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Vajra Falls..( Nagar Gali)...

    The falls.

 I guess many people dont've an idea that there exists a place called Nagargali.....It is a small village located in Belgaum dist, some 45-50kms from Belgaum, in Khanapur taluk. Even fewer people know about Vajra falls present here!!..We, group of 5, had very tough time to get info about the falls and its location as google wont help you in this. After gathering information in bits and pieces we confirmed that a falls does exist in this place and to visit it permission from forest department is a must. Thus we planned to go there on Sunday, and got permission, for the same, from forest office in Belgaum on saturday. Getting permission to falls is very difficult as many people dont go there.Also it is located in remote place where, even connectivity is very poor. But we were lucky enough to get permission, as we were able to convince the officer. So, the trip was fixed on sunday...

                   Thus,  Sunday morning we boarded bus to Nagargali at 8am (It was late already by an hour...schedule timing is at 7). Connectivity to the place is very poor as very few bus run to the place. Own vehicle is preferable. Bus ride till Nagargali was bad, as roads were not at all in proper condition. Finally we reached the place at around 9.30am. I was surprised to see that there are absolutely no Shops in village, even human density is very less. Barring a few two wheelers here and there, a few scattered people and a deserted school(As it was sunday), the place was absolutely dead silent!! But its good to see how the place is still untouched by human habitation. we were told about how the place is weakly populated, hence  we carried all required things along as one doesn't get anything there. Also for 1st timers its better to reach place as early as possible and be back before dusk..
            RFO office in Nagargali  is located just beside where the bus stops, so locating office should not be an issue. Getting down from bus, we went straight to RFO office and informed them about our wish to visit the falls and showed them permission letter, the officer present inside was kind
enough to treat us warmly and gave us some strict warnings about the trek, and we were advised  to be very careful  as a student had drowned in falls recently. Also he cautioned us about the animals we may encounter during the trek.  As we had requested for guide to falls, we were provided with forest watcher, who was old experienced man with very good knowledge about forest. so we were off to 4.5km trek inside forest

                    Guide here is a must as falls is located inside forest, and its very risky to goin alone. Al tough  you know the route and you go in without permission, then you are inviting trouble. So follow rules, take permission  from forest dept which is compulsory, going in without permission is an
offence. since we had both permission and guide... So it was not an issue for us to get to the falls....

Nagargali comes under Khanapur Taluk of Belgaum District. Its a very dense forest. The forest has all
kinds of animals ranging from  snakes,variety of birds, Tiger, Gaur, Sambar, Deer, Elephant.  Trek to falls is not a difficult task as the terrain is smooth enough.Its good to see how dense the forest is, as human presence is low here.. Thus,we began our walk inside forest, hardly it was around 30-40 mins that,we spotted Rock python. We were lucky enough to see it as it had camouflaged under a tree. None of us had that courage  to go near snake and photograph it!! so it could not be captured in a snap. We moved on, so did the snake.

Our Watcher-cum-guide told us about the recent menace the elephants were causing in near by agricultural fields at night, for which villagers were blaming forest dept people. I wondered how dept people could be held responsible. As he was saying that, we saw piles of fresh elephant dung. He told it could be just half an hour past that elephants were here and advised us to be careful and not make much noise as they could be near by. But we moved on and never saw them! Near the falls We came across 2 villagers, inside forest, who had come to graze their cattle. They told us about a bear which had come to quench its thirst near the falls,2 days ago. I asked him about various animals he had seen till date. His list included each and every animal in forest!! Strange, we people pay money to see wild animals, where as for these people it was routine thing..
Trek path..
Now, regarding the trek route, it is a very simple way , instead of trekking we can call it hiking!! a simple walk inside forest.. without climbing up or down.On our way to falls we encountered a
caution board displaying info about student who drowned and died in the falls recently. Always remember to not cross limits with nature. This incident  has made it a lot more difficult to get permission to visit falls..  Finally after 2.5hours of smooth walk we reached falls.water drops  from very low height as you can see in picture, and forms a pool below, one can even swim here. Since it was end of monsoon, water level was not much high, we decided to swim.But be careful as water becomes deep to its end on left side. There was no one else than us at the falls, so it was like open pool !!.. our guide
was kind enough to give us an hour to swim, while he sat watching around.. Nearly after 1. 5 hours, we came out of water.It was such a nice feeling to go in natural water and swim, that too without any body's disturbance. I personally felt the trip was worth. Now we had our lunch there itself, which we had packed from home. So post lunch we left the falls and started moving back at around 2pm, the way back was little tirey one as we spent most of energy in swimming,  but it should not be a problem at all. After 1hr of trek we saw herd of spotted deer, it was an awesome sight.They were nearly 15-20 of them. It was such a nice sight to see them in natural habitat. We could not click any
snaps as they ran away on seeing us..Finally we  came out of forest at 4.30pm ..                                                                                                                                                        
With Villager  inside forest
  If one has own vehicle then you can visit near by Handi-Badagnath temple, which is on top
of mountain. Road to Handibadagnath is bad but can be managed, from temple the view of the jungle is worth seeing..we did not have any private vehicle so it was back to home for us....we had a tough time to get transport back as bus frequency is very less.And there are no private buses or autos here!..We managed to convince a truck driver to take us half way, from where we can get transport. He agreed and we were off to home....Belgaum.. Since Ramnagar-Goa  road is on periphery on Nagargali, so if you reach this road then getting transport should not be problem, as this is highway.
So, if  you plan to visit the falls, it is preferable to have own vehicle, if you don't have your own vehicle see then to it that you come out of forest and hit main road as early as 4pm. as very few vehicles run here. Altough there is guest house which can be booked for accommodation on request, but it is not worth as there are no other places to visit, so i don't suggest any halt here.

But for me it was indeed a fine one day non-tiring trek... I swam in natural water nearly after 3 years!!

1. Nagargali is village located in Khanapur taluk of Belgaum Dist...
2. Name of falls may be confusing as its called vajra and vajra poha falls..
3. One can swim in water is shallow..
4. Forest dept permission is must...You can get that at Belgaum or at Nagargali.(getting it at Belgaum is preferable.)
5. Guide is must....Dont attempt without a guide as its very dense forest..
6. Connectivity to Nagargali is very poor...very few bus run to village...i guess only 4 a day!!
7. No shops, hotels, stores in village....Even human population is carry reqd things along..
8. Hit main road as early as possible as there are not much vehicles which run to this place.

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