Tada is well connected to Chennai via local trains and mofussil buses that head to Chennai from Tirupathi and Nellore.
Trains from Chennai heading to Sullurpeta from Chennai Central pass via Tada. There is a train every two hours and the last train from Tada to Chennai leaves at 8:30PM.
To reach Tada, cross the Padi junction in Chennai and take the Redhills route and join NH-5. Drive for about 60 km and you will reach Tada town. Before you reach Tada you will cross the AP checkpost. If you are taking taxis, then you will have to shell out permit tax here (₹250 for Indica and Ambassador) and it is pretty high for a Tata Sumo or Tempo Traveller. It might be cost effective to take 2 Indica's compared to a Tata Sumo.
Once you reach Tada, take the left which is right next to the bridge and you will reach Varadiah Palem. Ask the people for directions from here. You have to take a left turn to reach Tada falls and there are absolutely no indications at this point. You can reach this place from Kalahasti too.
It is 20 km from the Tada to reach the base camp of the Tada falls. Where you can park our vehicles and start trekking. The only way to get around from here is on foot.
Locally the falls is called "Ubbalamadugu Falls". Remember this name as it can come in handy if you are lost.
The ideal time to visit Tada is between August-December when the sun is a little less intense. The worst time is March-June.
Once you have reached Base Camp the trek begins. The total trek distance would be about 10 km to and fro with nearly 4 km in really rocky conditions. From here, the mud road begins and if you are on SUV or two wheelers, you can go for another 1 km.
Just after 150 m or so, you reached a place where you must cross a small stream. A small word of caution: don't get into it with your shoes on. It will become really tough to trek with wet soles.
Once you cross this small stream the walk continues till you reach a mud-path. Follow this mud-path and you will first go up the hill and then down the hill. It is quite tricky to follow the path as in some places only rocks are seen and there is absolutely nothing to indicate a path.
Keep walking along the mud-path and you will cross another stream. Continue walking on the mud-path and around 30 min later you will reach a Siva Temple. This is the last place where you can sit comfortably and have food, if you haven't had any so far. If you don't reach the Siva temple within an hour and half of starting the trek, then you have lost your way. Use the time-tested method of following the stream and proceed.
After this point there is no proper path and you have to rely on the direction shown people who are around the Siva Temple. You have to cross the stream and then look for a path. You will find a small clearing and this might help you on the way forward. From here on, the trek starts to become difficult. You encounter rocks and millipedes on those rocks on the way forward. (Remember to listen for the stream from this point on. This would be very helpful.)
Some of the rocks are pretty big. You have to climb nearly 3 m at times and some of the formations are also difficult. There should be two falls, but only one is found during peak summer before the rains have started.
Total cost per person (approx): ₹450 (includes travelling, lunch, breakfast).
- Chengalamma Temple is in Sullurpeta. The temple don't have any doors.
- Pulicat Lake is the second largest brackish – water lake or lagoon in India
Commercialization of this place hasn't begun: it is still a nice spot for trekking without the usual buzz of people and shops surrounding you. There are small canteens and grocery stores at Tada, where you can buy snacks or water.
You can buy water at Tada and do not forget to fill you bottles from the Stream before making the return journey.
With limited accommodation available nearby, the nearest place is Sullurpeta, which has very good AC and Non-AC lodges. Staying in the forest beyond sunset is not advised.
Keep around 2½ hr for the journey back. It will be tiring, so give yourself ample time and also take rest wherever needed. Drinking water becomes a luxury and so you can fill the bottles from the streams. This trek isn't for someone who doesn't enjoy walking on the rocks.
You can take the same way back to reach Tada village from the Tada Falls. There on you can either take a bus, train or cab back to Chennai or Tirupati.