Jog Falls is the second highest waterfall in India. This magnificent falls are formed when River Sharavati descends down around 250m (~850 ft) along four trajectories. The trajectories themselves are named Raja, Roarer, Rocket, and Rani. There are reasons behind naming these trajectories. Raja falls is majestic, which pours directly down 850 feet. You can feel the pride of a king (Raja) when you see this trajectory goes violently down uninterrupted by the rocks nearby! The next one towards the right of Raja falls is Roarer. It is named rightly so, as this trajectory loudest amongst all the four trajectories. It starts slightly right of Raja Falls, but flows through a narrow gauge, and joins Raja falls towards the middle. From the view point, you would feel as if water is coming from the middle of nowhere! Towards the right of Roarer is Rocket Falls. As the name suggests, this falls looks as if series of jets are flowing down! And finally, the Rani Falls, which is mild and silent.
The view from the view-point is awesome. You can see all the four falls from a distance. The tourism department has now built about 1400 steps to get to the base of the waterfalls. During summer, it will be an awesome experience to get to the bottom of the falls. Some adventurists get to the bottom of Raja falls, and get a nice back massage from the nature itself! While you can get down the stairs during the rainy season too, but due to the heavy downpour of water, you cannot reach the touchdown of the falls! After the new steps were laid few years back, you are only allowed to view the falls from a safe distance. Getting to the touchdown of the falls is strictly prohibited.
On a misty morning, or during the rainy season, you can feel the chill due to the clouds around. It can also spoil the view of the falls, but a little (sometimes great) patience can get you the awesome view of Jog Falls. If the monsoon is good, and there is enough water in the river, then you cannot distinguish between the four trajectories! And that’s Jog Falls at its best! You can really feel why Roarer is named so!
You can also get to the top of the falls if you drive down another 2 kilometers from the view point to a place called British Bunglow. To some distance, it is safe guarded with the railings around but after that, it is really dangerous to get any closer to the falls (especially during monsoon, where the rocks are too slippery). If you are careful enough, you can see the beauty of the falls from other side! The highlight is a rock that projects out a little. You can sleep on that rock, and see the Raja falls going directly down! Be careful, once you get up, you head may start spinning 🙂
Each season brings a different glory to Jog falls. During summer, you cannot see much of water plunging down. That gives adventurists an opportunity to get to the top of all four of the falls. The view from each of those places is awesome, and it is adventurous to keep going from place to place, sometimes crawling, and sometimes jumping from one rock to the other. This path was made famous by a Kannada movie called “Mungaru Male”.
If you walk around the view point, you can see the beautiful valley all around. You can see a hydroelectric power station at the opposite side of Jog Falls, and another mysterious Mavinagundi waterfalls that you can spot only during rainy season on the opposite side of the entrance (covered by trees and easy to miss).
The water to Jog Falls is controlled by Linganamakki Dam that is situated about 15 km from Jog Falls. Entry to the dam is not allowed for visitors, however, you can view the beautiful dam from a distance. It is mesmerizing to see a dam amidst thick forests and valleys around.
The closest you can see the water flowing down from the dam is a place called “China Gate”. This place is located on one of the interior roads, but is definitely worth a five minute stop. The route from China Gate to Jog Falls on the interior roads is very scenic during monsoon, when the villages turn into lush greenery all around. It is definitely worth taking this road (instead of the highway) if you want to enjoy the natural monsoon beauty.
You can also visit Honnemaradu which lies on the backwaters of Jog Falls. It is believed that a whole uninhabited village is submerged in the waters here. This place is famous for its water sports.
The peak time to visit is during August/September, when the falls is in its full glory. But be sure to see a lot of crowd at this time! The local news channels also show the beauty of the falls during this time, which attracts many more tourists from all over the place. Being not so long drive from Bangalore (7-8 hours), you can see a lot of people driving during the weekends. Be sure of a traffic jam even at Jog falls during the August/September weekends :-). However, it is worth a drive to see the beauty of the surroundings!
How to reach?
Jog Falls is just an overnight journey away from Bangalore. There are many buses/trains that ply between Sagar and Bangalore, and Sagar is just 30 km away. You can hire car/taxi from Sagar and visit the beautiful Jog Falls (and all the places listed in this post).
Tip: If you are a road tripper, and are driving from Bangalore to Jog Falls, do not forget to visit Mattur (near Shivamogga/Shimoga). This is the only Sanskrit speaking village in the whole of India! Don’t believe? Visit it to believe it!
Where to Stay?
- Few guest houses around Jog Falls
- Sagar (30 km)
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