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Mekedatu Chunchi

Mekedatu, Chunchi Falls: Road Trip from Bangalore

The story of my road trips continues to zip along. This one is about the shortest of my road trips (intra-day). The experience of this short trip to Mekedatu and Chunchi falls is very unique though. Mekedatu is a nature’s spectacle spiritedly seated around 120 Kms from Bangalore. It’s a gorge which almost forces the river Kaveri’s water to narrow down into it before gushing it out ferociously pretty much like a Formula One cars accelerates from a pit stop.

Onward Journey

We started from Bangalore around 9:30 am and took the Kanakpura road. The road is under construction (road widening in progress) which cuts down the speed. There are some decent food options on the way which is a pleasant change compared to my previous trips. We took a breakfast halt at MTR close to Sri Sri Ravishankar Ashram. It’s a self service South Indian cuisine restaurant with decent but slightly overpriced food.

Driving on on Mysore/Kanakpura road is far from pleasant. It’s usually medium to heavy traffic, unnecessary speed bumps and you just can’t get into a rhythm. It makes you jaded!

A large portion of the road passes through small towns with medium traffic however it starts to become picturesque as you get closer to Mekedatu-Sangam. We took halt a one such viewing point and it was splendid. You could easily spend hours at this place.

The last motorable point on this journey is Mekedatu-Sangam road parking. We reached there around 1 pm. Sangam is where Arkavati river merges with river Kaveri. From here, a 5 minute boat ride (Rs. 50) in a coracle (circular boat) to cross the Sangam followed by another 15 minute bumpy ride (Rs. 50) in a private bus finally leads you to the spectacle (read Mekedatu gorge).


Mekedatu is a very different experience than anything I have seen thus far. The time and money spent on reaching this place is absolutely worth it. Once you disembark from the bus, there is small but easy descent trek (5 min) to reach the view point. The water gushes at high speed trapped between two rock walls. Few rocks seem to have developed big holes due to continuous high speed water flow. It’s an amazing sight, almost scary too. The safety focus is almost minimal here, so you need to be careful. An adventurer will be left wondering if only you could reach the water somehow.

After spending some time at Mekedatu, we came back to the Sangam (bus ride followed by coracle ride) around 3:45 pm. There is a Karnataka govt restaurant which became our hunger savior. The food is decent and the place is quite airy and adequately clean. There are not many options within miles anyway.

Chunchi Falls

From Mekedatu, we made our way to Chunchi falls. It’s on the same route but entails a small detour. We took a slightly different route in which approach road passes through a small beautiful village. Some part of the road towards the end is actually a dirt road, so you can expect a little wobbly drive. From the parking area, there is a small 10-15 min trek which is leveled surface initially and a short descent thereafter. Enroute the trek, there are small tuck shops selling tea, packed snacks and maggi etc. The waterfall is small (around 100m) but breathtaking. You can descend further from the officially marked area to get closer to the fall. However, getting into water is not allowed and water at the time was flowing at a decent speed. I am given to understand that you can actually go to some spots in the waterfall with help of locals.

The entry to waterfall stops at 5:30 pm. Post that descent trek is not permitted however you can use the viewing point which is at a height but quite far from the actual waterfall.

We started our return journey to Bangalore around 6:30 pm and had some bit of adventure still remaining in us. This quest took us on a small detour to Rasta Cafe. I had heard a lot of about this place and some friends mentioned it as a good option for a short drive (around 1 hour) from Bangalore. It’s decent place however I felt it’s tad over-hyped. We had our dinner there and it was a good break from all the driving (blame it on the road). We reached home around 11 pm and it felt like a long but a very enjoyable day worth every single ounce of effort and time. This journey sits right up the list of places worthy of burning some rubber, Cheers!

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