Chunchi Falls: The Pearly White Necklace
Among the numerous pristine waterfalls near Banglore, Chunchi Falls offers a day of utter relaxation, away from the city. Located on the edge of the Western Ghats, the waterfall is surrounded by rocky hills and lush vegetation, which make the scene quite picturesque.
Chunchi Falls is a great place for a road trip from Banglore, named after a tribal couple Chuncha and Chunchi. The best part of the mesmerizing falls is it has not yet been commercialized like others,hence it mostly remains deserted and is an ideal location to escape from the daily chaos.
Fed by the Arkavati river, Chunchi Falls is a beautiful cascading waterfall set amidst a rocky terrain, 90 KMs away from Bangalore. The milky white water flowing through the lush green patches almost feels like a pearly white necklace laid over a green velvet cloth. It’s a perfect spot if you’re looking for a peaceful getaway. But be mindful of the crowded locations near the waterfalls. Just 13 Kms from Chunchi Falls is Sangama where River Arkavati meets the Kaveri river. This confluence is a holy place and a beautiful one at that.
4 of us on 3 bikes planned to start early at 5am but then there is always somebody whose alarm just takes an off for a day & refuses to go. We eventually started at 6am. Fresh morning breeze & less traffic we made our way to the Nice road. The road just gives the thrill & the speedometer keeps chasing the 3 digit speed. Exit on the Kanakpura road & keep going for another 75 km. This road is amazing to drive on, with trees on both sides for the most part.
There comes the left turn at the sign saying “ Sangam” just after kanakpura bus stop. The road from here was decent with some repair going on at places. Since one is driving through the villages here one will find the roads full of “hay like stuff” which the farmers spread so that the passing by vehicles would crush it. After driving for another 15 km we reached the sign board for “Chunchi Falls” directing left. Chunchi Falls is 6km from here & the road turns a lot passing through a village.
Though there are enough standard turn directions but still if one is lost, the villagers automatically guide one in the right direction without even being asked. Just when we were about to reach the falls, the pitch road disappeared & gave way to a mud lane. Then there’s a dead end with no routes for any vehicle to go on, it’s a cleared ground enough to park 10+ cars. We parked our bikes under a tree & went on to discover the falls.
To reach the falls, you need to undertake a short but exciting hike amidst very rocky terrain and your legs are going to get a good workout. The area has pretty much been left intact so don’t go expecting cobbled paths as you’ll have to navigate through countless rocks and overgrown pathways to get to your destination. On the way to the waterfalls is a watchtower, which offers 360-degree views of the lush deciduous forests all around. However, swimming is not advised, due to strong currents and crocodiles. The hills all around are a perfect spot to enjoy a picnic, so don’t forget to pack yummy things from home. The best time to Visit this Offbeat location is during monsoons.
River Arkavathi flows through very elegantly and gracefully and forms this falls. The first thing that strikes you in Chunchi Falls is not the waterfall as you would expect. You will be amazed by the spread of rocks all along the banks of Arkavati River, which appear as if someone had meticulously chiseled these rocks to their liking. Delve deeper and you can imagine many shapes and meanings in these naturally formed rocks. After you tread on these rocks carefully for a while, the real culprit emerges slowly from behind some of the rocks. The Arkavati River which has shaped these rocks, first flows slowly, as if she is ashamed of her chiseling act, and then boldly cascades down from some pillar like rocks, providing you with a beautiful view.
If you are lucky enough you can find a local and trek down to the base of the falls to enjoy the charisma and the solitude at Chunchi or if you are adventurous enough you can definitely trek down slippery and dangerous routes and enjoy the time soaking in beauty.
The feeling of the water touching your skin is pure bliss as you sit on the edge of the rocks enjoying the view. It is one of the most scenic places around banglore and a must visit for all travel enthusiasts.