Revisited Talakona waterfalls in AP (70kms off Tirupati) this weekend. My last visit was in Dec 2008 [Details], during which I couldn’t notice the roads as we travelled late evening. This time we drove their during day time (in Ford Endeavor) This post offers some additional information about the place.
Several blog readers and internet visitors have been asking for contact details of the AP Forest department facilitated community guest house in Talakona. Kindly refer the image for the phone numbers. The community guest house now houses 2 new loghuts, taking total number of loghuts to 4, in addition to 2 dormitories. Rent is Rs 500 per night. Advance booking strongly recommended for weekends.
At the entrance, guards did check our belongings for hard drinks, which we didn’t have. Despite such checks we did spot some abandoned barcadi bottles on top. For each water bottle, guard collected Rs 5 as a deposit, which he said he’ll refund once we come back with the bottles. Many might forget to collect it back, but we did and he reluctantly gave the money back.
Last time the community guest house had a pet deer named Raja. Upon enquiry we were told that he has been released into the forest. A forest Safari has been introduced, but with no assurance of any animal sighting. If you’re lucky you might spot a deer. (IITM Campus gives you better choices)
Water level was far less this time, compared to Dec 2008 (Oct-Nov is the rainy season in this region). The right most photo was taken in Dec 2008 and left most one taken in July 2010.
The canopy walk is now tolled at Rs 10 per person. however there’s no guard on the other end and its free if you can get into the guest house campus… Meals at the campus is good and priced at Rs 35.
Monkey menace has grown leap and bounds in Talakona campus. They damage leather seats of two wheelers, threaten people and snatch bags. One lady whose handbag was snatched by the monkey was cribbing that it had some certificates and her friend was not able to do anything but watch helplessly. Avoid carrying anything expensive and unnecessary.
Though water levels at the falls were less, the vegetation has grown nicely. A trail on which we’d trekked last time had thick vegetation around it making it difficult for us to enter. There is a jeep trail till top of Tala Kona, which doesn’t appear to be in use. (Probably used in British Era) Need to find out where it originates from. View from top is exciting as always.
Approach roads are nice and Talakona is a nice destination to add if you’re visiting Tirupati. Buses, share autos and jeeps are available if you don’t have a vehicle. Read my previous post on Talakona here
How to reach Talakona?
From Tirupati, drive towards Bengaluru. At Chandragiri fort turn right, go into town, take left (ask people for help), drive straight. At next intersection (where you'll see a temple entrance in front), turn left, keep driving. Signboards will guide you at turns.
Nearby places: Horseley Hills, Venkatagiri, Chandragiri Fort, Tada, Pulicat Lake, Tirumala, Tirupati