This has been one of the best treks that I have done in recent times. It is what I would call a ‘trek with a difference’. The trek was not difficult as such, but the view that I was presented with at the zenith sent a pure adrenalin shot right up to my brain.
Vanakebe Falls is situated in the Western Ghats of Agumbe. The start of the trek is marked by an arch written in Kannada and which is about 0.5 kilometres from the Agumbe village bus station. It is a straight trail up to the waterfall. No deviations whatsoever.
But, do watch out for the teeming leeches here. The thick shade cover and the moist ground form a conducive environment for the leeches. The leeches will cling onto you right throughout this trek. In fact, such is the population density of the leeches that about 10 to 15 leeches will climb onto you every minute.
Our way of defence was to keep walking at a brisk pace and remove the climbing leeches by hand. If I remember right, all of us walked with a hunched back continuously removing leeches, but about 10 of them still managed to get inside my shoes and onto my leg.
Leaving the leeches aside…The trail to the Vanakebe Falls is about 3.5 kilometres one way and 3 kms of which is a mushy jungle. Then come the steep flight of steps that lead you to the waterfall. You can comfortably complete the entire trek up and down in one and a half hours of brisk pace excluding the time spent at the waterfall.
I have done many waterfall treks before, but did not have the faintest bit of idea about the view that I was going to be presented with. What I saw was that we were on a cliff edge and apparently we were on top of the waterfall. All we see was a steep drop below us. The sight was amazing and the greenery mind numbing. We somehow managed to cling onto some rocks, got ourselves a decent footing and looked down. We saw that the waterfall tumbled in two tiers and the entire drop looked close to 600 feet.
When we finished the trek and reached the town again, one of the locals told us that during the dry season when water is less, one can cross the stream and go onto the other hill and climb down to the first tier of the waterfall and enjoy a waterfall bath in a cliff-like atmosphere. Sadly, we could not cross over to the other hill as the water current was very strong. May be some other day, I will go and experience this trek in the dry season.