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/ Bear Shola Falls

Bear Shola Falls

By Alan J Bright
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May 05, 2023

History of Bear Shola Falls

According to local folklore, the Bear Shola Falls was once a watering hole for wild bears that roamed the Palani Hills. The name "Shola" is derived from the Tamil word "sholai," which means "forest." It is believed that the waterfall was named Bear Shola Falls because it was a popular spot for bears to quench their thirst.

During the British Raj, the falls were a popular picnic spot for the European settlers. They were fascinated by the lush greenery, the gushing water, and the serene surroundings of the falls. The British also used the falls as a source of water for their plantations in Kodaikanal.

Location and How to Reach

The Bear Shola Falls is located at a distance of 2.5 km from the Kodaikanal Bus Stand. It is situated in the Reserve Forest area, on the way to the Berijam Lake. The falls can be reached by trekking through the forest area or by hiring a taxi from Kodaikanal.

If you prefer to trek, the route starts from the Kodaikanal Lake and goes through a dense forest. It takes around 45 minutes to reach the falls. The trek is moderately difficult and is not recommended for children and elderly people.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Bear Shola Falls is during the monsoon season, from June to September, when the waterfall is in full flow. The weather during this time is pleasant, with occasional rains and mist. However, the falls can be visited throughout the year, except during the winter season, from December to February, when the weather is too cold.

Entry Fees and Timings

There is no entry fee to visit the Bear Shola Falls. The falls are open to visitors from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day. However, it is recommended to visit the falls early in the morning to avoid the crowd.

Things to Do at Bear Shola Falls

The Bear Shola Falls offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages. Here are some of the things you can do at the falls:

Trekking

The trek to the Bear Shola Falls is a must-do activity for adventure enthusiasts. The trek takes you through a dense forest, where you can witness the beauty of nature at its best. The trek is moderately difficult, and it takes around 45 minutes to reach the falls.

Photography

The Bear Shola Falls is a photographer's paradise, with its stunning natural beauty and picturesque surroundings. You can capture some breathtaking shots of the falls, the forest, and the wildlife around it.

Birdwatching

The forest around the falls is home to a variety of bird species, making it a perfect destination for birdwatching. You can spot some beautiful birds like Nilgiri Flycatcher, Black and Orange Flycatcher, White-bellied Treepie, and Indian Blue Robin.

Nature Walks

You can take a leisurely stroll through the forest around the falls, and enjoy the serene surroundings. You can also explore the flora and fauna around the falls, and learn about the rich biodiversity of the region.

Flora and Fauna around Bear Shola Falls

The forest around the Bear Shola Falls is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Here are some of the species you can spot around the falls:

Wildlife

The forest around the falls is home to various wildlife species like bison, wild boar, Indian gaur, and deer. You can also spot some small mammals like squirrels, langurs, and macaques.

Birds

The forest around the falls is a birdwatcher's paradise, with over 100 bird species. Some of the species you can spot around the falls are Nilgiri Flycatcher, Black and Orange Flycatcher, White-bellied Treepie, Indian Blue Robin, and Pied Bushchat.

Trees and Plants

The forest around the falls is dominated by evergreen trees like shola and rhododendron. You can also spot some rare species of plants like orchids and ferns.

Nearby Tourist Attractions

There are many tourist attractions near the Bear Shola Falls that you can explore. Here are some of the popular ones:

Kodaikanal Lake

The Kodaikanal Lake is a man-made lake, located in the heart of Kodaikanal. It is a popular spot for boating and picnicking.

Bryant Park

The Bryant Park is a botanical garden, located near the Kodaikanal Lake. It is home to a variety of plants and flowers, and is a perfect spot for nature lovers.

Coaker's Walk

Coaker's Walk is a scenic walking trail, located on the edge of the hill station. It offers breathtaking views of the valley and the surrounding hills.

Accommodations and Restaurants

There are many accommodation options near the Bear Shola Falls, ranging from budget hotels to luxury resorts. Some of the popular ones are The Carlton, Sterling Kodai Valley, and Kodai Resort Hotel.

There are also many restaurants near the falls, serving a variety of cuisines. Some of the popular ones are Cloud Street Cafe, Potluck Cafe, and Hilltop Inn.

Safety Tips for Visitors

Here are some safety tips that you should keep in mind while visiting the Bear Shola Falls:

  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing for trekking
  • Carry sufficient water and snacks
  • Do not litter the surroundings
  • Do not disturb the wildlife
  • Do not swim in the falls, as it can be dangerous

Conclusion

The Bear Shola Falls is a natural gem hidden in the mountains of Tamil Nadu. It offers a perfect escape from the chaos of city life and a chance to explore the beauty of nature. Whether you are an adventure enthusiast, nature lover, or just seeking some tranquility, the falls have something for everyone.

FAQs

1. Is there an entry fee to visit the Bear Shola Falls?

No, there is no entry fee to visit the falls.

2. What is the best time to visit the Bear Shola Falls?

The best time to visit the falls is from September to May, when the weather is pleasant and the water flow is good.

3. Can we swim in the falls?

No, swimming in the falls is not allowed as it can be dangerous.

4. Is there any accommodation available near the Bear Shola Falls?

Yes, there are many accommodation options available near the falls, ranging from budget hotels to luxury resorts.

5. What are some nearby tourist attractions that we can visit?

Some nearby tourist attractions that you can visit are Kodaikanal Lake, Bryant Park, and Coaker's Walk.

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