Talakona

Cascading from a height of 270ft, Talakona is the tallest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh. The forests around the falls have been developed as an ecotourism spot. Consequently, it is an accessible part of the largely out-of-bounds Venkateswara National Park.

Overview

The road to Talakona undulates amidst thick forests to ascend to the hilly terrain of Sesachalam. There is a checkpoint a few kilometres before the waterfall, where the entry fees are collected. Ahead a diversion to the left takes you to the guesthouse complex set up under the Community-Based Ecotourism (CBET) scheme. The compound, located on the banks of a small water body and blanketed by a canopy of tall trees, has log huts built on stilts and dormitories.The guesthouse, enclosed by the wilderness and enlivened by the hum of cicadas, offers an unparalleled forest experience. Earlier,wildlife safaris were conducted from here, though at the time of research,they had been discontinued.

Significance

Further on the main road, you will come across the Siddeswara Swamy Temple, a rather unassuming concrete structure. There is a checkpoint behind the temple from where a 2-km-long dirt track snakes to the sacred Talakona Waterfall. Vehicles are only allowed up to the parking lot, from where it is a 15-minute walk to the falls. A small check dam has been built near the parking, which serves as a swimming pool of sorts. There are also many vendors here selling seasonal fruits, peanuts, the fruit and seeds of the Entada Phaseoloides and other snacks. The waterfall has an upper, which plunges off a rock with huge clouds of mist and the lower,where water slides down in multiple streams along the rock face. The former is accessible by a path built along the slope. There is a small shrine here, next to which a path ascends steeply to the top of the hill and onwards to Tirumala. Unfortunately, tourists are not permitted to go on this path.

About a l00m before the Talakona parking, a path diverged the right to the nelakonna waterfall.Located in a niche within the rock face, the  waterfall is small yet quite charming. The water collects in a pool below, where you can enjoy not only a swim, but also a free fish spa treatment-the little creatures like to nibble on your skin. The trail to the waterfall runs along a dry, rocky river bed with cliffs rising sharply on either side and foliage obscuring the sunlight,giving it an eerie ambiance. While Talakona gets all the tourists, Nelakona is less frequented,perhaps because of the rocky access route.

On this path, you can also see the 300-year-old Gilla Theega, a woody creeper that is more than 5 km long and has a girth of 2.6 m,The creeper, found in tropical rain forests, grows by twisting around trees, eventually killing them in the process.The steam is rich in water. Its fruits are extraordinarily large, about 100-150 cm in length. They are woody, flat, elongated and composed of multiple pods. Locals eat the pulp, which is rich in protein and has a tamarind-like texture.

Photos

How to Reach

Tirupathi is the nearest airport to Talakona.

The Nearest railway station is at Tirupati. 

APSRTC runs direct bus service from Tirupati bus station to Talakona.

Best time to visit

  1. jan

  2. feb

  3. mar

  4. apr

  5. may

  6. jun

  7. jul

  8. aug

  9. sep

  10. oct

  11. nov

  12. dec

"September to January is the best Season to Visit Talakona Waterfalls. Though the region surrounding the falls has pleasant climate most of the year".

Highlights

SV Museum-The Museum has about 6,000 artefacts and displays, both historical and contemporary, related to the temple.

Silathoranam-One of the few natural arches in Asia, Silathoranam is a unique geological formation that took shape about 1,500 million years ago.

Chakra Theertham-A sacred waterfall next to which there are shrines with idols.

Srivari Padalu-It said that Lord Venkateswara first set his feet on earth at Narayanagiri.

Akasaganga Theertham-On the route from Tirumala to Akasaganga, you will first come across the Gogarbham Dam on your left.

Papavinasam-Papavinasam is where visitors go to wash off their sins (papa-sin,vinasam-destruction).

Govindaraja Swamy Temple-It is one of the largest and most significant temples in the region, built in 1130 CE by Ramanujacharya.

Kapila Theertham-Waterfalls cascading from the Seshachalam Hills to Tirupati, Kapila Theertham is one of the most marvellous.

Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park-Spread over an area of 290 hectares in the Seshachalam foothills has about  500 animals, birds and reptiles.

Tiruchannur- A trip to Tirupati customarily ends at the padmavathi Ammari Temple in Tiruchanur, also known as Alamelumangapuram.

Chandragiri Fort-Have been established in 1000 CE by Immadi Narasinga Yadavaraya who ruled from Narayanavanam

Srikalahasti-Is an important Shaivite pilgrimage centre, which has earned it the moniker of Dakshina Kasi

Horsley Hills-From atop Horsley Hills, the terrain seems beautiful yet bleak. Dry, rugged hills and stony plains stretch as the eye can see.

Bhuvaraha Swamy Temple-After that,prayers are offered at the Bhuvaraha Swamy Temple before heading to the Venkateswara Temple

© 2019 AP Tourism Authority