Jog Falls plunges from a height of 830 feet into a deep gorge in four different segments/ streams. Each of these segments/ streams is given a separate name. Raja (King) pours in a single continuous stream to the base. Rani (Queen) has a stream that is curvy and zigzag, just like a female dancer. It has the most fascinating milky flow, just like a sheet of foam. Roarer crashes on a lot of rocks during its fall and violently rushes downwards to meet the base making a lot of loud noise, hence the name. Rocket streams out of a small opening at lightning speed and shoots downwards in a series of jets.
The waterfall is mostly rain-fed, and you can see it in its full glory during the monsoon (from May to September). In the dry season, two out of the four streams of Jog Falls dry out, and the waterfall is tapered down to a pair of thin streams trickling down the cliff. In 1964, Karnataka’s biggest dam – the Linganamakki dam, was built across the Sharavathi River. Since then, the water inflow of the falls has decreased considerably every summer as the gates of the dam are closed during the summer months.
Location of Jog Falls, Karnataka – India
Jog Falls is tucked amongst natural settings in the Western Ghats of India in the northern part of the state of Karnataka. It falls in the Sagara taluka of Shimoga district. Jog waterfalls is formed by the waters of the Sharavathi river, which originates at a place called Ambuthirtha in Karnataka state. From this point, the Sharavathi river flows north-westerly for about 130 kilometres to join the Arabian Sea at Honnavar in the Uttara Kannada district. On its way, the water of the river drops down from a height of 830 feet, forming Jog Falls.
How to reach Jog Falls, Karnataka – India
Hubballi Airport is the nearest airport to Jog Falls, Karnataka (about 130 kilometres away). From Hubballi airport, you can either hire a taxi to Jog Falls or catch a state-run bus to Jog Falls from the Hubballi bus stand.
Talaguppa railway station is the nearest railway station to Jog Falls, Karnataka (about 14 kilometres away). The Talaguppa rail line is well connected to Bengaluru (Bangalore), Mysore, Shimoga and Sagara. The meter gauge rail track between Shimoga, and Talaguppa was laid by the British in the late 1930s. The Sagara railway station, 30 kilometres away from the Jog Falls, is the second closest railway station. If you are coming from northern parts of India, you can catch a train to Hubballi railway station in Karnataka. From Hubballi, Shimoga can be reached via road, from where you can take a train or taxi to Talaguppa.
Jog Falls, Karnataka, is nicely connected by well-laid smooth roads from both sides – Honnavar and Shimoga/ Sagara. It is located 85 kilometres away from the temple town of Murudeshwar and 111 kilometres away from the beach destination Gokarna. Gokarna, Murudeshwar, and Jog Falls make a wonderful combined road trip. Jog Falls also makes for an amazing road trip from Bengaluru (Bangalore), which is located at a distance of about 410 kilometres from the falls.
We drove on a rented 2-wheeler from Gokarna to Murudeshwar and then to Jog Falls in Karnataka. The roads from Murudeshwar to Jog Falls are excellent in condition and gradually ascend around the hills of western ghats. As we visited Jog Falls during the end of the monsoon in early September, we saw plenty of pretty rain-fed waterfalls on the way. Driving through the beautiful Sharavathi valley, we stopped at many viewpoints – the best being the Sharavathi suspension bridge over the ragingly flowing Sharavathi river. We drove through foggy roads surrounded by dense forests with picture-postcard gorgeous views. It was an adventure to drive through low visibility (just a couple of metres) due to heavy fog and rain.
Best time to visit Jog Falls, Karnataka – India
Monsoon season is undoubtedly the best time to visit Jog Falls in Karnataka. We heard from locals that the gates of Linganamakki dam are usually opened on the 15th of August (Independence Day in India) every year. So, August to October is the best time to visit Jog Falls, Karnataka. The weather will remain rainy, foggy, and misty during this time, so keep your raincoats and umbrellas handy and be patient for the clouds to move away from the waterfall. You may find only a thin stream of water trickling down the hill if you visit the waterfall in any of the other months. We would not recommend anyone to visit them during the summer months due to the hot and humid weather and thin stream in the waterfall.
Things to know before visiting Jog Falls
Jog Falls are a little off-the-beaten tourist trail, so to get the most out of the waterfalls, follow these tips.
You can access Jog Falls and its visitor centre seven days a week from 7.30am 9.30pm. The earlier you can arrive, the quieter it is.
What to wear
However, it is recommended to wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear, as the terrain can be uneven and slippery, especially after the monsoon.
What to pack
It is advisable to carry a raincoat or umbrella if you don’t want to get wet. The falls generate a lot of mist and spray. Also carry drinking water, sunscreen, and insect repellent, especially if you plan to explore the surrounding areas.
Best things to do in Jog Falls
From thundering cascades to the tigers of the Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, here are the best things to do in Jog Falls.
1. To get a panoramic view of Jog Falls, visit the viewpoints
The most popular viewpoint is the Watkins Platform, located near the falls’ base. It offers an up-close view of the cascades and is particularly captivating during the monsoon season.
2 Head to Linganamakki Dam
Around 10km from Jog Falls, the huge Linganamakki Dam was built across the Sharavathi River and forms the reservoir for the falls. Many package tours will stop here.
3 Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
Jog Falls are hidden inside the lush forests of the 431 sq-km the Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Home to tigers, Malabar giant squirrels, sloth bears, crocodiles, and many diverse types of flora, it’s also worth exploring separately.
Best time to visit Jog Falls
If you can, head up here between October and January. The views of the falls from the opposite side of the gorge are impressive but during the monsoons mist and rain clouds tend to envelop the cascades.
Another reason not to come during the wet season is that the extra water, and abundance of leeches at this time, make the excellent hike to the floor valley a trial.
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