Courtesy: Shridhar Shenoy
The 35 kilometer stretch of Shirady Ghat between Kappalli (Manjrabad fort) to Gundya is a nature lover’s paradise. It had always been from time immemorial but the beauty could not be enjoyed due to bad roads and drivers and passengers used to be more pre-occupied with the jolts and jumps that they might get during the journey.
But with the roads now as smooth as it used to be before, people are now enjoying the 90 minutes journey, and why not? There is so much to see, the evergreen Shola forests, the huge ferns that are an endemic species to Western Ghats and the thick foliage which is a delight to watch.
But what turns Shirady into a paradise during monsoons is its numerous water falls. There are no large water falls like Jog, but there are many medium and small water falls that fills your heart and eyes. The central part of Shirady Ghat I.e, between Adda Holay and Gundya is the natural water log area. The rain water re-charges the mountainous water veins and releases through faults and folds of the mountain. But apart from the technical details of the waterfalls the beauty of water falls which is what enthrals the nature lovers. The milky surf that cascades from a great height is a sight to watch. It is stated that there are over 300 small and medium water falls.
According to Dinesh Holla an adventurer and an avid trekker the origin of the water falls in Shirady generally is located at a height of 400 to 600 feet (MSL) many of them have a circuitous course before the emerge into open and fall from a height. Many trekkers stay for considerable time at the water bodies that open into a water fall.
The ideal route to get to the water fall is the route that the Mangalore-Bangalore train takes. It is possible for the trekkers to take the railway get down at Soorikumer and pass to the other side towards Pushpagiri. There are people who have driven their motorcycles on narrow paths from Shirady village up to a certain height and walked from there.
But one cannot go into these areas as they want, they should notify the forest department about their trekking route and take their permission well in advance.
For people who just want to enjoy it on the way to their destination either ways should travel during the day time. The ideal time is to arrive at this stretch either from Bangalore or Mangalore at mid morning or late afternoon, which is when the real enjoyment of waterfalls could be felt. The immediate instinct is to stand below the cascading water, but that is where extra precautions should be taken, the rocky slopes are slippery and the water would be cold.
Various spots like Kempu holay, Yemme holay, Adda holay, Annamma holay have good waterfall sites.