A river meandering between verdant hills, islands of sand surrounded by glistening waters of the Netravathi, black porous rocks in their hundreds, pock-marking a gradual green slope, and perhaps the most interesting, a pervading silence even though hundreds of vehicles speed along the national highway that bifurcates this view. The hill offers more: The grime of the city can be washed off with a soothing dip at a waterfall, a short trek from the view point.
And all of this just a few minutes drive from Mangalore!
For those sick of the crowded beaches for their getaways on the weekends, Valachil hill on the outskirts of the city off National Highway 75 is a perfect one-day, easy-to-do trip for young and old alike.
At Valachil turn off, one has only to head up the steep road. At the last curve, a non-descript gate leads to the edge of the hill, which is a gentle slope that overlooks the river, highway and the city.
Walking along the slope of the hill leads to a clump of houses, and from along the Bangalore-Mangalore railway tracks (which can also be accessed directly from the national highway). There are no signboards pointing to the falls, and the walking path off the railway tracks is hidden behind six feet high grass. Locals, especially kids, in the village are the best guides to direct you towards the falls.
The Adyar falls – with no official name, locals refer it by the area it is located – exists as a small stream flowing in a crevice of the hill that takes about a 25-foot plunge here. For, Aditi Rajagopal from Mumbai, and Kartik Viswanath, an English teacher in Orissa, the waterfalls was an unexpected, but pleasant, surprise.
Having visited the beaches of the region, they headed to the top of Valachil on the recommendation of a friend. “While we were sitting there, kids who were playing nearby told us if we wanted to see a river. We followed them down the slope, and they led us to the waterfalls, ” said Mr. Viswanath. For Ms. Rajagopal, the quiet at the top of the hill – where she said she perched herself on top of a rock and read a book – was an experience she could not get in the bustle of Mumbai.
MOHIT M. RAO