Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jog Falls and the 800 feet sheer drop

I had blogged about Jog Falls in January (link), but I wanted to extract from that post just the section on the 800 feet sheer drop from near the Raja Falls.


Our intrepid guide, very helpful and cheerful, took us to the north side of Jog Falls, and then past the view point, where a five minute trek, not strenuous at all, took us to the point where a small stream of water forms a small pool of water that then makes it way through a small opening and plunges down as the Raja Falls. To the left right of this point is a huge boulder strategically placed so that it overlooks the Raja Fall. Almost completely over the falls.Now, you do not clamber over the boulder, walk over to the edge and peer over. No sir. Do not try that. Do not. Because you don't want to be wondering, as you go into a 800 feet free fall, "why ever did I do that for?"

So what do you do?
You clamber over to the rock. And then you crawl. On all fours. And your belly. Till you can peer over the precipitous ledge.

And this is what you would see.
The Raja fall is the one at the top left corner.
And the small white mass of water that you see at the bottom is 829 feet below.

Needless to say, the first time I peered over, I too a peek and then immediately peeled myself back. As far back as I could. The mind has a tough time coming to terms with heights as stark as this. At first. You get the feeling that if you were to peek long enough, you may just, somehow, find yourself tipping down. You won't really, because the ledge does not have a downward slope. But tell that to the mind.
After collecting my wits, I ventured again, this time armed with a camera. And shot off two shots, rapidly, one in portrait and the other one in landscape mode. And peeled myself back.

These two photos are, I believe,  the first ever taken from this vantage point. Till I am corrected.

So let us get mathematical and do some calculations. We want to calculate the time it would take for a person so deciding to take the final plunge to hit the water below. We will ignore the effects of wind resistance. And take the value of 'g' as 9.8 meters per second per second, i.e. g = 9.8 m/s2

Now, the height can be taken as 829 feet, which is 248 meters.
The initial velocity, u, is 0.
So, plug these values into the equation s = ut + 1/2 at2
248 = 0 + 0.5 (9.8 x t2)
or, 50.6 = t2
which gives us 7.11 seconds.

Per the Wikipedia entry on Jog Falls (accessed Jan 1 2010):
Jog Falls (Kannada: ಜೋಗ ಜಲಪಾತ), created by the Sharavathi River falling from a height of 253 meters (829 ft) is the highest plunge waterfall in India[1] Located in Shimoga District of Karnataka state, these segmented falls are a major tourist attraction. It is also called by alternative names of Gerusoppe falls, Gersoppa Falls and Jogada Gundi.[2]
There are many waterfalls in Asia - and also in India - which drop from a higher altitude. But, unlike those falls, Jog Falls is untiered, i.e., it drops directly and does not stream on to rocks. Thus, it can be described as the highest untiered waterfalls in India.

© 2010, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved.