Ermai Falls beckons nature lovers

The beautiful Ermai Falls on the foothills of the Western Ghats near Kajur in Belthangady taluk of Dakahina Kannada district.  

The name Ermai Falls may trigger memories of the ill-fated death of film director and actor Santhosh Shetty on May 30 this year, who drowned in the waters at the bottom of the waterfalls. Participating in a photo shoot for his upcoming film Gandhada Kudi, the director wearing heavy costume, drowned in the pond after accidentally falling into it.

However, if one exercises proper caution and follows guidance by local residents, Ermai Falls, located near Kajur in Belthangady taluk, beckons all visitors.

Located at the foothills of the Ballalarayana Durga range of the Western Ghats, Ermai Falls is surrounded by dense forests and is approachable only on foot. One has to take the kutcha road near Kajur on Mundaje-Didupe Road on which four-wheelers can move for about a kilometre. One has to cross the Ermai stream thereafter and resort to trekking to cover the remaining stretch of about 1.5 km to reach the destination. While the stream can be negotiated by foot during the summer, one has to walk on the conventional Sanka (foot-bridge) made of arecanut tree logs during the rainy season.

The Ermai stream has created two more waterfalls above the one and they can be reached with some difficulty, says Shreehari Marathe, an agriculturist from nearby Didupe village. However, only experienced trekkers can reach those two waterfalls, he adds.

The area is not easily accessible because of confusions with regard to the geographical jurisdiction of the location as it is in between Mittabagilu and Malavanthige Gram Panchayats, says Mr. Marathe.

Moreover, the approach road passes through some private property, which is also under dispute, he says. In the same breath, Mr. Marathe says that the only requirement for visitors is that they should have trained guides and there should not be any development in the name of providing tourist facilities. Otherwise, the area would lose its natural sheen and become one more commercial hub.

Ermai Falls is about 85 km from Mangaluru. One has to take the Didupe Road at Mundaje village on Bantwal-Mudigere (Charmadi Ghat) highway after Ujire to reach the place.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 10:20:21 PM |

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