Kunchikal Falls in Shimoga
Kunchikal Falls, also known as Kunchikal Abbe is located very close to Masthikatte-Hulikal at Udupi-Shimoga district border in Karnataka. The total distance of Kunchikal Falls from the city of Shimoga is 97 kilometers. Varahi River cascades down a hundred of rock structures close to the Hulikal Ghati Temple. The Kunchikal Falls are believed to be the highest cascading falls in India. With the hydroelectric power plant that is set up very close to the falls, it has greatly reduced the flow of water. There are a number of other small yet beautiful waterfalls surrounding the Kunchikal Falls, which makes it a picturesque sight.
Height of the waterfallsKunchikal Falls generally cascades down the rock path and the total height of the fall is 455 meters, or 1,493 feet, which allows the waterfall to grab the position of being the highest waterfall in India. Total length of the cascade of this waterfall is more than 1 kilometer.
About its WaterflowThe waterflow of the Kunchikal Falls has greatly reduced after the construction of the Mani Dam close to Masthikatte, which is an underground power generation station near Hulikal. At present, the waterflow of the fall is observable only during the months from July to September, which marks the season in Shimoga. Kunchikal Falls is a very less explored fall in India because the area that lies close to the waterfall has security restrictions owing to the presence of Mani Dam.
Reaching Kunchikal FallsKunchikal Falls lies at a distance of 49 kilometers from Thirthahalli which comes under Hosanagar Taluk. In order to reach Kunchikal Falls from Thirthahalli, one has to reach Hosanagar through the town called Hulikal that lies on state highway 52 and then take a left turn towards the fall. The main road of this waterfall can be reached by driving for another 5 kilometers. One can also trek along to reach the falls.
Facts about Kunchikal FallsKunchikal Falls is considered to rank among the highest waterfalls which are found in India and it is located very close to the Agumbe hill station. The evergreen beauty and the vitalizing air of the Kunchikal Falls mesmerizes the visitors and also goes a long way in attracting tourists in large numbers for sightseeing. Kunchikal Falls is the highest waterfall in India. The most significant feature of these falls is that they serve as a primary source of major hydroelectric projects that are operational in the state of Karnataka. The beautiful Barkana Falls and the South Canara Coast can be viewed from Kunchikal Falls.
Best time to Visit Kunchikal Falls in Previously, the river beds of Kunchikal Falls had a good water flow, but after the construction of Mani Dam there has been great reduction in the water flow. The best time to visit the falls is during the monsoons which is from July to September.
Places to visit near the Kunchikal FallsThere are some popular places located close to the Kunchikal Falls which can also be enjoyed, some of them are listed over here;
Jogi Gundi Falls: These falls are also known as Jog Falls and it ranks one among the highest five waterfalls in India. This waterfall has been named after Saint Jogi and it takes approximately fifteen to twenty minutes to reach these falls from Kunchikal. These falls is also known as the best trekking spot for those who love adventure.
Agumbe Hill Station: This hill station is the most popular among the tourists and lies at a distance of 7 kilometers from Kunchikal Falls. The hill station is a perfect tourist destination and is popular for its brooks and picturesque sunset.
Nibhani Gudda: Nibhani Gudda are bare mountains that lie in close proximity to the Kunchikal Falls. These mountains are very popular for exploratory and breathtaking trekking routes running amidst dense forest.
How to Reach Kunchikal FallsBy Road: Private transportation and buses operate from Bangalore to Kunchikal Falls and the route followed by the buses or the private transportation is Bangalore-Tumkur-Tarikere-Bhadravathi-Shimoga-Agumbe. However, it has to be kept in mind that there are very few buses available for Hulikal and almost no buses for Kunchikal Falls and therefore the best way to reach the falls is by hiring a private vehicle. It is also important to note that the last kilometer to the falls is covered with slippery rocks and is quite muddy and therefore it is important to remain cautious.
By Rail: The closest railway station to the Kunchikal Falls is Udupi, which is located at a distance of 67 kilometers from Agumbe. Another railway station that lies at a distance of 97 kilometers from the falls is Shimoga railway station.
By Air: Mangalore airport is the closest airport to Kunchikal Falls lying at a distance of 142 kilometers and it the airport that provides good connectivity to all the areas lying in Shimoga.