Whatever is the purpose of the journey, travelling to places that I have never been to is always exciting and thrilling for me. I say this because now my trip is to a small village called Bennur in Mysore. The purpose of my journey is to visit the farm of Krishna Dasappa Gowda, a successful farmer in zero-budget organic farming, and also to visit Mahanandi Goshala started as a part of Amrutha Dhara Project, under the leadership of Raghaveshwara Swamy of Shree Ramachandrapura Mutt of Hosanagar, Shimoga in Karnataka, who stands for the raising and protection of those breeds of cows which are on the verge of extinction in India.
I planned this trip as a different one from my other trips, by including a visit to India’s highest and glorious waterfalls, Jog Falls. I travelled 627 km from Ernakulam, to Mangalapuram by train and from there, by bus to Uduppi and then to Sagara, a small city in Shimoga. I reached Sagara too late and so I decided to stay there. In the morning, I went to Jog Falls by bus.
There are several buses running from Sagara to Jog Falls. Travelling through the silent villages of Karnataka was a special kind of experience for me. The flock of goats on the road, haystacks on roadsides and the farmers silently going their ways, all relate to the village life. Mavinagundi is 40 km away from Sagara and it is the nearest bus stop for going to the falls. The distance from Mavinagundi to Jog Falls is 3 km.
Shree Ramachandrapura Mutt
Sharavathi, a river which rises at Ambutirtha in Thirthahalli Village which is more than 400 km from Bangalore; divides into 4 distinct falls named Raja, Rani, Rocket and Roarer; and flows down unbroken to a depth of around 830 feet; this is called Jog Falls, the most marvelous waterfalls in India. There are view points from where different forms of this waterfalls can be seen, the important one being Vactin Platform.
Here there is a flight of more than 1400 steps leading to the bottom of the falls, where we can enjoy the wild beauty of the waterfalls, though climbing the steps is not that easy. The trip to Jog can be adventurous as well with all the greenery and the dark forests full of wild beasts. During rainy season, going to the bottom of the waterfalls is not permitted. The apt season is from August to December. Other attractions that the place offers include the dense forests surrounding the Jog, valley of Sharavathi and the golden river.
I strolled around some places around Jog and returned to Shimoga via Sagara. Hosanagar lies at a distance of 65 km from Shimoga. It is here at Hosanagar that the extensive and unique Mahanandi Goshala of Shree Ramachandrapura Mutt is situated, a place where breeds of cows on the verge of extinction in India, like Vechur, bhangi, Sindhi, Killari, Krishnamali, Sahiwal, etc. are raised and protected.
There are more than 30 breeds of cows here, all clean and tidy. Along with Vechur cows of Kerala, we can see breeds of predominant cows from different states in India. It is a beautiful Goshala at a beautiful place with monastic ambience, the employees herein explain to us about the cows and their specialities.
Krishna Dasappa Gowda's Paddy
From Goshala, I went to the village of Bennur in Mysore. It is 280 km from Hosanagar to Bennur. Bennur is a cute place with goat farming, paddy fields and vegetable farming; a place famous for sheep farming. The daily markets are colorful and inspiring. In these markets, all kinds of vegetables, such as carrot, tomato, chilly, amaranth, are sorted into small heaps and kept for selling, which makes the market colorful.
Krishna Dasappa Gowda's Farm
Everywhere in this place, we get to see scenery of villages, which is on the edge of extinction. The place is made lively by bullock carts, haystacks and hens. Krishna Dasappa Gowda is one of the successful farmers of this place, who achieved success in zero-budget farming. The sight of farms delights your senses. I am not explaining the methods of farming; if I do, this will turn into a farming lesson rather than a tour description. I started my return trip immensely enjoying the greenery, village scenery and village food.