Hear Me Roar: Head To Gokak Falls For Stunning Views And A Dose Of History
Gokak Falls near Belgaum is not just known for its heavy water flow (it falls over 177 metres!). There are also Chalukyan temples nearby, a century-old hanging bridge and a colonial power station where electricity was first generated in the country.
What Makes It Awesome
Often compared to the Niagara Falls, Karnataka's very own Gokak Falls (located just 50 km from Belgaum) is a relatively unknown but exotic summer getaway. Catch a bus from Belgaum or hire a private taxi, and you will reach here in about a couple of hours. As you near it, you will hear the roar of the falls much before it actually comes into sight. The falls is formed when the Ghataprabha river enters the rocky belt of Gokak, forcing it to make the leap over a nearly 180-feet sandstone cliff, into a horseshoe-shaped gorge. In fact, if you go up to the very top, you can take a peek down where the water is falling into dizzying depths.
Shutterbugs can take a walk along the cliffs and take in panoramic views of the rugged cliffs and the water. Fun fact: when the British discovered the falls, they established a textile mill there and installed the first hydro-electric turbine in the country to generate electricity (Gokak was lit in 1907!). You can still see the mill and the power plant there -- they are both operational and their main activity is to convert cotton into yarn.
There's also a sprawling riverside temple from the Chalukyan age, dedicated to Lord Mahalingeshwara that you can check out. Also located near the falls is another historical landmark: a 210-metre long hanging wooden bridge that was originally built to help workers cross the river and arrive at work. A walk across this century-old creaking bridge is nothing short of an adventure. People are allowed sparingly here, and it is mostly at the mercy of the guard whether you get to walk on it or not!