Lakshmi Sharath

Lakshmi Sharath

A road trip to Jog Falls on the Renault Lodgy

Posted: 09 Sep 2016 04:54 AM PDT

A road trip to Jog Falls

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.

Western Ghats monsoon

Monsoon is my favourite time for a road trip

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.

Renault Lodgy

The Renault Lodgy is a powerful MPV and is ideal for a family holiday

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 !

travel, road trip, monsoons, mist, western ghats

Mist and monsoons go hand in hand

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.

Road trip, Renault Lodgy

On the road with Lodgy is like a picnic always

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. But I have always realized that road trips have no real destination. The journey is the destination.

Road trip Karnataka Western Ghats Renault Lodgy

Rice fields look all lush and green

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.

Road Trip, Karnataka , Western Ghats, Renault Lodgy

Colourful sunflower fields beckon us

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.

rioad trip, karnataka, renault lodgy

On the road with Lodgy

As we romance the monsoons, here are some glimpses of the wet and wild along the way.

Karnataka, road trip, Western Ghats, Renault Lodgy

The Western Ghats in mist and rain

Western Ghats, Karnataka , road trip, Renault Lodgy

Lush and green, the forests love the rains

Road Trip, Karnataka, Western Ghats

The forests are dark and mysterious

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.

Jog Falls, Road trip, travel, Renault Lodgy, Jog Falls

And finally we are at our destination – Jog falls

 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. 

travel, road trip, lodgy

Fun on the road

 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

Food, road trip, Karnataka, Renault Lodgy

Thatte Idly in a local eatery with vadai

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.

Road trip, travel, food

Masala dosai and favourites

travel, food, road trip, karnataka

Food is the main essence of a road trip

And finally we are at our destination. The rains tumble down. The River Sharavati flows around us. The mountains are wrapped in mist. Dark rain clouds surround us

Monsoons, Sharavati, Western Ghats, road trip, Renault Lodgy

Colours of the Sharavati

Kayak, sharavati, western ghats

Kayaking in the waters

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.

Sharavati, boat ride, river, western ghats

Island hopping in Sharavati

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.

Road trip, Renault Lodgy, travel

My little cottage in the woods

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.

Jog Falls, Mist ,karnataka , road trip, Renault Lodgy

Misty Jog Falls

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.

Jog falls, Karnataka , Western Ghats

Curtains of white tumble down

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 .

Jog Falls, Road trip, Karnataka, western ghats

The view from the Forest Department Bungalow

Jog Falls, Karnataka , Western Ghats

A lone cascade in the greenery

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.

A journey into the forest

A journey into the forest

We lose ourselves in the beauty around us. Conversations cease as we listen to the sounds of silence .

Monsoons, Western Ghats, Karnataka

Monsoons in Western Ghats is a must do experience

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.

road trip, karnataka

Dark and mysterious. the roads take us back home

This post was written in partnership with Renault Lodgy for the launch of their new #lodgyworldedition

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