Jog Falls, Karnataka

Hidden in a remote, thickly forested corner of the Western Ghats 240 km northeast of Mangaluru, Jog Falls are the highest waterfalls in India. Today, however, they are rarely as spectacular as they were before the construction of a large dam upriver, which impedes the flow of the River Sharavati over the sheer red-brown sandstone cliffs.

Be wowed by Jog Falls, India’s highest waterfall

Still, the surrounding scenery is gorgeous, with dense scrub and jungle carpeting sparsely populated, mountainous terrain

The trail up to Jog Falls starts just below the bus park and winds steeply down to the water, where you can enjoy a refreshing dip.

The highest of the four cascades is the Raja, which thunders down nearly 300m. The whole patch opposite the falls has been landscaped for appealing viewing, with its own entrance gate and reception centre.

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Jog Falls, India © Shutterstock

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 places to stay

A number of small hotels, budget guesthouses and an adventure camp are found at peaceful Linganamakki, 10km from Jog Falls.

The small village of Honnemardu, some 50 km from Jog Falls is popular with kayakers who race down the backwaters of the Sharavathi River. It has a handful of guesthouses to pick from.

Shimoga is the nearest major city to Jog Falls, located around 100 kilometres away, Shimoga. It has a wider range of accommodation options, including budget hotels and larger luxury resorts.

Sharavati River gushing from Jog Falls during monsoon in Karnataka State of India © Shutterstock

Sharavati River and Linganamakki Dam gushing from Jog Falls © Shutterstock

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.

Opening hours

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.

How to get here

Most will arrive at Jog Falls from Gokarna. Here’s how to get here.

By bus

Jog Falls is connected by the well-paved NH-206 that crosses the Ghats from the coast south of Kumta, which is connected by frequent buses to Gokarna.

Coming from the south, it is slightly quicker to connect at Honnavar. On the inland side, there are hourly services to Shivamogga (Shimoga), from where you can change onto buses for Hosapete and Hampi. Change at Sagar (40km) instead for buses to Udupi, Mysuru, Hassan and Bengaluru.

Find out the best ways to get to India.

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.

Find out more about the best time to visit India.

Andy Turner

written by
Andy Turner

updated 07.06.2023

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