Nestled in the heart of the Western Ghats, the picturesque state of Karnataka boasts a treasure trove of natural wonders, and Hebbe Falls is a shining gem among them. Hidden in the lush forests of Chikmagalur district, Hebbe Falls is a breathtaking cascade that combines the beauty of pristine nature with an adventurous journey. In this blog, we’ll embark on an exploration of this stunning waterfall, covering everything you need to know for a memorable visit.
Journey to Hebbe Falls
It is not just a destination; it’s an adventure that begins long before you reach the falls.
Base Camp: Chikmagalur
Your journey begins in Chikmagalur, a charming town known for its coffee plantations and as the gateway to many natural wonders.
The Scenic Drive
To reach Hebbe Falls, you must traverse winding roads through the dense Western Ghats. The journey itself is an enchanting experience, with each turn offering glimpses of the mesmerizing landscape.
The Final Stretch: Jeep or Trek
The last leg of your journey is an off-road adventure. The forest department doesn’t allow personal vehicles beyond a certain point. You can either opt for a thrilling jeep ride or choose to trek to the falls. The trekking path is about 8 kilometres and provides a more intimate connection with the surroundings.
The Enchantment of Hebbe Falls
As you approach here, you’ll start to hear the gushing sound of water, a melody that grows louder with every step. Finally, you’ll experience the mesmerizing view of the beautiful Falls, a two-tiered cascade that tumbles from a height of 551 feet.
Doddabeva and Chikkabeva
People often refer to this Falls as two falls – Doddabeva (big falls) and Chikkabeva (small falls). Doddabeva is the larger of the two and plunges directly into a large pool while Chikkabeva, a short distance away, is equally charming with its own pool.
Swimming and Photography
The pristine waters at the base of Falls offer a refreshing opportunity to take a dip. Lush greenery surrounds the natural pool, creating a delightful place for relaxation and unwinding.
Surrounded by Nature
Thick forests surround the falls, and you might spot various avian species and butterflies in the vicinity. Keep an eye out for the endemic and rare Neelakurinji flower that blooms once every 12 years.
Places to Visit near Hebbe Falls
Situated in the Chikmagalur district of Karnataka, which is surrounded by several other wonderful places to explore. Here are some nearby attractions and places to visit:
Kemmangundi: Also known as “KR Hills,” Kemmangundi is a hill station located around 22 kilometers from Falls. It offers lush gardens, scenic viewpoints, and the Kalhattagiri Falls. The area is known for its stunning landscapes and pleasant climate.
Mullayanagiri: As one of the highest peaks in Karnataka, Mullayanagiri is a popular trekking destination. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and is approximately 50 kilometers from Falls location.
Baba Budangiri: The revered Sufi saint Baba Budan lends his name to this range of hills. These hills are famous for their picturesque landscapes and pilgrimage sites, including the renowned Dattatreya Peetha, which provides panoramic views of the Western Ghats.
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary: Located about 45 kilometers from Falls, this sanctuary is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. It’s home to various species of animals, including tigers, leopards, elephants, and numerous bird species.
Chikmagalur Town: The charming town of Chikmagalur itself is worth exploring. The region is celebrated for its coffee plantations and boasts several attractions, such as the Coffee Museum, Mullayanagiri Peak, and the serene Hirekolale Lake.
Shimoga: If you wish to explore further, Shimoga, a larger city situated approximately 130 kilometers away, is known for its rich cultural heritage, temples, and the scenic Jog Falls.
Kudremukh National Park: About a 2-3 hour drive from Hebbe, Kudremukh is famous for its lush green hills, diverse wildlife, and trekking trails. The name “Kudremukh” translates to “horse face” and is inspired by the unique shape of the hills.
Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple: This temple, dedicated to the goddess Annapoorneshwari, is a popular pilgrimage site and is located about 100 kilometers from Hebbe. The temple is famous for its tranquil surroundings and spiritual atmosphere.
How To Reach Hebbe Falls
By road: Situated approximately 10 km away from Kemmangundi, a well-known hill station in Karnataka, it offers a serene experience. One way to reach there is by road from Bangalore. You can drive to Kemmangundi from Bangalore, which is approximately a 276 km journey. From Kemmangundi, you can either walk or hire a four-wheeler to reach, which is inside a coffee estate.
By train: The closest railway station to Hebbe Falls is Tarikere, located approximately 34 km away. From Tarikere, you can hire a taxi or take a local transport to Kemmangundi, and then proceed to falls.
By air: The nearest airport is Mangaluru Airport, which is around 218 km away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or use public transport to reach Kemmangundi, and then continue.
Please note that reaching there requires a combination of road and trekking. It is recommended to check the road and weather conditions and plan your visit accordingly.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Hebbe Falls is typically during the post-monsoon season, which runs from August to January. This period offers pleasant weather and a higher water flow compared to other times of the year. However, it is advisable to avoid visiting during the monsoon season as the path can become slippery and there is a higher chance of encountering leeches.
It is worth noting that the walk route to Falls can become riskier during the monsoon season due to wet and unstable surfaces. Additionally, the presence of leeches is more prevalent during this time.
Here are some important tips for your trip:
Entry Fees: There is a small entry fee, and it’s advisable to check the latest rates before your visit.
Essentials: Carry water, snacks, a first-aid kit, and wear comfortable trekking shoes.
Hebbe Falls is a testament to the mesmerizing beauty of the Western Ghats, a place where adventure and nature converge. It’s an escape into the heart of Karnataka’s pristine wilderness, a journey through winding paths and thick forests that leads to the enchanting sight of a two-tiered waterfall.