Travel Guide to Jog Waterfalls in Karnataka

There are thousands of waterfalls throughout India, while some falls like the Dudhsagar Waterfalls are renowned worldwide, there are others that are lesser known but are equally alluring. One such falls is the Jog Falls, one of the most precious tourist gems of Karnataka. 

Tucked quietly in the laps of the mighty Western Ghats in the northern parts of Karnataka, Jog Falls is located in the Shimoga district. One of the highest waterfalls in the world, the source of Jog Falls is Sharavathi River. A unique thing about Jog Waterfalls is that it does not stream down in a tiered manner, instead it thunders down the slope. Also, the locals refer to the falls by different names like, Jogada Gundi, Gersoppa Falls, or Geruoppe Falls.

So, if you are looking to go on a holiday to Jog Falls Karnataka, here is a complete travel guide for you. The guide covers some aspects, including –

  • History of Jog Falls
  • Interesting facts about Jog Falls
  • Best places to see near Jog Falls
  • Things to do at Jog Falls
  • Best time to visit Jog Falls
  • How to reach Jog Falls


How to reach Jog Falls

No matter which part of the country you are in, you can easily reach Jog water falls. Being a popular tourist spot, the Karnataka government has developed excellent infrastructure facilities around the fall to make it accessible for all. 

The closest airport to Jog fall, Karnataka is in Mangalore city, which is located about 243 km from the falls. You can take a train from your city/town to Shimoga. There are direct trains from all major cities in India to Shimoga. If you don’t find a direct train, you can reach nearby major towns like Bangalore, Mysore or Chennai and then switch trains to Shimoga. 

Shimoga is located about 101 km from Jog Falls, and from here you can take a taxi or the local state bus to reach the falls. 

Also Read: Best Waterfalls in India You Must Visit During Monsoon


Best time to visit Jog Falls

Jog Falls is a seasonal fall, and it is at its absolute best during the monsoon season, i.e., from June to September. During this time of the year, the intensity of the falls is the highest and all the four falls, i.e., Raja, Rani, Rocket and Roarer look magnificent and gush down with great force, creating a spectacle for the onlookers. 

Winter is also a good time to visit Jog Falls as the weather is pleasant in the region. It is a wonderful time to go for a picnic and trekking at the nearby trails. It is best to avoid visiting Jog Falls during the summer as the weather here can be extremely hot and humid. 


History of Jog Falls

Apart from being an important tourist spot in Karnataka state, Jog Falls also has a rich history, which dates back to the 16th century when the area was under the regime of Keladi Dynasty. According to some historians, and the locals, a ruler of the Keladi Dynasty named Raja Keladi Shivappa Nayaka was the first person to spot and discover the Jog Waterfalls. 

At the first sight of the falls, he was so mesmerised by the beauty of the it that he named it Jog, which means ‘falls’ in the local language. Over the years, and through the centuries, many travellers, and explorers from all over the world, including a famous British explorer, Sir Thomas Munro described the falls as ‘unrivalled in beauty and grandeur.’


Jog Falls and Mythology

As per Hindu legends, Lord Ram, his consort, Goddess Sita and his brother, Lord Laxman during their exile happened to visit the area of Jog Falls. And as they were passing by, Goddess Sita felt parched and asked for water. So, to quench her thirst, Lord Ram shot an arrow into the ground and drew water. 

However, the water from the ground did not stop flowing and eventually formed a river. Later this river was named Sharavathi River, which is the source of the Jog Falls. 

Also Read: 8 Best Must Visit Waterfalls in Karnataka


Interesting facts about Jog Falls

  • Jog Falls is used for producing electricity. There is a power station near the falls, which was built in 1948. It produces 120 MW (Mega Watt) electricity, and it was named as Krishna Rajendra, a Mysore King. Later it was changed to Mahatma Gandhi hydro-electric project. 
  • The water from Jog Falls flows through the Gerusoppa town and later joins the Arabian Sea at Honnavar. 
  • Jog waterfall is the highest waterfall in India without any tiers; it drops down from a height of about 820 feet.  
  • Another interesting fact about Jog Falls is that before monsoon, it wears a different image. When there is not much water in Linganamakki Dam, the falls is just a thin stream of water trickling down from a cliff. However, during monsoon, due to the rainwater, it gushes with great force and forms a wonderful plunge. 
  • Unlike most other popular waterfalls, Jog Falls does not fall in steps, it is a full-length fall with a vertical plunge. 
  • Jog Falls is a combination of four different falls – Raja, Rani, Rocket and Roarer. Each of these falls from a different height, with the highest one, Raja, falling from 830 feet. 
  • After Nohkalikai Waterfalls in Shillong, Meghalaya, Jog Falls is the second highest plunge waterfall in India. 


Things to do at Jog Falls

The location of the falls amidst the lush green forests, and the height at which it falls from, make Jog Falls a popular attraction among different kinds of travellers. From hardcore trekking enthusiasts to peace seekers and water sports lovers come to have their share of joy and fun. 

Apart from admiring the surreal beauty of the falls and revelling in the serene surroundings, there are many things to do in Jog falls. Here are some of the popular activities you can enjoy here –

  • Trekking

Many nature enthusiasts and trekking lovers prefer trekking to see the waterfalls in Karnataka. The trek here is quite different and an experience everyone must have at least once in their life. Instead of climbing up through the dense forests and plantations through the hills, you need to descend about 1400 steps to reach the base of the waterfalls. 

Once you reach the base level, you can enjoy the fantastic view of gushing falls and the beautiful surroundings. Make sure that you wear good quality footwear during the trek, as the trail and the steps can be slippery, especially during the rains. However, the trek is worth it, and by the end of it, you would thank yourself for having this wonderful experience. 

  • Camping and water activities

The Jog Waterfall is an excellent place to go camping and spend a night outdoors and be surrounded by a lush green environment and under the blanket of a billion stars. Every year, different camps are set up near the waterfalls, and it is a great way to get away from the routine and have a different experience. If you have not done camping before, you must give yourself this experience. You would surely enjoy it and begin to appreciate nature better. 

If you want some adrenaline-pumping action and thrill, you can participate in various water activities like river rafting, coracle rides, and kayaking. River rafting is not for the faint-hearted ones; the joy of gushing down the stream at immense pace is sure to satiate your hunger for thrills.

  • Birdwatching

Among the many things to do in Jog falls, birdwatching is a perfect activity for leisure and peace seekers. You can simply sit back and enjoy listening to the sounds of the birds calling and the sight of the colourful birds. The area surrounding the falls is home to innumerable bird species, including both local and migratory birds. If you are an avifauna lover, this place is your mecca. Even if you are not, you must take a pair of binoculars and you will still be thrilled to see the birds’ antics in their natural habitat. 

  • Photography

Among the various waterfalls in Karnataka, Jog Falls is the most photographed one. And it is understandable why, because its beauty is worth capturing and framing. So, when you are visiting Jog waterfall, make sure to carry a good camera and keep it handy to click some stunning pictures of the falls and the natural beauty surrounding the falls. 

There are two viewing decks to see the falls, and it would be the perfect place to click some beautiful shots from different angles to capture the beauty of the falls in the frame and post on your social media. 


Best places to see near Jog Falls

When you are visiting Jog Falls, its captivating beauty will arrest your senses, and you may want to spend an entire day admiring the magnificent sight in front of you, and yet you may not have enough of it. However, there are many other interesting and beautiful attractions nearby that are worth exploring. Here are some of the best places to visit near Jog Falls

  •     Raja Stone

(distance from Jog Falls – 6 km approx.)

  •     Dabbe Falls

(distance from Jog Falls – 33 km approx.)

  •     Dwimukhi Cahmundeshwar Temple

(distance from Jog Falls – 5 km approx.)

  •     Sharavati Valley Wildlife Sanctuary 

(distance from Jog Falls – 85 km approx.)

  •     Linganammaki Dam 

(distance from Jog Falls – 12 km approx.)

  •     Bangara Kusuma 

(distance from Jog Falls – 27 km approx.)

  • Travel
  • Karnataka

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