Koodlu Theertha Falls is a mesmerizing waterfall located near Hebri on Udupi-Agumbe Road in Karnataka. Nestled amidst the dense forest of the Western Ghats and adjacent to the Agumbe ranges the waterfall is the first fall of the River Sita. It is also known as Sita Falls.
The waterfall is known to be one of the most beautiful and most pristine falls in Karnataka by all standards.
The mesmerizing beauty of Koodlu Theertha Falls
The Koodlu Theertha is a spectacular waterfall that descends from a height of about 300 feet. It plunges straight into a pond. Legend has it that thousands of years ago sages used to meditate near the place where the pond exists today. As such, the local people consider the water of the pond to be very holy.
Apart from the scenic beauty of the water taking a deep plunge from the mountains above, the place is also known for its serene atmosphere. The calm and tranquillity found near the waterfall is only disturbed by the roar of the water falling from the high position. Else, the uninhabited area is a place that is far removed from the hustle bustle of city life and nature seems to rule over the place.
The pond where the water drops down is not very deep. Visitors can walk to a point where they can actually stand beneath the falling water and enjoy a refreshing bath. However, since the water falls from a great height, it drops down with immense force. As such, when the water strikes your head it feels like nails are being driven into your head. This is why visitors need to exercise caution while putting their head under a thick stream of water.
Trekking to Koodlu Theertha Falls
Situated deep within the forest, Koodlu Theertha has remained as an isolated beauty that can only be reached by trekking through the dense forest. The trek route passes through the forest for some time before arriving at the banks of river Sita. In order to reach the waterfall trekkers have to cross the river Sita through a bridge built across it. The trek route penetrates further into the forest for about 4 km before it reaches a small stream. After crossing the stream and trekking for some more distance the fascinating Koodlu Theertha Falls unravels itself before the trekkers.
Though the trek is a long and tiring one and passes through a difficult terrain, the spectacular view of the waterfall rejuvenates trekkers and relieves them of their tiredness.
Best time to visit Koodlu Theertha Falls
Best time to visit the waterfall is during the months of August to December. This is the time when the flow of water is more in volume and the waterfall becomes more fascinating to watch.
Information for visitors
Since the waterfall is located deep within the forest area, there are no shops nearby. The nearest shops are located at Hebri. So, it is better to carry snacks and water while trekking to the waterfall.
The forest area is known to be infested with leeches, especially during the monsoon season. One easy way to ward off the leeches is by applying lime or salt. Local people also recommend the use of tobacco leaves for warding off the leeches.
During the rainy season the river Sita increases in volume. This results in flooding of the bridge used for crossing the river. As such, trekkers cannot use the bridge. This makes the trek route longer. The alternate route passes through a hilly terrain that extends over 1.5 km and makes the trek longer by about 30 minutes.
An interesting piece of information is that there is another waterfall in the region above the Koodlu Theertha Falls, situated deep within the forest. It is called Manga Theertha which means Monkey Theertha. It is named so as it is believed that only monkeys can reach this waterfall. The path is very steep and leads to deep inside the forest.
Attractions near the Koodlu Theertha Falls
There are several tourist attractions situated in the areas surrounding the Koodlu Theertha waterfall. A few popular attractions are:
Agumbe: Agumbe is a picturesque village located at a distance of about 20 km from the waterfall. The village is famous as the Cherrapunji of South India as it receives heavy rainfall. Agumbe has the only permanent rainforest research station in India, known as the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station. There are verdant forests and spectacular waterfalls in the areas surrounding Agumbe.
Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary: The Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Udupi district and is covered by semi-green and evergreen forests. The sanctuary has a large reserve of animals, birds and reptiles.
Seeta Nadi: Seeta Nadi is a small town located at a distance of about 6 km from Hebri. The place is known for the Seeta Nadi Nature Camp or Seeta Nadi Nisargha Dhama that offers a chance to adventure seekers to enjoy various exciting activities like white water rafting, boating, etc.
Sringeri: It is a hill town located in the Chikmagalur district. It is a famous pilgrim centre as it is the place where the first matha was established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century CE. The place is well known for a number of historic temples like Sri Sharadamba Temple, Sri Vidyashankara Temple, etc.
Kaup Beach: It is one of the fascinating coastal belts in India. The beach is located at a distance of 12 km from Udupi. Highlights of the place include a 100 feet high lighthouse situated on a small hill and the lovely surroundings dotted with palm trees. The place is ideal for witnessing beautiful sunsets.
Malpe Beach: Located at a distance of 6 km from Udupi the Malpe Beach is one of the main tourist attractions of the region. The beach lies at the mouth of Malpe or Udyavara River. The beach has a fishing harbour with ferryboats. Visitors can engage in various recreational activities like boating, fishing and bathing in the water.
How to reach Koodlu Theertha Falls, Agumbe
Koodlu Theertha Falls can be easily reached from Hebri. There are several means of transport to reach Hebri from various parts of Karnataka.
Hebri has no airport of its own. The nearest airport is the Mangalore Airport that stands at a distance of 63 km form Hebri. From Hebri there are mini buses available for taking visitors to near Dargas. From the Dargas stoppage the rest of the journey to the waterfall is covered by trekking.
The nearest railway station to reach Hebri is located at Udupi. From Udupi buses are available for reaching Hebri and then proceeding towards the waterfall.
There are several buses that connect Hebri to many other towns and cities of Karnataka. There are direct buses that operate between Bangalore and Hebri. From Hebri local means of transport like the mini buses are available for reaching the spot from where trekking for the waterfall begins.
Visitors with private vehicles have the advantage of entering the forest for some distance in the vehicle. However, after a certain point the distance to the waterfall is to be covered on foot.