In the early days of the year 2006 during my second year of college, we friends trekked to Onake Abbi Falls. Onake Abbi Falls which is in Agumbe, often referred to as the Cheerapunji of South India.
It was one of my friend who suggested to visit this falls as it is near to her house. As it was my first trek, I was not sure what all I need to carry. I left my house wearing salwar with a bag of things what I felt necessary. We were more than 20 people in which most of them thought of meeting at Manipal Tiger Circle.
We took a bus which goes to Shimoga via agumbe route and were supposed to get down in Someshwara which is at the foot of Agumbe ghats. It took nearly more than an hour when we reached someshwara. Our friend was already waiting near the bus stop. We first went to her house, met her parents and then bought few eatable things from a shop. Her parents had already packed pulav for all of us. There were two guides who are actually known person to that friend of mine were carrying the pulav and some extra water bottles.
We started our trek at around 11 AM. Firstly, the way was like we had to pass in between the village and then it was a small path leading to the forest. The path finally turned into a rough way were we started climbing the hill. As it was climbing we were completely exhausted in just 20 minutes and were continuosly asking the guides how far we need to walk further. The guides were only telling just a little more. It was more than 1 hour that we started trekking and as we were freshers in trekking all were feeling it difficult to continue walking. The guide was giving few information regarding the place. But I could hardly hear him as I was myself feeling difficult in walking that too wearing a salwar. The path turned to a hilly steep which made us walk using sticks so that we will get the grip when climbing.
It was said that since 2005, Naxalite, activity has been observed near Agumbe. Most of them were worried including me thinking if Naxalites turn up infront of us what shall we do? With a pinch of fear we moved on. Whenever we hear some stream sound, we used to be exited thinking that we reached the falls but the guide used to disppoint us telling that it is just a stream somewhere down and we will reach the falls in little time. One of my friend started making pranks to me telling that after I reach back from this trek I need to call up his parents and tell that he will not be coming back as he cant walk back all the way down so he has planned to stay there itself. I was getting worried whether I will reach back?
After lot of huffs and uffffs, we finally reached some rocky area where we could see the falls in the distance. We came to know that falls in the just above the rocks and started jumping and climbing the rocks. After another 10 to 15 minutes we reached the falls and we were happy to see the falls after a lot of effort. It nearly took us 2 and half hours to reach this falls from someshwara. As most of us were not used to this trekking, it looked like we had a hard time struggling our way upto the falls.
As the name tells "Onake" means a pounding stick which is used to pound grains in villages. The falls looked like a thin stick falling from up above. Two guys already plunged into the water and were yelling at us to come and join them. In no time, all of them were enjoying the cool water. How much ever you struggle in the journey towards falls, you will forget it once you get into the water.
After a while we realized that we did not have our lunch. Soon all of them came out of the water and started unpacking all the eatables that we had got. Everything was empty in just few minutes. Nobody wanted to go back. We thought to have a last dip in the water again. So spent another 1 hour in the water. Then we started walking back to our return point.
This time it was easy to get back as we were walking down and not climbing like before. We were skidding down sitting as its was kind of slipper downwards. Hmmm, so u can imagine about what is the status of our dresses. ;) It just took 2 hours coming back as it was quite easy. We reached our someshwara before dark. After relaxing in our friends house, we set back to our respective homes.
We took a bus returning back from Shimoga which goes to Udupi. Few of them got down with me in Manipal. Then? Ahhh, well.. Heading towards my house I was feeling so tired with leg pains. I was ready to get scoldings from my mom for my dirty salwar. And guess what? My mom didn't scold me. She asked me to wash those clothes. :(
Other places to see: The nearby waterfalls are Barkana falls, Jogigundi falls and kudlu theertha falls.
Sitanadi Nisarga Dhama (Sitanadi Nature Camp) near Hebri can accommodate 30 tourists. Karnataka is promoting adventure activities in this region in future including parasailing and waterrafting.
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