Not very far away from the historical city of Mysore lies the majestic town of Shivanasamudra—the fourth largest island formed by a river course. On either side of the island, the offshoots of River Cauvery descend the cliffs at about 100 meters forming a system of picturesque waterfalls that attracts visitors all the year round.
Shivanasamudra is formed by the River Cauvery (also called Kaveri), which originates at Talakaveri in Kodagu district of Western Ghats and flows towards south and east through Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The island of Sivanasamudra is formed by the river in Mandya District of Karnataka in the East of Mysore. Here, the River bifurcates into two channels—western and eastern, which further give rise to the famous Gaganachukki and Barachukki falls respectively.
At the falls, one can find the Asia’s First hydro-electric power station which is still functional. This station was commissioned by the Diwan of Mysore, Sri K. Seshadri Iyer, and the power generated was initially used in Kolar Gold Mines.
Being at a close proximity from Bangalore, Shivanasamudra has become a popular tourist hotspot, with the stunning topography attracting nature lovers and photographers frequently. The Gaganachukki falls are best viewed from the shivanasamudra watchtower, and most of the pictures of them available are taken from this spot.
Reaching Shivanasamudra from Bangalore is easy, as the roads are navigable and proper signboards are placed throughout to prevent visitor from going astray. The best way to reach is by driving along the Bangalore-Mysore highway till Maddur. At the Maddur bus station one should take left towards Malavalli, and keep going straight till shivanasamudra is reached. A non-stop journey from Bangalore takes 3 hours to reach, and negotiates a distance of 139 km.
The nearest railway station is Mysore, which is 60 Kilometer from the falls. From there one can hire a cab to reach the falls.
Gaganachukki and Barachukki falls are not well connected by buses, and hiring a cab to navigate between the two falls is a good option.