From past two days, everybody is glued to TV as widely acclaimed rock climber, Jyothi Raj alias Kothi Raj, had one down the steep ravine on Tuesday afternoon at the request of a Bengaluru-based family which believes that their son had ended his life by jumping into the falls from atop the hillock.
There was no information about Jyothiraj till late night on Tuesday, although some of his team members who also had gone for the same mission returned empty-handed. This had given rise to apprehension among his close ones. On Wednesday morning, however, he was helped out of the situation he was in.
Jyothiraj, who began to climb up the hillock from the bottom of the falls in search of the missing youth, became very weak and hence rested on the rock at the base of Raja Falls for the night. Some sources claimed that he slipped down a crevice and suffered some injuries to his back. On Wednesday morning, he pelted stones from his spot to indicate his presence. A drone that was used by some locals also had given indications about his presence at the base of the falls.
Fire brigade which launched the rescue operation with equipment succeeded in bringing Jyothiraj out safely. He has a large fan following for his skill in hiking steep cliffs and buildings by using his limbs alone, came back from the depths of Jog Falls on Wednesday. Jyothiraj, who has been nick-named by the people ‘Kothiraj’ because of his climbing technics which can only be matched by monkeys.
Jyothi Raj is an Indian rock climber and wall climber from Chitradurga, Karnataka, India. Known as “Kothi Raju” or “Monkey King”, Raj is famous for scaling the Chitradurga Fort without safety harnesses. He is also the only person to have scaled Karnataka’s highest waterfall, the 830-foot Jog falls, climbing in the opposite direction to that of the flow. On 13 September 2013, he scaled the clock tower at Moorusavir Math in Hubli in just over 15 minutes. He did not use any harness, but rubbed magnesium carbonate powder on his palms for grip.
He made his debut as an actor in Sandalwood through “Jyothi aliyas Kothiraja”. The film did not do well and was a disaster. He is originally from Tamil Nadu.
No other climber has attempted the feat of Kothiraja. Although he has climbed up the falls a few times earlier along different routes, he had never attempted an ascent under the water. In climbing terms, what he did was a ‘free solo’, that is, without the use of any safety equipment. There are a few free-soloists of world acclaim, including the French ‘Spiderman’, Alain Robert. What Jyothi Raj did was a feat that any climber would have been proud of.
Many sport climbers disapprove of his stunts, as an accident would cause irreparable damage to him and hurt the image of the still-emerging sport of climbing, but all of them admired his guts.