Shivasamudra was a familiar name to me since my school-days as it was mentioned in the Geography book as one of the earliest hydro-electric projects of Asia. I have no idea how this waterfalls on Kaveri River looks like, especially Shivasamudra in monsoon (July to September). Though I browse a lot, but have never been come across any pictures of Shivasamudra in internet, until and unless our monsoon visit to Coorg was cancelled due to flood in Western Karnataka and we had to look for worth-visiting places in the not-so-affected Eastern parts of the state.
How to go to Shivasamudra
Fortunately, it was all along a bright sunny day. We started from Mysore, visited Somnathpura and Talakadu on our way and finally arrived Shivasamudra at late afternoon. All together it was almost 90 kms’ journey. It’s a perfect weekend gateway from both Mysore and Bengaluru. If you are coming from Bengaluru, it may take 3 hours by car.
The Waterfalls of Shivasamudra – Gaganchukki and Barachukki
If you go through Google map, you will see Shivasamudram, is not a waterfall actually, rather a river island; according to Wikipedia, the fourth largest river island. While flowing over the Deccan Plateau, here Kaveri river splits in two streams, resulting two different cascades Gaganchukki Waterfall on west and Barachukki Waterfall in east. After flowing few kilometers towards south, the streams reunite and the land in between is what we call Shivasamudram aka Shivasamudra.
The Viewpoints of Shivasamudram
Shivasamudra in monsoon! What grandeur! While standing on the viewpoint of Barachukki, I was thinking about the uncertainties of life. Shivasamudra, one of the must visit waterfalls in monsoon would remained unexplored by us if the last moment change of itinerary did not take place. Probably, just like the flooded Western Karnataka of this time, I would not get here even few days earlier. On our way, we have seen villages still submerged in water and water-levels of Kaveri are still unusually high. Here, we are not allowed to go to the bottom-most viewing deck as the river was flowing furiously and accidents can happen anytime. Anyway, still from the higher deck, the cascade of Barachukki looks stunning.
The authority puts much restrictions on visiting Shivasamudra in monsoon and it should be. Therefore, same here also in Gaganchukki! But here we are more close to the waterfalls even standing on the higher viewing deck. So more sound! More smoke! More enthralling! Gaganchukki has twin waterfalls and visitors often consider them as Gaganchukki and Barachukki. But keep in mind that both the waterfalls are few kilometers away from each other and cannot be seen side by side.
View of Gaganchukki near Dargah Hazrath Mardane Gaib
You can get a different view of Gaganchukki from a different direction along with the River Kaveri if you visit Dargah Hazrath Mardane Gaib. There is no viewpoint here, rather just a fence beside the Dargah.
There are monkeys everywhere. Pilgrims offer them food. They can snatch your belongings, so be careful. Anyway, they are photogenic with the marvelous cascade as background.
Come here at morning. If it’s a sunny day you will be gifted by a fascinating view of rainbow. Rainbow is formed on the smokes come out from the bottom of the waterfall, but I don’t know whether much smoke generates on the other times of the year apart from monsoon or not. And while in monsoon, a bright sunny morning is rare! We were lucky! Wish you best of luck.
Where to Stay in Shivasamudra
Locationwise, Hotel Lakshadeep Gaganchukki is probably the best accommodation in Shivasamudra as it is built just beside the viewpoint of Gaganchukki. I wish we could stay there! We did not know about this hotel until we visited that viewpoint on the next morning. Anyway, we stayed in KSTDC Mayura Barachukki. None of the waterfalls are visible from this hotel. But while standing on the terrace, we can understand clearly that we are here on an island encircled by the segmented streams of Kaveri. There is no locality in the surrounding area; only hills and greenery. The river was seen partly, but the soothing sound of the flow was coming to us. It was the month of August, but chilled breeze did not let us stay long on the terrace.
What to eat in Shivasamudra
There are not much food options there in the Shivsamudram. You can take your lunch at roadside restaurants and for dinner, order where you are staying. Near Dargah, you will find fish caught fresh from the river on sale and small eateries are there who fry those fish and sell. Try it. It’s yummy!
But don’t litter the place there after.