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:: Thursday, November 07, 2002 ::

.....the road trip continued: Day 2

On the night of day one, the music system in the car had suddenly stopped working. This was the worst thing that could happen to all of us. No music for next four days! Lot of you would agree that it would be something tough to live with. So first thing in the morning, we called the 24 hour helpline of the rental company and asked them how they could help. Naturally, there was little they could do sitting in Bangalore. Since it was too early in Shimoga, we could not find anyone who could get the system in shape. So cursing our luck, after a good breakfast, we hit the road around 7am.

Jog Waterfall

We had to continue on NH 206 for next 160kms. Next destination was Jog, which is around 100km away from Shimoga. The road was fairly decent and we cruised on smoothly. On the way, we stopped in the town of Sagar and found someone to have a look at the system. But that did not help and we had continue without music. We reached Jog around 10am. I have probably been here a 100 times but it is always nice to come back once again. We stood there looking at the waterfall for around 30 minutes.

Jog falls, re-published from archives

We then went around the waterfall to the cliff where water goes down from. It is a great view to bend down from the top of the cliff and see the water falling. And we were at the perfect time of the day to see the falling waters forming a rainbow. It was very beautiful. Words fail on describing this. I just sat there on the cliff speechless for a few minutes, seeing the majesty of the 900ft fall.

Our next destination from here was Murdeshwara, also called Mrudeshwara I think. Jog is the starting point of drive into the western ghats. It was my turn behind the wheels from here. :-) The road thru the western ghats is very picturesque and goes thru dense rain forests, hills and valleys. The stretch of around 25kms was great fun to drive. We stopped on the way at a Vista Point to have a look at the Sharavathi valley.

Sharavathi valley, re-published from archives

A few words about the Sharavathi valley: This is one of my favourite places and I have been seeing this place since my childhood days. But the place was totally different this time around. They have built a dam against the flow at the end of the valley. The result is a much widened river, lot of trees submerged and huge amounts of forrest lost. The river is now so jampacked that in within a distance of 20kms, there are 4 dams built into it! Now there are lot of places where you see concrete where all you would see before was trees trees and more trees. I wish people were more sane and leave the pristine river and valley undistrurbed. I wish they learn to protect the nature before they destroy everything and is too late.


We drove 70kms more to reach our next rendezvous, Murdeshwara. We were there at sometime around 2pm. This place is an (almost)island with a very narrow landmass joining it to the mainland. I was here around 10-15 years back. Then, the island was a small hill with a Shiva temple built in a small portion of the island. The narrow landmass joining the mainland was asphalted and both sides of the road were beaches!!

I was at surprise here too. Where there was just a temple in the island, now there is a big hotel right next to the sea, there is a restaurant built a few meters in the sea and a whole lot of new constructions. More than all that, the most shocking thing was that the hill itself was brought down to make way for some more construction!! It is actually illegal to construct anything within 200m from the seashore, but that did not seem to deter any one.

We spent rest of the day near the beach. It was good fun. We walked around the beach for sometime, played frisbee for half an hour and then got into the water and stayed there until the sunset. After 7, we went inside the temple and spent some time there. Around 8pm or so, we left Murdeshwar and went to Honnavar for the night's stay. I feel this was the best of all the 4 days of our trip.

To be continued....

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