The tough one

Bandaje falls is formed by a tributary of Netravathi river and is located in a remote area of western ghats, which can be reached through trekking with the help of guides. The height of waterfalls is about 200 feet. The path to Bandaje falls from Valambra goes through a thick evergreen forest which ends in grasslands and those who trek without a guide are likely to be lost in the forest.

To visit Bandaje Falls, there are two different routes. If you are traveling via Mangalore – Ujire, it is located 25 km from Ujire. Travel 6 km from Ujire towards Charmadi Ghat, take left at Somanthadka, travel for another 6 km, then take a right turn, and travel for 2 km to find a village named kadirudyavara, from where you can have the remote view of the Falls. However, you have to trek for 10 more km from Kadirudyavara to reach the falls. Locally this falls is called as Bandaje Arbi, where Arbi means falls in Tulu language. Permission from Belthangady wildlife range office, Kudremukh national park is required to trek to Bandaje falls.

The trekking route literally tests the trekkers’ strength and determination. We planned to drop the idea half way through considering the long and tough route ahead.

Its almost 15-kilometre journey to reach the hill top from the basement. However, a spectacular visual treat awaited us on the mid-way. Bandaje falls, which is considered as the best waterfall in Belthangady taluk is located in Bandaje hill offering relaxation. In fact, several trekkers trek on Bandaje only to view the amazing beauty of Bandaje falls. The falls is situated 700 meters above the sea level and flows as a single stream and falls from approximately 400 meters height in between the valley of the Western Ghat. It then flows as one of the tributaries of River Nethravati.

On the way to the falls, we found a stream formed by the water generated from the waterfall. We had to trek for four to five hours to reach the base of the waterfall. The trekking journey was more complicated further as we moved towards the source of Bandaje falls. Another major attraction in Bandaje is an ancient fort, Ballala Rayana Durga, which is about two-hour trek from the waterfall. The fort was built by Hoysala Kings and was plundered later. At present the fort is in a dilapidated condition, nevertheless, we went to watch the remains of the bygone era.

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