1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gersoppa, Falls of

6135151911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 11 — Gersoppa, Falls of

GERSOPPA, FALLS OF, a cataract on the Sharavati river in the North Kanara district of Bombay. The falls are considered the finest in India. The river descends in four separate cascades called the Raja or Horseshoe, the Roarer, the Rocket and the Dame Blanche. The cliff over which the river plunges is 830 ft. high, and the pool at the base of the Raja Fall is 132 ft. deep. The falls are reached by boat from Honavar, or by road from Gersoppa village, 18 m. distant. Near the village are extensive ruins (the finest of which is a cruciform temple) of Nagarbastikere, the capital of the Jain chiefs of Gersoppa. Their family was established in power in 1409 by the Vijayanagar kings, but subsequently became practically independent. The chieftaincy was several times held by women, and on the death of the last queen (1608) it collapsed, having been attacked by the chief of Bednur. Among the Portuguese the district was celebrated for its pepper, and they called its queen “Regina da pimenta” (queen of pepper).