Weather :

Timings : No timings. But 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM is recommended as it is safer.

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Dabbe Falls, Shimoga (Shivamogga) Overview

Dabbe Falls, nestled within the lush green folds of Saravathi Wildlife Sanctuary, is a hidden gem in the Shimoga region of Karnataka. The lush forest and the gorgeous stream of water gushing down the cliff attract nature lovers and explorers. The word 'dabbe' translates to 'steps' in the native language because the stream bed of the falls resemble steps. The waterfalls and pools in each step before it overfill and form a cascading wall of water down to the next step and this continues so. This makes Dabbe one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the region.

The road to reach Dabbe is more of a perpendicular walking track down a cliff. So people with ailments or disabilities would find it difficult to reach the falls. But otherwise, the little hike to the falls is worth all the beauty that awaits the other side. You will not only get to enjoy the crystalline, pristine water of Dabbe but also experience the rich diversity of flora and fauna in the surrounding wilderness.

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Legend of Dabbe Falls

There are some interesting legends associated with the mesmerising Dabbe Falls of Shimoga. In fact, it gets a mention in both the Hindu epics we know of. It is said that in Ramayana, Lord Rama broke the famous bow at the Dabbe Falls upon the Sharavati to win Sita's hand in marriage as his bride.

In the other epic, Mahabharata, Sharavati is mentioned in the Sougandhika Pushpa episode. It is at this place that the second Pandava brother Bheema came looking for the lake which grows the flower with the enchanting smell for their wife, Draupadi. This is also where he had an encounter with Hanuman, who is technically a character of Ramayana but also his older brother as per mythological parentage of the God of Win Pavan Dev.

Dabbe Falls Trek

The Dabbe House in the village of the same name is the starting point of the trek trail. The trek starts on absolutely plain land, through green paddy fields and muddy aisles. However, soon the plain ends at the edge of a steep downhill walk. If you look carefully, amidst the thick foliage, you can spot the trekking trail, looking like a dried-up bed of an old mountain stream. Following this trail downwards will take you to the base of the waterfalls after a downhill walk of around 45 minutes to an hour.

While walking down, use the gnarled roots of the trees jutting out from the earth here and there as your footholds. Use the branches with hand for support as well. Throughout the walk, you can hear the roaring sound of the waterfalls, but it is not until halfway down the track that you can see its majestic descent.

Flora and Fauna at Dabbe Falls

The whole area of Dabbe falls, and the surroundings are under Saravathi Wildlife Sanctuary and thus an abode to many animals and birds. To reach the falls, there is only one feasible route, and if you follow that till the end, you will come across the quite a few of them. Kingfishers, herons, drongos, Asian bluebirds, hornbills, flycatchers are some of the common avian species that you will find here.

Among the terrestrial creatures, macaques, otters, giant squirrels, deer, langurs, wild pigs and many other native Indian animals can be seen. The forest has leopards and Indian wild dogs, but they do not venture near the trek route. The trees here are semi-evergreen and moist deciduous with gnarly, big roots and dark green leaves.

Best Time To Visit Dabbe Falls

True to the non-perennial nature of every stream of water of south India, the Dabbe falls remain thinner during the dry summers. Post monsoon, it cascades down the number of steps with rapidity and with a graceful elan. However, since the road down to the waterfalls is steep and only natural earth, it is hazardous to go about during monsoon as it will remain completely muddy and slippery. Even with trek boots, it will be a difficult task.

So the best time to visit is right after the monsoon, from October to next year March. This way you can avoid the immediate rain, but also get to enjoy the waterfalls at its absolute best.

Tips For Visiting Dabbe Falls

1. Wear your best trek boots for the steep downhill climb.
2. Carry backpacks to stuff everything in to keep your hands free for climbing - preferably one with waterproof features to keep your gadgets safe.
3. Carry a quick change in case you get wet in the waterfalls or decide to take a bath.
4. Do not wear elaborate clothes as they may get stuck in the branches.
5. Carry water and dry food along. There is undoubtedly no shop inside the forest.
6. Do not go exploring without prior permission of the forest department and a local guide.
7. Keep in mind the time of your return. If you are going by bus, take note of the scheduled time for the last returning bus on your way up and get to the Panjali Cross before that at any cost. If you miss the bus, spending the night will be trouble. It is easier if you have your own car, but still, try to make out of the place before sundown.

How To Reach Dabbe Falls

The turn towards the Dabbe village falls on the way from Shimoga to Sagar at the point called Panjali Cross. From here, a left turn leads you for around 3 kilometres to the Dabbe village and the house which marks the beginning of the trekking trail.

You can take public buses which will drop you at the cross. However, in that case, you have to walk for those 3 kilometres as well. Or you can hire a private car which can take you to the village. The village roads are good and quite motorable.

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