Thursday, August 10, 2006


Not many people would like to venture out during monsoon. But it goes without saying that the best time to visit Jog falls is during monsoon, when the falls are at their impressive best.

Located at a distance of 105 km from Shimoga is the magnificent Jog Falls, highest waterfall in India and 4th highest in the world. Shimoga is at a distance of about 280 km from Bangalore and is well connected via road and rail. You can catch a bus and reach Jog from Shimoga or else there is a train running between Shimoga and Talguppa, which runs on meter gauge track. In fact, this is one of the last remaining meter gauge stretches left in the country. This journey takes about 3 hours. This so called train is a bus, which is modified into a train. There is no connecting train between Talguppa and Jog. Private bus service is excellent and the journey takes only about 30 minutes.

The main place of interest as the name itself suggests is the "water falls". This is in a village called Jog. So the name Jog falls. The river Sharavathi orchestrates power and sheer beauty at Jog. It flows amidst huge rocks and boulders. Leaping from a height of 292 mts, it divides itself into four falls - Raja, Rani, Rocket and Roarer - presenting a glorious view. The highest is the Raja (King) fall, which falls below forming a 40m deep pool. Next to it is the Roarer, while a short distance to the south is the Rocket .It is called so aptly because it spurts great shafts of water out in the air. Rani (Queen) glides over the rocks gracefully.

A walk through the narrow pathway to the bottom of the gorge can be quite thrilling. Vegetation will be bright green and water drops dripping from the trees. Taking a dip in the pool created by the falls can be quite an interesting one, but only at select places, as the flow of falls will be enormous. The best time would be early in the morning as it will be less crowded. There are numerous petty shops, where all kinds of soft drinks are available. A glass of limejuice will be quite a refreshing one.

There are various other places of interest nearby Jog. One among them is the mighty Linganamakki dam, built across the river Sharavathi. A museum nearby showcases various sculptures dating back to 6th century. Scaled down model of various dams and power generating units built across Sharavathi and other major rivers in Karnataka are on display. There are numerous power generating units around Jog. Among them are Mahatma Gandhi power generating unit and A B site power generating unit to name a few. Permission has to be obtained to see them from inside. There is another interesting place nearby called Rajakallu. This place gives a very picturesque view, where one can see Sharavathi flowingly majestically across thick virgin forests of Western Ghats.

There is a wildlife center at Honnemaradu, at a distance of about 16 kms from Jog, which is an added attraction. It is a center for adventure, conservation oriented activity and nature study. The most attractive feature here is the water sports activity in the backwaters of Linganamakki dam ranging from swimming to canoeing, kayaking, and rafting.

Climate and clothing: There will be heavy rains during monsoon. So it is better to carry raincoats and umbrellas. Nights are very cool and warm clothing is required.

Food & Accommodation: There are many guesthouses which provide good accommodation and at reasonable price. Among them are the state owned guesthouse maintained by KSTDC and Youth hostel, which are better ones. A state owned KSTDC Mayura restaurant provides good food. There are various petty shops, which offer various dishes at a reasonable price.