Continuing the streak of visits to naturistic places, I intended to do the same for meeting my high school friends and with the help of dad’s recommendation – an expert with the places in the district – we chose to make a visit to Sathodi falls. Also, since my trip to India this time was stained by some unfortunate events, I intended that this visit be to a pure nature place. It had been more than a year since I had met my friends and I was looking forward for the meet too.
My friends and I decided to meet at Yellapur and drive together to Sathodi falls. Kshiteesh and Sheetal left from Sirsi in a bus and I drove from Hubli. Lately, due to constructions/revamping in the city, the roads in Hubli are so bumpy that I took around 20 mins to get out of the city even though it was a straightforward short stretch. We left our places at the same time (9:55 AM) and reached Yellapur at the same time too (11:15 AM). The road to Yellapur was excellent and I was impressed with the standards maintained such as solid lines in the curves to denote the avoidance of passing, etc. I picked my friends from the bus-stand and we started our 25 kms journey to the falls. I specifically call it a journey since it included the drive through forest in non existent paved roads at few places which took us more than an hour to complete. Even though there were few steep sections of mud road, it was relatively simple as we were traveling downhill. We were hoping not to encounter more oncoming vehicles. One motorcyclist came very close and touched the side of the car. He was trying to pass a 4-wheeler in a curve. Kshiteesh dramatically explained the horror on his face he had when he was right in front of our car. Only the last section of 4 kms was paved and traversed beside the Kodasalli reservior.
We reached the falls at 12:37 PM and I was surprised to see that there was a food shop, canteen, changing and rest room at the spot. We took our backpacks with food and started walking to the falls. The first stretch till the water was on raised platform with railings on either side. After a 3/4th km on this stretch we were at the banks of the river and could see the waterfalls in the distance.
I had visited this place before and was confident that we could go stand under the falls. Unlike the easy walk on the first stretch, the next section till the falls was spent balancing and hopping from one rock to other. En route we could see multiple cascades from different angles and gaped at its beauty. I came to know after the trip that its called mini Niagara of Uttara-Kannada. A beautiful waterfalls amidst a thick hilly forest, it was Uttar-Kannada at its best. The stream dropped 50 feet keeping a steady gushing sound which then joins Kali river. It was interesting to know that it was perennial. We hardly touched the water and carefully navigated till the prominent left most cascade. I took no time to get under the falls and got drenched in the cold water completely. It was very slippery and I didn’t dare to get under the full force of water. After some time, we retreated and sat to have some snacks. Kshiteesh kept pulling Sheetal’s leg for getting salt sprinkled apples while I thoroughly enjoyed eating apples, guava and biscuits. Though there was a constant gushing sound, it was peaceful and I felt nice spending time there overlooking the falls.
While returning to the raised platform, we spotted a snake moving right beside us which added to our wild adventures. After spending few minutes under the sun to dry ourselves, we went to the canteen and had Upma. The dogs there barked heavily whenever I changed my position and a monkey came too close for my comfort. I changed my clothes and then started our drive back. I was driving a front wheel drive and the experience made it quite evident that I needed a 4WD. During the steep muddy sections the tires used to skid and at one place I had to reverse and try navigating differently. All in all, it was a fun adventure for us all.
I dropped my friends at Yellapur bus-stand and started my drive back. The roads were relatively empty and I had amazing fun driving on the curvy roads. It was a great day out in the nature with friends. Sheetal later told me that she loved the time spent in nature and I am glad I introduced hiking and nature to my friends.
- Sathodi falls is 25 kms from Yeallpur which might take more than an hour depending on vehicle and roads.
- Be very wary of taking a non 4WD during the rainy season.
- There is a food shop, canteen, restroom and changing room near the entrance to the falls.