Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sathodi Falls, Yellapur

This was my second attempt at getting to Sathodi Falls and yet again for a briefest of moments I felt my chances of getting to see this waterfall receding, just like the sun setting in the horizon. The first attempt was a failure because accessibility was an issue. After reaching Yellapur, I found that there were no buses that go to Sathodi Falls. I knew it wasn’t wise to hire a Jeep or a rickshaw as they would charge me buckets. I was told that youngsters there offered to take you to Sathodi for a nominal amount. As it turned out, the nominal amount was Rs. 400 – something that I was expecting the Rickshaw-wallas to demand. I decided to drop the plan and instead go to Magod Falls. But even that didn’t materialize since the bus timings were very erratic and less frequent.

But this time round I was travelling with a group and with our own transport – a Tavera. The threat to our chances was however from the receding daylight. Our first challenge was to enter the forest area before 6:30PM before the gates close. And the second was to spend enough time enjoying the view and yet get back to civilization before it’s too dark. Sathodi is a 28km drive through the forests from Yellapur town. The roads are in a bad shape for the first 23kms. For the last 5 kms there is simply no road. Ok.. Im exaggerating a bit here. There is indeed a mud road for the last 5 kms but it’s in a pathetic condition. The rains make the road even worse with loose soil and slippery slopes.

With the menacing road taking a toll on the vehicle and the eager-to-retire sun looming over our heads, we started questioning the rationale of going ahead with our plan. Would the destination be worth the journey? Would we be able to spend at least 10 minutes there? Even if we do, are those 10 minutes worth the trouble we took just getting here? What if we have a flat tyre on the way back? Is it safe to spend the night in this jungle? Just as all these questions were hovering around inside the confines of our heads, we got our first glimpse of the backwaters of Kodasalli Dam. And just like that, our apprehensions started disappearing. We were now more than eager to get to the waterfalls.

We finally reached the check-in point of the falls where we paid a nominal entrance fee and quickly made our way to the falls. A one kilometer walk later we gaped with open mouths at India’s little Niagara falls. I had to admit that the pictures you see of Sathodi in the internet do no justice to the real deal. Even though you don’t get to go near the foot of the falls, the view is pretty intimidating. While most waterfalls I’ve seen till date are tall, and single or multi-tiered, this one was w-i-d-e. And thanks to all that rain for the last couple of weeks, Sathodi was a decked-up princess. Anybody with half a brain would know better than to venture into the water. At this time of the year Sathodi was strictly a viewing-only waterfall. Even though we had set ourselves a deadline of 15 minutes to reach back to our vehicle, half an hour had already passed. Not completely content with the amount of time we spent here, we had to drag ourselves back to the car. Our apprehensions of a flat tyre were highly misplaced and we reached Yellapur, and subsequently Sirsi, incident-free.

Getting-there: Sirsi->Yellapur ->Sathodi (Follow the signboards at Yellapur)

Must-Do: Start early so as to spend enough time there and get back safely
Must-Don’t: Adventurism or heroism in the rapid waters.

My Rating: 8/10


  1. A clean and serene water falls i had visited in my life time. A perfect postercard falls which we normally see on the wallpaper section. A wonderful narration, and with stunning photographs, and do and dont's makes this blog a bookmark.
    Super Buddy!

    1. Thanks Sri. Yes, indeed it was a clean and serene waterfalls that I've ever seen.

  2. Awesome waterfalls. Nice write up and photos.


  3. Gorgeous Falls. It looks like it is in the middle of nowhere.
    Those are some great shots you've got there, Kishan.

    1. Thanks D. Yeah really is like in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully for this reason its not been much bombarded with tourists!

  4. Do you recommend us going this August ??
    how will be the conditions there ? safe or risky during august ?
    thanks !

  5. If you love the rains, the greenery and the pristine beauty of nature, then there's no better time than August/September.
    I suggest you hire local transportation as it will take a toll on your vehicle, especially if its not an SUV. Plus, you need an expert driver.

    It's not a risky place. But yeah, the roads will be quite slippery and slushy...