Gokak Waterfall and Hanging Bridge

My last visit to this fabulous waterfall was some time 1998 or 1999 ...with Dad and Dipi.

Sept 10, the day before Ganesh Chaturti, we had few places on our agenda for the day. Just before reaching Gokak we had visited Sogal and a short stop at Belvadi. There are few more interesting places like Arabhavi, Godachina malki Waterfall and Dhupdaal. However, we left them out for the day since we had to be in Sirsangi well before sunset.

British era stone buildings housing a cotton gin greet tourists. I heard the mill here is still in British Government's name, not yet acquired by India.

We first went to Mahalingeswara temple, passed by another temple whose name I did not bother to check.

I wonder why stones are painted. The picture below is the rear portion of Mahalingeswara temple, the only part which is not colored.

That's the front portion, except the floor, not a square inch of stone is spared.

Who ever is in charge of this temple's maintenance must be a chromomaniac. Anyway... we paid our respects to Mahalingeswara, one of Lord Shiva's many avatars.

We moved towards the rushing river, passing by several other tourists of all ages. Youngsters busy shooting away each other with their cell phones. The mighty Ghataprabha leaps down 52 meters with a deep rumble and sends up white mist.

That's the hydro-power unit which feeds the cotton mill's power requirement.

Everything is silent again ...Ghataprabha flows snakes it way through the valley.

We moved closer to the water, found a ledge, I stepped down carefully, to get a view of the underside of the diving river.

On the ledge, as I moved towards the diving water, I was sacred but managed to control my feelings. For a moment I felt as though water is going to pull me into it. Few minutes later, Chetan joined me.

It was a kind of fatal attraction ...I knew it was not safe to be there but it was fun to fight fear. Do watch this video...

Small drops started raining down from the clouds above, that's when I decided to climb back to safety. We spent some more time appreciating the rocks, the river and the wonderful hanging bridge.

Only on reading this banner did I realize that this bridge was not for general public. Yet I, like other tourists, chose to ignore it. Apart from this banner I saw a notice that this suspension bridge is designed to take 30 people's load but, I could count double the number. At times large groups would move together, overloading the cables holding us. The bridge would sway scarily as we pass through the mid-section of the span. People ignorant of engineering concepts are blissfully unaware of the dangers they are treading on.

A small Shivalingu temple across the river. We had bought roasted corn here. It took a while for us to finish them.

A tortoise between the doorway and Lingu. The tortoise looks as though it's trying to crawl forward.

...we had climbed up get a better view.

Back to the bridge ...on of the cables. You see they are really not that thick.

I avoided large groups by stopping on the columns and until traffic thinned.

View of the river minus the falls ...middle of the picture, water level falls 52 meters.

Looking the other way ...Ghataprabha rushing down the slope.

Safely across the river, we got into the Indica. As we drove back, I asked Shrikanth to stop, I wanted to locate the spot from here I shot Gokak Falls years ago. It was difficult with so much of overgrown jaali-kanti blocking the view. Anyway we stopped by at Volkart Rock for few minutes.

The park is taken over by jalli-kanti. In fact the entire Gokak area is covered by jaali shrubs ...a major source for green color in this terrain.

This must one of the turbines or a valve.

Soon we were out of Gokak cruising the highway towards Saundatti ...our final destination of the day- Sirsangi.

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