Tada Waterfalls / Ubbalamadugu Waterfalls
About the Place:
The Ubbalamadugu Waterfalls, popularly called Tada Waterfalls is one of the highest plunge waterfalls of Chittoor District in Andhra Pradesh. It is a part of the Eastern Ghats range of India which extends from North East Tamilnadu to the Seshachalam range to the Srisailam range of Andhra Pradesh.
Located in the Kambakkam beat of the Satyavedu Reserve Forest Range of the Chittoor East Wildlife Management Division of the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department.
It is also popularly known as the Siddulaiah Kona deriving its name from one of the temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in the valley. Most of the valleys in this range are named after Lord Shiva with the presence of small temples dedicated to the Lord. These are popular destinations for spiritual and religious ceremonies during Shiv Ratri.
The name Ubbalamadugu is derived from 'Ubbari madugu' meaning 'a natural spring pool' which is a unique feature of this valley. During peak monsoons, the 'madugu' (pool) bubbles up like a natural spring thus giving the name to this waterfall.
The valley is managed by a CBET (Community Based Eco Tourism) run by a local VSS (Vana Samrakshana Samiti) which is an initiative of the Forest Department for enabling community participation in forest management.
The name 'Tada waterfalls' became popular due to the erstwhile Madras film industry which used this location for filming forest and jungle scenes in many popular movies such as 'Bhu Kailasa'. Film crew used to be given instructions to take diversion at 'Tada' which is a junction on the highway to head towards Tirupati. Therefore the name 'Tada Waterfalls'.
How to Reach:
One of the key reasons for the popularity of the valley is due to its close proximity to Chennai and ease of transport with multiple travel options and good roads. Just about an hour and half drive from Chennai, there are various public transport options such as buses plying between Chennai Koyembedu - Tada - Srikalahasti - Tirupati route or the local EMU trains from Chennai Central, that halt at Tada railway station.
Visitors driving down from Chennai take the highway towards Nellore (NH5) and take a diversion at Tada (aprx. 55kms) and head west towards Varadaiahpalem (+20kms) from where the valley is another +10kms.
Popular cab services such as City Taxi (82972 82979) offer cheap and reliable taxi services from Chennai and Tada to the waterfalls.
Although specific references to the history of this particular valley are still being explored, the region that this valley is a part of has been described in epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata. Documented history has been found in the references to the Kings of Venkatagiri who ruled this region. Prior to the Venkatagiri empire, the kings of Vijayanagara Empire had expanded their administration here.
The extensive presence of well laid cavalry tracks, forts and bunglows during the British regime are a testament of the strategic and military importance of this valley about a century ago.