Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jog – A piece of heaven

After a very long time all five of our engineering gang was meeting, and its been almost two and a half years since all of us went together for a trip. A much awaited break for all of us from our routine life. All of us had so much to catch up on each others lives. So finally at around 11 on a cold Friday night we started our journey of 400 kilometers from Bangalore to Jog. The ride was filled with pranks, pulling each others legs, remembering the good old days of our college life. By the time we thought of taking a nap we were more than half way through our journey. Our heated arguments, discussions and fun had probably enraged the car I believe it overheated! So we had to break for about an hour before we started moving. As the saying goes “Alls well that ends well”. This one hour break in our journey ensured that we reached Jog at a perfect time in the morning.

Six in the morning still quite a distance from Jog we were surrounded by the enchanting and picturesque beauty of the Western ghats. Frequent spells of fine spray of rain had made the curvy roads look even more beautiful, this made me jealous of the driver. To add to this we had lush greenery on both sides of the road. Me and my friend started clicking pictures of this timeless beauty.

Finally we reached Sagara, a small place 30 kilometers from Jog. This was the last place before most mobiles went silent due lack of network. After a quick break we started the final segment of our journey. The first place we stopped over was a bridge across the river Sharavati just a few minutes from the waterfall. Everyone jumped out of the car to enjoy the pleasant weather and view. Even at eight in the morning fog was taking its time to clear on this little hill station. Due to the dense fog we couldn't see things 100 metres away let alone the waterfalls.

After clicking few photos we headed to the main waterfall. As soon as the car came to a halt we literally ran to get a glimpse of the waterfall. Much to our dismay we could just hear the roaring of the waterfall and nothing much was visible due to heavy fog and thick cloud cover. But we had a pleasant surprise waiting for us, courtesy Mother Nature. Cloud cover just started to clear bit by bit to showcase the true beauty of Jog. All of us were jumping in joy to see “Raja”, first of the four waterfalls. Then “Rani” showed up quickly, followed by “Rocket”. But to see “Roarer” we had a wait a little more. Finally all four waterfalls were visible and we were totally bowled over by Mother Nature. We were jumping in joy, clapping hands. It took us awhile before we could even talk. I just cant express the euphoria in words. Quickly we decided to pack our breakfast head down towards the bottom of the falls and have it there.

A rocky decent of about 1500 steps. All the cementing of the steps were washed away due to recent heavy rains. As we were making our way downhill, the view and roar of the waterfalls was getting better. Half way through we were completely taken by the shear beauty of Jog. Its just then we started to get the feeling that “This is indeed a piece of Paradise of Earth”. No one can express the beauty of this place in words or in pictures, one has to see this place to enjoy its beauty. The rocky path gave us ample opportunity to enjoy Nature's beauty. The Shutter Bug wont allow you to take more than 10 or 15 steps before you feel like clicking another one!

3/4th the way down we were greeted by the fine spray from the waterfalls. With every step it was increasing. Still further down the fine spray was now like heavy drizzle. More closer to the falls we decided that the cameras and mobile are best inside the bag than outside, as no one had the patience to click pictures and the waterfall spray was really heavy. At the very bottom of our decent we were literally running towards the falls. Mother Nature had lot more surprises than we could ever imagine. All of a sudden the water flow increased and it was accompanied by gust of wind making the waterfall spray look like a heavy rain. We couldn't open our eyes even though we a good 100 metres from the falls. Since we were early to start the decent we had very few people near the falls, so we had all of Jog just for ourself!

We were so completely taken in by the beauty we were out of words and we were just screaming at the top of our voice to express our excitement and complete surrender to Mother Nature's beauty. Our trek downhill and the jumping and howling had drained our energy and we started feeling hungry. The gust of water was so heavy we had to find a rock to hide behind it and open our food packets. Everyone were so hungry and wanted to dance in this artificial rain, we ate in no time! And we headed straight to the waterfall. We could mange to go only to about 50 meters from the bottom of the fall as water was gushing with immense force and the water spray was too heavy. All of us just stood with an outstretched hand to enjoy the artificial rain. No one was ready to leave this place just yet. And Nature didn't leave us empty handed. Just as we were drenching ourselves Sun joined us in the party. Sun was hidden behind the hill had slowly started raising above the horizon. Sun cast its spell slowly by adding a tinge of golden yellow to each of the four water paths one by one . We again thanked Mother Nature and started our accent half heartedly. On our way uphill we took little breaks to rest and enjoy this timeless beauty.

Now that we had seen the bottom of the fall, now we were headed towards “Raja Spot” from where we can see the waterfalls from the top. It was already nearing noon when we reached up. We were completely exhausted by the climb so we decided to rest up a bit. After about an hours rest we started our 5 minutes drive to Raja Spot or now popularly called “Mungaru Male Spot”, as this place was used in shooting of a recent hit Kannada movie by the same name. Bottom of the falls gave us pure pleasure due to rain formed by the falls spray and the this gave us adrenaline rush. The view from the top is just breathtaking. You can see both the calm looking water and its power as it plummets to bottom. The depth of the falls is good enough to set your pulse raising, adding to that we have the roaring of the water. One can see the rocks carved out by the fury of gushing water. I couldn't stop myself from imagining how it would have been when the dams were opened due to the recent heavy rains. That would have been the sight of a lifetime, this was no less though! We have two places from were we can see the waterfalls. First one is a man-made structure from where we get to see the falls and its power. Next is from over the rocks just from where water path “Raja” falls. The view is just amazing. And soon one realizes that the later is the best choice to view as its much more closer to the falls.

From here you can experience the pure power of water, the gushing roar speaks for itself. We took turns to see the waterfall. By the time we reached Raja spot we had a lot of people, so we missed the peace and tranquility what we had at the bottom. After the high adrenaline pumping experience we took some time to enjoy the valley created by the river, its greenery on both sides of the valley. We were caught in two minds to leave this place or not. Ruthless Mind said we are running out of time and Heart said stay back, finally we decided to listen to the mind and now I regret that decision after returning from Jog!