Unchalli Falls / Lushington Falls
Unchalli Falls is yet another breathtaking waterfall located in the North Karnataka region (near Sirsi). These falls are formed when water from River Aghanashini descends down 380 feet. At the top of the waterfalls, the river flows down through a narrow water path that surrounded by thick green forests on both sides. The width of the river gradually broadens as the water gushes down, eventually forming a wide and beautiful waterfalls. The triangular shape of the waterfalls is something that distinguishes Unchalli Falls from the rest.
Unchalli Falls is also called as Lushington Falls. This name is after the then District Collector (from British Government), J D Lushington, who discovered the falls in 1840s. The falls is located at about 35 km from Sirsi. The best way to reach Unchalli Falls is to hire a taxi/car, and drive to the falls. From Sirsi, you can drive towards Kumta, until you reach Aminhalli. From there, you have to turn towards Heggarane. The falls is around 4 km from Heggarane.
A small signboard welcomes you to Unchalli Falls. From the parking lot, a steep downhill trek of about 500 meters will take you to the first view point. The view of the falls from this view point is awesome. You can also hear the loud noise of water gushing down the narrow path on the top of the falls before it spreads wider and rushes down. If you have the habit of listening to nature carefully, you can even distinguish the sounds of water flowing through the narrow path before the fall, and the sound of the fall itself. Together, the sound is so deafening that sometimes the falls is also called Keppa Joga (deafening Jog falls) (Keppa literally means deaf in the local language, Kannada).
If you get to Unchalli falls on a misty morning, the view from first view point may be blocked by clouds. If you trek a little further down on the muddy pathway, you will reach a second view point. The view of the waterfalls from the second view point is very clear, even on a cloudy day. You can still go further down and reach the base of the waterfalls. However, there is no clear route (neither marked nor created by prior trekkers). Locals advice not to visit the base of the falls, as there are a lots of leeches and venomous snakes in this area. They strictly discourage camping at the base for the same reason. Overall, the advice is to see and enjoy the beauty of the waterfall from the viewpoints itself, and if you want to get into and play in the water, then you can visit one of the many other waterfalls in the vicinity.
If you are planning to visit Unchalli Falls, make sure you have enough stock of snacks/water with you. There are hardly any shops or restaurants in the vicinity. Unchalli Falls is not very well-known, and hence you should not be surprised if you have all of the place for yourself! If you are in or around Sirsi or Murudeshwar/Gokarna, you can easily fit Unchalli Falls into your itinerary!
Where to stay?
- Sirsi (35 km)
- Few guest houses near Jog Falls (55 km)
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