Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Coorg - Irupu Falls

The Irupu Falls (also Iruppu Falls) are located in the Brahmagiri Range in the Kodagu (Coorg) district of Karnataka, bordering the Wayanad district of Kerala. It is a fresh water cascade ... The Falls are also known as the Lakshmana Tirtha Falls, derived from the name of the tributary of Cauvery which starts from these falls, the Lakshmana Tirtha River. Wikipedia entry.
Coorg is an amazingly beautiful district, with coffee plantations, a lone tea estate, waterfalls, wildlife reserves, elephant camps, and even a Tibetan monastery. Lots to see, travel, photograph, and write.
See my earlier post on the Dubare Elephant camp.

The Irupu falls are also known as the Lakshman Tirtha Falls, after the Lakshmana Tirtha river, a tributary of the Cauvery river. Why the name? Because of a very strong connection with Hindu mythology. After Sita was abducted by Ravana, the Lord of Lanka, Rama and Lakshmana set out in her search, all the way from Chitrakoot in what is now Madhya Pradesh, southwards towards the shores of Rameswaran in Tamil Nadu. As they were passing through the Brahmgiri range, Rama felt thirsty and asked his brother to fetch him some water. Lakshmana shot an arrow into the range and the Lakshmana river came into being.

To get to the falls requires you to climb up some 200 steps. Some of them are fairly steep.

This narrow creek is dry in the photograph below, but is full of water during and for several months after the monsoons. During the summer months there is only a trickle of water that flows through the creek.

There are probably two hundred steps that you have to climb, which works out to a good workout, especially since some of the steps are quite steep, and require a good amount of effort to climb them. Taking some water with you is a good thing, since dehydration is not advisable here. There is not a doctor for miles around. There is a refreshment shop at the base of the falls, where you also need to purchase a ticket.

An observation deck allows you to observe the falls from a safe distance. If you want you can trek further up, right to the spot where the falls cascade down. During the summer months the water flow is less intense and several people can be seen taking a bath there.

So yes - you can trek further up, and the photo below has been taken from very near the base of the falls.

The water is only a trickle during the summer months.