17 August, 2013
"Who can stand over this mighty spectacle, says one, and disbelieve in a Creator? No, says another, the most cogent position-topographically as well as theologically speaking-is below, in the pool. One man has been tapping the dark-gray rocks with a little hammer and hints at geological possibilities. Another laments the huge waste of "uncaptured" power. A third promises excellent fishing a certain number of feet above, or is it below? The Falls. One brave Englishman has, somewhere in the nineteenth century, made a perilous crossing on foot, through a merciful barrage of rocks, and . . . "how he perspired"!
- Essay on Gersoppa Falls by Late Armando Menezes
Considered on a global basis, waterfalls tend to occur in 3 principal kinds of areas -
(i) along the margins of high plateaus or the great fracrures that dissect them
(ii) along fall lines, which mark a zone between resistant crystalline rocks of continental interiors and weaker sedimentary formations of coastal regions
(iii) in high mountain areas, particularly those that were subjected to glaciation in the recent past.
The most spectacular fall-line waterfalls, include Churchill (formerly Grand) falls, Labrador - Canada, Jog Falls (Gerusoppa Falls) and Paulo Afonso Falls - Brazil.
Jog Falls created by the Sharavathi River falling from a height of 253 m (830 ft) is the second-highest (after the Nohkalikai Falls with a height of 1100 feet (335 metres) in Meghalaya) plunge waterfall in India. Located in Sagara, Karnataka Shivamogga District of Karnataka state, these segmented falls are a major tourist attraction. It is also called by alternative names of Gerusoppe falls, Gersoppa Falls and Jogada Gundi.
There are many waterfalls in India that drop from a higher altitude than Gerusoppa. But, unlike most of such falls, Jog Falls is untiered, i.e., it drops directly and does not stream on to rocks. Thus, it can be described as the First-highest untiered waterfall in India. The waterfall database gives it 83 scenic points while Angel Falls is at 97.
Jog Falls consists of four distinct falls named Raja, Rani, Roarer and Rocket. The Raja Falls peacefully streams down; the Rani Falls follows a winding path, the Roarer Falls bursts out of a rocky stretch, while the Rocket Falls gushes out in high speed remaining true to its name.
Sharavathi river originates at Ambuthirtha in Thirthahalli taluk, flows north-west through the Western Ghats forming the Jog Falls before joining the Arabian Sea at Honavar. Discovered by British explorers 150 years ago, Jog Falls, which is three times higher than the Niagara Falls in the US, has always been an enigma.
Jog falls was officially discovered by the British travellers in the 1860s. The water inflow into the falls from river Sharavathi has decreased considerably after Linganamakki dam - one of the biggest dams in the country was built across the river in 1965. The splendid beauty of Jog falls reappears only during the Monsoon every year.
The falls surrounded by mist, deep valleys, hundreds of miles of virgin forest and rolling hills is declared as one of the top ten UNESCO ecological hot spots in the world. During the colonial days, Sharavati river separated the British province of Bombay presidency from the Mysore Kingdom of Wodeyars. The Mysore bungalow was illuminated with bright lights, thanks to the efforts of the great engineer Vishveshwariah while the British area was drenched in darkness.
The visitors book at the elegant colonial buildings British Bungalow (built in 1862, very close to the falls) and Mysore guest house (built in 1892 facing the falls) have the comments and signatures of British Viceroys like Lod Curzon, Lord Hardinge, Mount Batten, leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Tagore, Sardar Patel, Sir M Vishweshwaraiah, kings of Mysore, Indira Gandhi, Churchil, Khrushchev, Thatcher.
KSTDC has recently started a laser show at Gerusoppa which is a spectacular tribute to the glory of Karnataka and the rich culture of Gerusoppa. On the event of Independence day a special tribute was also paid to the nation that was received with a thunderous applause by the audience.