Saturday, August 31, 2013

Short notes from Chunchi Falls visit

17 Aug, 2013

Eventually, I preserved some time to garner travelogue of Chunchi falls visit. Don't confuse this with Chunchanakatte falls nearby K.R.Nagar :-). Hope you will enjoy the short blog!

As mentioned earlier, monsoon season is the best time to visit waterfalls. The beautiful waterfalls are most of them located in western ghats. Some of them require trekking till the waterfall area which is difficult in midst of pouring rains of Malnad. Also the taste of water here is unexplainable. Visiting waterfalls nearby western ghats requires more people with you since inclement weather and dense forests may turn around situation in any possible direction. Since I was alone again, I decided to visit nearby Chunchi waterfall which is not so much familiar to many people. The waterfall plunges from a height of 80feet between narrow gorge. The rocky landscape is very tough and intimidating here. It requires some effort to get to the view point. The source of water here is Arkavati river which eventually meets Cauvery river in Sangama. The rocky valley  along with waterfalls is amazing to watch. Also, since source of Arkavati river is not abundant Western ghats, the glory of waterfall can only be felt for few months (around August-Oct).

This time I had packed some food since Kanakapura route does not have good food outlets. Chunchi falls is around 85kms from Bangalore. One has to take the same route as Sangama to reach the waterfall site. Even this time I woke up early and prepared breakfast before starting my journey. As usual, the city roads were alive at around 7:30AM itself. The pathetic part of journey was the dreadful section from Banashankari to NICE road junction along Kanakapura road. They are not pot-holes but wells :(. The pot-holes were so deep and these roads added huge traffic jams all along till the parched section terminated. I only hoped to have my back was in-tact :D. The stretch is worst than Shiraadi ghat road. Also it was difficult to judge the depth of pot-holes since they were filled with rain water. After NICE road junction, it was really soothing journey with beautifully laid NH-209 through the woods and lakes. No humps too! Except along the bridges, the roads are quite wide. Watch out for crazy dogs and abrupt cattle crossing :-). They pose huge threat to bikers.


At around 10AM, I reached Kanakapura. The deviation towards Sangama is closed for repair work. I sought help of locals to travel along alternate path. The first 1-2kms are not so good but are being relayed. Small section is covered with gravel which bikers have to note. Road thereafter is absolutely fantastic. One can easily maintain healthy speed of 60kmph. I stopped at many places to enjoy rural landscapes and have some food. The fresh air was truly relishing to breath. The coconut plantations, beautiful hillocks, the farm land and tank bunds were so much enchanting to view. The monsoon had filled all the lakes with full acqua too!


It was 11AM when I reached the waterfall area. The tourism department levies Rs.10/- parking charge on two-wheeler. The waterfall gush could be heard at a distance itself however cannot be seen. It is hidden within the rocky valley which one has to descend from hill to reach the site. The walk path is bit complicated with bushes, slippery rocks and water springs at some places. There is no proper mark to reach the site. You can take help of local shepherds who take some money to guide you to waterfall area. The rock surface is uneven en-route. You need to be extra cautious not slip in uncontrolled manner. Also at many places, the gradient is non-uniform (sometimes high depth) and one has to step down really slow. Watch out for the  snakes :-) (I spotted one!). They usually are present nearby long grown grass areas. After too much of circus, I reached the waterfall view point. It was marvelous to watch the plunge. Really worth so much of hard workout. The torrent is not much as one in western ghats but eye catching. The water plunges down to deep valley, flows in between beautiful hillocks and eventually meets Cauvery river at Sangama. The flow before plummet did not have much velocity. I believe due to steep plunge, the waterfall gains velocity (or the pattern of rocks before the fall?).







After nearly an hour of fun, I started ascending again to top of hill. The up-hilling is easier but tiry too with camera bag. The main advantage of such travel is that, they increase your stamina. Also you will have very nice workout too ;-). Once I reached the top, I walked down to another place to view point. From view point, the aerial view of waterfalls is wonderful. However the platform seemed to be bit old and not maintained (it seemed may collapse anytime). So be careful! Nearby the view point, you can locate one more waterfall. It is easy to descend here. No rocks and easy geography. The place looked totally abandoned with no human presence at all! I was the only one nearby this waterfall :-). You can even have mini bath here if you wish. This waterfall plunges with multiple levels and divisions. The view from mid of hill was so beautiful to watch. I stayed at this place for some time however did not taste water. Later, I moved back to the parking lot. There is also beautiful channel en-route to second falls. There are some old stone benches to relax nearby parking lot. I was fully tired and sweating tremendously. After bit of relax, I drank full bottle of water. Not many people could be seen here. May be people are not so much familiar about the place.




Around 2:30PM, I started my return journey. I felt like visiting Sangama and Mekedaatu, however dropped due to time constraint. It would consume 3 more hrs at those places and getting back to city during night in bike is quite miserable. On the way, I bracketed some panorama shots too! Once again, I enjoyed the rural landscape to the max. The overcast weather was very much helpful in masking off the SUN effect. Around 3:30PM, I reached Kanakapura. I was also very hungry too! When enquired locals on good lunch, they pointed me to Vasu Hotel nearby town circle. At first glance, it seemed to be quite old hotel in town with steel roof. They do not serve meals but rice-sambar and curd rice. There is very limited menu here. I had rice-sambar and curd-rice. They also contained masale vade and bajji with each plate. How is taste? Absolutely tasty :-). That was cheap and best meals I ever had. Only Rs.20/- each :D. The taste and quality was so good :-) with sufficient quantity. This is one of the hotels to note along Kanakapura route. Do not miss afternoon meals here :-). You can also pack for further journey. The hotel has limited menu but seem to have maintained quality food (the crowd was the example). After lunch, Mysore Pak in enclosure caught my eye :D. They were looking very good and packed some for myself. When I tasted at home, it was so delicious and mouth watering. The mysore pak was melting so easily in tongue ;-). Rs.40/- is charge for 1/4KG of mysore pak. They also have laddus too! Don't forget to pack some for you too if you visit the place :-).

After having tasty and quality lunch, I headed towards Bangalore. En-route I had tasty tender coconut. There are lots of tender coconut hoards sold by villagers along NH-209. They have good amount of water too! The main trouble during return journey was awkward crossing of crazy dogs. They are highest trouble makers here. At one place, I encountered a group of 10-15 dogs lined up all along the breadth of NH-209. That was horrible sight to watch and and they do not listen to horn also :-(. Bit more noise, they will start chasing you :-) which as bike rider you never want it to happen. It is better to maintain a healthy speed of not more than 50kmph. At 6PM, I was back at home.

Chunchi waterfalls is really wonderful place for nature lovers. The lack of crowd also is a plus point. This is my 3rd waterfall visit during this monsoon season. I am not sure which one is next even though there are many plans!

How to reach:

Same as Sangama route as mentioned here. Just before 6kms from Sangama, you will find a cross to reach Chunchi falls. The signboards are in Kannada and hence seek help of locals if you cannot read it. From the cross, the roads are not so good with improper directions. Locals guide you very well, if you feel lost. Enjoy the beautiful landscape all along this inner route.


There are many dhabas en-route. I am unaware of their quality. As mentioned earlier, Vasu hotel in Kanakapura is very good and cheap option. However they serve only South Indian Vegetarian food with limited menu.

Whats special this time:

I have revived my panorama passion with this trip. Also Chunchi fall HDR is bonus this time ;-). Read the dedicated write up here

It would have been a great timelapse from view point as well as hills with clouds en-route. However they required tripod which I did not have. Here is the short video of visit

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