Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Abbey Falls near Madikeri in Coorg

The Abbey (also known as Abbi and Abbe) falls is one great looking waterfall situated in the Western Ghats of Coorg. This 70 foot waterfall is situated about 7 kms from Madikeri town on the Galibeedu road. This is one waterfall that brings together large crowds all year around and especially in the monsoons when the waterfall is massive and envelops its surroundings in a misty cloud.

Picturesque Abbey Falls in the late evening hours 
This waterfall carries water throughout the year, though the water content diminishes quite a bit during the rainy season. This waterfall, which is fed by numerous streams before cascading down joins the Cauvery river a little downstream. The Abbey Falls is located between private coffee plantations with stocky coffee bushes and spice estates with trees entwined with pepper vines.

The overly crowded Abbey Falls 
The Abbey (kannada for waterfall) fall used to be be known as the Jessie waterfall during the British era in memory of Jessie, the daughter of Madikeri’s best captain. To reach this waterfall, one has to weave their way through coffee and cardamom plantations and steep turns. The short journey from the highway to the waterfall can be quite an adventure.

A hanging bridge constructed just opposite the waterfall is a great place for photographing this waterfall. This bridge also leads to a Kali Mata temple that is surrounded by coffee and pepper plantations. A board near the bridge mentions that nobody is allowed to get close to the waterfall as a lot of people have lost their lives here, but there are few people who throw caution to the wind and play the stupid daredevil act.

The hanging bridge near Abbey Falls

Everything about the place, including the waterfall is vintage nature, but I somehow don’t like the obscenely large crowds that turn up here. These large crowds coming with the intention of picnicking here destroy the serenity of this place and have no regard for cleanliness or for the environment. This can be a complete turn-off and that too especially in the weekends and/or on other national/state holidays. Personally, I would not visit this place again, but would not ask you to do so. You can definitely plan a short visit from June through December to see the Abbey Falls in full flow.

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