Shivansamudra in English means’ Lord Shiva’s Sea’ . Shivanasamudra is a small island town of Mandya district , situated on the banks of the Cauvery River. Shivanasamudra Falls is ranked among the top 100 waterfalls in the world ! This is also the site for one of the first Hydro-electric power stations in Asia which was built in 1902 and is still functional. We visited the place after monsoon last year , the best time to visit any waterfall – FYI.
TIP – Vasu restaurant in Kanakpura is well know for its masala dosa , so it would be a good stop enroute for breakfast. After a 3hr drive from Bangalore via the Kanakapura main road, we reached the falls. Thankfully the parking spot was only half full when we reached around 11am. Grateful that the place would not be too crowded we proceeded towards the falls.
Barachukki and Gaganachukki waterfalls are together known as the Shivanasamudra Falls. The eastern branch of the waterfall is known as Barachukki while the western branch is known as Gaganachukki. These falls are located at a distance of 130 kms from Bangalore and 68kms from Mysore.
There is a watchtower located near the entrance to the falls from where you can view the entire surrounding area, falls et all. The falls were not very visible from this place .It felt great to view all the greenery around us, the bounty of nature all around us . As for the waterfall, all I could see was a few narrow series of waterfalls in the distance. Feeling a little disappointed as i was expecting the falls to be magnificent we moved towards the entrance. But the more closer we reached to the view point, the more scenic the falls seemed. Feeling my spirits lift and with a little spring in our steps my husband & I reached the staircase leading to the base.
The journey to the bottom consists of around 200 concrete steps fenced with railings on both sides to provide safety . There were even lookout points placed midway for those who preferred not to go all the way down. One could even rest here for sometime on the benches placed here before descending the staircase further. We witnessed many people struggling to climb their way back up from the base, using the railing for support and breathing heavily.
As we had had a light breakfast and it was almost lunch time , feeling a bit low on sugar I began to feel bit nervous about the climb back up . But that wasn’t enough to douse my exuberance and curiosity to reach the base ! Nooo it didn’t ! Enjoying the easy descent downwards we soon reached the bottom of the staircase.
The place was crowded ! Filled with people who were enjoying getting wet in the water gushing by. As the flow of the falls was not too strong the coracle rides were in operation. Families were eagerly awaiting their turn for the coracle rides so they could get closer to the falls.
All we could feel was the joyous energy around us and the thundering sound of the falls! The falls looked magnificent from here! This is the place where the water from the Cauvery River drops off from the Deccan Plateau at height of about 69 metres forming the famous ‘Barachukki and Gaganachukki Falls’.
After spending sometime enjoying the view, observing all the activity taking place around us and taking few snaps of the gorgeous falls before us we started to ascend the steps. Halfway there i was already lightheaded due to an empty stomach ! TIP – Do not attempt to descend these stairs without some ’ pet pooja’ (yummy in your tummy ! : )) and enough water to prevent dehydration & also a cap or umbrella to avoid sun stroke !!!
We unfortunately having not thought of any of the above as we were not aware of the steep decent, had a tough time getting back upstairs ! Never have I been so relieved to have to have the climb behind me ! Soon we left Shivanasamudra Falls looking for a place to have lunch.
TIP – Finding a descent meal is difficult around these areas so try carrying food from Bangalore itself.
Talakad is a desert-like town located on the banks of river Cauvery, at a distance of about 35 km from the waterfalls. It is a historic town and a famous pilgrimage area of the Hindus as it has several temples. Talakadu once had over 30 temples that today are buried in sand.
Except for the Vaideeswara temple built by Raja Raja I, all the other temples were buried under sand dunes. Out of these, the temples of Pataleeswara, Maraleswara, Anandeswara, Arkeswara, Gauri Shankar, Kirti Narayana and Chowdeswari have been excavated by the Central Archaeological Department.
There is a myth behind this – A story of a curse ,Vijaynagar empires viceroy Rangaraya’s wife Alamelamma is said to have cursed the King and the town before drowning herself in the Cauvery river near Talakadu.
When we visited the place , it was recently opened to the public after the temples were excavated. Talakad is a small town with narrow lanes and small houses. To our surprise there was a looong line of cars waiting to enter the town. Curious visitors and pilgrims looking forward to visit the temple ruins. We could see locals trying to make some income by offering food or acting as guides for the tourists.
After some wait we finally managed to find a parking spot in an already crowded lane. No sooner had we parked, a local came upto to us offering to be a guide for a small amount. So off we went with our guide to see the temples some of them which were still active.
Talakkad is famous for the Panchalinga Darshan – a rare darshan of five Shiva temples. The temples of Pataleeswara (Vasukeeswara), Maraleswara, Arakeswara, Mallikarjuna and Vaideeswara constitute the Panchalingas and are believed to represent the five faces of Siva. The Panchalinga darshana is a popular festival held once in 12 years on New Moon Day in the month of Karthika.
Today this sleepy little town is at the epicenter of some of the latest advances in horticulture and wine making. Often referred to as Bangalore’s Gourmet Valley by name Cauvery Valley, it is still a secret many chefs choose not to share. Fine wines, exotic Zero Pesticide fresh produce, artisan cheese and diverse culinary experiences are changing this once sleepy hamlet.