Very often when we are pressed for time, we wear the hat of tourist and dash around quickly to all the standard “places to see”. And at other times, we have the luxury of time as well as the opportunity to experience a place in a unique and unexpected manner, perhaps in a way we would have never imagined possible. Left to me, I would always hope for the latter, but turns out one does not always have much of a choice in these matters.
A road-trip to Nirmal to check out the waterfalls during December is not exactly recommended. Every site on a google search suggested visiting Nirmal during the post-monsoon season, as the water from the rainflow would result in water gushing down the waterfalls. But we went ahead anyway, hoping to savour a much needed break.
Driving down from Nirmal towards Adilabad through a ghat road which is usually lined with monkeys, one needs to take an exit at Neredigonda village and drive for 25 km to reach the site of Kuntala waterfalls.
Adilabad has over 40 hill streams across its terrain and during the monsoon the rains feed these streams that make for about 10 waterfalls around Nirmal itself. However, not all these waterfalls have roads. Even if roads are present, not all of them are motorable. One may need to walk a good distance to reach these sites. It would be advisable to take help from the villagers to locate these falls as a few of them are in deep forests and one could risk losing the way while getting there. Visiting during the rainy season could mean walking in mud for long distances. The most accessible waterfalls are Kuntala and Pochera that feature on every tourist’s itinerary.
At the arid bed of the Kuntala waterfalls, it was very important to make sure we got our footing right, and figure as we went along. We found the rocky scenery quite appealing. The rocks were pink and rugged, and occasionally created interesting patterns. They were also smooth and beautifully sculpted by the the movement of water. When we sat and looked around, it felt like we were on another planet.
The Kuntala waterfalls, the highest in Telangana at 143 ft was running dry with just a small trickle here and there. Certain areas of this waterfalls are off limits for visitors as it could prove fatal if one is not careful. The ponds below have a number of fissures and if one were to slip and land in them it could be very dangerous. But we were grateful for the permission (and the help)we got before(and during) our trail. We had a chance to explore the wonderful rugged landscape of this waterfall right from its topmost point and slowly worked our way to the bottom.
We also saw spots where scenes from a recent epic Rudramma Devi were shot. The scene at the foot of the waterfalls was without any doubt more dangerous as the pools were very close.
It was indeed a unique experience to see a waterfall in a completely different perspective. Thanks to this trip to Kuntala, I would probably be curious about the landscape beneath every waterfall I would see henceforth!
We eventually left the Kuntala falls by taking the flight of about 400 steps to reach the top.