3 days & 1250 kms: Road trip to Jog falls in my Skoda Octavia TSI

Traffic was generally light generally along the route, with pretty sights too

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Monsoon drive within KA have been on the cards for a while, especially ones which are a far cry from the monsoon woes in the city. The other requirement was to have an abundance of twisty ghat roads to drive to my heart’s content. The dense Sharavati valley was the chosen destination and Jog Falls, as the place of stay in order to drive around the ghats during the best times of the day

KSTDC Mayura Jog falls was the default (if only) choice, although the falls per se was still getting ‘fed’ by the monsoons (early July). To my utter shock, the entire KSTDC Jog Falls area was undergoing massive construction leaving a muddy mess not very different from Bangalore’s unsurfaced roads! The only low point in the trip which I glossed over considering my objective.

The route was thus chosen to complete a loop of sorts with welcome diversions to include scenic roads:

Onward drive started at around 05:00 from Yelahanka as follows:

Bangalore -NH75- Channarayapatna -NH7- Arsikere -NH69- Tarikere – detour via NH65 to drive along the Tunga – NH169 – Sakrebyle – Shivamogga – back in NH69 – Sagara – Jog Falls.

NH75 has some really good stretches till you encounter a diversion out of nowhere. Absolutely no sign of monsoon given the intent of my trip!

After the turn off at Channarayapatna, the roads along NH69 were a joy despite being only two lanes. Truck traffic was virtually non existent

While some other sections are widened to 4 lanes, traffic was admirably thin:

Near Tarikere, the landscape started to get green and dense with the first drops of rain (after 5 hours from start!)

A sight along country roads, pressed into service for road works – how is this even legal!

NH65 beyond Tarikere had the elements that I had signed up for in my drive

Lunch break was at Fortune Plaza right along the highway (on my opposite side) before turning off into Bramavara off the NH.

Traffic was generally light generally along the route, with pretty sights too

Tunga river meandering along the road on the right

Close to Sakrebyle Elephant camp, the sighting of 6 majestic tuskers along the road with their glistening black forms contrasting against the landscape:

 A blissful drive to Shivamogga followed with a lunch halt at Harsha the Fern – fantastic food and service (also parking)

A sight on the outskirts of Shivamogga, four (4!) youths on this Activa ridden along the highway thus!

Further along NH69 enroute Sagara, in a heavy downpour (GIF in 1x speed shows the auto wipers desperately trying to clear the windscreen)

Arrived at KSTDC Mayura Jog Falls around 16:30, dripping wet. Cruise control was last used more than 6 hours earlier, as was the case with the 80kmph speed alert. This would be the norm for the next 2 days of driving

The Jog Falls bridge:

The shocking sight which greeted me at the entrance to Jog falls, absolutely unrecognizable from the earlier visit:

Thankfully the rooms were spacious with a view to match, small mercies!

Closure of day 1 of driving and its summary (clicked on day 2 however!):

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