Falls with rainbow: Kudlu Theertha near Someshwara - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Falls with rainbow: Kudlu Theertha near Someshwara

Kudlu Theertha(ಕೂಡ್ಲುತೀರ್ಥ ಜಲಪಾತ) is one of Udupi's "often closed" waterfalls. Kudlu falls, sometimes spelt as Koodlu falls, was avoiding me since over an year. First visited sometime in August 2020 and it was closed. Next made a few attempts to visit in October & November 2021 and it was still closed, this time with a bigger board. I learnt on twitter that it was open briefly during Jan 2021 and wondering when it would open again and what is the point if they open it after waterfall dries down.

Recently I got to visit Kudlu Theertha again. This time it was open so I decided to explore what to expect there and why it remains closed during most part of the year.
My Koodlu Theertha Visit experience: 
As I entered main entrance from Agumbe side, I saw that earlier display board that said "Kudlu Theertha" is closed was missing. Checked with locals and confirmed that falls is open. It was 1.20 PM and I decided to go and check out.

Part of the road I was familiar as I had visited earlier. The final bit was new to me. Roads were bad in the final stretch- I was riding a bike and it was not a big issue- a few spots needed caution due to loose gravel and slippery roads or steep inclines. Kudlu falls entrance is close to 15 kms from main road. About 5 kms road is nice, another 5 OK-OK and remaining 5 kms are bad roads. I saw hatchbacks also had reached the spot, so even normal cars can reach Kudlu falls parking lot.

As I reached, I had to give my details, pay 100 Rs towards entry, 15 Rs for bike parking. They asked 300 Rs for camera. I felt it is not worth paying so much, so decided to keep the camera at the ticketing counter and manage with only mobile phone. I had taken almost 45 mins to cover 15 kms. It was 2 PM and I was asked to return before 4 PM. Just enough time.
Note: Better carry cash. For a family of 4-5 with a camera and car, you will need close to 1000 INR. No network for online payments.
Having climbed to Belkal Theertha and Koosalli falls this year, Kudlu Theertha was an easy trek. Steps were well paved at many places and distance was about 2 kms approx. Had to cross two water streams to reach the falls. 

As I reached Kudlu Theertha there were an army of people taking bath under the falls. A large pond was ideal for everyone in family to take a dip. Not too deep except where the water drops down. 

To my surprise I got to see rainbow at the base of the falls. It was an unexpected view. Had seen rainbow in the sky, but at ground level at the bottom of a waterfall was new to me. Rainbow sustained for several minutes and I could click enough photos and videos.
After spending fair bit of time at the falls I returned. Coming back was easy as it was just a descent. I was back at the ticket counter by about 3.15-3.20 and people were still entering. Not sure how everyone else would have returned before 4 PM. My guess is either they are sent back with a warning, or staff will take some more money in the name of penalty and let them out even if they come back by say only 5 PM. Ideally staff should stop selling tickets and don't let people in beyond say 3 PM, but then why would they lose ticket money from people who've come so far and why would they lose an opportunity to make some more money?


Overall it was great I ticked Kudlu Theertha off my checklist. Not planning to visit again anytime soon.

Reasons why Kudlu Theertha remains closed

1. High water levels. To reach Kudlu falls, we need to cross the flowing water stream at two points. If the rains are heavy and the streams are overflowing, passing them could be risky. I believe this is the main reason authorities won't open Kudlu Theertha till water level drops to a minimum so that visitors could walk across.
An easy solution would have been to build a bridge across these streams- but then that needs money, approvals and will power. Kudlu theertha gets 1000s of people every day (When I visited there were 50 bikes and 20 cars, easily 150+ people at time, possibly 500 people per day. At 100 Rs per person entry fee, that is 50,000 INR per day. Enough money to build a few small bridges.

2. Animals. Kudlu falls is within Someshwara wildlife reserve. At times there could be elephants or other wild animals spotted. If wild animals are spotted, authorities close the falls. Locals are allowed though.

3. Covid and other govt rules: Tourist spots are last ones to open after covid restrictions. Opening a waterfall is in no one's priority list, so in case of a lockdown/covid restrictions, expect waterfalls to remain closed even if other businesses open up.

Kudlu Theertha falls visitor info:

Distance: 15 kms from Hebri-Agumbe highway. 5 kms good roads, 5 kms ok-ok roads, 5 km of very bad roads. Normal cars can go but be ready to handle a bit of offroading/loose gravel/slippery roads. If you have an option, go in a higher ground clearance vehicle. 4x4 is not necessary. Bikes are best. Sign boards are put at key turning points to guide you to Kudlu falls.

Timing: Kudlu falls gates open at about 9/9.30 AM (once staff come in) and you need to be out before 4 PM.  There is about 2km/30 min hike to the Kudlu falls from the entry gate. This means you should begin your journey before 2-2-.30 PM, depending on how fast you can walk and how much time you wish to spend at the falls. Best to visit in the morning half, as you will not have any time pressure.

Complexity: Kudlu falls has a decent path. There is a bit of climbing- well paved steps exist at most parts. Probably a total of 150-200 steps over 2-2.5 kms path. All normal adults with basic fitness can reach Kudlu falls. Elders may need some time if they wish to rest in between but overall, everyone in the family can visit.
Season: Kudlu Theertha is likely to remain closed during most of the year. Between Feb and May no point visiting as water level will be low. Between June and November falls is likely to be closed. So December and January are the best time to visit, provided authorities decide to open Kudlu falls. November and February you can try your luck. Go with plan B. if Kudlu falls is closed or if no water, visit something else.

Stay option: JLR Seethanadi nature camp is the closest stay option. More hotels are available in Hebri and Agumbe towns. You will also find a few homestays enroute between Hebri and Agumbe. For food, several restaurants are available between Hebri and Someshwara. A small shop near the falls entrance sells omelets, biscuits and chips.

Nearby: Agumbe * Varanga Lake Basadi * other scenic spots along Seethanadi river * Places to explore in Karkala * Kavaledurga fort *

4 comments:

  1. Good info. When I visited long ago, there were no entry restrictions but the place was filled with broken bottles. Impact of Manipal crowd. Hope it is clean now that there are entry restrictions.

    ReplyDelete

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