Tourism, Patriotism — Shivanasamudram

A small tale about a trip to Shivanasamudra on the Indian Independence Day

Photo by Anupama A

On August 15th, 2019 the family decided to visit Shivanasamudra. This little town plays host to a lovely visual treat in the form of two waterfalls — Gaganachukki and Barachukki, created by the river Kaveri.

August 15th is significant because it is the Indian Independence Day. Since schools and offices are closed on that day, the family decided to do something fun.

We Googled and found that Shivanasamudra was easily doable by car from Bangalore in half a day.

The hubby, the teen, and I got up with the first ray of the sun, or maybe the tenth, can’t be sure all these months later. We got ready and set off to see the milky waterfalls.

It was a comfortable two hour drive. We got into the car, and five minutes later, the teen goes, “Are we there yet?”

Not sure how the rest of the world’s kids behave, but when we start a journey, the kid wants it to be over in a blink. Can someone please invent teleporting quickly…

The journey itself was pleasant and filled with lovely sights. We passed an old power generation building, a pristine white Church, a few canals thick with water, and sights of villagers going about their morning chores.

Gaganachukki Falls

We reached a nice clearing, parked our car, and headed to view the first waterfall — Gaganachukki.

Gaganachukki falls, Shivanasamudra. Photo by Anupama A

The waterfall was full and it was beautiful. The raw natural beauty around the place, the sound of the waterfall thundering down, and the magical mist from the force of the falls, all added to the breathtaking view. We spent a lot of time clicking pics of the waterfall, the waterfall with the family, the waterfall with each of us individually, and the waterfall with resident monkeys!

Photo by Anupama A

The area around the viewpoint is filled with hawkers selling all kinds of stuff. For the hungry folks, there were fresh cut slices of cucumber, pineapple, papaya, and guava coated with salt and chili powder. Absolutely mouth-watering!

For the kids, there was an assortment of toys, trinkets, tiny flutes, and so on. Before we knew it, we had been brainwashed by the teen into buying one of those wooden flutes. I think she played it once that day. We haven’t seen the flute since then.

Eating, and Eating,…and More Eating

Having had our fill of fresh cucumber and pineapple slices, we went foraging for real food. Found a restaurant with only one item on the menu — puri. Puri is normally a very yummy item. However, our food luck was running thin that morning. From the time the puris arrived, until the time we exited the restaurant, we heard only one chant from the teen — “It is too oily!”

I have to admit that the puris were extremely oily. The teen wrung out the puris in a tissue and we collected enough oil to fry another two puris ourselves!

We trudged back to the car, but not before we had filled all non-oil covered spaces in our stomachs with the most delicious, crisp, sweet, fresh sugarcane juice from a roadside stall. We may have died and gone to heaven at that moment.

A House and Some Cows

We started driving towards Barachukki. On the way, we found some amazing old buildings that looked so photogenic that we had to stop and click pictures.

Photo by Anupama A

The slightly overcast sky and the lone coconut tree added so much drama to the scene that we felt a slight shiver run down our spines. How would this scene look in the dead of the night against a shiny full moon?

Next, we came across a small procession of cows. We followed them for a bit since they seemed to know where they were going, and we were a bit lost.

Photo by Anupama A

The cows pointed us in the right direction and we reached the viewpoint for Barachukki falls. Apparently, we still had some space in our stomach. Just as we were parking, our eyes fell on an ice cream cart.

Photo by Anupama A

How can we pass an ice cream cart without eating a Chocobar??

What really struck me though, was the Indian flag proudly displayed on the cart. National pride manifests in amazing ways. We were so happy to see the lovely flag fluttering in the breeze. The vendor handed us our Chocobars and said ‘Happy Independence Day’. Wow! Suddenly August 15th was special.

Barachukki Falls

We devoured our Chocobars and walked towards Barachukki. The first sight that greeted us here was again the Indian flag fluttering high! It was a ‘knot in the throat’ moment.

Photo by Anupama A

Barachukki is a much bigger waterfall in terms of the area covered. We spent a lot of time clicking pictures from different angles. None of the pictures do justice to the beauty of the falls. Adding to it, other tourists also brought along huge Indian flags. The whole scene was a mix of milky white water, greenery, the bright orange and green of the Indian flag, and tons of tourists. It was a mesmerizing melange.

Photo by Anupama A

Patriotism all the Way

Sadly, it was time to leave. We clambered into the car and headed home.

The route back to Bangalore had more patriotism sprinkled all over in the form of our local yellow-black autos. They seemed to be competing with each other about who could carry off the most gigantic of flags on the auto.

Seeing those flags everywhere transformed an otherwise uneventful Independence Day into a celebration of patriotism. Even the ‘I can’t be bothered’ teen began to sound a wee bit proud of the country at the end of the journey.

Photo by Anupama A

We reached home feeling a bit heavy and heady after the awesome views and the fresh infusion of patriotism.

This story is published in Writers on the Run. If you’re interested in submitting your travel stories please visit our submission guidelines.

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