Manikya Dhara Waterfall, also known as Nellikayi Theertha, is a beautiful waterfall located in the Baba Budangiri Hills of Chikmagalur district in Karnataka. It is one of the most popular attractions in the region, attracting pilgrims, trekkers, and nature lovers alike. The name Manikya Dhara means “stream of pearls”, as the water droplets appear like sparkling pearls when sunlight falls on them. The waterfall is also considered holy by both Hindus and Muslims, as it is associated with the Sufi saint Baba Budan and his miracles. Visit during Chikmagalur Local Sightseeing by cab
Location of Manikya Dhara Waterfall
Manikya Dhara Waterfall is located about 34 km from Chikmagalur town, which is about 265 km from Bengaluru, the capital city of Karnataka. Chikmagalur is well connected by road and rail to other major cities in Karnataka and India. You can reach Chikmagalur by taking a bus, train, or car from Bengaluru or other nearby places.
From Chikmagalur, you can hire a taxi or a two-wheeler to reach the base of Baba Budangiri Hills. The road to the hill is narrow and winding, so you need to be careful while driving. Alternatively, you can also take a local jeep that will take you around the hill and other nearby attractions.
Timing/Entry Fees Manikya Dhara Waterfall
Manikya Dhara Waterfall is open for visitors throughout the year, from sunrise to sunset. There is no entry fee for visiting the waterfall or the shrine. However, you may have to pay a parking fee if you bring your own vehicle.
How to Reach Manikya Dhara Waterfall
There are two ways to reach Manikya Dhara Waterfall: by road or by trekking.
- By road: You can drive up to the parking lot near the waterfall, which is about 10 km from the base of Baba Budangiri Hills. From there, you have to walk for about 1 km to reach the waterfall and the shrine. This is an easy and convenient option for those who are not comfortable with trekking or have less time.
- By trekking: You can start your trek from Sarpadhari, which is a small village at the base of Baba Budangiri Hills. The trek distance is about 7 km one way, and it takes about 3 hours to complete. The trek difficulty level is moderate, with some steep and rocky patches along the way. The trek route passes through lush forests, grasslands, and streams. You can enjoy the scenic beauty and fresh air as you hike up to the waterfall.
Things to Do/Must See Manikya Dhara Waterfall
Manikya Dhara Waterfall has a lot to offer for visitors of all ages and interests. Here are some of the things you can do and see at this amazing destination.
- Visit the shrine: The shrine near the waterfall is dedicated to Baba Budan and Dattatreya, an incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. It is a small and simple structure that exudes peace and harmony. You can offer your prayers and sit inside the shrine for some time. You can also explore the cave below the shrine, which is said to be where Baba Budan meditated and performed miracles.
- Enjoy the view: The view from Manikya Dhara Waterfall is spectacular and mesmerizing. You can see the water cascading from a height of 30 feet into a pool below. You can also see the entire range of Baba Budangiri Hills and other peaks of Western Ghats. You can also witness the changing colors of the sky as the sun sets behind the horizon. The view is especially enchanting during monsoon, when the waterfall is full and misty.
- Take a dip: If you are feeling adventurous, you can take a dip in the pool below the waterfall. The water is cold and refreshing, and it is believed to have healing properties. Many pilgrims bathe in this water to cure various ailments and seek blessings. However, be careful while swimming as there may be slippery rocks and strong currents.
- Shop for herbs: There are several shops around the waterfall that sell herbal medicines and food products. You can buy some local specialties like honey, coffee, spices, nuts, fruits, etc. You can also buy some souvenirs like bangles, shawls, caps, etc.
Nearby Tourist Attractions Manikya Dhara Waterfall
Manikya Dhara Waterfall is not the only attraction in Baba Budangiri Hills. There are many other places to visit and explore in this region. Some of them are:
- Baba Budangiri Shrine: This is a shrine named after the Sufi saint Baba Budan, who is revered by both Muslims and Hindus. He is credited with bringing coffee to India by smuggling seeds from Yemen and planting them in the hills of Chikmagalur. He is also associated with Dattatreya, an incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. The shrine is located about 1 km from Manikya Dhara Waterfall and can be reached by walking or driving.
- Mullayanagiri Peak: This is the highest peak in Karnataka, rising up to 6,330 feet above sea level. It is part of the Baba Budangiri Hills and offers breathtaking views of the green valleys, misty clouds, and majestic sunsets. It also has a small temple at the summit, dedicated to Mulappa Swamy, another holy man who meditated in caves nearby. It is located about 12 km from Manikya Dhara Waterfall and can be reached by trekking or driving.
- Galikere Lake: This is a serene lake surrounded by hills. It is located about 6 km from Baba Budangiri Shrine and 18 km from Manikya Dhara Waterfall. You can reach the lake by taking a jeep ride from the main road. The lake is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the nature.
Significance of Manikya Dhara Waterfall
Manikya Dhara Waterfall is not just a tourist spot, but also a place of cultural and religious significance. It is considered as one of the sacred waterfalls in Karnataka, as it is associated with the Sufi saint Baba Budan and his miracles. Baba Budan was a saint who lived in the 17th century and spread the message of Islam and peace in true tradition of Sufism. He was also a follower of both Hinduism and Islam, and respected all religions. He performed many miracles at this waterfall, such as curing diseases, granting wishes, and bringing rain.
Manikya Dhara Waterfall is also a place of natural significance, as it is part of the Western Ghats, which are one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world. The Western Ghats are home to many endemic and endangered species of plants and animals. They also play an important role in regulating the climate and rainfall patterns of South India.
Q: What is the best time to visit Manikya Dhara Waterfall?
A: The best time to visit Manikya Dhara Waterfall is from August to March, when the weather is pleasant and dry. However, if you want to see the waterfall in its full glory, you can also visit during monsoon, from June to September, when it is lush green and misty.
Q: What are the things to carry for the trek?
A: You should carry comfortable clothes and shoes, water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, jackets, torches, first aid kit, and camera for the trek.
Q: Is there any accommodation available near the waterfall?
A: There are no hotels or resorts near the waterfall. However, you can find many options for accommodation in Chikmagalur town or nearby villages. You can choose from luxury resorts, budget hotels, or homestays according to your preference and budget.
Q: Is there any food available near the waterfall?
A: There are no restaurants or cafes near the waterfall. However, you can find some small shops or stalls that sell tea, coffee, snacks, and fruits near the parking lot or along the road.
Manikya Dhara Waterfall is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves spirituality and nature. It offers a unique experience of visiting a waterfall that is revered by both Muslims and Hindus and witnessing the beauty of Western Ghats. It also has a rich history and culture that adds to its charm. So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Manikya Dhara Waterfall today and enjoy a memorable vacation with your loved ones.