Most part of the drive from Bangalore was through state highways, dusty side ways, tiny villages, dried up lake beds, brown fields, dying sunflowers, leafless trees, red earth, big boulders, cattle and other interesting landscapes. Summer had set in and the Rayalseema region of Andhra Pradesh was showing signs of a harsh one ahead. We were heading to Nallamala Hills, a part of the Eastern ghats which looked green in patches. Talakona waterfalls situated in the Sheshachalam range of the Nallamala hills was the destination. Nestled deep inside the forest within Shri Venkateshwara wildlife reserve, the falls drop from a height of 270 feet and is the highest waterfalls in Andhra Pradesh. The place is also quite well known for its rich flora and fauna. Tirupathi, a famous pilgrim place is very close to these falls.
This eco project of Andhra Pradesh Tourism invites you with a nice little temple at the foothills of the falls. There are numerous monkeys loitering around who are ready to flick your things if not careful. There is a small pond near the entrance and being a sunday, the place was crowded with kids and families splashing around. From there a narrow walkway led us to the falls and we had a first glimpse of Talakona after 15 minutes.
|Children merry making at the pond|
|Pathway to the falls|
|The first glimpse|
|The big fall|
We trekked further up and the sound of water thrashing and people howling became so obvious as we neared it. Thankfully it was less crowded there. The rocks near the falls were quite slippery and you just have a chain rope to cling on while you walk to the base of the falls. It was not a trickle that was falling down as it seemed from far. It was a thunderous experience to stand under those gushing waters and enjoy the feel of being thrashed by the force of them. I could hardly look up and when I did for a second, all that I could see were droplets falling through the sun rays. Absolutely an overwhelming experience!
|The big fall|
It was getting painful after a while as the force of the water was getting stronger and our bodies found it tough to take. We all turned red by the time we came out of it. After a precarious walk over the slippery rocks we walked back. This place would be flooded during the monsoon and that would be a totally different experience. I am not sure whether one can get under the falls at the higher tier during the rains as chances of getting washed away with the waters are quite high. During the monsoons or immediately after that, the best place to get yourself a waterfall bath would be under the cascading falls. There is also a trek route all the way to the top of the falls. The views from there are supposedly exhilarating. It is advised to take guides along when trekking all the way up.
Signing Note- An enthralling falls set inside an engulfing forest...!!
Route- Bengaluru- Hoskote- Chintamani- Madanapalle- Vayalpadu- Pileru- Bakharapeta- Talakona
Distance- 240 Kms