hate driving in the dark due to all the morons who don't know the difference between using the high beam and the low beam. And these morons were in abundance on this particular day.

I kept my speed slow due to all these and heaved a sigh of relief once we crossed Kanakpura. we were almost home. We had one more hurdle however. To get onto Nice Road from Kanakpura road, after you cross under the Nice road , there is sharp right turn. Since this was my first time on this road, I didn't know where the right turn was and the darkness made it a little more difficult. Add to this, the number of drivers behind your trying to overtake you. Luckily, I located the exit and gave the indicator and when I saw that there was no one close on the opposite side as well as behind me, I took a sharp turn onto the Nice Road entry. My friends sitting behind were shaken when i took this turn, but I pretty sure i had checked everything before executing the turn.

Once we got onto Nice road, it was a pretty straightforward route . We reached Bannerghatta road in no time, but decided that we would continue on the Nice road till Electronic city, instead of putting up with the traffic on Bannerghatta road. This was a good decision as we saved a lot of time avoiding the traffic on Bannerghatta road and the road till Silk Board. We reached Marathahalli by 8 PM.

Trip Stats :

Total distance covered : 360 Kms
Mileage ( according to MID ) : 16 Km/ L
No. of People on trip : 4 Adults, 1 Kid
Start Time : 7:30 AM
End Time : 8:00 PM
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Old 17th November 2010, 21:01   #6
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Nice pics......and write up.....

this is the right time to go and enjoy the falls. It has rained copiously and the falls are an awesome sight. Some tips

a) Leave early and have breakfast on Mysore road - Kamat Lokaruchi or Adigas or Shivalli tiffin room are good options. All between Ramanagaram and Maddur. Lokaruchi is generally crowded on weekends.

b) Going in coracle during this season is very dangerous. I do not advise. It is risky and there are no lifeguards in this area.

c) No heroics in this place please!! Climbing rocks close to falls is dangerous as it is slippery and one may end up falling into water which has whirlpools.

d) Not advisable to take bath under water falls during this season. The KRS Dam upstream is full and they are leaving excess water which may result in falsh floods.

e) You dont get anything to eat there except light snacks. Better pack your lunch.

Play safe and enjoy the beauty!!!
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Old 19th November 2010, 12:31   #7
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Reminds me of my trip to shivanasamudram in 2008.
Check the link
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Old 19th November 2010, 14:42   #8
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Good enjoyable reading ! Thanks for the time. I am inspired to take this route one day with family.
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Old 19th November 2010, 16:11   #9
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The trip is really worth while, especially if you include Somanathpura in the itinerary. There isn't much to do at Gaganchukki falls but Barachukki falls are a lot of fun, although we need to be very careful. The roads are also quite decent except for a few streches.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 17:07   #10
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Oh god! I missed Somanathapura! Have to do the trip all over again!

Lovely travelogue with beautiful pics btw. .
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Old 22nd November 2010, 17:21   #11
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Thanks. I think it is a good time to visit the place. The water seems to be in full flow and the weather is great. The roads are also quite decent except for a few places.
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