Thursday, November 8, 2012
Koosalli Waterfalls -Shirooru, Udupi
Once again I got the opportunity to be as a volunteer in November Month Trekking Expedition organized by Mangalore YHA on last Sunday. The YHA unit leader’s great efforts were seen in the way they had arranged this expedition in a most simple and efficient way. As usual this time also we were quiet a big crowd with many participants who were eagerly waiting to embrace nature, we had our breakfast at Kota on the way to Byndoor to get us going in full spirit.
Koosalli is the only waterfall that lures me to visit again and again. It takes different shapes in different seasons just like its various names. In my coastal region it is called Koosalli falls. People living above the falls on Malnad region call it as AbbiGundi.
Reaching the falls involves a simple trek for 3 Kms into the thick forests of Western Ghats. A pathway was made ready recently by the forest department. Earlier we had to trek upward the stream running down the falls and it was very difficult as many times it involved jumping and sliding across rocks of every shapes and sizes, many of them slippery. The water falls in 7 stages, each different and unique in its beauty and reminisces seven different waterfalls, combined total height of all seven falls is about 480 ft.
At Shirooru check-post a right diversion for 10kms via Toodalli leads to Kallikone, a locality of two houses. From Kallikone after trekking for about 45 minutes, we reached the bottom of the seventh falls which is about 50 ft tall and it was an ultimate experience. The landscape was heavenly. After spending some time there, we wanted more. Climbing up to the second stage of the waterfall is easy, from where you can have nice view of water flowing down the stream.
There will be water through out the year. However, soon after the monsoon, October to December would be an ideal time to visit as there would be plenty of water. During monsoon one can spend a whole day watching the rain water crashing down the huge rocks with deafening sound and with clouds romancing the green landscape all around it would definitely be a life time experience.
To climb up to Second level one has to trek the rough pathway for about 10 minutes which gets almost vertical around a huge boulder. The branches and twigs of trees in the thick forest around make the climb from the bottom of the sixth falls to the top of the fifth falls easy. One word of caution, though. Make sure you are holding on to a branch for support and not to a Russell’s Wiper, which are in plenty in these forests. Keep an eye open for these dangerous snakes.
From here, the view of 1st stage of the waterfall, the long and winding down-stream thereafter and the surrounding ranges of Western Ghats are simply spell-binding. A pond third stage with black rock surface on all sides makes pleasant viewing and for a moment it stole the show. Throughout the trek we hiked till Second stage of the Koosalli waterfalls, seen countless numbers of different types of plants, not to mention various spiders, lizards, snakes we encountered along the way.
We were feeling brave and a little hot also so we opted to take a quick dip and stand under the falls. We swam for almost half and hour time definitely it was a cool experience, in more ways than one! Later we changed into dry clothes, had lunch relaxing to the sound of falls along with spicy and tasty Kurkure’s.
It is situated at such a unique location facing the sea, which makes it probably the only waterfall from where a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea is possible. During summer it will be fun to trek up stream. Continuously changing landscapes, fresh water running down the little rocks forming tiny waterfall here and there, lush greenery and variety of trees plants and bushes it will be a great treat to the eyes when the excursion ended and we all had to say goodbye.
Also on our way back, we visited Kshitija Nesara Dhaama at Ottinaane, three kms from the Raghavendra Swamy temple. With the majestic Western Ghats on one side and the vast Arabian Sea on the other, KND is an ideal spot to spend the evening.
On one side the sea waves lash against the hills and on the other side Byndooru river joins the sea after finishing its journey from Western Ghats. At low tide, after November the river can be crossed by walk right at the point where it joins the sea. There are some 150-odd steps that lead all the way to the beach below. An old temple of Lord Someshwara is at the beach.