Sural : A Waterfalls of Beloved
Sural waterfalls popularly known as Surala waterfalls is one of the beautiful waterfalls in the Belgaum district. The waterfalls is surrounded by thick western ghats, the water cascades from a height of 300 feet into a deep gorge, surrounded by horseshoe shape valley.it is known as Venezuela of Karnataka
Festival of Lights Deepavali was round the corner, Celebrating differently is always great, to escape from the deafening sound, pollution and daily grind of city life, I, my cousin Ram and Friend Chandru decided to set out and spend a few days in the green environs. After rigorous plans, we were out with our backpacks. The destination was Sural Waterfalls.
Nestling amidst the verdant forests of Western Ghats and sandwiched between the state of Goa and Karnataka, about 32 km from Khanapur in the Belgaum district of Karnataka. Although Sural falls is a picturesque waterfall in the district, which has earned a sobriquet ' Venezuela of Karnataka '. It is been overshadowed by the more popular and world-famous Gokak waterfalls. Sural waterfalls locally in Kokani language are known as Ladkyacho Vozar - A Waterfalls of Beloved is still pristine, calm, and not choked.!
We landed at Khanapur, a small town in the wee hours of one Sunday morning. After purchasing the necessary things we boarded the jeep to Jhamboti, a small hamlet, and from there a rickety bus transported us to Sural which lies on the Belgaum - Goa Highway. From there the distance to waterfalls is just 12 km. Although there is a motorable road, we resolved to hike through the Jungle. It was a perfect day for our weekend trek with blue sky and forest lush green with the earthy fragrance lingering in the air. Unmindful of the passage of time, we made our own trail and walked through the forest. The path ended after walking 3 km and we reached an open ground which serves as a vantage point to view the waterfalls. From here we had a grand bird's view of Sural Waterfalls and breathtaking view of Valley down below.
To savor the waterfalls in all its splendor, you have to trek downhill through the dense forest with a clear path to the Waterfalls. This is a difficult task indeed, but not for the sheer adventurous!
You can accomplish it by finding your own way only if you are brave-hearted and have an uncanny sense of direction. But for the wayward, it is better to go with a localite or you can get lost as we did!
From the viewpoint after 2 hours of a steep descent through thorny bushes, sliding now and then on slippery rocks we were at the bottom of the Waterfalls with a huge pool of water, deep down in the hear of the forest with no view of the falls. We could feel the cool breeze embrace us, even as we approached the place. After trekking downstream on the rocky bed we decided to spend the night there and pitched our tents beside the swift-flowing Kalasa river.
The eerie silence after the sunset and night befell gripped our ears. The serene quietness was only disturbed by the occasional chirping of birds preparing for bedtime, the never-ending music of the beetles for company. Kalasa river originating in the ghats after joining some unknown streams in the dense forest converge near Sural and leap down from the state of Karnataka to Goa about 300 feet to make it a picturesque spot before joining Mandovi river in Goa. The river cascading down at great speed to a gorge below is a sight to behold with the roar of the falls reaching deafening proportions.
The next day, after taking a detour we decided to trek to the top of the waterfalls and beyond, which only a few hard ones among the visitors undertake. The sound of the downstream flowing past boulders smoothened by the eternal flow was soothing to the ears, even as the body responded to the steep climb with aches all over.
We negotiated, the Kalasa waterfalls with cascades, about 12 feet high, the jade green water was crystal clear. Hopping from boulder to boulder was a challenge, to avoid deep pools.
When the roar of the Water reached a crescendo we knew were very close to the foot of the falls. We were totally unprepared for what followed next. Bright sunshine over the falls had created a brilliant rainbow in almost a full circle like a lovely painting over a vast canvas.
As we climbed higher over the steep hiking path along the falls, the rainbow seemed to follow us, inviting us to look back, again and again, unmindful of the hazards of slipping down. Once we reached the top we wondered how a small stream could produce such a great visual impact below.
However, the panoramic view of the Horseshoe shaped canyon, that was visible from the viewpoint was worthwhile the climb. The forest is rich in flora and fauna, a wide range of wildlife can be spotted here. Visits to this place during the rainy season are bothersome due to an abundance of leeches. After crossing the streams and hopping on boulders with several twists and turns, the sound of the water began to intensify. We knew we were close to our destination, the forest oped out into a clearing and lo !. We were finally at the top, the orifice of the Waterfalls. The golden light kissing the canopy, we could spot a Crested serpent eagle soaring high in the valley. We sat gazing at the valley, lost time to the tune of the waterfalls. The loud roar of the falls and in absolute remoteness was a bliss.
We camped by the river of the Waterfalls, cooked food early for the night before sunset. The golden glow of rocks, the sound of slow-flowing jutting rocks was soothing for the mind, body, and soul. The night was the cold and clear star-studded sky. Morning, as usual, woke early, to the call of the Malabar whistling thrush from the bushes.
Controversial Kalasa river diversion to Bhanduri and the state government initiative to construct the dam has raised a hue and cry. The matter of concern is with the construction of the dam the glory of the Waterfalls would disappear forever.
After rejuvenating ourselves in the flowing stream, and filling our lungs with enough fresh air, we trudged back to Kankumbi - Sural with pleasant memories that will stay forever.
Fact File And Trivia
How to get there
Khanapur is the nearest railhead.
Take Rani Chennamma Express, Bangalore to Kolhapur and alight at Khanapur
State-run KSRTC and private buses operate overnight to Belgaum city from all major cities Hubli/ Bangalore/Mysore of Karnataka
Both Jeeps and local buses ply regularly to Jhamboti, Kanakumbi, and Sural located on the Goa highway. You can approach Sural from Goa side which is approximately 60 km from Mapusa and Panjim town.
Belgaum Airport in Karnataka and Dabolim Airport in Goa are the nearest Airports.
Best Season to visit Sural Waterfalls
Avoid Monsoons, mid-September to January would be the ideal time to visit this place.
Where to Stay
Forest Cover is the Camping site. If you are adventurous and if you are not looking at luxury comforts.
Wildernest Nature Resort is just 15 km from here.
Delta Ecohuts which is 15 km from here