Mallela Theertham Waterfalls - Short trip from Hyderabad
As the clouds start receding and the rainy season nears its end, most travel addicts and adventure lovers look for places to escape the comfort of their homes to get out on the road and breathe some fresh air. The best places to visit during such times are rivers, dams and waterfalls for obvious reasons. October had just begun, a long weekend was around the corner and clouds were few; we had to plan something. We created a 4 day itinerary starting from Hyderabad, India covering 3 major destinations - Srisailam, Gandikota and Kurnool travelling around 1000 kms forming a diamond shape. Even after in-depth research, we could not find a trace of such itinerary on internet, but with some doubts in our mind, we decided to do it. In this blog we cover couple of interesting places on our way to Srisailam - Dindi reservoir and Mallela Theertham Waterfalls.
We started our road trip on a saturday morning at around 7 AM from Hyderabad. Taking the outer ring road towards Airport, we were soon on Srisailam Highway. The roads are fantastic and the weather was awesome. After a quick stop for breakfast on the way, we reached Dindi reservoir at around 10 AM. Dindi is a small town about 120 Kms from Hyderabad and right after the town, adjoining the highway itself on the right is a lake or reservoir called Dindi reservoir. It is formed out of tributary of Krishna river called Dindi and plays an important role in irrigating the area through various canals. One can climb up the dam like structure which prevents the water from flowing on the roads and get a good view of the reservoir. You can actually find some videos on Youtube where water from Dindi reservoir overflows on the main roads. We spent around half an hour here walking on the dam and clicking some pictures. This place is not great but it is recommended as a short break in your journey to Mallela Theertham waterfalls and Srisailam since it is right on the road.
Back on the road, we entered the premises of Nallamala forest few minutes later. Once you enter the forest area, the smooth road is covered on both sides with extremely thick forest. It is in fact India's biggest tiger reserve, called Nagarjuna Sagar - Srisailam Tiger reserve and there is a Safari ride which takes you through the forest. However the number of tigers in the forest are too less and sightings are extremely rare letting down most tourists who visit it. About 50 kms from Dindi which is around 170 kms from Hyderabad and 50 kms before Srisailam came the first sign of our next destination - Mallela Theertham waterfalls for which we were desperately waiting - a diversion to left from the village named Vatavarlapally. Thankfully there is a board for Mallela Theertham waterfalls on the road which ensured we do not miss this diversion. On taking a left, we saw there was no proper road, just a muddy path which passed through Mallapur village (probably named after the waterfalls or vice-versa). The reddish yellow muddy road which was moist due to rains made the journey easier for us. We are sure this road would be closed for vehicles in the rainy season. Green fields on both sides of the road looked beautiful. We stopped on the way in a village to click some photographs. The village was quite isolated and small with very few people in sight. The handful of huts with verandah, the age old agricultural carts pulled by cattle, hand pumps for water and silence all around felt like we had landed in medieval times. It was a photographer's paradise.
Moving on, at about 8 kms from the diversion on main road, we reached Mallela Theertham, a temple and a waterfall. There is a huge parking area at the gate. There is a minimal entrance charge of Rs.10 for seeing the waterfalls. The sound of the waterfall was audible as we started going down the steps. We soon reached the falls and found a group of people leaving. Thankfully the waterfalls were ours to capture. We spent quite some time trying out different angles and taking lots of photographs till our thirst for those perfect shots of waterfalls was quenched. The white stream of water of Mallela Theertham flows from around 150 feet on some rocks and then flows on to ultimately join river Krishna. Summers would definitely have much less water but we were visiting it at the best possible time. Apart from the waterfall area where you see direct sunlight falling, rest of the area is quite dark as it is surrounded by the dense Nallamala forest, probably the most untouched forest reserves of South India. We spent about 1-1.5 hours at the Mallela Theertham waterfalls and left when lots of monkeys turned out looking for food and terrorizing tourists with their fearlessness. Despite huge boards saying bathing or swimming is not allowed, a shattered fence and absence of any official allowed people to stand and bath under the waterfall. We however were not interested in getting wet and did not indulge into going directly below the waterfalls.
While one might not visit the places covered in this blog - Dindi reservoir and Mallela Theertham waterfalls as a standalone trip from Hyderabad. It is highly recommended that you do not miss these lesser known spots when you travel to Srisailam. You may however visit these as a weekend day trip from Hyderabad in case you have already covered Srisailam earlier. The low turnout of tourists makes the time spent here worth it and if you are into photography, the main attraction for you might be the interesting faces and landscapes in villages you see here.
We visited Srisailam next after Mallela Theertham followed by Gandikota and various attractions near Gandikota and Kurnool. Read our travel blogs on these places. You can also check out our travel blogs about other destinations in the vicinity. Do let us know your thoughts about Mallela Theertham in comments section below.