Four of us – Anees, Jayakrishnan, Jessan and me – decided to drive down to Shivanasamudra from Bangalore in an Etios on a relaxed weekend. The 60 kilometers journey from Bangalore was smooth and comfortable, thanks to the excellent vehicle Etios is. We had a brief stopover for breakfast at an eatery in Kanakapura. At the local temple we witnessed a colorful procession being carried out as part of the temple festival. The fervor of the devotees was undeterred even though the hot sun was beating down on them.
Shivanasamudra is a small town in the Chamarajanagar District of Karnataka. Situated on the banks of the river Kaveri, it is the location of one of the first Hydro-electric Power stations in Asia, more importantly it is well known for its beautiful waterfalls. It is here that the river Kaveri splits itself in to two parts and drops over a cliff and then joins again. The twin falls are known as Gaganachukki and Barachukki.
The effect of the scorching sun was nullified by the waters of Shivanasamudra. Since the monsoon season is yet to set in, it was possible to go right up to the core of the waterfall. The descent (and the painfully climb upwards) of more than 200 steps was worth the trouble. It was fun in the waters with the entire crowd around you. Some groups came with smiley stress balls which they threw into the crowd. Immediately the whole crowd became one team and started throwing the stress balls at each other.
Shivanasamudra holds opportunities for all kinds of enthusiasts. For the adventurous, the place offers a small trek up the hill to reach the top of the waterfalls. The picturesque surroundings are enough to keep photography enthusiasts busy for hours. Another key attraction here is the ride in the circular boats for a nominal fee.
A trip to Shivanasamudra is incomplete without visiting some of the most exquisite ancient temples close by. We left Shivanasamudra by around noon and headed towards the small temple town of Talakad(Talakadu).The drive to the place is beautiful with never ending stretches of paddy fields.
Set amid sand dunes, with the Cauvery flowing close by Talakad is a historical site with interesting legends associated with it. One can imagine the past glory of Talakad, with over 30 ancient temples, which are all now buried in sand. The unexpected vastness of sand will take you by surprise.Folklore has it that the town was submerged under sand due to the ‘Curse of Talakad’, by a chieftain’s wife named Alamellamma. It is also used to explain why successive rulers of the Wodeyar dynasty did not have a direct progeny.
As the day drew to a close and we decided to head back to Bangalore, we spent the last few moments of our trip watching the breathtaking sunset on the banks of the river Kaveri.While we drove back to Bangalore we took along with us beautiful memories of a fun trip and a keen desire to visit this beautiful place all over again.
Written for a newsletter with major improvements from a colleague of mine.