The Indian subcontinent boasts an abundance of natural beauty that attracts tourists and travelers from around the globe. While our country features one of the longest coastlines in Asia, a lot of travelers seeking natural beauty flock to the hills, and for good reason.
India is home to a collection of breathtaking hill stations that are loved by tourists and locals alike. However, when one thinks of a Indian hill station, they are usually thinking about a city in Himachal Pradesh or Uttarakhand.
However, there are a few (often overlooked) hill stations in the southern states of the country. One such overlooked yet breathtaking hill station is in the southern state of Karnataka, known as Coorg. Coorg is home to many natural wonders including Karnataka’s highest peak. However, in this blog post, we’re talking about the beautiful Abbey Falls.
About Abbey Falls
Abbey Falls are located near Madikeri (about 8-10 kilometers away), which is a short bus ride from the Coorg bus station. The Abbey Falls area is surrounded by lush flora and expansive coffee plantations.
While there is a bit of a hike involved in reaching Abbey Falls, the path is quite well laid out and requires no professional guidance. With that said, it is advisable to make routine weather forecast checks to ensure your own safety.
Similarly, staying in the falls premises after the closing time (5 PM) is strongly advised against.
Additional Info: Another thing to be kept in mind while visiting Abbey Falls is that the lush green forests may look pretty on the outside, but house some hostile wildlife. Don’t worry, we’re not referring to flesh eating tigers. However, the area does have a high concentration of leeches.
If proper prevention steps aren’t taken, you may fall prey to one. For this reason, it is recommended to wear clothing that fully covers your body and at all times, watch where you are going.
The leeches are also the reason one shouldn’t take a dip in the waterfall gorge. While it may look tempting, doing so may cause more trouble than fun.
Best Time To Visit Abbey Falls
While most articles on the web don’t talk about this, there is a very specific time when travelers must visit Abbey Falls, and this time is right after the monsoon season has left the state of Karnataka.
At this time, the falls, that originate from river Kauveri, experience a significant rise in the water level. As a result, right after the monsoon, Abbey Falls can be seen in all its glory. Travelers can witness water drop from a height of 21 meters.
While the falls are open for tourists throughout the year, visiting at other times may result in disappointment as due to lower water levels for the rest of the year, the falls barely have any water flowing through them.
Additional Info: Don’t let the low tide wash off your plans of visiting Coorg. While Abbey Falls is a great location to visit, Coorg is filled with a number of places that are well worth a visit. We will be talking about these places in a later section, so hang on and keep reading.
Abbey Falls Entry Fee And Timings
Entering the Abbey Falls area is not free, but comes with a very basic charge of 15 bucks per head. The area is open to the public between the hours of 9 AM and 5 PM, throughout the week.
Additional Info: Reaching the falls involves a bit of a hike, and climbing (more than) a few steps. While some may find it challenging, for those carrying even some experience of hiking, it is a matter of 15-20 minutes.
Top Things To Do In Abbey Falls
Abbey Falls is a quaint little corner of Coorg, perfect for a quiet evening spent in the company of your loved ones. However, there are a few other things a visitor can do during their visit to the falls.
For starters, the lush greenery surrounding the falls make for a perfect spot for a refreshing jungle hike. Apart from wild vegetation, the area is also home to a number of coffee and spice plantations, adding more charm to the wild atmosphere.
The scintillating natural beauty is also a point of attraction for photographers. Awe-inspiring backdrop of rich greenery, along with the 70 feet drop of the falls make for a great frame that photographers of all calibers will appreciate.
Finally, the Abbey Falls area is surrounded by a number of eateries serving the visitors authentic Karnataka food. Those that love the South Indian cuisine will find themselves spoiled for choice as there is an abundance of options to quench your hunger after a day filled with adventure at the falls.
Additional Info: There was a hanging bridge that was recently constructed within the Abbey Falls premises. The bridge is a great vantage point to observe the falls in all their glory and offer perhaps the best view of the surrounding area as well
Suggested Read: 8 Silvery Waterfalls In Coorg That Are Waiting To Be Explored
Best Places To Visit Near Abbey Falls
As mentioned earlier, Abbey Falls are only worth visiting during some specific post monsoon months. If, however, you find yourself in the vicinity of the falls at any other time of the year, here are a couple of places that you will find are well worth a visit:
One of the tallest peaks in Karnataka, the hike to the Tadiandamol peak is a surprisingly short one. In the beginning of the hike, there is a museum that is also the last sign of human civilisation on the hike. Beyond that, there is just a lush forest and the quiet sounds of nature.
The hike is a bit steep in some places but overall, can be completed in under 3-4 hours. There are no campsites at the top and hikers are supposed to return to Madikeri after the hike on the same day.
The peak offers fantastic views of the surrounding hills and is home to a delightful pack of doggos that will ensure you never get lost in the woods.
2. Raja’s Seat
Raja’s Seat, just as the name suggests, was historically the place where the Kings of Kodagu would spend their evenings soaking the glory of the beautiful sunset.
The man-made garden is one of the most important tourist spots in Madikeri and offers simply breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys along with, of course, the sunset.
Additional Info: While visiting one of these places, it is advisable to do a bit of research beforehand. Such a research may reveal some interesting information that will come in handy during your visit.
For instance, the museum near Tadiandamol is closed on Monday and there are no shops on the trail, so travelers must carry an ample supply of water. Similarly, when going to Raja’s Seat, there is a Rs. 10 entry fee to enter the garden area.
How To Reach Abbey Falls
As mentioned earlier, the closest main town to Abbey Falls is Madikeri. Coorg (where Madikeri is located) is a well connected hill station of Karnataka. The nearest airport is the Mangalore Airport, which lies at a distance of about 130 kilometers.
The closest railway station to Coorg is the Mysore Railway Station, which lies at a distance of 120 kilometers from Madikeri. Madikeri is also close to the metro city of Karnataka, Bangalore (an overnight journey by road).
Once you reach Madikeri bus stop, Abbey Falls is at a distance of 10 kilometers. You can hail an auto-rickshaw or catch a local bus to reach there.
Additional Info: Once you reach one of these major towns, the only way to reach Abbey Falls is by road. Thankfully, the drive is a pleasant one, dotted with views that will make you take a halt and click photos. While there are regular buses running between these towns and Coorg, if you can afford it, it is highly recommended to take a self-drive rental and drive all the way to Coorg.
Abbey Falls is a great destination, especially for those that love being close to nature. If you are planning a visit to Coorg, it is highly recommended to take out a slice of one of your evenings to spend at Abbey Falls. Picnics are a popular activity near the falls, and once you visit, you will realise why. For this reason, in order to avoid feeling any sort of regret, make sure you’re prepared with the supplies required for a picnic on your very first visit to Abbey Falls. Plan a trip to Coorg with TravelTriangle and enjoy the best vacation!
Frequently Asked Questions About Abbey Falls
Q. Is it okay to bathe under the falls?
A. While this was allowed till a short while ago, bathing in Abbey Falls is strictly prohibited these days and the rules are enforced by Forest Department guards posted on the premises. While you may still find some miscreants entering the water for selfies and whatnot, doing so is not safe by any standard. The flow of the water, especially if you are visiting after the monsoon season is extremely strong and has resulted in many accidents over the past years. Moreover, the area is infested with blood-sucking leeches that make the whole affair of entering the water all the more risky.
Q. What is the height of Abbey Falls?
A. The falls are one of the most spectacular in Coorg. Water falls from a height of over 70 feet, into a deep gorge. While entering the water is not advisable at all, there is a newly constructed hanging bridge that offers superb views of the falls.
Q. How much time do I need for a visit to Abbey Falls?
A. Abbey Falls, while being an interesting spot, only requires about 2-3 hours to explore. While travelers are free to stay here as long as they want (during the opening hours, of course), there are other equally interesting places in the vicinity that you must visit. For this reason, it is advisable to include Abbey Falls in your plan and dedicate only 2-3 hours to them.
Q. What are the entry charges involved in entering the Abbey Falls premises?
A. Abbey Falls, much like all other maintained tourist areas, charges visitors a small entry fee. At just 15 bucks, it is one of the most pocket-friendly places to spend a quiet evening with your loved ones. For those driving to Abbey Falls, there is a dedicated car park nearby. Like most car parks in the country, this one also charges you on an hourly basis. Like the falls themselves, the charges of parking a car at this parking are quite reasonable at 30 bucks.
Q. What is the best time to visit Madikeri?
A. Just like the Abbey Falls, the best time to visit Madikeri is after the monsoon months. Between November and February, the weather is mostly cool in Madikeri and bounces between 14 degree-celsius and 29 degree-celsius, which is the perfect weather for comfortable outdoor exploration.
Q. Are Madikeri and Coorg the same place?
A. No. Coorg is a district which houses the towns of Coorg and Madikeri. From Coorg Town, Madikeri lies at a distance of about 12 kimoteres. This distance is bridged by a pleasant road that takes travelers through a well-maintained road that is dotted with superb views and has very little traffic (on most days).