Hidden deep inside the dense jungles of Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary is a stupendous waterfall. Called Arishina Gundi Falls, this mesmerizing waterfall takes its origin in the Kodachadri Hills.
The town of Kollur at the base of the Kodachadri peak in the Western Ghats is a busy pilgrim destination well known for the powerful deity of Mookambika associated with mythological legends. Most frequently visited by celebrities and commoners alike for a glimpse of the goddess, Kollur is an important link in the pilgrim circuit along the western coast. For those with a love for adventure, Kollur is an ideal base from where one can trek up the mountain. However, close to Kollur are a couple of amazing waterfalls which are often given the skip by tourists except for trekkers willing to rough it out.
Reaching the waterfalls is not easy, though. As they say, beauty is revealed to those who dare. The falls is a good five kms inside the sanctuary and the path with frequent steep gradients is a bit strenuous. The only way to reach it is by foot. That is not all. Being in the middle of a wildlife sanctuary makes it obligatory on the part of visitors to obtain proper permission from the forest department. Though some of the trekkers descending from the peak take a deviation to the falls it is not advised as there have been some cases of disciplinary action being taken for unauthorized entry. The officials at Kollur can permit a visit and the falls can be visited with the help of a guide. The forest check post and gate are just one kilometer from Kollur on Shimoga road from where the road leads to the Arishina Gundi falls.
Picture Gallery of Arishina Gundi Falls
Arishina Gundi Falls is a treat to the eyes. The plunge pool made by Arishina Gundi Falls is quite deep. The depth goes upto 30 feet in the centre. You cannot get into the falls if you visit just after monsoon as the water force is too much. During monsoons, it is advisable to avoid this trek mainly because of the last kilometer after the ‘Way to Arishina Gundi Falls’ signboard, which will become extremely slippery and leech infested. It is advisable to visit during the mid summer (From Dec to Feb) when water is calm. Reaching the flowing water is again a challenge for the non-swimmers. The waters of Arishina Gundi which flow through dense forests are said to have medicinal properties.
Another smaller but attractive waterfall in the vicinity is the Hidlumane falls, another 20 kilometers towards Shimoga. The starting point is Nittur, where many trekking guides offer to show the place. The walking distance from Nittur to the falls is about 8 kilometers. One can take a jeep also if necessary. Though the mud road is wide, it frequently forks necessitating the help of a guide. The waterfall itself drops in seven stages. The best part of the waterfalls is about midway where the water drops in thin strings blending with the stems of the jungle around. The place is cool with a lot of shade and serves as a wonderful picnic spot.
Getting to Arishina Gundi Falls
Kollur is around 405 kms from Bangalore by road and can be reached via Shimoga and Hosanagara. From Mangalore it is about 80 kms. To visit Hidlumane Falls, get down at Nittur. To get to Arishina Gundi, hire an auto from Kollur and ensure you obtain the forest official permission.