Tada, also known as Ubbalamadugu (don’t even try!) waterfalls, situated on the border of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh is one of the best treks one should know. Hold on there is IF.
If you are from south India.
If you are around Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu.
If you are visiting the world-famous Hindu Temple – Tirupati.
If you are Andhrite(resident of Andhra Pradesh) and looking for the first trek.
If you are a group of 15 friends, or shall I call GANG like us, and need a day out where your nonsensical fun will not trouble other people.
If you wanna experience the beauty of nature.
If you are on the other side of the world and ready to appreciate Indian suburbs.
basically everyone 🙂
Tada is around 100 km from both Chennai and Tirupati, so is a perfect location amid waterfalls and beautiful rocky mountains with approx. 10 km day trek roundabout from the base camp. Hire a travel company vehicle from Chennai or Tirupati and ready set go. Affordable, easy, and smooth.
Ideal time: August to December
Must need: Trek shoe, swim dress, and lots of water and sunscreen. Oh ya, camera.
Good to know: No trail directions, so stick to the crowd or follow the water stream.
1. Gorgeous views
OK! for starters, yes the views are breathtaking. Shallow valleys, mountains, waterfalls, huge rocks, it has everything. One can indulge in nature for hours while you trek. And yes it is a great place to try photography skills.
2. Rocky trail
From the base camp, about 1 km, there will be rocky and mud trail. You will also encounter a clear stream of water here and there, making perfect pit stops. You will soon be amid thick dark(kinda) forest paved with heavy rocks.
3. Crystal clear water
Water in Tada is just amazing. It is so clear that we can see the rocks beneath and cold to rest our feet for peace in burning sun. Don’t hit the water yet, there is plenty of water to swim up the hill.
4. Fauna, yes Fauna
Well, you can’t usually find snakes and cheetah but there are earthworms, fish(please do not catch), monkeys(yay!), and insects. There might be insects when you are traveling under trees, so please be careful. Also when eating snacks, please be aware of the surroundings.
5. Cascade falls
The fun part is to go a little out of the way and find the cascade falls along the rocks. There are a lot of them throughout the way. These little waterfalls add beauty to the trek. All the exhaust will be vanished with a glimpse of these falls, guess its magic of nature. There are even caves here but not to go inside of them.
6. Rock Climbing
Yup! Rock-climbing. There is at least one huge rock which has to be climbed to complete the trek to see this huge Tada waterfalls. This can be done alone but with the help of friends, it is definitely possible. Rock is definitely steep and it is over several small ones making it an altitude of at least 15 ft but there are anchor points one should watch out for. Not for weak hearted though. But it is a proud moment when we completed our first rock climbing and we are ready to do more.
7. Thick Forest
Trees give us shade and cool breeze when we are tired of the scorching sun. And there are moments, we thought if we need to go through these trees as we don’t see the path ahead with thick tree cover and huge rocks.
8. Sound of water
Apart from the chirping, screaming monkeys and rustling, there is one sound we don’t hear often but love when we do is burble – splash and whoosh. It all combines to make a piece of pleasant music otherwise can only be heard from Ilayaraja 🙂
9. Huge hanging roots
It is fun to hang and play with these roots reliving childhood days. These roots are not supposed to use for rock climbing though as they may not hold. BTW the white shorts guy in the mid-right of this image is claiming he climbed the rock first, who cares right 😛
10. The End, not really
When the huge rock climb is completely followed by a few other small rocks, we will finally land into this big stream of water. If there are heavy rains earlier, one can witness beautiful waterfalls here.
Now is the time to swim, play in the water which will be cold enough. There will be others who even dive into the water from above the huge rock and our friends who are confident enough swam to the end of the rock and claimed there are bigger rocks after the curve and a better view of Tada waterfalls from above the mountain. Few never risked as it is always better to be safe than sorry. Watch out for sinkholes and water can be really deep at few points or even near shore. So non-swimmers stay at the shore to enjoy the view down the rocks or play like a little kid enjoying the small moments on a grand scale 🙂
Walking back to the base camp might take less than 2 hours with few pit stops. And of course, you might want to head out much before the sunset as the place might get dark. Returning back? Try tea in any local stall in the nearby village and relish it.
We had the best time here checking out our first trek and first rock climbing and it is still one of the loveliest memories for my GANG!
I hope you have the same!!
Almost forgot… Dada means Tremor indicating fear in the local language which is Telugu and selavu means Goodbye!
Check out more beautiful places here.