Bharachukki & Gaganachukki Waterfalls
Shivanasamudra is located 120 km from Bangalore, 27 km from Somanathapura and 80 km from Mysore in the Mandya district of Karnataka. Shivanasamudra (also called Sivasamudram or Bluff) is an island town dividing the Kaveri River into twin waterfalls, the Gaganachukki and the Barachukki, dropping 90 m.
The Bharachukki, with a nice graceful cascade along the side, is about a kilometer away from the Dargah. Bharachukki has a wider cascading edge. One section resembles a 'U' section, like the Niagara Falls. The Barachukki Falls, gushing out from a height of 250 feet, is very spectacular.
The Gaganachukki has a western facade and another eastern facade. Many enthusiastic youngsters daringly trek down the hillside towards the cascade to enjoy the water shower. One can move over to view the fantastic Dargah, the upstream end of the falls. The upstream is particularly awesome inspiring after the monsoons when the Kaveri River is full.
One of Asia's first hydro-electric power stations set up in 1902, which is still functional, is located here in Gaganachukki waterfall. This is where hydroelectric power was harnessed for the second time (after Darjeeling) in Asia and the electricity thus produced was used in the Gold Mines of Kolar, making it the first city in Asia to get hydro-electricity. A security check post at Shivasamundram prohibits the visitors from visiting between 6 pm and 6 am.
Gaganachukki especially is a steep fall where water gushes down with great speed. The two waterfalls are around a 15-minute drive apart and make beautiful picnic locations. As the cascading water hits the rocky surface, a dense mist of vapor emerges to partially envelop the falls, providing a brilliant sight which is reckoned to be unmatched in its beauty. These spectacular waterfalls are surrounded by hill forests of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. Adventurous and enthusiastic tourists can venture out here for trekking and fishing.
There is more to the region. The island carved out of the two streams of the Kaveri is also a famous pilgrimage centre and is popularly called as Madhya Ranga. The Ranganatha Temple, constructed in the Dravidian style, houses the idol of Lord Ranganatha sleeping on Adisesha while an intriguing piece of sculpture is that of Takshaka, the lord of serpents, whose image is found to the right in the navaranga of the temple.
The weather is sunshine most of the year with rainfall being short, sharp spells.
Swimming is not advisable at both falls.
The best visiting time is during June to September as there will be much water in the river Kaveri and the water falls look gorgeous. The climate is moderate entire year. But, possible to visit and see during most of the time in the entire year.
There is a lodging and boarding facility available for accommodation and food very nearer to Gaganachukki view point. People can avail accommodation at Mudukuthore also. Resorts are available in Mudukuthore place ( near Thalakad 40 Kms away) to stay. These are to be booked at Bangalore KSTDC centre. There are no entry fees. All types of cameras are allowed inside the temple. The place is purely village area. No good hotels are available. Small hotels are only available at Thalakadu. This place is not a shopping place. Normal practice of the trip is to visit Somanathapur temple (from Mysore) and then proceed to Mudukuthore and then to Thalakadu. If one is interested to see the sun set in Thalakadu, the trip can changed to proceed to Shivanasamudram from Somanathpur and then from Shivanasamudram to Thalakad. In the latter case, be sure to reach before 4.00pm as the temples at Thalakad cannot be seen.