23 February 2013
During my previous visits to this waterfall, I could only view it from the top. My first visit was in late 90’s when the falls was less known. Those were the times I could only afford to travel in public transport. It had taken almost half day to reach this falls from my native place that was barely 50km away!! A futile attempt was made to get down and we quickly returned back when a snake appeared on our way.
The next visit was few years ago. By then, the falls had gained popularity. Since I visited with my little cousins, I made no attempt to get down.
I was in my native place this February. I, my brother and two cousins set up a plan to get to base of this waterfall. Since I had not taken my car, we had to settle down with bikes. A challenge for me considering my limited two wheeler experience.
Reaching the falls was an uneventful affair. The place was empty as only visitors had left before our arrival. I must say the falls had decent amount of water considering weak monsoon we had this year. Spent some time watching the waterfall before heading down.
There are two routes to get down to the base of the waterfall. The prominent route directly below the view point is shorter but steeper which requires tricky navigation on rocks. The other route goes next to a toilet near the view point. The path meanders through the shoulder of the hill and then climbs down to the valley. It joins the river about 200 meters from the waterfall the distance which needs to be covered by jumping on rocks formed on the river. This route is safer.
We took the later route. It took us less than an hour to reach the bottom of the valley. A group from Shimoga was ready to head back. Having taken the short route to descend, they looked concerned about climbing up the same way. After discussing with us, they decided to take the route we came down. In the process of discussion, my cousin found out that one of the guys in the other group was his classmate during school days!! Mobile numbers were exchange with promises to call later!!
A huge pool formed at the base of the falls. It was too risky for us to go to the pool as the rocks were too steep and slippery. I found a safe place and then jumped into water!! Others were little hesitant but after few minutes all of us were in water!!
The return journey would have been uneventful but for my inexperience with two wheeler. Just after Unchalli falls is a steep climb. Due to my foolishness, Bike stopped in the middle of this climb. On a car, I can handle it in a jiffy. On bike I struggled to keep the brake pressed, at the same time kick start the bike and accelerate at decent level. I do not know what happened but the bike did a 90 degree wheeling and fell down. That was bad and I hate myself for that. Good thing was that there were no injuries either for us or bike.