Bandaaje / Bandaje Arbi falls
Bandaaje Arbi Falls, one of the beautiful waterfalls in the Western Ghats, is located near Mundaaje, in Dakshina Kannada District of Karnataka. It cascades down from a height of 200 ft.
You would have heard of an adage that says, ‘the journey is more significant than the destination itself’. Taking a trip to reach the Bandaje Arbi waterfall is a best example of this saying. Reaching this scenic spot has no particular set path. Based on individual inclinations, the easy path can be easily accessible. While the tougher, more eventful trail is open to those who dare.
The South Kanara district lodges many waterfalls in the lush green mountains of the Western Ghats. One of them is the Bandaje Arbi falls in the Charmadi Ghat. Falling from a height of around 200 feet, the route to reach this Arbi, (which literally translates to waterfall in Kannada) is interesting. Visiting the waterfall is inevitably accompanied with trekking to or from the Ballala Rayana Durga fort.
This is one of the routes popularly known for many people losing their way. Usually leading them to spend a night in the beautiful, creaking rain forests or in the humble cave, that is lodged near the waterfall. Therefore it is best to always come prepared with equipment (such as tents, sleeping bags, food and water supplies, etc.) Another pointer that would help is to keep you ears glued to the roaring sound of the waterfall. Following this thunderous guide will surely help, but you also need to have your acoustics in place to avoid the misleading waves that bounce off trees and mountains.
Bandaaje Arbi One of the numerous waterfalls of the Western Ghats. This beautiful waterfall is at few kilometers distance from Mundaaje near Dharmasthala in South Kanara. Arbi is a 200+ft waterfall,but the path leads to the top of it. Ballalarayana Durga is visible from the topmost point of the hill about an hour's walk up from arbi. Arbi is waterfall in KannaDa. This waterfall can also be reached by sunkasaale and Ballalarayana Durga. Going by the amount of junk there,it seemed to be a popular spot. Its a pity to see such spots being polluted. More terrifying factor is the ignorance we prevail.
Bandaaje Arbi Falls, one of the breathtaking waterfalls in the Western Ghats, is located near Mundaaje, in Dakshina Kannada District of Karnataka. It cascades down from a height of 200 ft. Ballalarayana Durga is visible from the topmost point of the hill about an hour's walk up from arbi. This waterfall can also be reached by sunkasaale and Ballalarayana Durga.
|Nearest City: Mundaaje is the nearest village, Ujire and Dharmasthala are the nearest towns. |
Best time to visit: Any time throughout the year
The best time to visit is after the rains around end September, early October. At this time the forest has been washed clean and shines bright for your arrival, while the waterfall gushes at full strength roaring you to its embrace. The weather is neither too hot and sticky, nor too wet and cold.
You could also trek in this place during March and April just before peak summer. However, be prepared sweat soaked walk as the humidity is relatively high.
If you love chasing the rains and would like to volunteer for a monsoon trek, you may visit the waterfalls in the months of June and July. Only meant for adventurous souls, it is during this season the rains wash down trails and stir up the leeches.
Maximum and minimum temperatures range between:-
36°C and 20°C in summers - March to May
27°C and 17°C in winter – December to February
The monsoon is quite heavy and downpours in rain forests only dampen plans of camping. It is usually between June to September and October to November.
Interesting things to do:
Adventurous souls could discover their own routes when trekking. However the one of the possible routes could be:-
- In Mundaaje, the house of Mr. Narayan Gowda is spot from where the trail begins. His house could be accessed either by a dirt road or by a 5 hour jungle walk for the more enthusiastic trekkers.
- A 4 hour ascent from there, through rain forests will lead you to the top of the gushing waterfall. Depending on the season you travel, you could experience rays of the sun playing ‘hide and seek’ between the tall trees, while melting you to a sweat ball. Or you could soak yourself in the preview of the waterfall while getting yourself drenched in the rain. The latter venture calls for people who are ready to brave the relentless leeches.
- A 2 hour walk through grasslands finds you at the Ballala Rayana Durga fort. Another 2 hours of walk and you will reach Sunkasale.
The Manjunatha Temple in Dharmasthala has its grand Deepotsava festival in November and December which attracts crowds from all over every year.
You may find religious artefacts at the temples in Horanadu and Dharmasthala.
Interesting things to Visit:
Besides the waterfall, one of the other major attractions is the Ballala Rayana Durga fort. Should you stop to smell the flowers or enjoy the scenic view the grasslands offer, you will reach the fort in 2 hours. The fort was built by the Hoysala Kings. But all that remains is a dilapidated 100 square metre space of trees and fortifications. However, do not miss the splendid scene from the fort towers. It presents a 360 degree view of the Shola forest, the Oorikan Estate to the east and the valley leading to Sunkasale below.
Another major attraction is the amazing drive through the ghats. The pleating mountains that form a never ending horizon are breathtaking. The golden sunset, paints a peaceful hue on the rippling mountain range making this trip worth every effort.
Mobile range info:
How to reach?
|Nearest Railway Station:Dharmastala |
|Nearest Airport:Mangalore Airport |
Road Transport:From Bangalore 350 kms
The Western ghat ranges offer incomparable scenes and horizons, which are considered to be the best in South India. This picturesque journey is also accompanied with the winding road, which can be endured only by tough travellers with spines of steel. From Bangalore, one of the routes you could take is:
Bangalore –(190 km)–> Hassan –(60 km)–> Belur - Chikkamagalur –(30km)–> Mudigere –(20 km)–> Kottigehara –(15 km)–> Sunkasale (Destination)
- About 7 kms from Kottighehara, watch closely for a sign board where you need to take a U turn towards your left to reach Sunkasale.
- On arriving at Sunkasale, take a left immediately after the telecom office, which you will be able to locate on your left side. Following the road from there, through the estates for around 8 kms will find you to the beginning of trail.
- The nearest petrol station is in Ujire, 8kms from Mundaje.
From Bangalore, there are overnight Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC - http://ksrtc.in/) buses to Dharmasthala. Private bus services are available too.
From Dharmasthala, state transport or private buses are available to Mundaaje (16 kms) or to Sunkasale (83 kms)
For return journey from Sunkasale, there are buses to Bangalore from Dharmasthala via Kothigehara or from Horanadu via Kalasa, which can make up for another short tour!
There are no trains that connect Bangalore with any of the nearest villages or towns. The hilly terrain of the Western Ghats are connected well by road and usually travellers use bus services.
Due to road construction especially in the stretch between Hassan and Bangalore, the roads are in bad condition. During monsoons beware of potholes as the accident rates are high.
Pictures of Bandaje Arbi
By Road: Bandaje Arbi falls is 350 km from Bangalore and takes almost 7 hours to reach there. Bandaje Arbi falls is about 25 Kms from Dharmasthala in South Kanara district. A state transport or private bus from Dharmasthala to Mundaaje (16kms) or to Sunkasaale (83kms) can be the starting point of the route
Location:- Bandaje Arbi falls is 25+Kms from Dharmasthala in South Kanara district.
Route:- A state transport or private bus from Dharmasthala to Mundaaje (16kms) or to Sunkasaale (83kms) can be the starting point of the route.
Nearest Visiting places:
Other places of interest nearby are : Ballala Rayana Durga.
Buses are available from Dharmasthala to reach here. Ballalarayana Durga - one of the beautiful hilltops in the Western Ghats - is nearby.
Nearest Petrol Pump:
Where to stay :- Dharmasthala
- Camping in tents is the only form of lodging nature provides.
- At the waterfall, you could experience a blast from the past and stay in the cave that lodges around 7 people. It is recommended by the guides and there is no danger in indulging in nature’s treat.
- There is no shelter in the fort but if you go an hour’s descent from there, you may be able to find a house to stay in the village.
- In Mundaaje, shelter in the form of the school near Narayan Gowda’s house is available
Things to carry:
Your backpack consisting of the following is recommended:-
- Equipment – it is best to carry tents or sleeping bags and torches in case you decide to spend the night camping.
- Food and water supplies – once on the trail, there is no accessibility to food or water, therefore carrying your own stock is advised.
- Medicines – containing painkillers, antihistamine, band aids, dettol, antibiotics, etc. Do not forget to carry insect / mosquito repellents, as there are swarms found near the fort and elsewhere.
- A pair of extra clothes - in case of rains and other emergencies.
- Machete / Sickle – while trekking through the dense forest, you will need a stick, machete or sickle to make way for yourself. If you hire a guide (which is advisable), he will surely have the necessary equipment to clear the path for you.
Dealing with leeches
- It is usually best to follow what the locals do. They apply a mixture of coconut oil and tobacco on their legs to avoid leeches clutching onto them.
- Alternatively, you could also carry salt wrapped in handkerchiefs, to dab off leeches.
Tips & Suggestions:
Things to Avoid
Unless you are a dare devil, avoid visiting this place during peak monsoons.
Avoid going alone or without a guide, as chances of getting lost are high.
Also watch out for leeches and swarms of insects usually found near the fort.
Help Line/Phone Number:
|Police Station:Belthangady Police Station - Tel: (08256)-232093 |
The nearest hospital is located 8kms away in Ujire. You could also contact hospitals in the Belthangady district:-
- Shri. Raghavendra Nursing Home - Tel: (08256)-232061
- Fr. L. M. Pinto Health Centre Badyar - Tel: (08256)-278245
- Jyothi Hospital - Tel: (08256)-233939
- Benaka Health Centre Ujire - Tel: (08256)-236742
- Abhaya Hospital Guruvainakere - Tel: (08256)-233664
- S.D.M Hospital Ujire - Tel: (08256)-236133
- Shree Damodara Hospital, Belthangady - Tel: (08256)-233097
Society/Community Phone Number