Witness the glory of this waterfall in Chikmagalur

17th Mar 2017
Photo of Witness the glory of this waterfall in Chikmagalur by Akul Bajaj

Hebe falls is a 2 tiered water fall comprising of Dodda Hebbe (Big Falls) and Chikka Hebbe (Small Falls). This waterfall is one of the major attractions of Chikmagalur which is about 12 km away from the famous hill station of Kemmangundi.

For us, the journey started at around 6 AM from Bangalore. Target was to reach our home stay in Kemmangundi by 12, have lunch and go for Hebe falls. For most of the way we were traveling on NH 75 and the road was pretty smooth. After taking a few breaks we reached Kemmangundi at the stipulated time. However, since we were a little tired from the 260 km bike ride, we decided to rest for some time and then go to Hebe falls.

Photo of Witness the glory of this waterfall in Chikmagalur 1/1 by Akul Bajaj
The road to Hebe falls

After resting for a while we took out our bikes and started towards Hebe falls. We went about 10 km on the Kemmangundi road after which there was a forest department barricade. The entry into the area leading to falls here on is restricted and only forest department jeeps are allowed to go inside. The reason being, first part of the ride is a private coffee plantation and the second part is a Tiger reserve. Due to danger of poachers, this area is off limits to civilians and only forest department officials are allowed to go inside.

Photo of Kemmannugundi, India by Akul Bajaj

The ride to falls in the forest department jeep costs about 600 per head or 3200 if you take the full jeep which will cover 6 people. At first we were a little reluctant to pay 600 for a to and fro ride to waterfalls but as we went deeper inside the reserve area we realized that 600 was actually not much for the ordeal which this jeep was going through. The ride through the plantation area is quite scenic and offers panoramic views of the nearby hills. Initially it's a well trodden trail on which the jeep goes but soon after the trail becomes thinner and thinner and quite bumpy. Within minutes you'll realize that no matter how much off-roading you have done on your bike, it's just not meant to be driven here. You'll be going back with a tire in one hand and the bike handle in another if you even try taking your bike there.

Through the plantation drive

Photo of Witness the glory of this waterfall in Chikmagalur by Akul Bajaj

Crossing the forest reserve

Photo of Witness the glory of this waterfall in Chikmagalur by Akul Bajaj

The jeep will take you almost till the waterfalls. However there is still a distance of about 1.5 km which you have to hike to get there. You can hear the sound of water hitting the base in distance even from the starting point of hike. Despite being a very short hike, it's extremely beautiful and somehow reminded me of the hike to Netravali waterfalls in Goa. You'll be crossing a stream twice and although there is only ankle deep water but this water level can rise in no time in rainy season.

The trail our jeep took

Photo of Witness the glory of this waterfall in Chikmagalur by Akul Bajaj

This was the most even part of our jeep ride

Photo of Witness the glory of this waterfall in Chikmagalur by Akul Bajaj

Even in ankle deep water one of our guys managed to lose his slippers in the stream and he had to run after it for a good 50 meters in the stream to catch it. The trail to waterfalls is pretty straightforward without any twists and turns. There are however places where you need to exercise a little bit of caution otherwise you just might slip and scratch yourself. As you cover the distance you'll start getting a glimpse of the waterfall. This sight is something you'll remember for the rest of your lives. Although Hebe falls is not such a tall waterfall but because of the water flow and the close proximity from which you can witness it's might, it becomes a marvelous sight.

Stream which we had to cross for Hebe falls

Photo of Hebbe Falls, Kesavinamane, Karnataka, India by Akul Bajaj

When we reached Hebe, all of our gang searched for spots near the waterfall and sat there for a good 20 minutes enjoying the gush of water and the mist originating from the water colliding on the rocks at the base of the fall. We were sitting barely at a distance of 5 meters from the waterfall. All through our ride our only issue was the heat and the weather. Sitting there, we started feeling cold in a matter of minutes. You can sit here and enjoy the sights and weather for infinite amount of time.

Hebe falls in it's full might

Photo of Witness the glory of this waterfall in Chikmagalur by Akul Bajaj
Photo of Witness the glory of this waterfall in Chikmagalur by Akul Bajaj

After relaxing for a while, one of the guys slipped and fell in the pond beneath the falls. The pond is shallow but the issue is chilling water. The water is freezing cold. When one falls, rest have to follow. Within minutes all of us were in the pond yelling and shouting at the top of our voices owing to the freezing cold water. The water was so cold that we couldn't even take a proper dip in it.

After enjoying in the pond for about 15 minutes we packed our stuff and rushed back to where our jeep was parked. The way back is the same which you have to take to reach here. Again came the bumpy ride through the tiger reserve and the coffee plantation. This time however, two very special things happened. One we witnessed the sun setting in the mountains and it was simply a sight to relish. The other one was, we saw a couple of black bucks on our way back to the bikes. Our jeep driver stopped to show us the black bucks, but the bucks were very cautious ad as soon as they noticed us, they ran off in the opposite direction. Still an encounter with nature was one of the best things which happened on this trip.

On reaching back to our home stay, we had nice snacks and post that, dinner with a bonfire. This was a 2 days trip but the memories of it stay with me till date.

How to reach:

For Hebe falls, you need to first reach Kemmangundi from where you need to go 10 km further towards the forest reserve area. From here, you have to take a forest department vehicle and go into the coffee plantation and the tiger reserve.

The forest officials will guide you to the falls after the jeep ride.

Things to carry:

Since it's a two day trip you need to manage it accordingly. As for the falls, you'll need a spare set of clothes if you want to take a dip in the water beneath the falls.

Carry a small bag where you can put your belongings when you go for that dip.

Camera is a must to capture the beauty of this area. Also carry some spare batteries.

Prefer going in sandals/slippers for the falls. Shoes might create a problem where you are either trying to cross the stream or trying to enter the pool.