The South Indian state of Karnataka has been blessed with several natural as well as man-made wonders. Breathtaking lush scenery is one of them. One of the best destinations in India, it is visited by national as well as international tourists every year.
This blog enlists the must-visit waterfalls in Karnataka, cascading from the verdant Western Ghats add to the natural beauty of the place. At the onset of the monsoon season, these falls appear to be even more majestic.
Here we present to you the 12 most natural waterfalls in Karnataka
- Jog Falls
- Iruppu Falls
- Abbey Falls
- Hebbe Falls
- Sathodi Falls
- Unchalli Falls
- Kalhatti Falls
- Gokak Falls
- Godchinamalaki Falls
- Benne Hole Falls
- Chelavara Falls
- Shivanasamudra Falls
1. Jog Falls
One of the most beautiful waterfalls in India, Jog falls also known as the ‘Niagara of India’ is one of the highest waterfalls in the country too. Placed on the border of Shimoga and Uttara Kannada districts, these waterfalls are locally known as Jogada Gundi, Gersoppa Falls, and Geruoppe Falls. When River Sharavathi falls from a height of 253 m in four streams- Raja, Rani, Rocket, and Rovet, they form this huge waterfall.
Close to the parking is a viewpoint and a narrow path from the viewpoint, takes you to the foot of the waterfalls. This steep walk is of around 45 minutes (one way). Walking on the path can be dangerous during the rains, and one must go down only in summer or winter.
- Height: 250 m
- Best Time to Visit: August to January
2. Iruppu Falls
Located in the Brahmagiri Hills, sandwiched between Srimangala and Kutta in Coorg District, Iruppu falls is one of the best waterfalls in Karnataka. Also known as Lakshmana Tirtha Falls by the locals, it plunges down from a height of 170 feet in various stages, amid thick forests.
These falls also have a mythological connection with the great Hindu epic, Ramayana. The falls are formed by a stream from Brahamgir Peaks, Lakshmana Teertha, which finally joins River Kaveri.
After seeking permission from the forest department, as you trek through Narimale forest camp to the Brahmagiri peak, you can savor wonderful views. On the way to the falls, right on the banks of the River, there is Rameshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, believed to be founded by Lord Rama himself. The location of the falls is ideal for a family picnic.
- Height: 170 feet
- Best Time to Visit: August to January
3. Abbey Falls
One of the most popular attractions of Coorg, Abbey falls or Abbi falls lies in the center of an aromatic spice plantation and lush coffee estates, just 8 km from Madikeri Bus Station. The British had named it Jessy waterfalls, in memory of Jessy, the daughter of the first British Captain of Madikeri, Chaplain.
Abbey falls, gushing from a height of 70 feet, into a pool, are formed by a number of small streams. Stand on the bridge, to relish wonderful views. There is a temple of Kali Mata near the bridge.
Arrive through car till the entrance of the falls. Now embark on a 10 m walk to arrive at the waterfalls. Lush vegetation and coffee plantations cover this pathway and offer a memorable experience.
- Height: 70 feet
- Best Time to Visit: September to January
4. Hebbe Falls
Placed inside the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve, Hebbe falls is enveloped by coffee plantations and thick forests. The falls rush down from a height of 550 feet in 2 stages, comprising Dodda Hebbe (Big Falls) and Chikka Hebbe (Small Falls). Do not forget to swim in the pool as the water is believed to be filled with herbs, and has curative properties.
Away from the hustle-bustle of city life, the falls are accessible by car for the first 4 km, and then a steep trek of 2 km through the forest. You can rent a Jeep from Kemmangundi. The flora and fauna around the falls are exquisite. Treat your eyes to the lush scenery.
- Height: 550 feet
- Best Time to Visit: November to February
5. Sathodi Falls
Placed just 32 km away from Yellapur district, Sathodi falls is encircled by lush forest, making it an ideal place to plan a picnic with loved ones. The locals have fondly named it Mini-Niagara and it is considered one of the most scenic waterfalls in Karnataka.
A number of streams near the Kallaramane Ghat mingle together to form these falls, which gushes down from a height of 15 m. The fall comes to an end when it joints backwaters in the Kodasalli dam, and then into River Kali.
These falls are equally popular among locals and tourists, bustling with activity mainly during the weekend. Enjoy a refreshing swim here.
- Height: 15 m
- Best Time to Visit: July till September
6. Unchalli Falls
Around 54 km from Jog Falls, Unchalli falls is a superb waterfall, which is near Hegganur. One of the most popular waterfalls in the state, it is 380 feet high. Situated amid thick forests, this fall is formed by River Aghanashini, dropping into a huge pool. A half-hour trek on a wide path from the entry gate takes you to the falls. Locals call it Keppa Joga due to the strange sound the stream makes.
When near the falls, enjoy wonderful views from the viewpoint at the top. There are steps that further lead to another viewpoint at the bottom where you can relish a full view of the falls. Getting down to the bottom of the fall can be dangerous and must be avoided. The British named the falls, Lushington Falls, after the district collector who had founded it.
- Height: 380 feet
- Best Time to Visit: September to February
7. Kalhatti Falls
One of the most wonderful waterfalls in Karnataka, Kalhatti falls or Kalahasthi falls is just 10 km from Kemmangundi. The fall forms a stunning view as it gushes down from the Chandra Drona Hills from a height of 400 feet. A popular attraction near the waterfall is the Veerabhadreshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
These falls are also a popular spot among trekking enthusiasts because of being close to the lush mountains. The ascending trek has a number of trails for reaching the top of the falls. One rocky hill path is just next to the falls, the other trail is via coffee plantations of Blue Mountain Estates, accompanied by a guide.
- Height: 400 feet
- Best Time to Visit: July to November
8. Gokak Falls
A mini version of Niagra Falls, Gokak Falls is formed by River Ghataprabha, which flows from a height of 171 feet through a sandstone cliff, making a stunning view. The fall placed in Belgaum district has a horse-shoe-shaped edge. A popular attraction near the waterfall is an old temple, dedicated to Lord Mahalingeshwara. The temple is in the Chalukyan style of architecture.
Right across the river is a hanging bride at a height of 201 m, above the bedroom. At a time, 30 people are allowed on the bridge so that they can have a lovely view. The falls are just 6 km from Gokak and 65 km from Belgaum.
- Height: 171 feet
- Best Time to Visit: July to October
9. Godchinamalaki Falls
Also known as Markandeya Falls, Godchinamalaki Falls lie amid a verdant deep valley in the Belgaum district, just 35 km from Gokak Falls. The fall cascades in 2 sections and is formed by River Markandeya. In the first section, the fall plunges at 25 meters, passing a craggy valley, and then a second plunge of 20 m.
Just 15 km from Gokak town, the waterfall is just 2 km from the Godachinamalaki village. The falls are accessible by 2 routes, one is from Gurusiddeshwar Temple (Hatti Siddeshwar), and the other one is from Malebail Road.
Height: 25 m (first fall), 20 m (second fall)
Best Time to Visit: Mid-June to September
10. Benne Hole Falls
Around 70 km away from Jog Falls and 30 km from Unchalli falls, Benne Hole waterfalls is formed by a tributary of River Anhanashini, amid thick forests that have narrow pathways. Plunging via a gauge and dropping into the huge bed of rocks, these falls have a height of around 200 feet. The waterfalls are just 1 km from Sirsi-Kumta Road.
From the parking area or the entrance, a narrow walkway takes you to the fall. After walking on this track amid lush forests for about 20 minutes, you arrive at the waterfalls. Get to the top of the falls, enjoy the site of smaller pools, and relax for a while. You can also enjoy bird watching here.
- Height: 200 feet
- Best Time to Visit: September – December
11. Chelavara Falls
Around 43 km from Madikeri, Chelavara Waterfalls is a stunning fall cascading from a height of 150 feet. Hire an auto from Cheyyandane to get to the entry point of the falls, and walk on a descending trek to arrive at the falls. Locally known as Emepaare, it is an ideal picnic spot. The water forms a big pool, ideal for enjoying some leisure time.
Close to this fall are a few other smaller waterfalls, coffee plantations, and orange estates. Because of being close to Chomakundu Hills, Chelavara Falls is also a trekking destination.
- Height: 150 feet
- Best Time to Visit: September to November
12. Shivanasamudra Falls
Located at a distance of 81 km from Mysore, Shivanasamudra Fall is a popular fall of the region that is placed in the Mandya district. One of the most popular weekend getaways from Bangalore for families is divided waterfall streams that come together to form this waterfall. Lying on the River Kaveri, this waterfall is also called a Bluff.
Shivanasamudra Island segments the River into 2 parts, forming 2 waterfalls, Gaganachukki Falls and Bharachukki which collectively form Shivanasamudra Falls. The scenery becomes all the more beautiful in the rainy season and can be viewed from the watch tower.
- Height: 320 feet
- Best Time to Visit: September to January