Unchalli Falls: Stunning Monsoon Holiday Destination of Karnataka - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!
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Saturday, October 17, 2020

Unchalli Falls: Stunning Monsoon Holiday Destination of Karnataka

Unchalli Falls - a sight to behold during the monsoons

2020 has been a tough year for all of us, but it has also been a year when the rain gods have been mighty kind to us. The monsoons in 2020 have been more than normal and this has ensured that all the waterfalls, streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs and dams are brimming full with water. And what better place to experience the abundant monsoons up close than the waterfall region of Karnataka that we all know as Uttara Kannada.

A gorgeous monsoon holiday destination here is Unchalli Falls, a loud waterfall that is created by a 381 feet drop in the Aghanashini river.



The waterfall holiday to Unchalli falls begins when you find yourself on the beautiful winding ghat roads of the Sirsi-Kumta highway and the view gets even better when you turn off the highway at Aminahalli to go towards Heggarni. Persistent rains, pretty little villages surrounded by fresh paddy, lush green landscapes and a single lane road give you company. Green mountain peaks show you their face as you climb and descend these countryside roads. A steep climb and descent post Heggarni takes you to the Unchalli falls parking lot from where the downhill trek to the waterfall begins.

The monsoon view of Unchalli Falls

This downhill trek is another cog in the wheel called ‘Unchalli waterfall holiday’. Balmy weather, green foliage and slippery terrain take you closer to a loud thundering sound. You cannot see the waterfall as yet, but you can certainly hear it from far. There are 2 to 3 different view points from where you can see the Aghanashini river flowing through a narrow gorge before plunging down a wide mountain wall making for an amazing spectacle. If you visit during the monsoons or right after it, you might also get drenched in the waterfall mist at the bottom most view point. This is another special attribute of this waterfall experience.

And the best part of the waterfall experience comes when you make your return journey after all the waterfall viewing and mist drenching experience. The steep climb back to the parking lot makes your lungs gasp for air and your leg muscles screaming for rest. A few resting points and view points act as a perfect excuse to take a break and soak in some more views of the lush waterfall landscape, the surrounding forests, the monkeys playing on the nearby trees and the selfie clicking tourists.

Lush countryside - enroute Unchalli Falls, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka

Unchalli is quite a popular destination, but given the current pandemic situation and the heavy rains that have been battering the region for the past four months, there should not be a lot of people. And unlike Jog falls where a short walk takes you to the view point, here you have to do a 15 to 20 minute downhill trek to catch a view of the waterfall. This steep hike may not be preferred by a lot of people and that is why you can further expect lower crowds.

The thundering and mist covered Unchalli Falls during the monsoons

If you crave for a pristine ecosystem during your monsoon holiday, Unchalli Falls certainly has that. The trail might not take you close to the waterfall, but you can certainly feel its mist and soak in its magnificence, A good trek, some gorgeous views and a fantastic waterfall experience is in store here. And it becomes magical during the rains. I totally recommend it if you are headed towards the Uttara Kannada region of Karnataka.



Key things to keep in mind while visiting Unchalli Falls:

1) It is steep decline to the waterfalls from the parking lot. It is a combination of mud trail and steps. The trail can get real slippery during the rains. It is the return ascent that can take the wind out of you. Thankfully, there are enough places where you can rest and enjoy the waterfall view.

2) The trail is full of leeches during the monsoons. Do prepare accordingly.

3) Mist can momentarily block the waterfall view during the rains. It might be prudent to wait 10 to 15 minutes for the view to clear.

4) Do carry some drinking water with you as you will need it on the way back from the waterfall.

5) Please be careful while taking pictures and selfies as the view points are on a cliff’s edge and the terrain is usually slippery due to the waterfall spray and rains.

Unchalli Falls view point hut

Best season to visit:

The monsoons are the best season to see Unchalli falls in all its glory, but even the post monsoon months make for a fantastic time to visit this waterfall.

The steep trail that leads to the Unchalli Falls view point

How to reach there:

The nearest airport would be Hubbali, about 150 kms away.

The nearest railway station would be Kumta, about 84 kms away.

The nearest major bus station would be Sirsi, about 35 kms away.

The route from Sirsi is as follows: Take the Kumta highway from Sirsi –> turn left at Amminahalli –> move forward toward to Heggarni –> And finally head to the parking lot of Unchalli Falls

The steps that lead to the Unchalli Falls view points

Where to stay:

If hotels are your thing, Sirsi or Kumta would be your best bet.

My personal favorites are remote homestays, which give you a traditional local experience while staying amidst nature. Tavarumane homestay is where I stay usually when I visit the Sirsi-Yellapur region, but there are many other homestays between Jog Falls and Yellapur/Dandeli that are great. You can choose the ones that fit your requirements and budget.

If you prefer beach properties, try the ones near Karwar or Gokarna.

Lush greenery enroute Unchalli Falls, Karnataka

Where to eat:

While you can find biscuits and tea at either Heggarni or Ammenahalli, the best place to find quality places to eat would be Sirsi. Located about 35 kms away, one can find vegetarian and non-vegetarian restaurants in Sirsi and can also find small supermarkets and other stores in case you wish to stock up on some ration.

Trail leading to Unchalli Falls, Karnataka

Other waterfalls in the Uttara Kannada region of Karnataka:

1) Jog Falls: The pride of Karnataka and one of the most iconic waterfalls of India

2) Magod Falls: A magnificent double bend waterfall on the Bedti river

3) Bilihole Falls: A jungle waterfall that is located amidst the untouched forests of Kali tiger reserve

4) Sathodi Falls: One of Karnataka’s prettiest jungle waterfalls

5) Vibhooti Falls: A forest waterfall with a beautiful natural swimming pool

6) Shirale Falls: A pretty little waterfall surrounded by plantations and forests

7) Apsarakonda Falls: A tall waterfall close to the coast

8) Hulikal Falls: A tall waterfall right on the main Hulikal ghat road

9) Kunchikal Falls: One of India’s highest waterfalls, but not open to public access without prior permission

10) Talasi Abbi Falls: A wide waterfall that is quiet and surrounded by lush greenery

A monsoon road way from Uttara Kannada region of Karnataka

Other nearby tourist attractions:

1) Sirsi Marikamba Temple: One of Sirsi’s iconic temples

2) Yana rocks and caves: Two limestone rocks that tower 300 feet in the middle of dense green jungle

3) Mirjan Fort: A 16th century fort that turns completely green during the rainy season

4) Gokarna: A seaside hamlet known for its pretty beaches and temples

5) Shivapura hanging bridge: A hanging bridge over the Kodisalli reservoir on which motorcycles can ply

6) Kavadikere: A lake and temple between Yellapur and Magod Falls

7) Sahasralinga: A pilgrimage site where more than a thousand shiva lingas are carved on the rocks in the Shalmala river and on its banks

8) Ghante Ganapati Temple: A temple amidst the dense forests of the Western Ghats that is believed to make your wishes come true



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