Barkana Falls is one of the ten highest waterfalls in India. The waterfall is located in Balehalli forest area, at a distance of about 7 km from the Agumbe village in Shimoga district of Karnataka. The waterfall has a height of about 850 ft. It is located at a height of about 259 metres above sea level. It originates from the Seeta River that flows through this region.
Barkana Falls presents one of the most fascinating sights of natural wonders in Karnataka. Located in the midst of lush green forest, the waterfall is a spectacular view. The view becomes even more charming during the monsoon season when the flow of water increases and it gushes down with a greater volume than usual.
The name Barkana is derived from the word ‘barka’ which is a reference to the Mouse Deer that is found in that region. The Barkana View Point, located near the waterfall, is an ideal spot to enjoy the mesmerizing view of the Western Ghats and the hill slopes of the region. Apart from being a great spot for sightseeing the waterfall is also a popular picnic spot.
The route to the waterfall was a restricted area till recently. The route is under the control of the forest department and the restrictions were due to the activities of Naxals in that area. However, now the restrictions have been removed and the general people can freely visit the waterfall.
Trekking to Barkana Falls, Shimoga
Barkana Falls is a wonderful destination for trekking. The trek involves undertaking a steep route from the Western Ghats via Gumbo Ghats to reach the waterfall.
The most interesting part of the trek is the presence of a wide variety of flora. The forest has flora that seems to change after every 100 meters. From bamboos to herbs and shrubs, the forest has an amazing mix of plants and trees that never fail to delight trekkers. The bamboo groves in particular are a wonderful sight to look out for.
Another primary attraction of the trek through the forest area is the presence of a particular plant called ‘Guruji’. This plant has the rare quality of blossoming once in every 7 years. But the blossoming of the plant is not a welcome sight in the region as it is believed that the flower signifies the impending occurrence of a drought.
However, there is a silver lining associated with the blossoming of the plant. The drought signifies an excessive production of natural honey in the region. Whenever the plant blossoms, the production of honey increases by many folds and the entire village of Agumbe and the nearby areas are filled with honey.
The view point of the waterfall is located at a distance of about 4 km from the end point of the vehicle track. Trekking to the waterfall is a tricky task as the slopes are quite steep and can be risky at times. However, the awesome sight of the valley from the view point and the beauty of the waterfall are worth taking up the tiring trek.
The waterfall can also be reached on a motorbike. Those who are interested in motorbiking can enjoy the ride through the dense green forest while enjoying the natural beauty of the area.