Monday, September 3, 2012

A trip to Kuntala Falls from Hyderabad

Six of us went to Kuntala Falls on an overcast Hyderabad morning. Kuntala Falls are the highest waterfalls in Andhra Pradesh (falling from a height of 45 meters at one point) around 280 kms from Hyderabad.

We left at 6am and got around to the outskirts of the city soon before connecting to NH. On a glorious morning, it is a pleasure to travel by road especially when the road conditions are extremely good as was the case here.

En-route to the falls, we stopped over at the Sri Ram Sagar Dam which is around 80 kms from the water falls. It is a nice dam over the shimmering vast expanse of Godavari river; but on the whole, the area was not-so-clean, so we didn’t spend more than half an hour there.

Godavari view from Sri Ram Sagar Dam

The majority of the route to Kuntala Falls is covered under the North-South corridor road (Srinagar to Kanyakumari) which meant the roads were in impeccable condition. The last stretch to reach the falls is a 10km narrow road with bumps which was painful but we were still able to reach the falls by around 11.30am making the total travel duration to be 4.5 hours keeping aside one hour of stoppage for the dam and breakfast.

The falls are hidden by thick foliage of greenery, and one can hear the falls even before it is visible. We first instinctively followed the sound and ended up at the spot where there is a plain area just before the water drops off. It was amazing to see the water flowing down (not an absolutely free fall but through the rocks) with such force. We went close enough to the water from above, had a nice time and could see the downward flowing water and could see people at the bottom end of the falls in the far off distance below.

We went back and had lunch (there is no provision there apart from a small shop for chips, cold drinks etc. so better make own arrangements); and then went off to the bottom of the falls which was a more chartered route with steps (lots of them) and fencing etc. 

Finally on reaching below, and then getting a clean sight of the falls we realized that we weren’t getting the complete glimpse of the falls from above (the view was blocked off). From below, the sight was truly magnificent.

You see the water just thudding off from a height with such enormous tremendous force – if it was amazing to see from above where we could only see partially; this, from below was just plain unnerving. With the sun on us as well at noon, some of us claimed to see a rainbow at the point of impact of the water (I wasn’t so lucky to see the same).

The area near the falls is covered in frothing, steaming white which obscures visibility. The droplets off the impact of the water hitting the plain area could be felt up to a large distance of about another 50 meters or more. We had a good time there attempting to go as close to the point of falls hitting the water as we could – this was achieved by walking over a bunch of slippery rocks covered with green moss. Most of us ended losing balance and then crawling the rest of the distance on all fours like a baby. Gazing at the falls from a close distance gives a mesmerizing effect and you tend to feel how weak humans really as compared to the forces of nature.

Kuntala Falls from the river bed

Having spent some good time in the water, we turned back from there around 3.30pm. We left for Hyderabad and had a good time looking at different cloud formations in the sky attempting to spot different patterns. We were able to hit the city outskirts by 8pm all-in-all capping a nice day’s trip.

Tornado-shaped cloud (on the way back)

Link to photos: here.


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