10 Km drive from Shimoga on the way to Tirthahalli road takes you to Tunga Anicut built across the river Tunga.The journey to Gajanur through lush green paddy fields and arecanut plantations is very picturesque.The dam is in S-Shape and uniqueness about the dam is , there are no huge Crest gates and is more like an Earthen Dam.Recently the height of the dam was increased.There are lots of forested islands in the Catchment area which makes the view surrounding the dam fantastic and makes an ideal picnic place.This region receives lot of rainfall and is lush green.This place has superb tropical forests and some very pretty hilly areas.
During heavy rains in monsoon, the water level in the dam raises and the water gushing out of the dam presents a sight that is attracting visitors.The day I visited, due to the copious rains during the week,water was let out of the dam as the storage in the reservoir has reached the full level. The dam is quite small and on the day of my visit Tunga was just four feet below the danger mark and provided a spectacular sight.Getting here :
By Road - From Bangalore,Shimoga is well connected by road.KSRTC has recently introduced Volvo buses which are comfortable and fast way of reaching Shimoga from Bangalore. Shimoga is around 270 Kms from Bangalore.
By Rail - Shimoga has a railway station and there are frequent trains that run to Shimoga from Bangalore and Mysore.Birur Junction is around 60 Kms from Shimoga and is well connected by train to most part of India.
Accomodation : There are lots of decent budget hotels in Shimoga.But , there is an Inspection Bungalow in the Dam site and the reservation authority is the The Executive Engineer , Upper Tunga Project,Shimoga.The booking can be done by reaching the engineer on 08182-222972.If you want to experience the rustic malnad life, you can stay at the locals residents as well.