Bandaje Falls is located in the picturesque Charmadi Ghat section of Western Ghats in the Belthangady taluk of Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka. It is one of the most magnificent natural treasures of the Western Ghats hidden among a blanket of greenery on top of the hills. The majestic waterfall is as famous for its natural beauty as for being a junction of various trek routes.
Bandaje Falls is locally known as Bandaje Arbi as Arbi is the term used to describe a waterfall in the local Kannada language.
Bandaje Falls – A nature lover’s paradise
The beauty of Bandaje Falls can captivate anyone. The waterfall is believed to be situated at a height of 700 meters above the sea level. It plunges 200 feet from the hilltop and is a surreal sight to behold. The waterfall continues its journey downhill as a single stream to join the river Netravathi as a tributary.
The scenic setting of the waterfall intensifies during the sunset. The sky is filled with various colors and the setting sun makes the waterfall look even more amazing. The best part about the waterfalls is that the spot is neat and clean and nature still wears an unspoiled look in these areas.
The place is less frequented than the other tourist destinations as the uphill journey to reach the waterfall is quite strenuous. The only way to reach the falls is through trekking and that requires a lot of energy, determination and love for adventure.
Bandaje Arbi Falls – A trekker’s delight
Bandaje Falls is well-known among the trekkers as the uphill trek to the beautiful waterfall is an amazing experience in itself. The trek routes wind through the lush green forest and large tropical trees of the Charmadi Ghat. The trek generally starts from Valambra near Somanthadka village at the base of the hills. The uphill journey passes through a difficult terrain but the surrounding natural environ is a pleasure for the eyes.
Many trekkers tire out before reaching the falls at the end of the 15 km long trek. As the trek nears the site of the fall the journey becomes more complicated and tiring. But those who manage to reach the top are amply rewarded by the splendid sight of the waterfall that rejuvenates the spirit of the tired souls immediately.
The trek usually takes four to five hours to reach the base of the falls and one has to cross the stream created by the water of the falls before reaching it. The waterfall attracts trekkers throughout the year.
There are local village guides who usually help the trekkers to reach their destination against a payment of 300 to 500 rupees.
Bandaje Falls – Nearby attraction
A major attraction near the waterfall is the Ballalarayana Durg fort. It requires a two hour trek from the Bandaje Falls to reach the ancient fort. The fort was constructed by the mighty Hoysala Kings and was later plundered.
Today the secluded fort stands in a ruined condition. Situated at the top of a mountain peak and surrounded by dense greenery the fort presents a mysterious aura and draws visitors towards it. The remnants of the fort offer a glimpse into the bygone era. The view from atop the fort towers is enthralling.
Accommodation Options for Tourists near Bandaje Falls
Since the waterfall is located within dense jungles of the Western Ghats, there is no arrangement for tourists to stay near the falls. But the natural site offers enough space for everyone to enjoy a camping adventure in the beautiful environs with the sound of the gushing water as music for the ears. Proper camping equipment must be carried for a night out in the forest. It is the ideal place for adventure lovers to have an exciting time.
How to reach
Mangalore International Airport is the nearest airport to reach Bandage. The railway station at Mangalore is the nearest major railway station.
Visitors can travel to Ujire from Mangalore, which is at a distance of 65 kms. From Ujire one has to reach the Somanthadka village and proceed towards Kadirudyavara. From there one has to travel only a short distance to reach Valambra, the point from where the trekking journey begins. The best way to reach Valambra from Mangalore or Bangalore is to take a private or hired vehicle.