Pond of the celestial nymphs

Pond of the celestial nymphs
The coastal region of Karnataka is full of wonderful surprises, one of which is Apsarakonda falls. Situated 10 km away from the town of Honnavar,
Apsarakonda is one of the fascinating destinations of Uttara Kannada district.

Upon reaching Apsarakonda, we first visited ancient Narasimha Swamy temple and a Nagabana located in the temple premises. Nagabana is a dense forest patch dedicated to serpents and considered sacred. One can hear the sound of the waterfalls from here.

The beauty of the silvery waterfall is breathtaking. The pool at the bottom of the falls is crystal clear and the colourful pebbles at the bottom are visible. It is not difficult to imagine the heavenly nymphs, apsaras, coming there to bathe in its cool, fragrant waters. The water of the falls is believed to have medicinal properties, as the rivulet runs through the forest full of  herbs before taking the plunge. After sitting quietly on a rock and enjoying the beauty of the waterfalls, we decided to explore further.

Nature’s lap

A rustic path from the waterfalls goes up to a wooded hillock, which has a beautiful and well-kept garden of rare plants, maintained by the Department of Horticulture. There are many plants that are decorative as well as medicinal. One such plant, the East Indian Screw Tree (Helicteres isora) was in full bloom. Curiously, the fruit of this tree has a screw shape. The roots are used for treating stomach ailments like gastritis. Bright-flowered Ixora plant seen here is endemic to the Western Ghats. Its flowers, leaves, roots and fruits are considered useful in Ayurveda to treat various ailments.

There is a small tree with beautiful white flowers similar to the flowers of Frangipani (Plumeria). Plants of Hardy hopbush (Dodonaea viscosa), which is said to be used in traditional folk medicine for tooth ache, are planted in different corners. Flowering bushes like oleander and hibiscus are other attractions of this garden.

Walking along a paved garden path, we reached a natural cave. There are three natural caves in the park and all are clean and well-ventilated, with native plants and grasses growing all around. From the caves, you can get a panoramic view of green rice fields, coconut groves and arecanut gardens, stretching all the way to the ocean. There are rugged paths going steeply down to the rice fields, crisscrossed by irrigation canals. After a precarious climb down, we took a winding path descending all the way to the ocean, and we were there on the shining golden sands of a beautiful and unspoiled beach of the
Arabian Sea. It is also possible to go directly to Apsarakonda beach by car, skipping the garden.

The beach offers a place to relax and enjoy the quietude. The place is tidy, clean and not littered. At times one can see dolphins cavorting in the near distance in the ocean.
In the evening, the view of fishermen entering the beach with their catch gives a touch of energy to the entire place. Fishing activity stops here during monsoon, owing to high tides and fish breeding season. Tremendous energy of the ocean during monsoon changes the character of the place. The view of spectacular sunset on this beautiful stretch of the beach is a visual treat.

Apsarakonda has it all – the forest and the waterfall showcasing the biodiversity, the temple of enduring divineness, and the pristine beach for relaxation. Apsarakonda is about 10 km from Honnavar. One can hire a taxi or an auto fromHonnavar to reach the place.


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