Exploring Ganapati Gudda and Urmi Gudda Waterfalls

Exploring Ganapati Gudda and Urmi Gudda Waterfalls

Western ghats of Karnataka hides many unexplored waterfalls. Ganapati Gudda and Urmi gudda falls comes under this category. I, Vishwanath and Ananth made all required plans to explore these gems on same day.

Ganapati Gudda Falls - We have reached the remote village in the western ghats in the early morning around 7:30 AM, which is situated near the base of Ganapati Gudda. The localite Nagesh was waiting for us to host. After refresh and having breakfast, we started trek to the falls at 9 AM. As Nagesh was busy for the preparation of Deepawali festival, Manju and Umesh took the lead. Under the guidance of them, an hour of gradual uphill in the forest, we reached the waterfall. The last 10 minutes was a gradual descent which took us to the bottom of the falls. It’s a widespread waterfall hops from a wide ~150 feet gigantic rock boulders, with an estimated ~130 feet height. This beautiful fall filled our sight. We were overwhelmed by its beauty surrounded by thick vegetation. We took shower in the roaring falls clicking photos and admiring the prettiness.

This waterfall is also known as ‘Haavu Haarida Kallu’ (Rock where the snakes hopped). The antiquity goes like - Earlier days the God Ganapati mandir was at the top of the Ganapati gudda. The priest used to go daily to offer pooja from the village at the base. As it’s a difficult task to ascend and descent the valley to worship, the priest prayed god on these challenges. The god Ganapati appeared in his dream and informed he would come down from the hillock with mud pot and shows where to host, in his dream. Now there is a temple in the village at the base of the Ganapati Gudda where lord appeared as in Priest’s dream. As god moved from original place, the aged snakes were searching for the god at the hillock and couldn’t find. In the traverse they thrashed to the rock boulders and hopped from there to the stream. Hence named ‘Haavu haarida Kallu’.

After spending 90 minutes in the falls, taking shower and enjoying the surrounding serene, we started return trek. We were at the base by 12:15 PM.

Urmi Gudda Falls - After lunch, our plan was to trek to Urmi Gudda falls. This fall is hidden in the lap of Urmi Gudda which is ajacent to Ganapati Gudda. We started at 2 PM and Nagesh led the way to this fall. There is no path to this fall. Only experienced localities like Nagesh, who well versed with the area, can only help to reach this fall.  Without localities there is high possibility that one would lose in this dense forest. After an hour of gradual uphill, we reached the falls. This is in the deep forest surrounded by thick foliage. This is a multi-tier falls with an estimated height of ~300 feet high. We couldn’t venture to climb to the 2nd and 3rd stage due to slippery rocks. The last stage of the falls is beautiful. We took shower and relaxed for some time.

Madi means clean in Kannada. The water is so clean and whitish and hence this falls is also named Madina hole falls.

Post spending some time, we started return trek. There was a confusion on the return track and Nagesh was able to find the right path and we reached the base at 5 PM.

Venturing this fall in monsoon is a tough challenge.

Evening, we got time to explore around. The view of Ganapati gudda from the base looks awesome. Had spent some time taking snaps of kids playing around.

@Night – As we were visited during the first day of Deepavali, we got an opportunity to witness the tradition of the 1st day of celebration. Off course we were guests in Nagesh’s house. Bhoomi pooja (worship) and Tulasi pooja (worship) being offered for the first day. As bhoomi pooja, the localities offer pooja to the bhoomi (land). People in the night visit their land and worship by enchanting in kannada local slang ‘Holi kotri, bali tagondri, ballin devru tamma rajyakke taave vaapas bandru…ho yo..”. Meaning God has provided crops, we took it off but still god has returned to his kingdom to provide more prosperity….hail to god”. This is a means of gratitude to mother nature. This was a memorable moment as we were also accompanied them for reverence. 

A day well spent and memorable for a long time.  Our gratitude to Nagesh, Manju and Umesh who assisted us to explore and witness the beauty of these hidden gems.