Yellapur, as we know it, is a beautiful locality with many waterfalls. While it’s possible to visit more than one of these falls in a single day, it’s best to visit one a day for a wholesome excursion. And visiting Shirley Falls in Yellapur is perfect for a one-day trip.
From Dharwad – where I live – the falls are a two-hour drive. Apart from the thrill of the falls, the drive to it is just as enjoyable as fun driving through the long stretches and ghats. Speaking of ghats, it’s advisable to take a four-wheeler, rather than a bike.
Being the morning birds that we are, I along with two other friends left early at 6 in the morning. I woke up at 5:30 and had to pack and take a shower in those thirty minutes!
But it was totally worth it. It was still cold and dark when we began driving. Well, technically we made a stop before we left Dharwad for a tank fill where I bought a bunch of junk food – for myself. The falls are 90 kilometers away from Dharwad. Check out how far you live from the falls in Karnataka on this site.
So that’s where we started out.
Shirley Falls Itinerary
Water, water, everywhere! There isn’t much to pack when visiting Shirley Falls – or any other falls in Yellapur for that matter.
- Keep a change of clothes and an extra set too in case you get messy again.
- A water bottle
- Sunscreen (if you have bad skin like mine).
- For footwear, I’d recommend going with sports shoes. The falls aren’t close to the road. There’s a bit of hiking too.
- Carry a torch just in case. We didn’t have one. But it gets dark under the canopy of trees – and to those visiting in the evening, the light can help climb back up.
The spot is great for family picnics too. But here’s a request to anyone who’s visiting – these places are best without our (humans) mess. Bringing a snack with you is fine. But make sure you take the litter with you.
Hiking down to Shirley Falls
Being early, we were the first ones to head down to the falls. Heck, there wasn’t a soul to enquire when we headed down – not even a person at the entrance. We started to wander down anyway. The narrow path that took us down further divided into two smaller paths. We chose the wrong one and ended up at a local house.
That’s where I captured the scenic piece above. Man, was it wonderful! A local stepped out and told us the right path, and we were on the right track again. Only the first half of the hike was on the tiny path – the next half was a real hike with soil that could slip beneath our feet. It took as exactly an hour to get to the falls. Even considering that we’d taken the right path all along, it would still be over a 45-minute trek.
I mean, we did stop at this one bridge for a few clicks (the atmosphere was irresistible!), but that’s negligible.
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Stepping Right Under the Falls
Some don’t wish to get wet here, but we did – just two of us though. By wet under the falls, I mean we were completely soaked in the water. The water current can get strong and the rocks are pretty dangerous while you take steps – so be careful. The rocks right under the falls can get slippery as well.
We stowed our shoes away and walked by the water barefoot. Say you have a habit of falling everywhere, it’s better to keep your phone (and anything that could ruin in water) away as well. I loved the water so much that I kept my phone on a high rock and sat down in the water. There were tiny fish swimming around me!
With the height of the rocks, one could assume that the water level wasn’t at its peak. It was neither too high nor low. Just perfect for splashing about.
Some Amazing Clicks!
While the way to the falls has photogenic spots, be careful as you step through with your camera. All the pictures we took were at safe spots. We decided not to hold our cameras out during the narrow steep pathways. Unless you have a GoPro strapped to your head, keep your cameras away when passing through the rough terrains. Hold those moments for yourself!
Here are some amazing pictures of Shirley Falls:
Oh, and here’s a short video I took on my phone twirling around.
Putting on warm clothes after our fun-vee at the falls, we began to head back up to the car by 2 PM. As we ascended, people were beginning to flood in then. That made one thing clear – it’s best to visit Shirley falls early in the morning. It’s more peaceful.
Anyway, it took quite a while for us to climb up. With all the heavy bags with wet clothes and worn-out bodies tired of enjoyment, we made a stop on the way. By stop, we literally sat down in the middle of the path for some time. We were exhausted!
Back on the road soon, we headed straight back to Dharwad for lunch. Speaking of which, that’s another thing I loved about the trip. There was almost no money spent apart from transport and breakfast. We split the petrol bill (a total of Rs. 1200) and the breakfast among the three of us and it came to around 400-460 rupees per head.
It would be lesser if we had another friend with us in the car – just saying! But the falls were worth it all. I’m glad I went :)
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