By Debtirtha Das.
That was a weekend of monsoon 2012. After a tough schedule of work for a long period, I planned for a weekend trip to Mallali falls in Coorg.
|The view I had dreamed about.|
I reached Madikeri on Saturday morning and visited the local tourist spots, then started for the falls the next day morning, 3.5 km from the sleepy town of Somwarpet, at the foothill of Pushpagiri range. It was said to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the western ghats.
|The way to Somwarpet.|
|The drive to Mallali Falls.|
After approximately 30 minutes of driving, I reached a junction, from where a bumpy muddy road through a semi dense forest, led to the falls. As locals said, the first two kilometers were drivable, the rest 3.5 were to be walked. At the end of these two kilometers lay a check post and a small honey shop. I parked my car there to start walking, but it was raining hard by then.
I didn’t bring any rain gear, so it was difficult to walk with my camera and other gadgets; there were also snakes and leeches in the jungle. But after waiting for twenty minutes, I decided to go anyway. In the next 2.5 kilometers, I would be all alone. No guide, no mobile networks. In the heart of the Western Ghats, on an alien trail. Well, I was searching for something exactly like that, and loved it.
|The walk to the falls.|
My road less travelled was mostly muddy, sometimes rocky with hilly terrain, through the forest of Pushpagiri range. After 700 meters of walking, a small board hanging from a tree acts as a guide to lonely travelers. Another 500 meters to the top of the hill, and I could hear the loud roar of the waterfall. A few more steps to the edge, and the waterfall was visible, painted in a lush green hilly backdrop.
|View from the top.|
The waterfall is two tiered. From the top one can see only the first tier, but as I was going down, the second tier became visible slowly. Just after the rain, it was full of splashing violent water, and enormous in size. The terrain, because of rain and water from the falls, was very slippery. After walking down for another twenty minutes, there was a steep turn and whoa… I was exactly in front of the second tier of the falls. The sound of the water became scary, the breeze wet, water drops splashed from the falls and drenched me within a minute. The whole area was misty due to the water splash, and as I had heard, amazingly beautiful.
|Mist from the water.|
It’s hard to explain the beauty of the place in words. The solitude of the place made it even more beautiful, the river Kumaradhara plunging around 62 meters in mostly two cascades. The green canopy of Kumara parvata and the white stream of water made for a breathtaking view. When I reached near the falls, my camera stopped working due to the water and mist. All I could hear was the roar of water and the sound of a cold wet breeze. I sat on a rock there, trying to feel the mightiness of nature, enjoying the lonely wilderness of the place, till the rain started again.
It was really hard to leave such a beautiful place, but it was already Sunday afternoon, and I had office the next day. It was really tiring to climb up on that steep mountain. I couldn’t bare it for long and had to stop and sit for a while. I was feeling tired due to dehydration. Thanks to my foolishness, I forgot my water bottles in the car. After a painful journey of climbing and crawling, I reached the hilltop almost after 1.5 hours. That beautiful trail through the jungle led me to where my car was waiting, with the much needed water.
|The way back.|
In my entire journey, there was not a single tourist. The place is almost unexplored, and probably because of that, it is still wildly beautiful.
Author Bio: Debtirtha is a software professional, working in Bangalore. He travels whenever he can, mostly to unexplored places, and is interested in photography and music.
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