At a distance of 7 km from Baba Budangiri Dattatreya Peetha, 36 km from Kemmangundi & 29 km from Chikmagalur, Manikya Dhara Falls is situated in the dense forest of Baba Budangiri hills in Western Ghats of India. It is another popular attraction not to miss in a Chikmagalur tour package.
With a height of about 30 feet, the waterfall is situated midst dense Forest offering great views of Baba Budangiri Hills. Locally known as Nellikayi Theertha, this waterfall is considered as a holy site by Hindus as well as Muslims. Manikya Dhara, which literally means a string of pearls, is the ideal site for people looking for a peaceful and scenic atmosphere. According to the legend, saint Baba Budan along with his 4 disciples came to the site in search of water. After their prayers, they were blessed with water flowing from the mountains in the form of this waterfall.
People believe that bathing in this fall can cure various ailments. It is one of the main attractions of Baba Budangiri Hill. There are several shops around the fall that sell herbal medicines. The specialty of the fall is that it does not get drained during the summer. The waterfall also offers a splendid view of the surrounding natural beauty, while the mist covered hills and cool breeze add to the splendor of the site.
Pilgrims, who bath in the Manikyadhara Waterfall, leave behind one item of their clothing as per a local belief. Muslims believe that if a daughter of marriageable age is not finding a suitable groom, then offering bangles here will help. The girls wear these bangles and it is believed that this helps them to find good alliances. Muslim worshippers have carved out a cave here from where they collect mud. This mud is supposed to have curative powers to heal many ailments. It is also believed to bring good fortune.
There is a protection fencing built at bottom near the pool of the falls where visitors can take a dip. There are 200 well laid steps to reach bottom of the fall from approach road.
Manikyadhara Falls needs to go by jeep from Baba Budangiri during monsoon.The falls are close to the approach road and not much walking is required. However, few people walk from Baba Budangiri shrine to this place to enjoy the nature.
Though it can be visited throughout the year, October to April is the best time to visit this place.