A road trip to Jog Falls on the Renault Lodgy
A road trip to Jog Falls Karnataka
There are five ingredients that make for a great road trip – fantastic weather, great company, good food, interesting sights and finally, an awesome car. And I am lucky to have them all. The monsoons come calling and it seems like the ideal time to head out to Jog Falls Karnataka.
The forests are kissed by the rains, the wet breeze nudges your cheeks, the meandering damp roads beckon- it seems like a sign from the universe to soak in the moment.
And so, when a shining brand new Renault Lodgy, glowing in shades of red lands at my door step, all I want to do is to take her out for a spin to my favourite destination – the Western Ghats ! Our destination was the Jog Falls Karnataka.
There is something about a road trip in the monsoons. Nature wears her best coat of paint and everything around me looks afresh. As a child, I have always loved road trips. Although I lived in Madras, now Chennai, my grandfather had coffee estates in Chikmagalur and Saklespur and every holiday we used to head out to the mountains. Growing up in a joint family , we were always travelling with cousins in tow and every holiday was like a picnic. Years later, I am reliving the experience on this trip, travelling with my uncle, aunt, cousin and the spouse as well.
The Renault Lodgy is an ideal family car or perfect for a large group of friends. Stylish, comfortable with plenty of leg space, this is an eight seater MPV with six gears, tilt steering and it definitely makes heads turn as we cruise on the highway. Driving at over 100 kmh we head out of Bangalore towards Shimoga, Sagar and Jog Falls Karnataka. But I have always realized that road trips have no real destination. The journey is the destination.
And as we move on, the wheels take us through highways, muddy roads, rugged terrains, detours and dead ends. We cross fields and forests, lakes and waterfalls. Detours especially make for great journeys and I love taking them.
And the Renault Lodgy takes us to see pretty sunflower fields and cascading waterfalls. It even fits into a small rugged lane surrounded by sunflowers nodding in the breeze. But the rains come calling soon.
As we romance the monsoons, here are some glimpses of the wet and wild along the way.
My dazzling red Lodgy paints a pretty picture – a diva on the streets. Sophisticated, sturdy and stylish, it has a glossy front grille with chrome satin garnish. Plush interiors add to the comfort. And the fog lights lead us through the mist as visibility drops.
The car is sturdy even on wet roads as it is a different experience driving in the monsoons. Long drives need a lot of comfort. The 8 seater MPV has plenty of leg room to stretch or you can like us fold the rear seats and stock it with food packets.
Family travel is fun. Laughter echoes through the woods. We sing, we tell stories, we picnic in the woods and lose ourselves in the beauty of nature around us. We stop at small towns and the car stands out stylishly. We buzz past fields and forests
No road trip is complete without stopping for coffee and tea and binging on local food. Thatte idli, a speciality here which is flat and soft is served with chutney while we devour masala dosais.
And finally we are at our destination at Jog Falls Karnataka. The rains tumble down. The River Sharavati flows around us. The mountains are wrapped in mist. Dark rain clouds surround us
And later up in the hills, it forms the mighty Jog Falls, which is today shrouded by mist. We soak in the rain, go kayaking, take a boat to the islands and listen to the sounds of the forest.
Our little cottage in the woods overlooks the vast expanse of the backwaters of the River Sharavati that has been dammed at Linganamakki. The earth is wet and the forests are refreshed.
Jog or Gersoppa Falls formed by the Sharavati is nestled in the Western Ghats in Uttar Kannada and is best viewed during monsoons. The mist brings in the magic as we see the second highest plunge waterfall in India dropping from a height of 830 feet.
Cascades form from the mountains and I love the local names given to the four of them. The king is the Raja, plunging in one sheer column but it meets Roarer half way who creates a lot of noise. Rocket is ideally named as it shoots down from the mountains but it is Rani, who looks elegant in her white coat of foam.
When the waters of the Sharavati are released from the neighbouring dams, the four of them thunder down, forming a formidable curtain of white. But we are not so lucky. The mist has wrapped them in its fold but the Jog Falls Karnataka still presented a lot of drama.
Meanwhile the Lodgy is getting a fresh wash from the rains as it has taken us over 400 kms from Bangalore. Family holidays are so relaxing. We walk in the rain, go on boat rides, watch the rains and binge on goodies.
We lose ourselves in the beauty around us. Conversations cease as we listen to the sounds of silence .
I am in no mood to leave but every journey has to end. And we are back on the highway, heading back to Bangalore. But given a chance, I would love to go back to being in the lap of nature again.
This post was written in partnership with Renault Lodgy for the launch of their new #lodgyworldedition
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