Day 2

Date: 26-Dec-09

Destination 1: Kemmannugundi

Sights: Kallathgiri Falls, Kemmannugundi, Z Point, Raj Bhavan, Hebbe Falls etc.

Route: Shimoga –> Bhadravathi –> Tarikere –> Lingadahalli –> Kemmannugundi (around 72 KM from Shimoga)

Had breakfast (a sumptuous one at that) in Hotel Samrat Ashoka and left for Kemmannugundi around 08:30 Hrs. Also, got our lunch (pongal) packed since the food available at Kemmannugundi isn’t of the best quality, or so I’ve heard. I don’t think Kemmannugundi brooks any introduction! It is located around 72 KM from Shimoga (map above).

Reached Kallathagiri falls around 10:00 Hrs. Kallathgiri is a 1 KM deviation on the way to Kemmannugundi and located close to the kallatti (kannada: ಕಲ್ಲತ್ತಿ) village. It can NOT be called falls since there is no fall! It is only a rivulet flowing over some rocks. Anyhow, had a wonderful bath in the water with Vishnu, who was enjoying it to the hilt (photos below).

The water in the falls was COLD – freezing is the word I am looking for. Vishnu, though, was unhindered by it and dipped into the water with gusto. The consequences of which, he’s facing now, in the form of cold & blocked nose! But his (& mine too) motto is – “give me water and I’ll take the cold too!” Both of us enjoyed the company of the water for sometime and came out and dried ourselves. Then, we climbed on some rocks to go above the falls and again, enjoyed the flowing water without getting in.

I & Vishnu enjoying Kallathgiri Falls!

The water is cold, isn't it?

 

Teacher admonishing his students with a Stick!

On the way to Kemmannugundi!

A beautiful view, a handsome man!

Beautiful view of the forest@Kemmannugundi

 Once done at the falls, moved on to Kemmannugundi enjoying the wonderful greenery on the way. Reached Kemmannugundi around 11:30 PM. Visited the park there wherein Vishnu played with gay abandon. Also, enjoyed the view of the Baba Budangiri hills. Took in the atmosphere for some time. Wanted to visit Z point and shanthi falls but found no place to park my car! It is best covered on foot with the car parked near the hotel. As we weren’t in the mood to trek for around an hour, what with my parents also travelling with us, we moved on.

Planned to visit Hebbe falls (13 KM from Kemmannugundi) but found out that cars can’t go till that point and did not find any alternate transport :(. There are jeeps available that take you there from Kemmannugundi but none were available when I inquired, even after waiting for 15-20 min. So, dropped the idea of Hebbe falls and headed straight towards Shivamogga after partaking of lunch on the way (pongal packed from Samrat Ashoka).

 

Destination 2: Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Sanctuary

Route: Shivamogga –> Tyavarekoppa (9 KM from Shivamogga on NH 206 towards Sagara/Jog Falls).

On the way to Shivamogga, after a prolonged and heated debate, decided to visit Tyavarekoppa, which has a lion & a tiger safari akin to Bannerughatta National Park. Reached Shivamogga around 15:30 hrs and headed straight towards Tyavarekoppa, which is 9 KM from Shivamogga on NH 206, on the way to Sagara/Jog Falls.

Reached Tyavarekoppa around 16:00, hunted 10 min for parking my car, found that it  was packed to the hilt with fellow tourists, waited 35 min to get into the safari van and found that it was all worth it! I have previously compared Tyavarekoppa to Bannerughatta. Though the comparision is apt in most aspects, it differs in 3 crucial aspects –

1. Bannerughatta is larger in size as compared to Tyavarekoppa

2. The number of animals and the range of them is less in Tyavarekoppa as compared to Bannerughatta

3. The main difference though, and this is the most important one, IMO, is that the Lions and Tigers of Tyavarekoppa are allowed to “roam freely”, yes, freely but ONLY within their enclosure.

Seeing the Lion and the Tiger circling the safari van gave me goosebumps. A semblance of freedom is the least that the majestic beasts need and that seems to have been provided in Tyavarekoppa. Consequently, they roam around freely even with prying human eyes upon them and display something close to boredom/disdain whenever a safari van comes along to break their monotony. It must be monotony indeed, since Lions/Tigers are the only creatures in their enclosure.

So, after watching the majestic beasts and some deer (Black Buck, Sambhar etc), headed back to Shivamogga for some rest!

Thus Day 2 was a trifle disappointing, because I could neither make it to Hebbe falls nor to Datta Peetha (3 hour journey from Kemmannugundi) but was lightened up in the end by the majestic beasts of Tyavarekoppa.

Before signing off, a few notes/suggestions/caveats:

1. Suggest you make your own arrangements for lunch if you are planning to visit Kemmannugundi. Best thing is to get it packed while having breakfast, like I did!

2. The road to Kemmannugundi is in a really bad shape at a few places after Kallathi village. Moreover, it is also narrow at some points. So, exercise due caution while driving.