Dec 27, 2010

Lalgulli Falls. Where is it?

Search for Lalguli Falls and you get a dozen results. Most sites give the same information: Lalguli Falls is in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. It is 13kms from Yellapur. One favorite line used in many is "Lalguli Falls attracts thousands of visitors every year." None of the blogs give directions. There's one common picture of the falls floating around on all sites which I doubt is Lalguli Falls.

We went on a trip in February 2010 and ended up disappointed. Reasons: we did not reach the falls because we were told it was a long trek through rough terrain and there would be no water at this time of the year. We realized September to October would be the ideal time to visit any of the waterfalls in Yellapur region.

We planned another trip mid November. Neelkant and I drove down to Lalguli village via Haliyal, Bhagawathi, Kannigeri and Vadehukli.

straight to Yellapur
turn right to reach Vadehukli and Kannigeri


two minute stop


Agriculture Department Board at Vadehukli

At Lalguli village we spoke to Khaitan Degasiddi Lalguli, tribal with roots in Africa.


The Siddi told us that Lalguli falls is a 6+ kilometer trek through the forest and there are many elephants, it's dangerous. Then he said that the falls is closer to Tatval, a hamlet on Haliyal-Kannigeri road. Directions given to us: just after Tatval you see a bridge, little ahead is a forest check-post, ask the forest guard for directions. Lalguli falls is just 2 kilometer trek from the check-post. The alternate sounded doable and we were happy that somebody is guiding with the right info. We thanked our Siddi friend and left.


We drove back towards Kannigeri and then to Tatval.


We stopped at the Tatval, we could see a small arch dedicated to Ravalnath temple. Right besides the arch is a Dargah. A local man told us to visit the temple, we made a quick visit since we were eager to find Lalguli Falls. We found the forest check-post and a young forest guard who had just got out of the bed. This guy had not even heard the name "Lalguli". Our hopes down. He told us to inquire at another check-post further up the road. Fine. The next check-post was deserted. No sign of anybody near by.

I remembered seeing a board pointing directions to Tattihalla Forest Training Center.


I imagined that forest officers could have good knowledge about the area and we decided to go and inquire. The road also connects to Tattihalla Dam & Reservoir... we thought we'll see it first and then come back to the Forest Training Center.


At Tattihalla Dam, we found the gates open, no guards in sight but a few workers were cleaning weeds, they let us in. We walked about 100 meters, Sun was blazing, air was thick with humidity, we were hungry, back to the car. We had bread, jam and chatni.


We came down the road parked the car close to the second entrance to the dam. We went up the steps leading to the top of the dam wall. Photography was banned here :( At the top, a guard was shocked to see us. He told us if any officer turns up he would loose his job. We spent a few minutes trying to absorb the dam's statistics.


As we reached Tattihalla Forest Training Center we found this person closing the gate. Demanna, from Bagavathi. A short chat revealed he frequented the training center. We also inquired the route to Ambikanagar just in case we do not learn anything useful about Lalguli falls. Demanna introduced us to one of the junior staff. The officer was in-charge of the center, Mr.Barretto, Assistant Conservator of Forests, was in his office. Mr.Barretto said that he had visited Lalgulli Falls, it's a 3km trek from lalguli village. Now I was totally confused. Where on this Earth is Lalguli Falls?? Anyway, we thanked Mr.Barretto and drove towards Ambikanagar.

We turned left at Bagavathi towards Ambikanagar.


A four way junction. Our destination to the left. At Ambikanagar we met the security chief, we wanted permission to visit Skykes Point and Kavala caves. Sorry. Public not allowed without reference from a working KPTCL staff. The officer told us security is tight because of terrorists' threat. Disappointment again. We drove out of Ambikanagar...


The muddy waters of River Kali. I used to wonder why it's always so muddy.


We were hungry, we located Erappana Lingayat Khanavali, about 100m from Rani Chennamma Circle, Dandeli. The khanavali owner's one year old girl came out from the kitchen covered in flour :) ...she actually was thrown out of the kitchen for troubling her mom. The jolada rotti meal was satisfying. I would definitely stop here if I ever need to stop for food at Dandeli. On inquiring for tourists spots nearby, khanavali owner suggested Moulangi ...river Kali.

The 6km drive took us almost half an hour. Yes, that's river Kali at Moulangi.


This is an ideal picnic spot for Dandeli people. One family had already set up an open air kitchen and another family who had just arrived were gathering firewood and setting up their kitchen. Neelkant and I were little sluggish... thanks to the meal. The Sun was too bright for comfort. We decided to head back home.

Back home I checked out Google maps ...postmortem of our trip. I located Lalguli village, Tatval, Tattihalla FTC and Moulangi. So Kalinadi is not really muddy until the stream joins at Maulangi. The small white strip running parallel to the orange stream is the road leading to Maulangi.


The entire week I broke my head over Lalguli...

.........

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