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The Talakona (Telugu: తలకోన) waterfall is in Sri Venkateswara National Park, Chittoor District of Andhra pradesh in India. With a 270 feet (82 m)-fall, Talakona is the highest waterfall in the Andhra pradesh state. Talakona is also known for the Lord Siddheswara Swamy Temple, which is located close to the waterfall.
Talakona is located in Nerabailu village in Yerravaripalem Mandal of Chittoor District. It is located 49 kilometres (30 mi) from Pileru, 58 kilometres (36 mi) from Tirupathi, 220 kilometres (140 mi) from Chennai, and 105 kilometres (65 mi) from Chittoor and 250 kilometres (160 mi) from Bangalore.
Talakona is a resort with waterfalls, dense forests and wildlife. The area was declared a biosphere reserve in 1989 due to the presence of rich variety of flora and fauna.
Talakona means head hill in Telugu (tala - head and kona - hill). However, Thalakona allegorically means “the head of the Seshachalam hills” as these mountains are believed to be the starting point of the Tirumala mountain ranges.
Flora and fauna
The Talakona forests host rare and endangered species of animals like Slender Loris, Indian Giant Squirrel, Mouse Deer, Golden Gecko, Panther, Porcupine, Chital and Sambar. Endemic species like Red Sander, Cycas beddomeii and Enteda like giant plants are also found in this region. The forest is mostly covered with sandalwood trees with some medicinal plants.
The waters of Talakona are enriched with herbs and people believe that it has healing properties. (Pictures of Butterflies & Wild Flowers of Talakona forest). A long and treacherous trekking route leads to the top of the hill, which can be reached by multiple paths. Talakona hills geographically is considered a part of the Eastern Ghats.
There is a beautiful waterfall falling deep into the valley from a cliff on the upper reaches. According to the local residents, it is said that the origin of water is difficult to be traced out since an underground stream surfaces here.
There is a 240 meter long canopy rope walk, about 35 to 40 feet in height, giving a thrilling experience to the visitors while walking. There are mighty trees around with birds and monkeys during the canopy walk. There are number of trek routes in different categories of difficulty, giving an option for the visitor to choose their route.
In the area there is an ancient Siva temple which is flooded with devotees during Sivarathri festival. There are also deep caves scattered over the mountains where it is believed that sages meditate eternally. A stream flows near the canopy walk area where a bathing ghat is under construction.
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