Car Trip Bangalore to Jog falls, Honnavar, Murudeswar & Gokarna


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June 28th 2015
Published: June 28th 2015
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Karnataka boasts no. of splendid waterfalls situated in various spots of Western Ghat Region. Best time to enjoy the waterfalls is during monsoon. Last week the news of monsoon spreading towards Coastal Karnataka was highlighted in various media channels. We were in two minds, whether this would be the right time to visit that region, particularly by road. Ultimately, last Friday (19thJune, 2015) late evening,we made up our minds and booked on line accommodation in Jog Falls.



Day 1 - 20th June, 2015

Way to Jog Falls

Next day myself along with my wife and son started in our Car towards JOG FALLs. It is one of the highest waterfall in India (around 900ft) located around 400 KMs from Bangalore.Our destination was Hotel MayuraGerusoppaJogfalls of Karnataka Tourism. We started a bit late (around 6.15 AM) since the program was made suddenly and without much planning. After filling petrol when we reached near Yeshwantpur it was past seven.My wife helped to navigate me with “Google” and GPS in hand. My son joined the navigation occasionally.

Route Bangalore to Chitradurga

Our route plan was to reach near Chitradurga via NH 4 (Bangalore Mumbai Highway) then take left turn towards Shimoga thru NH 13 (Sholapur Mangalore Highway)and finally take NH 206 (Bangalore – Honnavar Highway) to reach Jog Falls via Sagar.

From Yaswantpurupto near Neelamangala there was morning traffic. After crossing the second Toll Gate (Rs 18, First Toll gate we paid Rs 20), no of vehicles considerably reduced and we could drive fast. It was a pleasure to drive through NH4, which was a four lane Highway and well maintained.

After reaching Sira (8.35 AM) thru Tumkur, followed by Patterhalli (8.55 AM) and Hiriyur (9 AM), we reached our first destination near Chitradurga(9.30 AM) where we took left turn after a lake and enter NH 13 (Sholapur Mangalore Highway). On the way there were hundreds of Windmills installed in the hilltop which provided a nice view.

Weather was cloudy with small showers in between.

Chitradurga to Shimoga

Felt hungry and finished breakfast at a roadside hotel immediately after Chitradurga town(10 AM). This area was surrounded by small hills with big boulders, no vegetation.

Road condition of NH 13 was not at all conducive for smooth driving. The road was getting broadened (two lane) for which construction work was going on at various places. Road materials mixed with rainwater made matters worse. Above all the road was broken in some places. Negotiating all these,when we reached Chennagiri (11AM) and Shimoga(12 AM) crossing Tunga River, already the car was very dirty with wheels and lower part becoming red mingled with debris.

Stopped at TungaRiver to decide the next destination. Crossing two three circles, few Medical Colleges finally touched NH 206 (Honnavar Highway). This road although not very broad but was well maintained.

From Shimoga to Sagar was around 90 Kms. Thereafter we entered a sanctuary. Forest started. Now the scenario changed. Hilly tracks, in between villages. We saw a big village market on the road including Fish market also.

Rain,Rain,Rain

After that, rain started. Incessant rain, as if the whole sky was releasing its deposits on our car and on the road. Car wiper at its maximum speed, Windscreen flooded with waterflow, only the sound of rain on all sides.

It was thrilling, may be risky, but we came to see this.

Entering Jog Falls

We pierced the rain and entered our ultimate destination for the day, JOG FALLs crossing Saravatiriver at around 2 PM(425 Kms from Bangalore, 106 Kms from Shimoga,26 Km from Sagar).

Hotel Mayura Gerusoppa Jog falls, Karanataka Tourism was well maintained. I came here around ten years back. It was renovated. Inside room was cosy and spacious. Most important,the falls were just in front of the hotel. Nice location to enjoy the waterfall. No private hotel was allowed adjacent to that area.

To our surprise we saw large no. of visitors who came by Bus, Trekker, Tata Sumo, Hired vehicle and of course private vehicles. These enthusiastic people enjoyed getting soaked by rain and of course the view of waterfalls.

Last time we went to the foothills (around 900ft) where the waterfall touched the Saravatiriver. But now the walkway was closed due to some accident. Thus it was better to enjoy from the top.

Lunch was not expected, but it was available even at around 3 PM at KSTDC Restaurant. Not very tasty, but there was no other option also.

Meanwhile the weather improved, the white lines became visible. We thought of visiting the other side of the river to have different view of the falls.

Two districts of Karnataka (Shimoga and Karwar) are separated by the river. KSTDC Hotels where we were staying was on Shimoga District, while on other side of Karwar district only Government Inspection Bunglow and some private shops were located. Then we visitedthat area.

View of the falls was better from that side. Moreover there was walkway to go down to a certain extent. However it is risky since not fenced unlike from the Shimoga phase.

Intensity of rain increased again when we reached there. In spite of that there were lot of tourists.We spent there as long as there was day light . Had tea and small chat with shop-owner, then came back to Hotel.

Dinner we had in a nearby stall with fish curry. Night sleep was enjoyable with sound of the waterfall.

Day 2 - 21st June, 2015

Morning started with heavy rain. Falls were mostly not visible. The contest between “cloud” and the “waterfall” was in full swing. We thought of starting early but “late-latif” as usual.

After breakfast at KSTDC restaurant we bagan our journey towards Honnavar thru NH 206 and ultimately to Murudeswar.Meanwhile dark clouds covered almost entire place including Hotel area. Hardly anything was visible.

Murudeswar was around 80 Kms from Jog Falls, Honnavaren-route was around 50 Kms. NH 206 which goes to Honnavarwas narrow but road condition was more or less ok. Honnavar is located on the Arabian Sea coast.We had to cross the Western Ghatmountains to reach our destination.

Heavy Rain with storm at the Ghat Section

Immediately after crossing the Saravatyriver in Jog Falls, thick forest started. A few kilometres later Ghat Section road began. The road was zig zag with large no of curves and it neededcareful driving to negotiate. All those were known, but to our disadvantage, heavy rain started with stormy winds. Heavy fogs made visibility near to zero even with fog light. Falling trees in various places narrowed down the road passage. I switched on all the headlights of my car while proceeding slowly. Gradually, we reached the plain land after driving around 25 Kms on the Ghat section. It was a breath taking journey.

Honnavar

NH 206 touched NH 17 after going further down. NH 17 comes from Mumbai on the North and goes beyond Mangalore on the south. Honnavar is basically a fishing port located on the Arabian Sea. We stopped there for a while. The two KM long Honnavar road bridge on the way to Murudeswar is one of the longest bridges in India. The bridge is constructed on the Sharavatiriver near the confluence of the Arabian sea. The backwater of the Arabian Sea gives a magnificent view of the whole place.



Murudeswar

Giant Lord Shiva Statute& Temple

This wonderful place is the abode of Lord Shiva and located on the coast of Arabian Sea. The giant Statute (122 Ft) of Lord Shiva, one of the tallest in the world was built on a big rock on the seashore. The area has other beautiful statutes and the temple.One can directly drive near the statute or visit by walk. The area is well planned and beautifully maintained. There are no of hotels in the vicinity. The entire place including hotels belong to a private RNShetty Group.

Murudeswar Temple

As per legend, this temple has the linkage of Ravanas worship to Lord Shiva to acquire Atma-linga (soul of Shiva) to gain immortality.He was unable to do so due to tricks by other gods like Lord Ganesha and Narada to save the universe. On his failure,Ravana threw his belongings in anger to this place. Original temple was re-built by businessman R N Shetty.Gopuram of the temple was more than 20 storey tall, one of the tallest in the world. There is lift arrangement for reaching the top floor to have abirds eye view of the surrounding area.

Stay at Murudeswar

We reached Murudeswar at around 2 PM. There was no rain, but sea was very rough and roaring. We selected Hotel RNS Residency Hotel for staying. Location of the hotel was unique since it was constructed on an area which was extended to the sea. Thus almost three sides of the hotels were surrounded by the sea. It is one of the best location I have ever seen anywhere particularly for staying on sea-side.

The hotel tariff was low since it was off-season and very few visitors were occupying the rooms. We selected a sea-side room on the fifth floor. However, the flip side was absence of proper maintenance. Furnishing, cleaning of the hotel were not of that standard. But definitely a great feeling for one day experience.

Rest of the day spent by visiting the temple, Shiva Statute and surrounding places and enjoying evening coffee in the wonderfully placed restaurant surrounded by sea. We were standing at the front-side of the hotel where roaring sea weaves just few feets below relentlessly attempting to break the cement structure with enormous energydue to inclement weather. Observing from the hotel balcony that tonnes of water waves dashingbeneath the hotel structure in roaring defiance of destruction was a frightening but worth experiencing. Also viewing the sea at night from the hotel balcony was a memorable experience.

Day 3 - 22nd June, 2014

Way to Gokarna

Time for returning to Bangalore. Complimentary breakfast time of the hotel was 7.30 AM onwards. Previous night we thought of starting immediately after taking breakfast. But after finishing breakfast and check out formalities when we started it was around 8.45 AM, already one hour late from our schedule.

Weather was far better today. After expressing its anger, Sea was calm and cool today. Offered “pranaam” to Lord Shiva and our journey began.

We were in two minds whether to visit Gokarna, but my wife insisted that we should not miss it. For Gokarna, the route was same uptoHonnavar. Distance between Murudeswar and Gokarna is around 80 Km thru NH 17. This road was quite good to drive with wonderful natural beauties on the way. After crossing Honnavar, Gangavalli river was giving us company on her voyage to sea. The river was in spate,a splendid view to watch on the way.

Gokarna is a small town, but we thought of visiting “Om Beach” first, which was around 20 Kms from the main highway, around half an hour journey. It was a pleasant journey with the narrow road gradually increasing in height havingseveral twists and turns. Around four Km away from the beach we had the first glimpse of the sea from the top. Sea and the beach were located around 200 ft down below, amidst hills in the surroundings. An excellent panoramic view to enjoy. Gradually we came nearer with Resorts and Cottages in between. The beach looked like “OM” from the top, a spectacular sight. It was around 11 AM.

We stopped the car and trekked down below to the beach. This beach was different with rocky areas in various places. Sea was once again looking furious with mighty waves falling on the rocks. It was wonderful to watch the big waves and beauty of the beach.

MahabaleshwarTemple,Gokarna

The Mahabaleswar Temple, Gokarna of Lord Shiva was auspicious and a must visit. The Atmalinga or Shiva linga is said to bestow immense blessings to the devotees who took even aglimpse of it. According to mythology, the deity was placed by Ravana when he carried it from Mount Kailash. The temple according to legend was originally built more than thousand years ago and subsequently re-built during Vijaynagara period. The temple is claimed to be as pious as the Shiva Temple of Varanasi.

Gents visitors have to remove theirbanian to enter the temple.Luckily there was no rush, we visited the Lord, collected Prasad.

Return to Bangalore

Now we had to start at the earliest for reaching Bangalore within the day. According to Google map, there were no. of routes for going back to Bangalore. I wanted to take the same route thru which we came here.But the map showed a different preferred route for reaching early. With some hesitation we decided to take that route . The distance to be covered was around 600 Kms. It was 12.30 PM.

NH 63 thru Yellapur,Mundgod and Bankapur

We took left turn thru NH 17 for around twenty kms further down towards Karwar. Thentook a right turn to reach NH 63 towards Yellapur. Reached Yellapur at 2.30 PM. The road passed thru absolutely green forests in Western Ghat with occasional view of waterfalls from nearby hills. There were some risky turns but overall road condition was good. There was not much traffic en-route. We passed around 60 Kms thru forest&Ghat section like these.

Throughout our journey the “Google Map” followed thru GPS dictated us which route to take as well as the distances to be covered. Suddenly we observed that there was not enough “Charge” in our mobile. We forgot to charge our mobile last night. That was a big mistake. We had bought a charger to recharge the mobile from the Car itself. But when we needed it most, we found out that it was not working. So the immediate requirement was to conserve the charge remaining in the mobile as much as possible.

Reached Mundgod and observed Tibetan Monasteries, villagers and their habitats on the way. We love Tibetan food but there was no time to search for eateries.

Our immediate objective was to touch NH 4 near Bankapur. Unfortunately,near Bankapur we lost the way and erroneously entered a remote village road with large potholes. That was a nightmare and I waspraying that our car would somehow pass that road (around five kms) without any trouble.

Bankapur-Haveri to Bangalore (NH 4)

At last, near Bankapur we reached NH 4 with a sigh of relief. We had crossed around 200 Kms already. There will be another nearly 400 Kmsdrive to reach Bangalore. It was around 4 PM.

Immediately, there was a Toll gate atBankapur (Rs. 70/-). Afterwords, we passed at least 5 Toll gates (RanebennurRs 95/-,HebbaluRs 75/-, GuilaluRs 55/-,TumkurRs 18/-, NeelamangalaRs 18/-). In many tollgates they ask for exact change and then return one rupee less in absence of change. But had no regets, since we could cover around 375 Kms within four hours with one stop in between. As I explained NH4 is one of the best roads to drive. Around 8.15PM we passedYashvantpurRailway station and reached home at around 9 PM.

We drove around 1200 KM in three days. In between we passed dense forests, huge waterfalls, mighty rivers, twists and turns of Ghat Roads. We offered prayers in temples. We enjoyed vast areas of Western Ghat range and Coastal Karnataka. Above all we experienced rain and Monsoon.

A memorable journey indeed.



ily: "Comic Sans MS"'>Day 1 - 20th June, 2015


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22nd July 2016

Well spread details. Really can be used for travellers to that area. Pls throw some light on how practical is it when elders are in the group. Also availability of shoutalas on the way.
2nd September 2017

Bangalore to Jog Fall 5 Day Trip (Bangalore - Murdeshwar - Gokarna - Jog Fall - Shimoga -Bangalore)
Started in Night from Bangalore to Murdeshwar, Train 16523 Will reach next day Afternoon. (Best Hotel - RNS Residency) Day 1 (Trip Started from Afternoon) - Visit - Temple, Fort, Beach, Status Park (Half day enough) Also Next day in Early Morning go to beach and enjoy Day 2 - Next day Morning 10.00 AM Train 56440 - 1 hr Journey from Murdeshwar to Gokarna. Visit - Om beach, Kundle Beach, Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna Beach (half day enough to cover all - prefer local Auto) No direct bus from Gokarna to Jog Fall ( Gokarna - Kumta - Jog Fall) Day 3 -Next day Morning 7.30 Bus - Gokarna to Kumta 1 hrs journey(30 Km) (every 30 min bus) Kumta to Jog Fall (Bus) 80 Km - 2 hrs journey will reach jog fall at 12.00 noon. Stay at Hotel Mayura Gerusoppa at Jog Fall Jog Fall (half day enough to view Jog Fall and go to 1400 Steps down and coming up) Day 4 - Nex day Visit Near by view points of Jog Fall, Visit the Linganmakki Dam, Boat adventure Riding, Temple by car (Will take 5-6 hrs) Leave from Jog Fall to Shimoga (By bus or car - prefer car) 100 Km - 2 hrs journey, Visit near by places in Shimoga. Day 5 - Next day early Morning - Drive to the Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari,Tunga Anicut Dam (located around 12 km from Shimoga) visit market, Temple etc. Night 10.30 PM Train from Shimoga to Bangalore(Train - 16228) and reach bangalore early morning.
3rd September 2017

Car Trip Bangalore to Jog falls, Honnavar, Murudeswar & Gokarna
Thanks for excellent brief. After reading your write-up, I once again recall memories of our wonderful journey.. The entire route became spectacular during monsoon, particularly for adventure-seekers.

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