October 5th, 2008
It’s been quite a long time since I visited a good place and had fun for a full day. I hadn’t even gone for a long ride on my bike until now. So, it was five of us. Arvindh, Karthik, Paramesh, Siva and myself. Arvindh is my friend from the Kalari class, a cool talkative guy. Karthik doesn’t talk much but likes adventures. Paramesh was the very practical guy among us and Siva was the paranoid. You know about yours truly. Hence, no “about me” here.
Kone falls is also called “konai falls” or “kona falls” or the “kailashnatha kona”.
Kone Falls comes 10 kms before Puthur (Andhra Pradesh). Its a couple of 100 Kms from Chennai and takes about 2 hours if you drive at 60 kmph. The first one hour journey through the national highways was simply awesome! Roads are superb and there were no potholes at all. Driving speed was consistently between 80 kmph and 100 kmph. I was even able to touch the magical 100 kmph a couple of times. Once we reached the toll plaza, we took a left turn to reach Periyapalayam and then the road straight to Uthukottai. From Uthukottai, it was a 34 km ride on a perfect road. The weather was awesome! It was drizzling slightly for a few minutes in the morning. But apart from that, there was nothing much.
Paramesh, being the crazy biker among us, tried to do a few dangerous bends on his pulsar 180cc. But the turns on the road weren’t turning deep enough. I was even caught meditating on the middle on the road during the last 34kmph stretch The roads were free with an occassional lorry or two to disturb the silence.
The entrance to the falls looks like this.
This entrance is tucked away from the main road. You need to watch for the milestone (on the right side of the road) that reads “Puthur 10″. This entrance comes immediately after that milestone on the left side of the road. From here its a 2km drive along the single road. Be careful when you drive along this road. There are a few really sharp bends & cars come dashing through without any warning.
The end of the road takes us to the base of a small hill, on which there’s a temple of Lord Shiva. To the left of the temple, there is the actual “waterfall”. The flow is not huge. But its sufficient for a few people to bath. We, being the more adventurous, didn’t want to bath here. There was a way up the hill which led to us small pools on top of the hill. We decided to trek to that place.
This was the part of the trip that I loved the most. Armed with a couple of water bottles and a few cameras, we set out to explore the hillock from where the waterfalls’ started its downward journey. A quarter way up the hill, we were confronted by a gang of rowdy monkeys. They threatened to rip our bags apart from us to check its mysterious contents. Earlier, I would have just thrown my hands up and surrendered. But hey, what for am I learning Kalari if I can’t even handle a bunch of silly monkeys?
Just as I was about to get into position, they all jumped in fear and ran away. As I turned around to see what happened, our beloved Karthik, remembering that our forefathers were monkeys, bent down and made mock faces at them. He also tried to pounce on them. Seeing this in action, we broke into peals of laughter. To celebrate the victory, with the monkeys out of the way, we stood on the edge of the rock and took a couple of daring photos.
That’s me and Arvindh standing on the edge. Its a steep fall from this place We continued our trek. We found a few interesting grasses along the way. One such grass was that, if you crush its leaves, it gives a nice lemony smell. Local folks said that, this smell keeps them away from suffocation if they keep climbing too far.
After an hour of trekking, we reached the place
The Waterfall and The Pool
We all beamed when we heard the sound of water rushing. It was like salvation. A goal that you had reached after some hardwork. But we were yet to see the place from where the water was falling through. Making our way through the trees, we found that the waterfall had formed a small pool which was overflowing and filling another pool about 15 feet below. We climbed down the waterfall and reached the pool in a couple of minutes. The water was amazingly clear and cool !
We bathed here for about an hour and a half. This pool overflowed and filled another pool about 15 feet below, which is where the adventure began.
I got out of the pool and was sitting on the rocks through which the water was flowing to fill the pool below. I was sitting with my legs folded and suddenly I slipped. The slope was steep and slippery and I couldn’t hold on anywhere. In the same sitting position, I fell through 15 feet with my a** bumping the rocks along the way and whooosh! … I just plunged into the pool below. With the force with which I fell, I touched the base of the pool and came up again. Thank Goodness, the pool deep enough.
I swam back to the rocks, held to a tree root, climbed it up, stepped on yet another rock and then made my way to the place where we were sitting. Phew! it was nothing like I had encountered before. This experience threw out a lot of imaginary fears from me. I escaped without a scratch.
I was almost like a caveman. Dressed only in an underwear, with a few leaves stuck around my hips, and climbing the rocks to our place, the sight was quite hilarious. Only Karthik saw me fall through very clearly. Others just heard the splash.
The Trek Down
We bathed for some more time and then made our way down. No rowdy monkeys this time. We were able to make out the route now and reached the base of the hill in under 30 minutes. We visited the Lord Shiva temple, ate some prasadam and then made our way back to home sweet home.
It was a superb trip/trek, that I enjoyed thoroughly after a long time.