India

Mighty Gokak falls & Magnificent Amboli

Mighty Gokak falls & Magnificent Amboli

Just don’t get wet,

Just be set, Let your

Worries wash away

With every drop that

falls on you

Source for above poem: Google.

Most anticipated rainy season had started, and I was waiting for mid monsoon so that i can get drenched and enjoy to the core. I hadn’t decided which place to go. I had just kept it open, so that I can decide in last moment and go wherever I feel like going. By then Bharathi sent a pic of Gokak falls with a question mark asking up for this. I was like, hell yes, let’s go, but let’s wait till the end of this month so that it will be mid monsoon and water levels will increase. I had visited Gokak almost 6 years back, it was time to visit again, So I told let’s plan Amboli as well since its one of the highest rainfall receiving area.

We were 9 of us, booked a train from Bangalore to Belagavi and started our journey on Friday night. Unfortunately, I slipped in railway station and my ankle got swollen, begrudgingly I boarded train hoping my ankle will be fine by morning. When I got down in Belgaum Saturday morning, my ankle scenario was worse. My bad luck I ended up with ankle ligament tear with cast and 4 weeks rest. Due to this I ended up resting in a hotel in Belgaum. I assured everyone that I will be fine and to enjoy, reluctantly they left for Gokak at 11.o clk. Our plans got altered due to my scenario. However, I complied all below info from my friends.

The below details are as per Ulidavaru Kandante (As seen by others) & by my old experience

We hired a vehicle for three days and first checked into our hotel, freshened up before setting out for Gokak falls (this set back was due to me visiting hospital). You can take a direct train to Gokak town roam around for the day and later check in to a hotel in Belgaum. Since we had our own vehicle this gave us option to explore Godchinmalki falls as well.

Godchinmalki Falls

The Godachinmalki Falls located in a rugged valley enjoys a beautiful and exotic setting. Located within a green rugged valley formed by Markandeya river, it is approachable from Godachinmalki village by a short trek through an irregular forest route.  Another route is from Pachhapur via Mawanur, which is about 6 kms. It is 15 kilometres away from Gokak and 40 kilometres from Belgaum. This falls offers great time to play in the water which take a leap over a flat rock and fall from a height of around 10 feet where one can stand below the falling water to take a shower. we saw a decent number of crowd. But be careful of slippery surfaces and sometimes sudden flow.

Gokak Falls

Gokak falls is a known for its beauty. It is at distance of 60 Kms from Belgaum and 10 kms from Gokak town. The river Ghataprabha after winding a course of a long route takes a leap of 52 meters, over a rocky bed 170 feet down. The falls is famous for its spread and shape. During rainy season the thick reddish-brown water sweeps far over the brink of the cliff with a roar that can be heard from some distance. There is a sturdy rope bridge across river. If the dam is full and all flood gates are opened it’s a wonderful view. One needs to take the Hanging Bridge to cross the river. It’s a mighty waterfall. Crossing the fall through a hanging bridge was just awesome. The roaring sound of water makes it more thrilling. The slight rain added to excitement made it worth visiting. However, my bad luck, I was satisfied looking at photos☹.

Destination Facts

Location: Karnataka, District Belgaum

Languages spoken: Kannada, Marathi,English & Hindi(Very few people)

Temperature: Summer 22 to 40°C, Winter 12 to 33°C

Best season to visit: Monsoon (July to Oct)

Nearest Railway Station/Airport: Belgaum(Airport)/ Pachhapur Railway station

Eating Around: There are lot small vendors selling things close to falls, but no solid good restaurant. Best place to eat is in Belgaum.

Stay: There are hotels available for reasonable fare in Belgaum. Its ok to go and directly check-in into any of the hotels. It’s better to book early if you planning to visit during monsoon.

Reach: Frequent bus facility is available from Belgaum & Gokak and nearest railway station is Pachhapur, which is about 8 kilometers and good train facility is available from Belgaum to Miraj, all most all trains stops in Pachhapur railway station.

Other places close by: Within a 6 km radius there are two dams; one built across Ghataprabha river (Hidkal dam) and another one (Shirur Dam) across Markandeya river.

Cost for Entire 3 days Trip :3900 Rs Per person (include train fare, stay food and local commute vehicle cost)

 I met all of them at dinner time in hotel, we decided, I will accompany everyone next 2 days, while they explored Amboli Ghat. I mostly rested and didn’t walk much, but it was worth it.

Amboli Ghat Water Falls

 Amboli ghat water falls is close to 60 kms from Belgaum. I suggest not to go in weekend Esp. in Monsoon on Sunday’s. It’s just a one-road route, it becomes congested and too crowded on Sunday’s. We came back on Monday to enjoy in falls, but the sad part of coming back soon after weekend is, place and en-route is messier. Too much plastic waste is spoiling the beauty. No crowd control and no waste management in place.

As per me, Amboli is not just one place, its that entire road stretch, it’s so cloudy, misty, lush green beautiful. I enjoyed enroute more than Waterfalls (Yes, I wasn’t in a scenario to get into water). It a biodiversity hub (paradise for Macro Photography). Amboli is one of the world’s Eco Hot Spots and is home to unique flora and fauna. It’s in a stretch of Sahyadri’s. Its damn beautiful. Entire stretch was raining, as it was Sunday and place was overcrowded we decided to spend most time, towards Malvan. Our resort was in the border of Maharashtra and Goa Border. We spent our time peacefully in resort for the rest of the day. Even though we passed through the falls, we though we will come back on next day and enjoy as it won’t be crowded on weekday.

Next day morning, we started coming back in the same route. It was less crowded as it was weekday. Entire two days it was on and off rain, full stretch was cloudy we saw more than 12-13 waterfalls on the way. That drive was memorable. We had actually driven under the canopy of waterfalls. There are many of them. The biggest one is very famous and certainly the best. This high waterfall is encompassed by different waterfalls too and seeing the falling water and the encompassing greenery add to the excellence and appeal of the officially entrancing spot. There are steps to reach till the mid-point. Since it had rained well and water force was high, it was tough to go even on stairs. Water was pushing everyone down. Since it was on roadside I enjoyed from outside as I couldn’t get into water due to my cast.

Destination Facts

Location: Maharashtra, District Sindhudurg

Languages spoken:  Marathi, Hindi and English(Less people)

Temperature: Summer 22 to 40°C, Winter 12 to 33°C

Best season to visit: Monsoon (July to Oct)

Eating Around:  There are several small joints, small restaurants or stalls and they serve typical Konkani, Kolhapuri and Maharashtrian cuisine near the bus stand and police check post.

Stay: There are hotels available for reasonable fare in Belgaum. Amboli is not very well-developed tourist or a holiday destination like Lonavla. There are 4-5 home stay’s which are overpriced during season and weekends. I suggest staying in Sawanthwadi or Belgaum. Some nearby resorts are Nisarg resort, Whistling Woods, Silent Valley resort. Call them and book early and do negotiate price if you are in group.

Reach:

Train: You can travel by Konkan railway to the nearest station- Sawantwadi or take the other trains to Kolhapur, Sangli, Belgaum or Miraj. From these stations you can take Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation–KSRTC or Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation-MSRTC buses or a private car to reach Amboli.

Private car or taxi: Take this from Belgaum or Sawanthwadi to Amboli and will be also useful to travel around to visit the various attractions in and around Amboli

Other places close by: Within a few kms distance you will see Shirgaonkar Point, Sunset point, more than 10-12 waterfalls enroute.

Kavaleshet Point

 If you are in Amboli then Kavaleshet Point is a must visit site. Here you will see the reverse waterfall as water is dragged upwards due to force of wind beneath the valley during monsoon (May be sort of optical illusion). Due to fog my husband couldn’t identify the falls at all initially. Once the fog was cleared and rain had stopped, we could see big waterfall and some several small falls in the same vicinity. I had no idea of this place. Thanks to our local driver, who stopped and insisted we wait till rain stops and fog clears. From this fall you can see the breath-taking view of the endless valleys and small waterfalls. There are several small eating joints, small restaurants or stalls where you can get chai and vadapav.

Post this beautiful 3 days in the midst of Sahyadri we begrudgingly headed back to Belgaum to catch our train to Bangalore.  we enjoyed visiting only some of these attractions. But from my memories, Amboli has picturesque views of the mountains, valleys, and waterfalls. A must tourist destination in the monsoons, reasonably priced(overall) and beautiful.

Special tip:

  • Stairs are slippery and stones are loose so take uttermost care while climbing and getting down the waterfalls.
  • In monsoons, water flows with force, make sure you enjoy waterfall safely.
  • In monsoon you get continuous rain, take extra pair of cloths and rain gear with you, Specifially- rain coat or umbrella.
  • DO NOT LITTER, people throw garbage at the same spot, don’t spoil the beauty of the waterfalls.
  • Do try to go out of the way into some villages, which are pristine and beautiful apart from main Amboli.

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