By Meenakshi Gupta
It is incredible to know that Asia’s first hydroelectric power stations which were set up in 1902 are in Karnataka at Malayalli taluk of Mandya district under the Mysuru Kingdom. The hydroelectric power plant is still active. The two waterfalls Barachukki at a height of 69 mts and Gaganachukki at a height of 90 mts are also called Sivanasamudra.
The breathtaking views of the gushing Gaganachukki and Barachukki waterfalls will leave you in awe. The spectacular waterfalls with unmatched beauty surrounded by the dense forests of Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary are an ideal location for spending time in serenity and are also the perfect picnic spot.
Together known as Sivanasamudra i.e. Lord Shiva’s sea, Gaganachukki and Barachukki falls are considered to be in the top best 100 waterfalls of the world. Take a coracle boat to reach the waterfalls and overlook the plunge from a height or the starting point from the cliff where the falls come gushing. The waist-height stream to cross on slippery rocks is enough to give you the adrenaline rush of a lifetime. Another way to reach the waterfalls is through the Dargah of Hazrath Mardane Gaib. The views from this point are fascinating and spectacular.
There is no dearth of picnic spots and day trips from Bangalore. With a 150 km range from Bangalore, there are several scenic locations and water bodies that make a perfect weekend getaway. Karnataka is blessed with a diversity of natural resources, historical wealth, UNESCO Heritage sites and many forms of art and culture. Sivanasamudra, or the twin waterfalls as popularly known, Barachukki and Gaganachukki after the monsoon makes a steamy sight to behold.
Best time to visit the Barachukki and Gaganachukki Falls (Sivanasamudra Falls)
The waterfalls are in their full glory during or post-monsoon but can be visited any time of the year. The monsoon season extends from July to September. During the season the falls are captivating and roaring. Expect a heavy crowd during weekends and public holidays. There is no wheelchair access or accommodation available. To enjoy a coracle boat ride, winters are a better and safer bet to visit.
How to reach
The twin waterfalls namely Barachukki and Gaganachukki, jointly called Sivanasamudra is 120 km away from Bangalore, 80 km from Mysore and 27 km from Somanathapura. The Sivanasamudra is an island dividing the River Cauvery into two namely Barachukki and Gaganachukki.
The closest domestic airport is Mysore. Just 80 km away, Mysore is connected via air from Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai. The international airport is Bangalore about 120 km away. Cabs are easily available at both airports to reach the falls and explore the nearby areas.
The nearest railway stations are Mysore and Maddur. Mysore is approximately 80 km away from the falls while Maddur is 20 km. However, the connectivity from Mysore is way better than Maddur. There are several trains connecting Mysore to the rest of the cities in Karnataka and India.
To reach the last mile, the best way is to travel by road. Umpteen buses are plying from Mysore and Bangalore to Kollegal. Which is the closest point to reach the falls. Kollegal is just 20 km away. However, one can hire a cab or reach there by own vehicle.
Other places to visit near Sivanasamudra Falls (Barachukki & Gaganachukki)
Karnataka is rich in natural and historical diversity. Many other locations can be clubbed with Sivanasamudra visits.
Bheemeshwari- A small town located near the bank of river Cauvery is famous for eco-tourism. A destination in natural surroundings is a one-stop destination for nature and adventure lovers.
Somanathapura- A historical village dating to the Hoysala period, Somanathapura is famous for its historical monuments and its grandeur. The monuments exhibit the grand and exclusive architecture of the time.
Channapatna- Famous for wooden and lacquerware toys and accessories, Channapatna is a small town on the way from Bangalore to Mysore.
1. The waterfalls are open to the public from 6 am to 6 pm.
2. Swimming is strictly prohibited under the falls. There are no lifeguards available.
3. Barachukki and Gaganachukki falls can be reached by different access roads and are 15 minutes drive away.
4. Beware of red and wild ants near the falls.
5. There are a few small shops selling snacks and drinks. However, it is advisable to carry your food.
6. DO NOT LITTER.
Image Credits : Abhishek BM