Tryst with Jog Falls

Wake up at 10 am. Have tea. Surf the net. Have bath. Have Lunch. Watch TV. Again online. Again watch TV. Have tea….Online….Dinner….Online…..sleeeeeeeeeeeeeep.What happens to a person having such a routine everyday for almost 2 months? But obvious, he’ll go nuts and his brain shuts. He surely would need a catalyst to rejuvenate himself.This person is none other than Me…Myself 🙂 

The much awaited catalyst came suddenly.
One fine (Mon)day, Amitesh calls me and says I m free from Tuesday evening to (next)Monday…lets go to Bangalore to meet our friends. I said to myself, wow….tomorrow I m going to Bangalore. There’s ample time to book tickets and that too only 2 of them:) And as usual my freaky mind suggests that we should squeeze in one more destination en route to Bangalore. Suddenly I see water falling everywhere….yes Mumbai to Bangalore via Jog Falls.Jog falls is the highest waterfall in India situated in Karnataka. Going deeper into geography, it lies on the border between Shimoga and Uttar Kannada districts of Karnataka. The nearest coastal town is Honnavar which is 60 kms away from Jog falls.Honnavar is around 190 kms from Goa. Goa being easily accessible from Mumbai, we decided to go there first and then plan the onward journey.The unplanned trip full of surprises began.

14th August 2007



15th August

I got an sms early in the morning. Happy Independence Day. I was still half asleep and then I realized…oh ya…it’s 15th August. What a proud day it was….60 glorious years of Independence.
11 pm : we got down at Madgaon bus stand. We came to know that there was a bus to Honnavar at 2:30 pm. We decided to fill our empty bellies. By then it was 1 pm.
Bus services to Karwar (103 kms from Goa) are plentiful but skeletal to Honnavar.
Suddenly, we heard a conductor yelling Karwar, Ankola, Kumta….I quickly enquired whether the bus would go to Honnavar. The affirmative nod got us going. Then came a bouncer. The conductor in his typical south Indian accent said that the bus would not go beyond Kumta( 20 kms before Honnavar) but he also added that we would get many buses which ply between Kumta and Honnavar. We gave him a clumsy smile. The ST bus made its way to Kumta via Karwar. It was a bumpy journey. Fare 76 rs per head.
We reached Kumta at 5:30 pm. The conductor was right, a connecting bus to Honnavar was easily available. Fare- 13 rs per head The bus journey to Honnavar was smooth. Reached Honnavar at 6:30 pm.
The light was fading quickly. I felt that we should stay at Honnavar that night and travel the remaining 60 kms early next morning to Jog falls. But Amitesh suggested that we should continue our journey to Jog falls and check into some hotel there. I was a bit hesitant to continue because I knew that the journey ahead would take us through dense forest. Forget about the hotels en route, street lights itself would be difficult to spot.



We then asked a few private travel agents about the cost to Jog falls. The cost was sky high. 800 rs for 60 kms. We had spent less than that to reach Honnavar from Mumbai 🙂



Then out of the blue, a good samaritan asked us to board a bus which was headed for Bangalore. He spoke to the conductor in Kannada and we were told to get down at some place called…Mavingundi( 5kms from Jog falls).



We thanked him for the help.
The bus left Honnavar at 7:00 pm. 60 kms through the pitch black ghat section….seldom any vehicles passing by….Oh My God….it was horrific….not the journey…but the feeling that we would be getting down somewhere in the middle of this thick forest…brrrr.It was 9:20 pm. I kept wondering how long does it take to cover 60 odd kms. Frantically, I shook the conductor out of his dreams to ask him how much more time is it going to take. 10 mins more was the reply. That settled my nerves and the fact that we had not overshot our destination made me feel comfortable.We then got down at that place(Mavingundi). Surprisingly, we could see a few shops and restaurants. I wanted to dine before proceeding to jog falls as the journey ahead was full of uncertainty. After some enquiry with the shopkeeper, we got to know that there was a bus to jog falls at 12 am. I couldn’t believe what I heard. Who would go to Jog falls at midnight? I felt that we were being misguided so that we would easily fall prey to him. And yes, I was right. He said that he would drop us at Jog falls in his Omni. Charge 150 rs for 5 kms. 


We struck a deal with him. Finding accommodation at Jog falls for us was his responsibility. It was 10:30 pm when we reached Jog falls. As per the deal, he found a hotel for us and it was good enough for 1 night stay.


Hotel Tunga run by KSTDC. 312 rs. per day inclusive of tax. Now, that’s what I call cheap.
Finally, after a long, exhausting and adventurous journey of more than 24 hrs from Mumbai, alighting and boarding several buses, we were at jog falls. It was dark outside but we could hear the falls. We hit the bed and dozed off listening to the faint noise of the falling water.

16th August
Woke up at 8 am. We were located exactly opposite the falls. Strategic location of our hotel, I must say. So I opened the window to catch a glimpse of it. I could see the falls at some distance but it was engulfed by fog. 

The check out time was 12 pm. It would take 3 hrs to go down and come back from the base of the falls. We quickly had our breakfast and straight away decided to trek down.
We thought that we would wait till the fog lifts up but we were racing against time.
The fog gradually lifted up and we were rewarded with the most magnificent view of the falls. It was as if a woman was lifting up her pallu to allow us to see her beautiful face. Oh crap, bad analogy 🙂



We then started our trek down to the bottom of the falls.





Jog falls is the highest untiered waterfall in India and it falls from a height of around 900 feet. River Sharavati splits into four streams before taking the plunge. These 4 streams together form the so called Jog falls.
L-R: Raja, Roarer, Rocket and Rani.
The descent was quite easy but slippery too. A small lapse in concentration and u would find yourself at the base of the falls. Exaggeration intended….lol.
We were completely drenched even before reaching the bottom of the falls. The shower created by the falls was too much when we finally reached the base. We had a tough time handling the camera down there. Somehow managed to keep it dry.
The sight from below was truly awesome. Free fall of Jog falls…amazing!

After some fun and frolic, it was time to head back. We enjoyed the descent but now we had to climb up almost 900 feet. A few stops in between, some lemon juice and cucumber and soon we were reaching the top.This is what I noticed during our trek. Trash Trash Trash. I am afraid; we still have a long way to go as far as cleanliness is concerned.   

1 gb memory was filling up at brisk rate. Here r some more shots of the falls.

We won the race against time and checked out at 12 pm and took a rickshaw to British Bunglow. This is where river Sharavati loses height-the spot where the river falls.

Raja, aptly named, was at its elegant best. It flowed with dignity and grace. Here’s the justification…have a look at these pics.

Roarer as the name suggests was the noisiest of the lot.
Rainbow was visible for a brief moment.

There was an overhanging rock on which people laid down to get the top view of the falls. Took a few snaps of the falls by doing the same. It was a grand spectacle. One slip and again u r at the bottom of the falls. No exaggeration this time 🙂

Watch the video

2 pm: It was time to leave Jog falls. Bangalore is around 374 kms from Jog falls and there r hardly any direct buses to B’lore. We therefore took a bus to Shimoga town. Reached Shimoga by 5pm.

We were tired and fed up of travelling by bus. So the next option was railways. Train to B’lore from Shimoga was at 10pm. We decided to travel in the general compartment not because we wanted to, but because there were no seats available in sleeper class:) Fare- 73 rs per head.

17th, 18th, 19th August

Met our friends in Bangalore and were out all the time visiting McDonalds, malls etc.
As I said earlier, this trip was totally unplanned. I had to return back to Mumbai by Volvo. Fare- 975 rs. It took 18 hrs to reach Mumbai (1000 kms approx), less than the time taken by train and it was comfortable too.
Back to Mumbai and back to basics…..same old routine continues:)

 [ Published under the author’s permission ]

  [ Original publication at on August 28, 2007–

the readers are requested to express their comments on the original Blog as mentioned above ] 



2 Responses

  1. Hi there,
    I am based at Mandi in Himachal Pradesh near Kullu n Manali. I was searching the rout to Jog Falls for the last 5-6 days. I knew I have to go to Goa; Madgaon but nothing further. Suddenly I bounced upon your account of the journey. I is so useful and detailed that I feel I hve travelled it myself. So in December 2011 I and my wife have planned to travel to Goa and then to Jog falls by our own Maruti Swift. By the way I am 71 and my wife is 62. Wish us good luck n happy journey. Thanx for your guidance and such a nice detailed account.

    Dharam pal Singh Sttrawla


  2. Hi there. Thanks for the valuable information you shared. It is very useful for me. I went to murdeshwar this weekend. I was told that jog falls are 70 km from there. But i was a bit confused. Now its very clear by your post. Thank you very much. Next opportunity i will be in jog falls. I live in goa. Thanks again. Sunil Giri


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