The route of River Cauvery’s journey from her birthplace Talacauvery to Bay of Bengal is dotted with picturesque waterfalls, pilgrimage centers, islands and confluence of rivers.
Picture1 – Bharachukki
In Shivanasamudra (Sea of Shiva) the river bifurcates into two forming an island and both the branches plummet into rocky gorges to form awesome waterfalls. The branches of the river meet again and continue their onward journey. The two waterfalls are Gaganachukki flowing from Mandya district and Bharachukki flowing from Chamarajanagar and together are also known as bluff.
Picture2 – Bharachukki
Shivanasamudra is a small island town situated 65 Km from Mysore and 123 Km from Bangalore. The Mysore Maharajahs established Asia’s first hydroelectric project here in 1902. This island is one of the fourth largest islands formed by river Cauvery.
Picture3 – Madhya Ranga Temple
There is a beautiful ancient Dravidian temple on the island dedicated to Lord Ranganatha known as Madhya Ranga, which is a pilgrimage center. Lord Ranganatha swamy/Vishnu’s idol is in a sleeping pose on Adishesha/the seven-headed serpent. There are two more Ranganatha temples on banks of river Cauvery, which are Adi Ranga at Srirangapatna and Anthya Ranga at Srirangam, Tamil Nadu.
Picture4 – Bharachukki Falls
Bharachukki falls is 3 Kms away from Gaganachukki falls. The segmented falls are listed in the 100 most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Bharachukki falls from a height of 90 meters but the width of the falls is almost 800 meters. The greenery surrounding the falls the blue skies and milky white water roaring consistently are sights and sounds not to be forgotten easily.
Picture5- Gaganachukki Falls
Gaganachukki falls from a height of 100 meters or more and cascades with force and elegance on the rocks resulting in huge sprays of water dashing on the rocks on either side. The gorge formed by this waterfall at the bottom is in the shape of a horseshoe. There is a watchtower on the eastern side of the falls and on the western side is the tomb of Muslim saint Phir Ghaib.
Picture6 – Gaganachukki Falls
It is no surprise that the waterfalls caught the fancy of the 19th century traveler and then Chief Commissioner of Mysore Lewin Bentham Bowring.
Picture7 – Gaganachukki Falls/Digby Rock
One rock formation caught my eye (Picture7), which looked exactly like the face of the dog that starred in the 1973 movie “Digby, the biggest dog in the world” and we named the rock “Digby”.
On the way to Shivanasamudra we came across beautiful lakes with Lotus blooms and few Painted Storks wading in water bodies. The waterfalls true magnificence can be enjoyed during July to September. A waterfalls festival for two days is celebrated every year during the rainy season (July- August). The other interesting places nearby are Talakadu with innumerable legends, 30 Km from here and Somnathapura with the beautiful Chennakeshava temple is situated 50 Km from Shivanasamudra.
Picture8 – Painted Storks
Type of Place – Waterfalls
Situated – Mysore District
Distance – 65 Km from Mysore, 123 Km from Bangalore, 18Km from Malavalli
Transport – Nearest Railhead is Mysore, Buses and Private taxis ply to the waterfalls
Facilities – Rest room, Restaurant and Boarding is available near Gaganachukki