The third day started with no one interested to move an inch. By the third day, the enthusiasm to finish the trip faded in thin air, and nobody could even hear the knocks at the door from the hotel staff informing us of the cab waiting outside. Finally after 15 minutes of continuous knocking and occasional phone calls, we were out of our beds and took another one hour to get into the car. 5 girls and one hour to get ready was a big hit! For us, this record was an achievement. I would not lie, but it did occur to me that we were all going to ditch the plan and head straight to Bangalore Airport. But thankfully, we sat in the car to start the last leg of our journey! It was going to be beautiful Karnataka now – all throughout the way!
Gokarna to Jog Falls:
Situated 7 hours away from Gokarna, the next stop was the very famous Chikmagalur. The only thing I kept wondering before the start of this journey was, if we had decided on the correct routes, the correct destinations or if we have missed out on a nice stop! But as the trip kept unfolding itself we could not have been more satisfied. With the help of our reliable drivers, we really did not miss out on any good spots. We touched them all, even if it were for a few minutes!
I was extremely excited for this particular route for it was going to be full of ghats, farmlands, areca nut trees, and the coastal line. This 7-hour journey had blessed us with Jog Falls on the way. Only a 4-hour drive, we were to stop here briefly so as to not miss out on the most beautiful waterfall of India. Fed by river Sharavathi, this cascade falls from an altitude of 830 ft. The gushing sound of water roars and echoes with pride. While we stood mesmerized by the waterfall, the cold droplets of water fell gently on our faces. The water falling beautifully and gracefully shone under the gentle gaze of the sun. Of all the different terrains we had crossed – the valleys, beaches, mountains, the gorgeous waterfalls – this time we all stood quietly letting all of that get imbibed.
Jog Falls to Chikmagalur –
Karnataka never fails to surprise us. It has so much to offer that one can never get enough of this place. The richness of its beauty stands untouched. Jog Falls completely mesmerized us all.
We spent a good one hour at Jog Falls. Now we were only 4 hours away from our final destination – Chikmagalur. What seemed like a never-ending trip, refreshed us again with renewed energy every time we stopped to observe the beauty of Karnataka. It was all worth it in the end!
Chikmagalur is one of the most beautiful destinations in Karnataka. Known as the Land of Coffee, Chikmagalur’s tranquil beauty adorned by secret waterfalls is a paradise for nature-lovers. We decided to stay at Chikmagalur’s Silent Valley resort as continuing the journey any longer would have surely been backbreaking. After a late night check-in and a quick dinner, we decided to explore Chikmaglur Monday morning. The next morning was pleasant and a beautiful view from our windows prepared us to explore Chikamaglur. In the Land of Coffee, restaurants surely cannot go wrong with coffee. Sipping on some well-brewed coffee, our first morning in Chikmagalur gave us just the right kick start we needed.
Ditching our car, we decided to take an auto to help us explore Chikmagalur. We were told by our hotel staff that a man named Raju drives an auto and is the well-known travel guide. The entire town knows him, it seems!
Raju was outside our hotel sharp at 6 am to take us to Mullyanagiri Peak, which is the highest in Karnataka. Sunrise has a different charm around this peak and for a few minutes, I promised myself to become a morning person so as to never miss another sunrise in my life. That sort of motivation is lost in minutes. After our 6 am ode to the beautiful sunrise, Raju suggested a place which he said very few people knew of. Excited, Shreya could not stop asking questions. He had to give up driving to answer all of Shreya’s questions. So here it goes – Hebbe Falls lies inside a private coffee estate and he suggested we wear our trekking shoes if we want to see this place. Scary leeches will do everything to latch on to you, but the view is worth all the struggle! Private vehicles are not allowed to enter the coffee estate, however, there were jeeps that took us to the trekking point. The muddy road shook us completely. Getting off the jeep, most of us were just concentrating on keeping the leeches away, but it’s a no-win battle. While walking towards the waterfall, the trek gave us all a mild nervousness. It was not an easy one. After 500 meters, we saw a fully swollen river and decided to turn around and head back.
How often you are told to cross a river on foot? Possibly never! Following Raju blindly we found our legs shaking miserably under the flowing river. An atheist in me suddenly prayed for a miracle. The desire to reach the other side alive, safe and sound made us hold each other’s hand. Upon reaching the other side, we were thankful to be alive and untouched by unseen insects under water. We trekked for another 15 minutes and reached the point which, for the first time, made me gasp. Hebbe Falls in its glory ferociously falling made us all deaf! We could not hear ourselves. The milky white water splashing on the rocks made us forget we had tiny leeches stuck on our legs.
Raju took us back to the hotel and took only INR 1000 for his amazing service. While there was still a lot to explore, we were to head back to Pune from Bangalore airport tonight. This was the last part of the trip. The trip had finally come to an end! Mixed emotions took us all over. Fully content with our trip, it was time to pack our bags and get into the cab.
On our way to the airport, we stopped briefly for some lip-smacking south Indian lunch of ghee roast with neer dosa. The tiring road trip brought us all together for an adventure that none of us were prepared for and yet this will be one of the most memorable for reasons more than one. Taking a road trip with your friends can be quite risky because you either end up with the worst memories or making some of the best friends who stick with you for the rest of your life. We left home in search of some excitement and loads of adventure to give our tired city souls the much-needed change, but little did we know we would return with a bag of happiness – happiness of having such great women in our lives; women who refuse to give up on each other even when dissent and disagreement stared right into our eyes; happiness of having women who worry about each other’s safety more than their own; and happiness of having women who would save the last slice of pizza for you.