Apsarakonda Falls is a perfect destination to break free from the monotony of routine life. Set in a small village named Apsarakonda in Honnavar taluk of Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka the waterfall possesses enthralling beauty. The scenic location of the waterfall is situated near the Western coast of Karnataka and has a pristine beach in its vicinity apart from a tall hill and a lovely pond. All these elements of nature are enough to mesmerize anyone visiting the place.
The waterfall descends from a height of about 50 feet to a natural pond formed below it. The place is as famous for the sparkling waterfall as for the sunset view from the top of the hill. It is a captivating sight to observe the sun setting over the horizon spread beyond the vast stretch of the Arabian Sea.
This is also called as Pond of the Celestial Nymphs.
Apsarakonda: The Pond of Angels
Apsarakonda Falls is believed to be an ancient waterfall. The name Apsarakonda means ‘pond of the angels.’ The legend associated with the name of the waterfall is that it was the chosen place of the angels to take a bath and relax. Indeed, the beauty of the waterfall is so charming that one tends to believe that the place was the preferred bathing spot of the angels.
Reaching the base of the waterfall is an easy task. There is a well-established trail created by the tourism department. Steps have been built to make the trail easier for the public. The Tourism Department has beautified the place to increase its attraction and to make it easier for people to reach down to the waterfall.
A unique fact about the waterfall is that the water flows down through the roots of a peepal (sacred fig) tree while descending to the pond below. There are natural caves hidden from plain sight by the old tree. However, if one explores the roots of the tree the veiled caves reveal themselves. A layer of moss have made permanent place on the rocks and gives the place a queer look. There are also some huge caves located nearby that are one of the main attractions of the place.
Visitors love to enter and explore these caves. The caves are known as the Pandava caves. Legend has it that the Pandavas had stayed in these caves during the period of their exile. There are a few temples and a branch of the Ramachandra Mutt located near the waterfall and these places are also quite popular among the local people.
The crystal clear water allures people to enter the pond and enjoy a relaxing bath. Surrounded by the woods, the calm atmosphere of the place and the natural beauty of the falls is the perfect balm for frayed nerves.
Trekking to Apsarakonda Falls
The trek to Apsarakonda is an easy one as the route is well marked. The main attraction of the trek is the scenic beauty of the place. The hillock of Apsarakonda is also a place blessed with immense natural beauty. The viewpoint located on the hillock is at a short distance from the waterfall and offers some breath taking views of the Arabian Sea and the beach.
The base of the waterfall can be reached by climbing down a trail of a few hundred feet.
The trail of Apsarakonda Falls is ideal for those trekkers who prefer to enjoy a trail without much difficulty.
Best time to visit Apsarakonda Falls
The best time to visit the waterfall is during the monsoon season, i.e., from June to October. The volume of water flowing down the falls is at its highest at that time. However, visitors may have to endure rains while trekking to the falls. The rocks become slippery in the rain and hence caution must be exercised. Also, the weather at that time is hot as the waterfall lies in the coastal belt of Karnataka.
For those who do not wish to visit the waterfall during the rainy season, the best time to visit is from October to February. Though the volume of water flow decreases to an extent, the pleasant weather enhances the charm of the visit and the trek.
Nearby tourist attractions
There are several tourist attractions situated in the nearby regions of the waterfall. Some of the popular attractions frequented by tourists are:
Colonel Hill: It is a popular tourist attraction in Honnavar. Situated on top of a hillock standing by the side of NH – 17 this 30 meter tall column has been a source of interest for people right from the beginning. The column was constructed to honor the memory of Colonel Hill who died at Gersoppa while commanding the Mysore Division. The column dates back to 1845 and it was installed by the 14th Madras Native Infantry at the behest of the East India Company.
Higund: Higund is a lovely island situated at a distance of about 3 km from the Honnavar – Bangalore National Highway. The island is on River Sharavathi and is located just before the river joins the Arabian Sea. The island is flocked by tourists for its natural beauty and for experiencing amazing sunset views.
Rama Tirtha: It is a beautiful water tank located on the Honnavar-Chandavar road. The tank is situated below the ground level and can be reached by climbing down around 50 steps. The interesting thing to do at this location is to watch the water falling into the tank from a height. The water falls from two points known as Rama tirtha and Laxman tirtha. Legend has it that the holy water tank is the place where Lord Rama and his younger brother Laxman had taken a dip during their exile of 14 years.
Kasarkod Beach: The pristine Kasarkod Beach is one of the main attractions of Honnavar. Located at a distance of 2 km from Honnavar the sandy beach spreads over 5 km in length. The golden sand, the huge waves and the picturesque beauty of the place attracts tourist to this beach throughout the year.
Basavaraja Durga: It is a fortified island located in the Arabian Sea. The island can be reached by a boat or a launch. Spread over an area of 19 hectares the ancient fort was constructed during the time of the Vijayanagar Empire. In the year 1690 the ruler of Keladi Nayaka kingdom, Shivappa Nayaka captured the fort and named it as Basavaraja Durga in memory of the prince of Keladi, Basavaraja.
How to reach Apsarakonda Falls
Apsarakonda Falls is easily accessible as there are several means of getting to the place. Apsarakonda Falls is approx 6 km from Honnavar. To reach Apsarakonda visitors can opt for any of these routes and means.
The nearest airport to reach Apsarakonda Falls is located at Hubli. The distance between the airport and the waterfall is more than 140 km. As such, visitors have to hire cabs or take buses to reach the waterfall.
The nearest railway station to reach the waterfall is located in Honnavar. From Honnavar visitors can access local means of transport to reach the waterfall.
There are regular bus services from Bangalore and other places to Honnavar. From Honnavar there are buses that carry passengers to the Apsarakonda Falls. However, such buses are not very frequent. Visitors can also hire private vehicles to reach the waterfall from Honnavar and other places situated nearby.