Showing posts with label Waterfall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Waterfall. Show all posts

A Road Trip to Kolhapur and Satara from Bengaluru

Our desire to witness the 'Kaas'/ 'Khas'/'Kas' plateau, popularly known as 'The Valley of Flowers' was long overdue. The best season to visit Khas being September luckily coincided with the vacation we planned. Thus our travel itinerary of Maharashtra was mainly based on visiting 3 places namely the Kaas pathar, the Reverse waterfalls and the sacred Marleshwar apart from others. It is well known that this entire region is a blessing to travel during the monsoon. Thus a 9 day road trip to Kolhapur, Satara and Ratnagiri districts of Maharashtra was planned. As we were building our itinerary of places to visit in these regions, we realised that 9 days is too short a time to cover all the places and decided to visit whatever possible within the planned time. Our overall journey was good as we managed to travel across as per plan though there were a couple of hiccups for our vehicle, involving a running repair (starter motor not working) and tyre punctures. The same was handled well without much disturbance or deviation.
We stopped by at a road-side hotel about 45 km before Belagavi for refreshments and took a bio-break. While we were all set to proceed further, our vehicle refused to get started. We tried and checked all possible ways but in vain. Even calling the service advisor from Mahindra and acting as per his advice did not produce any fruitful result as the starter motor was not in working condition. We took help from the hotel staff who kindly obliged and pushed the vehicle up-slope for some distance. Thankfully our vehicle started and we moved on after thanking the staff.  We informed the  service advisor about the same for which he advised us to drive down our vehicle to the next available showroom at Belagavi and also told us to call the helpline. We reached Sutaria motors, the authorized service centre for Mahindra in this region who were of little help, who even refused to even check our vehicle for the problem and told us to go to Kolhapur since we were driving in that direction. We were a little disappointed at their behavior as it was an emergency and they were of no help. We had taken care to keep the vehicle on all along and proceeded further as we were racing against time to reach the next available Mahindra showroom.
Without wasting much time we drove towards to Kolhapur and after a few rounds of U turns, we finally made it to Trendy Wheels showroom at Kolhapur.  We reached here by 5:45 pm, 15 minutes prior to their closing time! We were anxious as the next day was a Sunday and most of the service providers remain closed. The staff here were extremely helpful and made immediate arrangements for my wife and kids to take the much needed rest and also arranged for some tea and snacks. Heartfelt thanks to them for their kind hospitality. Suraj, the service advisor who attended to us gave us first hand information that their workshop remains open on Sunday's too. We felt more relaxed now. He also  asked us if it is an emergency so that he could get it rectified the same evening by requesting his staff  to work over time. We were already much grateful to them and did not want to overload their staff.  Meanwhile, the technicians who were working on the starter motor detected the cause of the problem and assured us that the vehicle will be ready by the next day afternoon. We packed the necessary luggage and reached the main town of Kolhapur as the service centre was located off the Bangalore - Pune highway. We chose to halt at a lodge close by Sri Mahalakshmi temple, so that we could move around without any vehicle and much hassle. It was late evening by the time we refreshed and had dinner. We were fortunate enough for having a good darshan of the mother goddess that night. The atmosphere here was electrical. We returned to our hotel and retired early. 

Next day, we started a bit slow and lazed around while we got a call from Mahindra informing us to collect the vehicle by 2 pm. We walked around in the temple premises and decided to visit the temple again, but were taken aback by the huge crowd. We later realised that it was Krishna Janmasthami that day and during Shravana month, a large number of people come to offer prayers. We visited a few more places around the main temple and then reached Mahindra showroom. Our vehicle was ready and after the necessary checks, we were all ready to continue our journey ahead with much enthusiasm. They had done a great job in a short time and their service was impressive. Knowing that we would be their one time customer and that too for a running repair problem, their action and efforts were highly commendable. We witnessed the striking contrast between the customer service provided by two Mahindra authorised dealers, where one even refused to look at the problem and the other acknowledged with exceptional service! Trust us! This kind of quality customer service is rather quite rare in today's world. Thank you again Trendy Wheels, Mahindra at Kolhapur!
The same evening while returning from Khirdapur, our vehicle had a flat tyre, this time luckily right in front of a puncture shop at Ichalkaranji. The mechanic took less than 5 minutes to fix the puncture and we were back on the road. We continued to explore various places the next four days until Friday, when we were a bit relaxed and hence planned to take an adventurous route to Chiplun from Mahabaleshwar. This route is not advised by the locals as it is not much frequented and less traveled as it is amidst densely forested area coupled with a few bad stretches of roads. The route passes through the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary and the drive for most of the stretch is alongside the river Koyna, making it the most beautiful one. We were all excited and started driving along this scenic route. We traveled about 35 km along this route and it was heaven! We had another 60 km to finish this stretch. About 7 km from Chaturbet, in between the villages of Dabhe Mohan and Dabhe Dabhekar is a small bridge across a stream that connects them. To our dismay, our vehicle had a flat tyre again! This time around, the puncture was severe as the short stretch just before the bridge had eroded due to heavy rains and consisted of sharp aggregates. I had to change the tyre and made arrangements.  At the same time, a ST (state transport) bus passed us from the opposite direction taking extra caution as it was a single lane road and our vehicle was parked there. Post this episode, I managed to change the tyre successfully only to find out that the back up tyre was not inflated enough to drive. It was around 4 pm that evening and time was running out. We had to cover that stretch before the sun went down. Without panicking, we rested for a while and discussed about our next move.
Meanwhile, a local who was grazing his cattle conversed with us  and witnessed the entire situation. He informed us that there is not a single tyre puncher shop in about 20 km radius!!!! The next question to him was about the availability of any public transport to the nearest town to get the puncture repaired. He replied  that the ST bus which passed by a few minutes back was our only option! The next bus to Mahabaleshwar would arrive only the next morning at around 8 am. That apart, no other private transport is available. Upon inquiring further for any availability of vehicles in the village, he said that there was only one person in this village who owns a bike. So, we both decided to meet him and reached his house. Though we saw his vehicle parked outside, we had to trace him as he was not around. We explained the situation to him, but he replied that his bike did not have enough fuel. Nevertheless he came along with us to analyze the situation. He gave up the idea of taking his bike as it was quite risky amidst forest area and advised us to inquire if the car was available in the next village and moved on.  While I went with the local to the next village, my wife inquired with a passer-by who was very kind, and obliged by giving the phone number of a mechanic he knew who was located about 20 km away. He was damn sure that the mechanic would come by and resolve our problem. He tried calling him but the area had no signal. In fact, the passer-by was himself walking all the way up so he could get signal and told my wife he would surely call the mechanic and inform. When my wife called the mechanic and requested to come by, he replied that he was out of town and would not be able to make it. As the signal was weak, the conversation could not be continued and the call was lost. The news of our vehicle breakdown had spread across the village and a few more villagers gathered near our vehicle. At the neighboring village we found that no one was around in the house. While people around me went in search of the car owner (Sanjay), I was waiting in front of his house. In the meantime, the person (Manish) whom we had approached initially came hurriedly in search of me to inform that he had stopped a car which had come to drop someone from Mahabaleshwar and had agreed to take us to the nearest tyre puncture shop. While I was walking down with him, the passer-by (teacher) called us and told us to wait as he was on call conversing with the mechanic as promised and requested (or rather pleaded) him to come and help. Finally the mechanic was convinced and agreed to come by. We walked quickly to the car that was stopped and thanked the driver who was patiently waiting for us. It was really heartwarming to see each one's kind behavior. As we waited for the mechanic's arrival (which would probably take an hour or so), Manish invited us home for some tea and snacks. As we had our two little partners with us and it was getting dark, it was a safe call. It also began to rain heavily. The mobile connectivity here was questionable as there was a lot of struggle in getting any signal. Finally, the call connected between Manish ji and Shinde ji (the mechanic) and we were told to come near the vehicle. The mechanic tried all possible ways to fix the puncture, but as the cut was big, he was unable to repair it with tools. He gave up at last saying that he will not be able to fix it. We requested him to check the back up tyre and as he inflated it and checked for any puncture, he found none. Luckily now we had one tyre ready. Everyone around advised us to abandon our journey further and told us to go back and take the highway. We thanked everyone who came to our rescue. We drove slowly until we reached the highway and halted at Khed. This was probably the best experience we have had in sometime, where the entire village came to our rescue. We will always remain grateful to the kind teacher who literally pleaded with the mechanic for our sake, Manish ji who was kind and hospitable all along, Shinde ji who came all the way in the rains, riding through the forest and had to go back in the dark and all  the others who helped us directly or indirectly.
'Maharashtra' is one of the most vibrant states of India and is very rich culturally. Their love for the great Shivaji Maharaja is indispensable and significant, so much so that every place here has an association with the great king. The Western Ghats/Sahyadri Hills in Maharashtra comes to life during the monsoon with innumerable waterfalls taking birth from amidst the hills, and the hills exhibiting splendid colors as the flowers are in full bloom amid lush greenery. Though rains had subsided, most of the places we visited greeted us with rains. The plains were hot, but the mountains remained cold. Overall it was a satisfying trip. Maharashtra, truly a great state turns magical during monsoon!
Kolhapur - Satara Road Trip

Route we took 

To be continued.... 

Moonbow at Unchalli Waterfalls, Sirsi

Unchalli waterfalls, Siddapura Uttara Kannada
Unchalli Waterfalls
Sometime back,  having read about the phenomenon of a Moonbow or Lunar Rainbow occurring at a few waterfalls around the world, we wondered if we would ever get an opportunity to witness this rare phenomenon. The chances seemed were very minimal or nil, owing to the locations of its occurrence previously. The formation of Moonbow has been documented in 5 locations of waterfalls throughout the world so far, though there could be many such places where the Moonbow would form. One and only such place documented in Asia is our favorite waterfalls of Unchalli. We have the privilege of visiting Unchalli quite often, as Sirsi is always on our annual pilgrimage tour. This year however, we were unable to visit Sirsi earlier due to various reasons. Somehow, we got a chance for a quick visit to this place during the last weekend. As we wanted to visit Unchalli falls in the evening, we had to meet a few locals whom we knew from our previous visits and seek help to get the required permission.
Moonbow Unchalli Waterfalls
Note the Faint Moon Bow
Moonbow Unchalli Waterfalls
Chandra Dhanasu, Unchalli Falls
A Moonbow or Lunar Rainbow is a celestial phenomenon similar to the  usual rainbow, but formed only during moonlight. They are very rare in occurrence and invisible to the naked eye. Moonbows are very faint and believed to occur during a full-moon or bright-moon night. Though capturing them in the right angle is very difficult, there are a few who have been chasing Moonbows at Unchalli since a few years and have succeeded in documenting them only last year. As Unchalli waterfalls comes under the area of reserved forest, there are restrictions of movement during the night times and a strict ban is imposed on camping here. The locals were quite helpful in getting us the necessary permissions from the forest department for a late evening visit.
Moon Over unchalli Falls
Moon Over Unchalli Falls
I, along with my friends reached the house of the local friend around 6.45 pm that evening. Taking a moment to refresh, we quickly started our walk towards the view point of the waterfalls. Though that night was a half-moon night or Ashtami Chandra, the falls was clearly visible and we were enjoying our moonlit descent towards the view point. We made sure to be well equipped with torches to help us descend. The view from the watch tower was just splendid! The scene is indescribable in words or sentences! It  would easily convert any normal man into a poet. But I instead chose to photograph this spectacular scene, which was quite difficult due to the dim light. After a lot of trials, I  managed to get a couple of decent shots of the waterfall. While I zoomed in to take a look at the picture, I was shell shocked to see that we had additionally captured a Moonbow! A quite faint rainbow it is, but is yet so exciting to realize that very few people in Asia have ever been able to witness and capture it. Thoroughly and unbelievably excited I was! Holding the same excitement on reaching home and transferring the pictures to my system, I had a closer look just to reassure it was a Moonbow. I was happy that we were able to capture it on camera. Thus making Unchalli closer and dearer to us. Don't miss to stop by a short video tour on Unchalli waterfalls.
Trek at Unchalli Waterfalls ,Sirsi, Uttara Kannada
Descent to the Falls
Waterfalls of Karnataka
Unchalli Waterfalls

Our humble request to all is 'Please take prior permission from the concerned authorities before heading into the forest area during nights as it comes under reserve forest area'. Also, entry to the falls is prohibited after 6 pm. Remember not to litter the place and leave it as it is for others and future generations to enjoy. 
You can also read one of our experiences at this waterfalls here.

References:
1. Times of India
2. Landscape Wizards 
3. Time and Date 
4. Wikipedia

Related Posts:
1. Neelakurinji - A rare bloom
2. Dandeli - Resting in the lap of Nature
3. Biking in heaven, Kodagu

Chausath Yogini temple - Bhedaghat, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh

While we were enjoying the sunset behind the Marble Rocks of Bhedaghat, we realized that we were running out of time to visit the Chausath Yogini temple here. We rushed back to our car and headed towards this temple. Having visited a few Yogini temples such as that at Hirapur (Orissa), Mitawali and Khajuraho, we were excepting this to be along similar lines. The Yogini temples generally are dedicated to the  64 Yoginis, housing 64 small shrines enclosing a Yogini each and thus the name 'Chausath Yogini'. However, this temple houses 81 small shrines along its periphery unlike the 64 celled temples. The word 'Chausath' means 64 in the language of Hindi and 'Yogini' means the power of realization and the names given to the demoness/ sorceress/ woman possessing magical powers.  Goddess Durga created these Yoginis to attend her and Lord Shiva. Also sometimes, goddess Durga is also referred to as a Yogini. While one school of thought says that all the 81 murtis here are Yoginis, the other assumes they are the 64 Yoginis with associated Devi's, including the Saptamatrikas. Originally being eight Yoginis, with other associations they number as many as 64. They are said to have attained the form of grama-devatas or are minor manifestations of goddess Durga.
Chausath Yogini Temple, Jabalpur
Gauri Shankar Temple Inside Chausath Yogini Temple

Atop a hillock situated close by the Marble Rocks is the 'Chausath Yogini temple', built in the 10th century AD by the Kalachuri king Yuvarajadeva I. The temple is a circular structure with no roof. There are 81 cells/shrines at the periphery, out of which 64 are dedicated to the 64 Yoginis and the rest to other deities including the saptamatrikas. The murtis in most of the cells are either partially or completely damaged, with some being defaced. A board displaying the names of each is present below the murti, making the identification process a bit easier. At the middle of this enclosure is the 'Gauri-Shankar temple' dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati. The garbagriha houses an idol of the couple deity riding on Nandi, the bull mount of Lord Shiva.
 Sarvvatomukhi Yogini Durga
Sri Sarvvatomukhi
Sri Vibhatsa Chausath Yogini
Sri Vibhatsa
Sri Erudi (Horse Faced Yogini)
Sri Erudi (Horse Faced)
How to Reach Bhedaghat: Travel along Jabalpur - Bhopal highway and turn left towards Bhedaghat. Drive along to reach the waterfalls and temple, if driving from Jabalpur. It is situated at about 25 km from Jabalpur.
Entry Fee: Entry is free to the temple.
Accommodation: Though we did not stay here,  there are quite a  a few options available for accommodation here. Hotel Marble Rocks maintained by the MPTDC on the banks of the river Narmada, one of the is best available here.
Where to eat: There are many eat-outs, including a few road-side eateries.

Related Posts:
1. Mitawali Chausath Yogini temple
2. Temples of Orchha  
3. Bateshwar Group of Temples 
                                                                                                                       

Mysore Dasara and Top 15 Attractions in and around Mysore

Lit Mysore Palace
View of Lit Mysore Palace From Chamundi Hills
Mysore/Mysuru/Maisooru is world renowned for its 407 year old tradition of Dasara celebration, popularly known as 'Nadahabba' of Karnataka. Mysore is regarded as the cultural capital of Karnataka. The 'Aane Ambari' or 'Jumbo Savari' is a major attraction of the Mysore Dasara wherein the decorated elephants carry the golden howdah weighing about 750 kg, housing a beautiful murti of mother Chamundeshwari. The Royal couple of the Wodeyar family begin the festival celebrations by offering special puja to mother Chamundeshwari at the Chamundeshwari temple, atop the Chamundi hills. The celebration lasts for 10 days beginning with the first day of Navaratri and ending on the 10th day or Vijayadashami, the day that mother Chamundeshwari slayed the demon king Mahishasura. The celebration this year started on the 21st of September 2017 and will end on the 30th of September 2017, details of which can be found at the government website dedicated for the same. This year is more exciting with a few added attractions to this celebration, like the helicopter ride and many such. Apart from the Aane Ambari, the second most popular attraction is the beautiful  illumination of Mysore Palace. The LED bulb lit Mysore Palace dazzles during night and is a feast for the eyes. The lighting timings during festive occasion is between 7 pm and 9 pm on all the ten days. Apart from Dasara, the palace is lit on all Sundays and government holidays between 7 pm and 7:45 pm. There are many other attractions around Mysore in addition to the events during the famous Mysore Dasara.
Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hills
Mysore Palace as Seen From Chamundi Hill with out Lights
1. Chamundi Hills: This is the most important landmark of Mysore which houses temples dedicated to goddess Chamundeshwari and Lord Mahabaleshwara, considered to be the one of the earliest temples of Mysore, dating back to the 9th century. Chamundi hills is very well connected to Mysore with many city buses plying regularly between the central bus stand and Chamundi hills. The temple remains open for most times during Dasara festival, except for an hour in the afternoons and evenings. The best time to visit the hill will be early in the morning to get a glimpse of this mist clad hillock and also during evenings, when the Mysore palace is lit. The view of the lit Mysore palace from Chamundi hills is gorgeous and will make the trip to Mysore most memorable.
Chamundeshwari Temple, Chamundi Hills, Mysore
Chamundeshwari Temple, Chamundi Hills
2. Mysore Zoo: This zoo is regarded as the most beautiful and best maintained zoo in the country. It is also considered to be the oldest of zoos to have been established in India, during the year 1892 by the Mysore King - Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar Bahadur. The zoo is home to a few of the many exotic animals not found elsewhere in India. This is a must visit place in Mysore. The Zoo is generally closed on Tuesdays, although during Dasara it remains open on all days.
Mysore Zoo
Walkway Inside Mysore Zoo
3. Mysore Palace and Temples in the Palace complex: The Mysore palace or Amba Vilas Palace as it is called was first built in the 14th century by Yaduraya, and has been subsequently undergone various renovations and reconstructions. The current structure was built by the Mysore Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV and was completed in 1912, after the old palace was burnt down to ashes. The palace has various exhibits of the Wodeyar kings and queens, including the famous golden howdah/ambari on display. Photography is strictly prohibited here and entry to the palace is ticketed. There are 8 temples inside the palace complex of which, the Swetha Varahaswamy temple is the earliest and belongs to the Hoysala period built around 12th century AD. Mysore is also home to many other palaces such as the Jayalakshmi Vilas Palace, Lalithamahal Palace, Jaganmohan Palace and such.
Places to Visit in Mysore
Amba Vilas Palace
Top tourist attractions in Mysore
Large Temple Complex Inside the Palace Premises
Hoysala Temple in Mysore
Swetha Varahaswamy Temple
4. Karanji and Kukkarahalli Lakes: A visit to Mysore is incomplete without visiting these famous lakes. Both the lakes were constructed by the Wodeyar Kings during different periods, with Kukkarahalli lake being the earliest. Karanji Lake falls under the Forest department and is ticketed.
Karanji Lake, Mysore
Karanji Lake
5. St. Philomena's Church: St. Philomena's Church is a catholic church built in the year 1936 in  Neo- Gothic style and is considered to be one among the tallest Churches of Asia. This is one of the important landmarks of Mysore.
St Philomena Church, Mysore
St. Philomena's Church
6. Mysore Silk Emporium/Factory: The silk weaving factory owned by the Government is another place worth a visit and is great for buying authentic and high quality silk products. This factory was started in 1912 by the Mysore Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV for meeting the requirements of the Royal family. This later developed into a full fledged business post independence after it was was transferred to the Mysore Sericulture Department.
7. Regional Museum of Natural History (RMNH): This place is a must visit for young kids simply because it is really interesting and educative. The RMNH, Mysore is the southern regional office of the National Museum of Natural History. The entry to the museum and parking is free.The other museums in town are the State Government Museum and the Wax Museum which one can also plan to visit.
Museum of Mysore
A Painting inside RMNH
8. GRS Fantasy Park: This park is an amusement water park located in the outskirts of Mysore (about 10 km). It is a great place for a full day of adventure and fun.
9. Brindavan Gardens: These gardens are located at a distance of about 21 km from Mysore and is developed around the KRS dam built across river Kaveri (lifeline of South Karnataka). Coming under the taluk of Srirangapatna of Mandya district, it is jointly maintained by the Cauvery Niravari Nigam and KSTDC. The musical lit fountains in the evenings are a major attraction of this park.
KRS Dam
Musical Fountain, Brindavan Gardens
10. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary: This beautiful bird sanctuary and scenic spot is home to many avian species and  is located about 15 km from Mysore on the banks of river Kaveri. The Karnataka Forest Department maintains this sanctuary and operates river safaris to take one around the river for sighting birds.
Inside Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
11. Balmuri and Edmuri Falls: These waterfalls are located about 24 km from Mysore near the KRS dam. These are formed by a man-made check dam. This is a good spot to enjoy playing in the water and quite safe to swim, although with caution. Edumuri, situated close by to Balmuri falls is generally less visited.
Balmuri Waterfalls, Mandya
Balmuri Waterfalls
12. Mysore Sandal Factory: This factory started in 1916 by the Mysore Maharaja along with Diwan Sir M Visvesvaraya is a one stop solution for all sandal products. The sandal  products can at also be purchased at registered art and craft stores.
13. Shuka Vana Aviary: This rare aviary in the premises of SGS Ashram is a rehabilitation center for birds and is being maintained by Sri Ganapathy Sachchinanda Swamiji. It is home to a large variety of colorful species of parrots from all over the world. The experience of interacting with these birds, some of which are free to fly around is quite unique . Entry is free and photography inside the parrot park is strictly prohibited, although one can get photographed with a group of birds at a fixed price. This place is surely worth a visit.
Bird Art Inside Shuka Vana
14. Nanjangud: Nanjangud town is located about 25 km from Mysore and is home to one of the largest temple of Karnataka, Sri Srikanteshwara Temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of a Linga and is believed to have been built in 11th century AD by the Cholas and later improvised by the Hoysalas, the Vijayanagara and Wodeyar kings. This beautiful temple set on the banks of river Kapila is a must visit place around Mysore.
Sri Srikanteshwara Temple, Nanjangud
15. Srirangapatna: Srirangapatna town is located about 14 km from Mysore and is an erstwhile Agrahara since the time of the Ganga dynasty, who also built the temple of Lord Ranganathaswamy. This town was under the rule of the Hoysalas, Vijayanagara kings, Wodeyars, Tippu, and later again fell into the hands of the Wodeyars. There are many temples, tombs, a fort and bridge and a few British bungalows here. This town on the banks of river Kaveri is considered to be one among the holy places in Karnataka. 
River Kaveri
River Kaveri, Srirangapatnam
How to reach Mysore: Mysore is very well connected by road and rail to other parts of the country. It has a functional airport with regular flights to Chennai only as of now, with mega expansion plans in the future.
Where to stay in Mysore: There are umpteen number of options available for accommodation in Mysore, suiting all budget classes. The Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel is converted into a  luxury heritage hotel and is maintained by the Indian Tourism Development Corporation. Hotels Pai Vista, Park Lane, Roopa, Pai Viceroy, and Maurya Residency to name a few are the best hotels situated in close proximity to the the Mysore Palace as well as the bus stand.
Where to eat in Mysore: Although most of the above mentioned hotels provide complimentary break fast, one can surely try and get the real taste of Mysore by heading to Hotel Mylari which serves the best Mysore Masala Dosa or Hotel Siddhartha which reflects the authentic taste of Mysore. For Lunch, head to High Park Restaurant for a unique revolving roof-top buffet with amazing views, with the other good choices being Hotel Nalapak which offers quite a good range of vegetarian meals and Hotel RRR which is undoubtedly the best place in Mysore for non-vegetarian meals. Mysore also offers a rich variety of street food during night.

Related Posts:
1. 101 places to visit around Bangalore within 125km.
2. Top 100 lesser known temples of Karnataka
3. Travel Guide to Madhya Pradesh

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MP Diaries: The Smoky Dhuandhar Waterfalls and Magical Marble Rocks, Bhedaghat

Smoky Dhuandhar Waterfalls
Smoky Dhuandhar Waterfalls
After witnessing a few of the earliest temples of Madhya Pradesh at Nachna and Tigawa, we headed towards Bhedaghat to visit the smoky Dhuandhar waterfalls. We stopped by a roadside dhaba just before Jabalpur and had a hearty meal. We then drove towards Bhedaghat which is about 25 km from Jabalpur and reached there just at the right time before sunset. Walking swiftly towards the waterfall, we immediately hopped into the cable car for a sky ride across this beautiful water cascade which was an out of the world experience. Bhedaghat is the confluence of the rivers Narmada and Banganga. An aerial view of this magnificent waterfall simply gave us an idea of how powerful it is, true to its name 'Dhuandhar' or the 'smoky cascade'. The Smoky Dhuandhar Falls in the upstream of Bhedaghat is quite a spectacle to witness! Plunging from a height of about 30 feet, this voluminous waterfall with its powerful plunge creates vapors that resemble smoke. One can hear the loud roar of this waterfall from quite some distance (do check out the video below in this post).
Dhuandhar Waterfalls, Bhedaghat
Waterfalls near Jabalpur
Bhedaghat is also much famed for the 'Marble Rocks' where the river meanders into a narrow stream, creating a beautiful gorge with soft marble rocks rising high on either sides. This place is calm and serene and one can simply sit by the rocks to enjoy its tranquility. The locally available rocks are used for carving sculptures and other artifacts. It serves as a livelihood to the locals, which is quite evident from the numerous stalls lined up on either sides of the pathway selling articles made of these rocks.
The Cable Car
Smoky Dhuandhar Waterfalls
Smoky Dhuandhar Waterfalls in Monochrome
Sunset
Marble Rocks, Bhedaghat
Marble Rocks, Bhedaghat

The cable car ride facility is available at a cost of Rs.85/- per person. There is also a boat ride facility, which is supposed to be an unforgettable experience especially during moonlit nights.


 Related Posts:
1.  Waterfalls of Karnataka
2.  Waterfalls of Sirsi  
3.  Waterfalls of Kolli Hills

                                                                                                              

Sooramane Abbi Waterfalls, Chikmagalur

Sooramane Abbi, a waterfall that was displayed on a flex board of a small town caught our eye and we wanted to explore it. As we were totally unaware of its location, our only lead was the contact number given on the flex board. After much dilemma, we contacted the person in-charge (who presumably owned a rough terrain jeep) and he gave us the details of the fee that will be charged for taking us to the water fall, apart from saying positively that the route to the waterfall remains inaccessible by foot and one has to use a jeep to get through to the waterfall. The price he quoted seemed unreasonable and  made us have second thought. We informed we will get back to him when needed and thanked him. When we inquired about the whereabouts of this waterfall with a shopkeeper, he made sure he gave us the least possible information and ended the conversation by saying the route is long and since it is located in the interiors, we would find it difficult to get there. We started feeling disappointed as things were not working our way. We consoled ourselves by saying the shopkeeper may have been a stake holder in the touring sector along with the flex board advertiser and so on. However we did not give up. Driving back, we stopped by at the outskirts of the town and took a chance of inquiring someone again. An isolated house was our only hope. I went in to check and found a person who was occupied with some work. I began my conversation with the discussion about the work he was involved in and he explained that it was a part of Deepavali celebration. Lights will be lit in their paddy fields and prayers to the god will be offered for good yield. The sticks are made out of bamboo and one its ends is smeared with dried cow dung only to be lit later.
Hairy Caterpillar
Path to the waterfall
In the end, without any hesitation he gave us  directions to the falls and informed us about two alternate routes, out of which one was a trek route and the other was a jeep route. We decided to go with the trek route and followed his directions. Driving along the said route, we reached a dead end. It seemed as though we had missed the route. Fortunately, there was a house with people sitting outside, chatting. On inquiring, he told us that taking the trek route would be impossible without a guide and during the days of the festival, none would be ready to accompany us. Surprisingly, he told us about the jeep route assuring us that our vehicle will make it to Sooramane. From Sooramane, a small trek would lead us to our destination. We hit the jeep track and reached Sooramane. A little board directed us towards the falls and as we walked along for about a kilometer, we reached a small village. Walking further, we crossed a small stream and a perennial spring. A narrow path on the left bank of the stream took us through the woods and there it was! The Hidden Waterfall. It was all ours!
Perennial Spring
Stream crossing
Sooramane Abbi Waterfall


Enjoying the Waterfall
Waterfalls Chikmagalur
Under the Sun-rays


The water falls amid rocks from about 40 feet, surrounded by greenery. The place was serene with and with none around, we felt close to nature. We found a suitable place for our younger one who enjoys playing with water. While seeing him play, my wife spotted a water snake(Checkered Keel-back) in a rock pile that was perfectly camouflaged among leaf litter. I moved our younger one to a safer zone and on taking a closer look around helped my wife to spot two other snakes! The three snakes popped their heads out and seemed to communicate. The sound of the water fall was loud and echoed amidst the lush green environs, setting a perfect mood for displaying romance between two of the snakes. After capturing them on camera, we made sure to let them be and joined our younger one. After spending some time, we bade a good bye to the water fall and the snakes which had given us company.
Here he comes ...Checkered Keel-back (Xenochrophis piscator)
Spot the three water snakes!
The mood is setting in