One village, three waterfalls

posted in: Asia, India, Karnataka, Waterfalls | 4

I recently read an article in a local newspaper about the three waterfalls in a village in western ghats. Subbu and I had planned a monsoon trip and we looking for places to explore. The article came at the right time and we decided to visit those waterfalls. There were lot of unknown as the article only provided brief explanation. It was good as it gave us some suspense before the trip.

Monkey falls

G nadi waterfalls
We took a bus to reach the village. Upon getting down from the bus, we enquired about the waterfalls for which they pointed us to the owner of a chicken shop. His name was Harish and he happily gave us all information. Apparently, the falls through were located in the same village area, it required lot of walking between them. His suggestion was to start from G Nadi waterfalls. From there, he gave us the direction to other falls. A good start!

We left the highway and started walking on the village road. Apart from couple of houses next to highway, forests covered both sides of the road. It was a pleasant walk with some nice views of paddy fields seen at a distance. After few km, the road came to a dead end with couple of houses. We saw three ladies coming to the road and we enquired them about the waterfalls. They asked our details and when we said that we came from Bengaluru and walked from the highway. They felt pity that we did not had a vehicle and walked all the way from main road. They asked us to follow them. In the meantime they talked among themselves and we could hear “These Bengaluru guys will not be able to find waterfalls if they go on their own” and “We must help them”. They were on their way to collect leaves from forest and they decided to show the way before starting their work. We were completely moved by their gesture. 

The Village Road

 

They led us into the forest with no route. Even the ladies had not visited the falls recently and it took some time for them to make way in the forest. After about 15 minutes of walk, we could see a stream flowing below and waterfalls was hidden somewhere upstream. They asked us to get down to the stream and climb up stream to reach the falls. We were also convinced that we will not be able to retrace the path that we have walked. How do we come back? There was another path along the stream and to our luck there were few local boys coming from that direction. Thanking the ladies for helping us and telling them that we will go back with local boys, we started getting down to the stream.

G nadi falls

Climbing up the rocks to reach the waterfall was tricky. It was slippery and we struggled a bit but managed to move up. But it was worth the trouble when we saw the waterfalls. From a height of about 80 feet, the water was cascading down majestically on multiple steps. We spent some time in enjoying the waterfalls and took some pictures.

I checked with the local boys about the route. They asked me to walk downstream and take a small path on the right side. We followed their direction and was able to find the trail from the stream. After sometime, the trail just vanished and we got lost. We tried to retrace back to the trail but could not find the path to go down. Following the stream would have definitely got us back to civilisation but it was very difficult. After searching for some time, we found something like a canal that was diverted from a stream. It looked like a man made stuff. Then following it should lead us to some village, we thought. We walked on the canal and it was not difficult. After sometime, we saw the signs of forests clearing and shortly we could see the fields and the houses far away!!

Man made canal that guided us out of the jungle

 

It was time to see the remaining two waterfalls. When asked the people about it, they said that we have to go to the highway and again climb up. “What about the inner roads within the village?”, we asked. They said that it will be hard for us to find the way doing that. So, reluctantly we had to walk to the highway to reach the same “Chicken shop”.

H Mane waterfalls
Harish gave us the direction to the second and third waterfall. We had to walk along the highway for some distance and take the mud road. We decided to take an auto to cover the distance as we had less time at hand. The auto guys discussed among themselves and one of them, Gopal was asked to take us. He was not aware of the falls but it should not be an issue with the direction given by his friends.

The fields in the village

 

Gopal struggled a bit to find the right path after reaching the mud road as there were many deviations. He made calls to his friends and was able to drive on the right path. It was difficult for auto to climb up on that road but Gopal managed to continue forward. After about 3 km, he stopped at a place. We asked the women who were working about the falls and they gave us the direction to walk. We thanked Gopal and he went back. It would have been good if we had asked to wait till we returned. It did not strike our head at that time.

It took us about 10 minutes to reach the waterfalls. The last part of getting down to stream was tricky. It was a small waterfall of about 25 feet in height. We spent some time at the falls. On the way back, we found an easier route along the stream.

H mane falls

 

With the second waterfall visit, it was now time for the third one. We went to a house nearby and asked for the directions. The answer they gave us was shocking. There was no direct way as told earlier and we had walk all the way down to the highway and then take a different road to reach the third one. It looked so daunting that I immediately thought that we had drop our plans for the third falls. We were short on time. 

A stream

 

Monkey waterfalls
The good thing that we did was to get the phone number of Gopal. Luckily, the mobile connectivity was available at that place. We asked him to come back to the same place where he dropped us. It was quite late in the afternoon and we decided to have lunch while waiting for Gopal to come back. The chowchow bath packed from the hotel in the morning helped us.

Gopal came back and we asked him to first take us to the highway. We checked with the villagers who gave us the direction. Unlike the second waterfalls, it was not possible for auto to go till the end. We were dropped at a school in the village. We had no idea about the distance to cover and put a timeout after which we need to return back to highway. We then started walking to reach a deviation. With no-one to ask for directions, it was time to make some decisions ourselves. I had a sense of direction where the waterfall was located and decided to take the path going towards right. 

View of the village

 

The path continuously went up. I was also worried about the impact of wrong decision at the deviation. We had no energy to try other path. Anyway, with no options we continued to walk only to see the road forking again after some distance!! I could sense that there was a house on the left side but that required climbing up. We could head a stream flowing somewhere down on the right side. So, we decided to take the path going right. We walked for some distance to reach the gate of the house. Here we would know whether we followed the right track or not!!

Monkey falls stream

 

Relief was palpable on my face when I found out that the house belonged to Vasu Gowda, the last house before the waterfall. We had indeed taken the correct route!! They were quite happy to see us and were surprised to hear that we came from Bengaluru. Since this waterfall was unknown, it currently attracts only local people.

The family members in the house gave us the direction to the falls. As usual, it seemed confusing and I did not want to loose our way in the forest as we had very little time. I requested them to guide us to the waterfall which they happily agreed. Manjunath and his brother led us the way. It was an easy way mostly though forest with a short walk along the stream. Then, we were in front of the waterfall!!

Monkey falls

Nested in the forest, it was an amazing place. Subbu directly jumped into the water!! It was a single step falls of about 30 feet in height. Back at Vasu Gowda’s house we were served with dry mango pickle which was really refreshing for our energy deprived bodies. Thanking them for the hospitality, we started our journey back to the main road. On the way we came across a rat snake which posed for some photographs. It was a nice way to end the trip.

Rat snake

 

Final notes
It was a day filled with adventure. A kind of game where we need to solve puzzles. The puzzles here were three waterfalls on which we had very little information. We found lot of great people in this journey – the owner of chicken shop, auto drivers, the three ladies who showed us the first falls, family of Vasu Gowda and many other villagers we met on the way. Great people!!

4 Responses

  1. Dipali Bhasin

    What stunning pictures! You guys sure had an adventurous trip. I would love to see these waterfalls myself. P.S: Are you talking of Subbu Reddy here from Bengaluru? He’s a dear friend.

    • aravindgj

      Dipali, Thanks for your comment. Subbu I mentioned in the post is a different person.

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