Shivaganga : Oh, What a Spectacular Fall...!
Water tumbles down from a height of 250 ft, river sonda flows quite here. Shivaganga waterfalls is one of the Picturesque waterfalls of Uttarakanda district and easily accessible from Sirsi town
Looking desperately for a change in the scene to beat the heat at least for a couple of days ?. Here's one such ideal place, which offers you more than just lung space, and if you are of the adventurous type, you've got yourself a golden deal !.
Nestling amidst the verdant forests of the Western Ghats about 40 km from Sirsi town in the Uttara Kannada district is Shivaganga waterfalls. Although Shivaganga waterfalls is a Picturesque Waterfalls in this district, which has earned itself a sobriquet Jalapathagala Jille ( District of Charming waterfalls ).It has been overshadowed by the more popular and World Famous Jog Falls. The Shivaganaga Falls is still pristine and not choked.
We landed at Sirsi, a small town in we hours of one Sunday morning. The place is best known for the famous Marikamba Temple ( Goddess of Shakti ) built in the early 16th century AD.
With no planned and only Shivaganga falls in mind, we moved away from the hustle and bustle of the temple town. A rickety old bus transported us to a place called Jeddigadde, the last point beyond which the bus does not go further. At this point is a board that indicates the distance to Shivagange Waterfalls as three km. Although there is a motorable muddy road, we resolved to walk.
It was a perfect day for our weekend trek as unsteady showers through the night had left the Sunday morning breezy and pleasant. The forest was lush and the earthy fragrance lingered in the air. Unmindful of the passage of time, we walked on the muddy road through the forest. This path ended after two km and a few steps downhill led us to the viewpoint with a pergola. From this point, we had a bird's eye view of the Shivaganaga Waterfalls and a breathtaking view of the valley down below.
To savor the Waterfall in all its splendor you to trek downhill through the dense rainforest with no clear way to the Waterfall. Yes! This is a difficult task, but not for the truly adventurous. You can accomplish it by finding your own way only if you have an uncanny sense of direction, but for the wayward, it is better to go with a localite or you can get lost like we did.
From the viewpoint, after an hour of steep descent through the dense forest, we were at the bottom of the Waterfalls. The sight os the milky white water gushing down from a height of 250 feet surrounded by large rocky boulders and grassy slopes, suddenly turning crystal clear was exhilarating. Our joy knew no bounds, the water here is was very cool, quite shallow and turbid but crystal clear, ideal for swimming. The place was surrounded by greenery and pollution-free fresh air was available in plenty. What more one can ask for in today's times ?. We rejuvenated ourselves without disturbing the tranquility of the place. The river flowed quietly in the valley.
Towards the waterfall was a Shivalinga merely carved on the rock with a kamandala 10 inches in height. Idols of Goddess Ganga and Lord Ganesha were also four here. Hence the name Shivaganga Waterfalls or Ganeshpal hole!
It is believed that a dip in the crystal clear water here can soothe you more effectively than any other fancy treatment. Some people come here to take a holy dip since it is considered as the origin of the Sonda Nadi - River. The river flowing jutting the rocks has carved, in different shapes and it's a true work of art. During the Mahashivarathri festival, a special Jathra takes place here, which draws crowds from the villages nearby.
Visits to this place during the rainy season is bothersome because of the abundance of blood-sucking leeches, one has to shed some blood to the hungry leeches to enjoy nature in return. We left our efforts were worth every minute of the journey. After purifying our bodies, mind, and soul and devouring the chapatis and chutney we had carried, we bid goodbye to the place carrying back memories of the wonderful place. And it was with a heavy heart that we left the place.