After a dose of history and - in the words of a funny panda - sheer awesomeness at Armruteswara temple the previous evening, we were ready for our primary objective of coming to Chikmagalur. The hills, streams, waterfalls and mist all beckoned and we answered by hiring a cab and deciding to make a day out of it. First stop according to our over-enthusiastic cabbie was Kalahatti a.ka. Kallathigiri a.k.a Kalahasthi falls near Kemmangundi.
The most interesting and striking feature of Kalahatti Falls is that it flows through, over and between an ancient temple of Veerabhadreshwara believed to be built during the Vijayanagara empire. Also, legend has it that sage Agastya had performed penance here. The entrance of the temple has carvings of elephants, over which the water cascades. The water flowing through here is believed to cure illnesses if one takes a dip. But we Indians being what we are, come with bathing soaps, shampoo packets and all the paraphernalia to have a full-fledged bath.
Despite the freezing cold temperature of the water, we felt extremely temped to get wet. And finally we yielded to the temptation by getting under the powerful downpour. Such was the force of the water beating down on my back that I pulled a muscle. To top it all the uneven stony ground makes it hard to balance yourself against the onslaught.
One could also climb one tier up to witness another mini waterfall. The crystal clear water is difficult to be given a pass for a quick dip. Here you need to tread carefully, since we found quite a lot of broken glass bottles. This is the result of uncivilized burden-on-Mother-Earth creatures resorting to drinking and discarding bottles unsafely. Once we had all the fun, we decided to go back our cab. Quite honestly it’s not really the kind of place where one would want to spend a lot of time. The fun wears out after an hour or so….
Getting-there: You either need to have your own car or hire one. It’s on the way to the hill station of Kemmangundi.
Must-Do: No matter how freezing the water – take a dip!
Must-Don’t: Drinking and littering the place with bottles, shampoo and soap packets, pooja paraphernalia, plastic bottles etc.