A Weekend Trip To Jog Falls
As one of India’s highest waterfalls, and the tallest one in South India, Jog Falls is a very popular tourist destination in Karnataka! Most visitors do a day trip to the village of Jog where the falls are located – but is it worth spending a night also there?
In this blog post, you’ll find everything that you need to know to plan a visit to the most beautiful waterfalls in Karnataka – Jog Falls. Starting with a few view points, we’ll tell you about how to travel to the village, where to stay near the falls and about the sightseeing around Jog Falls.
Jog Falls and its streams of waterfalls
One look at the waterfalls is enough to convince you of the beauty in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. Jog Falls is 253 metres tall and is a combination of four individual streams called lovingly as ‘Raja’, ‘Rani’, ‘Roarer’ and ‘Rocket’. Raja falls is the tallest and grandest of the four and Rani, the smaller one, appears to be its royal companion. Roarer is the loudest and the fourth, ‘Rocket’ has an uncanny resemblence to an actual rocket, wide at the bottom and tapering at the top.
Best time to visit Jog Falls: The best months to visit Jog Falls are generally after the monsoon slows down (so late August, September) till December.The weather is also better during this time. Another option is to go at the beginning of Monsoon (June), like we did.
In the summer, the falls might not be visible due to the low water levels in the Sharavathi river.
Different viewpoints to see Jog Falls
There are a number of view points to see Jog Falls from, starting with the most easily accessible one inside the KSTDC complex to the more off-beat spots scattered around the village of Jog. Here’s a list of the best view points around Jog Falls!
1. KSTDC and PWD Guesthouse
The KSTDC complex is within the Sharavathi Power Generation park and there is a government owned hotel called The Mayura Gerusoppa Falls. This entire park is located on the cliffside across the valley, giving visitors the best view of Jog Falls!
2. Base of Jog Falls
This is the best way to see Jog Falls, if you are willing to walk a fair bit. From the PWD Guesthouse, there is a safe walkway to the base of the canyon. The 1,400 steps to the bottom of Jog Falls take about 20 minutes to climb down and 40 mins to climb up. It is humid and tiring, but worth going once – the scenery is very beautiful while descending. At the end, there is a walled platform for visitors to stand on and admire the waterfalls
3. Viewpoints outside the village
There are many smaller viewpoints at the top of the Raja waterfalls on the opposite side where you can see the water gushing to the edge of before it freefalls. Any local can guide you to these view points.
More to see at Jog Falls
The best sights at Jog Falls also include the thick forests all around. We saw many Black Faced Langurs and even a Malabar Flying Squirrel (which is as big as a monkey) jumping in the canopies.
The Sharavathi Hydroelectric Power Plant was one of the greatest achievements of Independent India. Walk around the KSTDC hotel on the road and you’ll come by the Power Plant viewpoint.
Tip: Every evening at 7:30 PM, there is a free Musical Fountain show in the amphitheatre behind the Mayura Restaurant. With all-time Kannada superhit songs from the last 20 years playing, its a humble treat for visitors!
You can take a tuktuk ride to the other side of the valley and visit the Jog Bridge which connects the neighbouring districts of Shimoga and Karwar. The tuktuk drivers charge INR 300 for a one hour tour including the view points and a photo stop at the bridge.
Car parking is available everywhere.
How to travel to Jog Falls
The most convinent way is to take a direct sleeper bus from Bangalore to Jog Falls. You can also reach Sagara which is 30 kilometres from Jog Falls (INR 30 by public bus). The cost of a sleeper bus ticket is INR 750 (USD 11) and takes 6 hours to reach the KSTDC complex where the hotel is located. Buses travel from Mysore, Mangalore, Shimoga as well.
Doing a roadtrip is also a great idea, but check for favourable weather conditions in the monsoon season.
What to eat in Jog Falls
The Mayura Restaurant inside the KSTDC complex serves South Indian and North Indian cuisine, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. It is reasonably priced (under INR 200 for most dishes).
Looking for something more authentic and local? Go to the small market building next door and you’ll find many small eateries selling Masala Mandakki, Bajjis, Maggi and other snacks along with tea and coffee – perfect for the cool weather.
Where to stay near Jog Falls
The best place to stay at Jog Falls is ‘The Mayura Gerusoppa Falls Hotel’ which is managed by the Karnataka State Tourism Department Corporation (KSDTC). The rooms are very spacious and well maintained. Despite the best location in Jog Falls, the rooms are very affordable. Rooms with a view of Jog Falls are standard across the hotel. The restaurant, walkway entrance and parking lot are within walking distance.
Bus drop and pick up points are at the complex gate. You can also hire auto rickshaws there for sightseeing.
There are smaller homestays and cheap accommodation in the village, but we would not recommend those unless The Mayura is sold-out.
Tip: If you have a few hours before heading back home, stop at Sagara and visit the Ikkeri Aghoreshwara Temple, one of the most important temples in Shimoga.
We requested an auto driver at the Sagara Main Bus Stand to take us there and bring us back to catch the bus to Bangalore. It cost us INR 150 for one hour including the travel and waiting time.