Karnataka’s Twin Waterfalls

I stood there staring at the gushing cascading waters, aggressively bouncing off the craggy moss-covered rock cliff. It always feels happy to be near a waterfall and this was no different. The white shafts of water complemented by the surrounding greenery of various shades did their job of lifting my spirits and boosting my energy. But my mind was agitated. It kept slipping into the past as scenes from the last time I was here fleeted before my eyes like a motion picture.

I was at the exact same spot a decade ago when I had just shifted to Bangalore.

The waterfall is just the same, but the surroundings look quite different – the usual story of manipulating the natural surroundings to make it more touristy. Such ugly human interventions always disturb the nature lover in me. Today, however, my mind was consumed with other thoughts – the memories of my last visit here. I was here with my parents (dad). Life’s changes are just too fast. And, the decade ago visit feels like it happened just yesterday.

Pic 1: This was clicked during my previous visit. The serene pool formed at the bottom of a waterfall always seems to me like the water needs a quick rest before carrying on.

We were at Barachukki Falls – one of the two waterfall that are collectively known as Shivanasamudra. The other one is Gaganachukki Falls. Shivanasamudra, literally translating as Shiva’s Sea, is formed by the dropping waters of River Cauvery as it makes its way through the Deccan Plateau. The river splits into two branches resulting into the two perennial waterfalls of Barachukki and Gaganachukki. While Barachukki is the eastern branch of the waterfall, Gaganachukki forms the western branch. In between lies the island town of Shivanasamudra that marks the boundary of Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar district and Mandya district.

Pic 2: The segmented cluster of Barachukki that spreads broadly across the cliff.

Located 140 kms away from Bangalore, Shivanasamudra has another claim to fame. It boasts of the second hydro-electric power station set up in colonial India in 1902. The power from this station was primarily used to run the Kolar Gold Fields during the gold rush of the early 1900s. [The first hydro-electric power station in India was set up at Darjeeling. These two were among the first ones in Asia.]

The twin waterfalls of Barachukki and Gaganachukki are separated by 10 Km. and can be covered just by a drive of 15-20 minutes. The twin waterfalls do not have much resemblance to each other, and they stand out significantly in their look and feel. The only similarity, I thought was the topography of their surroundings.

Pic 3: The horsetail parallel gushing and vivacious streams of Gaganchukki.

Barachukki gushes down fulsome and enthusiastically in all directions. It constitutes a cluster of segmented waterfalls that spreads broadly across the cliff, falling from a height of 69m. The multiple side-by-side waterfall is a consequence of the water dividing into several channels before dropping off the ledge. Gaganachukki is a steep waterfall that thunders down from a height of 98m. with an incredibly fierce velocity. It consists of two large parallel streams, quite aptly referred to as horsetails that cascade down through the rocky bed.

We were there in the month of December, 2020. It being the season of winter, the quantity of water was less in both the falls.

Barachukki Falls also has a flight of about 200 concrete steps, well-guarded with railings, to reach the bottom of the falls. During our visit, this was temporarily closed. It was pandemic times, so not surprising. During my previous visit, I had also seen people taking coracle rides right up to the falls. This time there were none. There is no way to reach the bottom of Gaganachukki and it would be dangerous to do so, given the sheer force of this falls.

Pic 4: L – A decade ago with my parents. R – This time with my sisters.

Author: neelstoria

Traveling, Gardening, Trekking, Hiking, Storytelling, Writing, Nature, Outdoors, Yoga, DIY

16 thoughts on “Karnataka’s Twin Waterfalls”

  1. I have never heard of these falls before. Something new for me! Your post conveys so much about the feeling of nostalgia. I’m sure it is hard for you. On another note, getting away from City in the midst of nature must have provided respite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are very famous falls of Karnataka. The visit was indeed filled with nostalgia for me. I hadn’t quite expected to go there again but it happened. This was way back in December.
      Another place added to your list when you come here next time. Though these spots are quite touristy, but both the waterfall are beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have been to another falls near Bangalore which are very famous. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a great experience as the water wasn’t enough for the falls. Also, it was crowded with locals, a picnic place. Add to that, it was sunny and hot.
        There are too many places to visit and looks like I can’t add any more….no space….LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think you might have been to Jog Falls. Or else, Hogenakal – it’s a good falls but overcrowded with picnic-party sort of crowds. I went only once.
          Strange that you ran out of space. Wonder why that happened.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I guess it was Bheemeshwari. All I remember is that it was part of Kaveri WLS.
            When I say I have run out of space, I mean there are already so many places that I need to visit. Let me clear that list before making additions. 🙂


    1. Then it’s about time to do that once again (post-covid, of course) 😀
      Have you been to Shivanasamudra?
      Hogenakkal is another amazing waterfall that spreads across quite a huge area. We had been there a decade ago, it was touristy then also but wasn’t bad and we had really liked the place. But with the stories I now hear from people, most certainly I will not go there again. I’ll dig out the old pics sometime and write about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful chronographical photos of the waterfalls Neel! Time flew by, yet the waterfalls remained where they were.
    These two are my very very favourite spots to get away from Bangalore, whenever possible. I don’t have the energy to climb down those many steps and have to be contended with the view from top.
    Did you have the spiced amla they sell there, mostly around Gaganachukki? I love it and plan to go back for just that again 😃😋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes…those spiced amla are an absolute favourite. They are smaller then the usual amla and the way they sell it with the masala it’s just mouthwatering.
      Climbing down the steps isn’t the issue, it’s the fact you you will need to climb up again. 😉


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