I happened to visit Southern Maharashtra sometime last year. The itinerary comprised a brief religious stopover at Kolhapur for seeking blessings of Goddess Mahalaxmi and then long awaited visit to the spectacular suspension bridge built by Forbes Gokak over the Ghatprabha river just before the mystic Gokak waterfalls. Gokak, is a small industrial town in Belgaum district of Karnataka almost equidistant from the cities of Kolhapur and Belgaum. We reached the Gokak falls early in the day, parked our car on well built parking lot on the banks of the river and after having a sumptuous breakfast, we headed to explore the beauty of this place.
Just near the entrance of the waterfall, there is a beautiful lord Shiva (Mahalingeshwar) temple built by the Chalukyan dynasty. The architecture of the temple is simply mesmerising. Its a well maintained temple.
With the monsoon rains subsided, the water levels over the stone cliffs leading the cliff were quite low but still offered a picturesque view. An interesting rock formation (below) caught attention of my daughter and was immediately clicked by me…
Even with the receded waters, the roar of the water fall could be heard from long. Best season to visit the fall is in August / September although my visit happened in last week of October. At the bottom of the fall (cliff is around 50 mtr in height), still exists a non functional hydro power plant supposed to be the first hydro electric plant in Asia built in 1887. The cliff of the fall is U shaped amidst a beautiful lush green valley.
Finally, we reached the most beautiful part of the this place. The suspension bridge (still being maintained by the Gokak spinning Mills) over the rock beds of Ghatprabha river is almost 200 mtrs in length. A walk over the bridge is offers a nerve breaking thrilling experience as the bridge swings as you walk along. Supported by thick wire ropes and wooden plates at the bottom, the bridge would be any mechanical engineers delite.
For all those travel enthusiasts, location map of Gokak falls….
Next on the wishlist in Karnataka….. Jog Falls in Hasan district and the great Hampi temples..