Reviving monsoon glories around Karnataka waterfalls

Smelling the moist soil, watching the shower by windowpane, feeling the gentle kiss of sprinkling water drops on face, the mist that blurred vision, thunderstorms that scared in sleeps, flash of lightning that was a treat in power-cuts, the bright sunlight next morning, two rainbows crossing each other high over the west blue skies, a few wandering clouds and visits to the waterfalls – the season of monsoon is as much about the childhood memories of rains as the adventure it brings along, especially in Bangalore.

The southern state of India is blessed to have four major rivers that flow from plains through gorges mothering various waterfalls that adorn Karnataka as a haven for some of most known falls. As monsoon floods waterfalls of the Western Ghats, it's time you descend to these rapids of some of the mighty river of South India.

Mekedatu Falls
Located about 92 kilometres from Bangalore, Cauvery water cascades through a narrow ravine at Mekedatu, which means a goat's leap, metaphorically referring to the narrow channel, in Kannada. It seems an exaggeration to assume that the gorge is so narrow that even a goat can leap across. However, the way water currents have cut through granite rocks over time makes one wonder if the fall was named so without any logic. During monsoon, you cross the confluence of river Cauvery and Arkavati at Sangama in a coracle, before heading to the falls four kilometres away. Mekedatu can be reached via Kanakpura road or Muddur on Mysore road.

Shivanasamudra Falls
If you have nostalgic memories of the old, classic Indian films, a visit to Shivanasamudra Falls ought to spread the nostalgia around. About 35 kilometres ahead of Mekedatu, Shivanasamudra Falls remind you of a scene from the Hindi classic film ‘Pakeezah' in which Salim (Rajkumar) proposes marriage to Sahibjaan (Meena Kumari). The scene uncovers beautifully against the backdrop of Shivanasaudra Falls. The white waters flow down two rocky cliffs called Gaganachukki in the West and Barahchukkin in East. Monsoon floods Cauvery sufficiently before it splits to form these rapids. Tread around the nearby locations and you will have childhood memories of wet paddy fields, mountains on horizon, a narrow river and old bridges of your village revived. What's more? A dip in the shallow waters beneath Barahchukkin falls is all you need to lift your monsoon spirit!

Pearl Valley
They say that visiting a waterfall in monsoon could be dangerous, but this is when one should enjoy the mist from the fast falling currents as they strike the rocks; the touch of the showers; the freshness in water and a new season at a backyard waterfall. Pearl valley, also called Muthyala Maduvu in local language, in Anekal village located around 44 kilometres from Bangalore beyond Bannerghatta Biological Park is indeed in the city's backyard and very safe to visit, to be precise. It's no serenading fall, but a thin stream that gushes down to form a small, knee-deep pool of water symbolizing a pearl. That's why the name. The lush green environment, a temple near the pool, grazing cattle in the vicinity and winding, zigzag path across the surrounding hills treat you with an ideal monsoon outbreak.

Abbey Falls
How about driving away to a nook to cherish monsoon? Abbey Falls are located about 270 kilometres from Bangalore in Kodagu (Coorg) district and about 10 kilometres from Madikeri. Nestled inside a coffee and cardamom plantation, Abbey Falls have been formed with several small streams dipping down in the Western Ghats into a deep, rocky gorge. It falls from a height of about 70 feet. A bridge over the ravine lets you have a panoramic view of the scenic fall of the mighty Cauvery.

Gokak Falls
How about chasing monsoon further away towards Karnataka-Maharashtra border? The region has a spectacular waterfall. Located about 570 kilometres from Bangalore and six kilometres from Gokak in Belgaum district, Gokak Falls are yet another waterfall originating from a Western Ghats river Ghataprabh. A narrow, wooden hanging bridge across the river and overlooking the fall's gorge provides an old world charm to the place. It's a class apart. What could be a better place to get away from the doldrums to the cheery old memories than in the rains besides a vintage bridge?


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