Around Shimoga - 1: Jog Falls, Keladi & Ikkeri
Overview: Visiting the Jog falls in monsoons was always my wish. Luckily my friend from Shimoga got married in August. But unfortunately it didn't rain as it usually does in 2009. Nonetheless, as we had to visit Shimoga, we chalked out a separate plan to visit a few places around Shimoga.
Took the night train to Shimoga from Bangalore and reached early in the morning at around 6am. First in the list was Jog Falls. Didn't want to miss that. So started after having breakfast at friend's place. Shimoga is surrounded by tourist places. We were aware of this so didn't want to plan beyond Jog Falls as there is a never ending list of places beyond that. We did want to cover everything on the way though.
We reached the Jog at around 12pm and it was very cloudy. We could see decent amount of water but not the best of Jog Falls. There are 4 falls next to each other named 'Raja', 'Rani', 'Roarer' and 'Rocket'. This happens to be the second highest waterfalls in India. We could go to the base of the falls as well using steps but that would take enormous amount of time and energy to climb back to the top. Instead, we decided to go to the other side of the falls where we could actually see the water falling down from below our feet. The driver took us to that spot and we had to walk for some distance to get closer to the falls. This was the place where some scenes of the popular Kannada movie 'Mungaru Male' were shot. It was really terrific to see water falling down to the depths. The rainbow formation below added to the beauty of the scene. We were told that the water is much more when the nearby Linganamakki Dam is open and water gushes out creating a spectacle. We sat there for sometime posing in front of the cameras and then left the place.
It was already lunch time and we decided to have lunch nearby.
Then our next plan was to visit Ikkeri near Sagar. Its an ancient temple built by Keladi Nayaks. Built in the Hoysala and Kadamba styles, the Aghoreshwara temple was built in the early 15th century. Ikkeri was the capital of the Keladi rulers. Old Kannada inscriptions are present in the temple walls which derives the period in which the temple was built. Intricate carvings of elephants, Gods, and scriptures are present on the walls. There is a huge idol of the Nandi bull which had a shine on it even though it is not polished frequently. The park around the temple is also very well maintained.
We then moved towards Keladi, which was a small region in the Vijayanagar and was headed by a local chieftain. This place was then taken over by Hyder Ali in the 18th century. It houses a Rameshwara temple which resembles temples of South Canara region. Its a nice calm and peaceful temple and it a little unknown to the people even though Karnataka tourism board has been installed at the Sagar main road. The ceiling of the temple is made out of wooden planks and flowers and animals are carved out of the pillars.
Keladi was ruled by Chennamma for some time and hence some stones were having carvings of women fighting on a horse.
How to reach: Take the NH206 from Shimoga to Honnavar, After Sagar, continue on the National Highway till a board appears pointing left towards Jog Falls.
By Public transport, many buses are available from Shimoga to Jog Falls.
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