Jog Falls: All you wanted to know about!

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Last Updated on January 7, 2022 by asoulwindow

Jog falls or the Gersoppa Falls near Shivmogga in Karnataka is a tourist magnet. It is one of the top places to see in Karnataka. Here is an information packed detailed travel blog on Jog falls.

About Jog Falls

I visited the Jog falls or the Gersoppa Falls from Shivmogga, both of which are located in Karnataka in South India. This waterfall on the Sharavati river attracts thousands of tourists daily. Jog falls is one of the best touristy places to visit in Karnataka. Here is a comprehensive travel guide to Jog Falls, the must-see picnic spot of Karnataka.

Nomenclature of Jog Falls

Another name of Jog Falls is listed as below. I have used these different names of Jog falls interchangeably throughout this comprehensive travel guide on Jog Falls. They all mean the same thing!

  • Jog falls
  • Garsoppa waterfall 
  • Gersoppa waterfall
  • Gersoppa falls 
  • Gerusappe falls
  • Jog Dhabdhaba 
  • Jog Prapat

Why is Jog Falls World Famous?

There are many reasons which adds to the world-wide fame and popularity of Jog Falls. Jog falls being the second highest plunge waterfall of India, is a must-see destination in Karnataka. No wonder, this segmented waterfall is a favourite picnic spot for people from all over South India and beyond.

Jog falls is also famous because it is the 3rd tallest waterfall of India. While Jog Falls has a drop of 830 feet or 253 meters, Nohkalikai Falls in Meghalaya in North East India drops from a height of 1,099 feet or 335 meters. Dudhsagar waterfalls of Goa in West India, made famous by Bollywood film Chennai Express, has a drop of 1,020 feet or 310 meters.

Location of Jog Falls

I arrived at Jog Falls from Shimoga. Both Jog Falls as well as Shimoga aka Shivmogga are located in the Indian state of Karnataka in the Malnad area of South India. Nestled in my favourite Western Ghats, Jog falls is situated in the Siddapur Taluk in the Uttar Kannada district.

Steps of Jog Falls

In order to view the pool formed by Jog falls, the tourists need to get down via the well paved steps. Though I got a reasonably good view of the Gersoppa falls from the viewing platform near the main entry of the waterfall. However, I climbed down the steps for a better view of the famous Jog falls.

Even for a reasonably fit and young person like me, it was not easy to climb down and up on the steps of Jog waterfalls.

I arrived at the bottom of the hill by taking a total of 1,400 steps towards Jog falls pool. Hiking to Jog Falls is one of the top things to do in Kartanaka.

Soul Window Travel Tips

It must be remembered while planning a trip to Jog falls those who are unfit to take the stairs to Jog falls will have to make peace with only the aerial views from near the entry of Jog falls.

If you are traveling with Senior Citizens, differently abled people, toddlers, babies or pregnant women then you can enjoy the views of Jog falls from the viewing platform without the need to take the stairs to the foot of the falls.

At most you will miss out on the views of Jog falls from the pool where all the water from waterfall gets collected.

Jog Falls on Sharavati river

It is the river Sharavati which fuels the water of the Jog Falls. The Sharavati River rises at Ambutirtha near Nonabur. It is located in the Thirthahalli Taluk or Tehsil of the Shimoga district in Karnataka.

From here it moves towards the North West direction by Fatte Petta. Thereafter it receives Haridravati on the right below Pattaguppe and Yenne Hole on the left above Barangi.

As the mighty Sharavati river bends in the west direction, it suddenly precipitates to form the breathtakingly beautiful Jog falls of Karnataka.

The river Sharavati further merges with the vast Arabian sea in Honnavar in Uttar Kannada district. Before discharging in to the Arabian Sea, it passes through a village that is 30 kilometres or 19 miles away from the Gersoppa falls.

Jog falls Raja Rani Roarer Rocket

There are 4 different falls that together forms the Gersoppa falls aka Jog falls. The distinct falls are curiously named as the Raja falls, Rani falls, Roarer falls and Rocket falls. When they fall togetherit forms a visually stunning spectacle.

Raja and Rani stands for King and Queen in Hindi. As the name suggests, Raja falls plunges down in the pool in an unbroken column from the height of 830 feet or 250 meters. Halfway down roarer falls joins it, adding to the visual spectacle.

Rocket and Rani falls in their full force created a magical waterfall when combined with the energies of Raja falls and Roarer falls. It is to be seen to be believed.

Ranking of Jog Falls

Jog falls is also famous because it ranks very well in the world in the waterfall database on various parameters as listed below:

  • Jog falls is the 2nd highest plunge waterfall all over India
  • Jog falls is the 3rd highest waterfall after Nohkalikai waterfalls in Meghalaya in North East India and Dudhsagar waterfalls in Goa in West India.
  • Jog falls is ranked 36th in the list of free-falling waterfalls of India
  • Jog Falls stands at 128th position when it comes to the list of single drop waterfalls of the world.
  • Jog falls ranks 490th waterfall in the world, if we take into consideration the total height of waterfalls around the world.

Top Things to do in and around Jog Falls

Below are some of the best things to do in and around Jog Falls:

  • Trekking
  • Boating
  • Kayaking
  • River Rafting
  • Bird watching
  • Photography
  • Laser Show
  • Musical Karanji Show

Vegan and vegetarian food in Jog Falls

There are many food stalls located right at the entrance of the Jog falls where they sell delicious local vegan and vegetarian dishes of South India. I was famished after walked up and down the 1,400 steps of Jog falls.

I had many Dosas and other South Indian delicacies cooked by a local woman. Most of the dishes cooked by these local ladies are vegetarian and vegan. However, some of the dishes may contain clarified butter or Desi Ghee. Just ask. You can also request to cook without Ghee, if you are a vegan.

In Shimoga, you can try the below mentioned vegetarian and vegan food :

  • Meenakshi Bhavan: Their delicious Masala Dosa is very famous. I also tried their tasty Paddu and appam. You can also try Mallige idly and Mandakki masala here. It is a famous place to eat and this is why it is mostly crowded all day long.
  • Shri Venkatesh Sweet house: Eat melt in mouth Mysore Pak here!
  • Sri Lakshmi Nilaya, Near AA Circle, BH Road Shimoga.
  • Hotel Shubham: Try their jack fruit gujiya. It is also known as halasina hannina kadabu in local Kannada language.

You can also try soft and delicious mallige Idli and patra vade in Shimoga. Masala mandakki is a spicy and nice masala poha mixture. Avalakki is also popular here.

Soul Window Observations

I have been to many waterfalls in India and other nations. Some of the best waterfalls I saw in India were in Maharashtra in the Western Ghats. During monsoon many waterfalls come alive in the state of Maharashtra.

Some of the best waterfalls I saw in Maharashtra were located in Bhimashankar, Thosegar waterfall near Kass Plateau in Satara, waterfalls of Lonavala Khandala, Bhandardara etc.

The other notable waterfalls I saw were in North East India such as Nuranang waterfall or Phong-phongma waterfall near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, rainbow waterfall in Nongriat in Meghalaya etc.  

Also, the waterfalls of India which I visited and are worth a mention are waterfalls of Kodaikanal and Ooty in Tamilnadu, small waterfalls of Gangtok in Sikkim, Kempty Falls and Mossy falls in Mussoorie in Uttarakhand and Dhunadhaar falls near Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh in Central India.

Festivals of Shimoga

Pongal: Pongal is the biggest festival which is celebrated in Shimoga and the area around Jog Falls. Pongal is a winter harvest festival celebrated in many South Indian states. Pongal is same as Lohri and Makar Sankranti celebrated by the Sikh community and Hindus in North India.

Souvenirs Shopping Guide to Jog Falls

I didn’t see many Souvenirs Shops in Jog falls. You can pick some local snacks from Shimoga though! I mostly buy local vegetarian food during my travel. You can also pick some delicious Avalakki, Masala mandakki and Mysore Pak from Shimogaas they have a longer shelf life.

Photography Tips for Jog falls

The best vantage point for taking pictures of the Jog falls is a platform at the top. The downward hike to Jog Falls begins from here. Though the entire region around Jog Falls is densely populated with lush green tree canopies, I was still able to find a clean view of the Jog Falls from top.

As I descended down the stairs, I got a breathtaking jaw dropping view of the Jog Falls from the bottom most viewing platform. You can take amazing shots of Jog falls from here. Also, watch out of exotic species of birds in nearby areas of Jog Falls, if bird photography interests you.

Excursions to nearby places from Jog falls

Jog falls is located in close proximity with Shimoga aka Shivamogga. There are many easy day trips in and around Shimoga. In fact, during all my trips to Shimoga, I always clubbed 2-3 destinations at one go.

The great connectivity and some amazing places to see near Jog falls and Shimoga makes it easy for travellers to plan a long backpacking or luxury trip.

Some of the best places to visit in and around Jog falls are Shimoga are as below:

  • Dabbe Falls
  • Bangara Kusuma
  • Linganamakki dam
  • Talakalale Balancing Reservoir
  • Chitradurga: For the massive fort
  • Sharavati Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Bangaramakki Veeranjaneya Temple
  • Dwimukhi Chamundeshwaari Temple
  • Karwar: For lovely beaches near Goa
  • Murudeshwar: For the tallest Shiva Temple and beaches
  • Dandeli: ForHornbills, birdwatching, wildlife and forests
  • Gokarna: For ancient Hindu Temples and Gokarna Beach Trail
  • Agumbe: For Cobra snake trails and amazing hidden waterfalls.
  • Chikmagalur: I enjoyed staying at a luxury property Java Rain Resort here.
  • Rameshwara Temple in Keladi: Amazing architecture and medieval history.
  • Apsarakonda Beach, Honnavar: For lovely offbeat coastal Karnataka experience.
  • Udupi: For Masala Dosa, Malpe beach, Saint Mary’s Island and old Hindu Temple.
  • Sringeri: For Jackfruit Happala (Papad), pickles and of course many ancient temples.
  • Aghoreshwara Temple in Ikkeri Sagara: For erotic art on Hindu temple in South India.
  • Shimoga: many people skip Shimoga and treat it as a transit but I would recommend you to spend at least a day at Shimoga. The top things to do in Shivamogga include a vegetarian and vegan food trail, visiting the old Churches and the fragrant flower market.
  • Mattur: It is the place where everyone speaks and understands Sanskrit very well. Do read my detailed blog on Mattur: The only Sanskrit Village of the world.

The above-mentioned list of places to visit near Jog Falls will help you plan a memorable trip to Karnataka. These destinations are top places to see in Karnataka.

You can read about most of these tourist attractions of Karnataka in my travel blog A Soul Window which has been awarded as the No.1 travel blog of India. Many leading Indian publications have also mentioned A Soul Window as the Top Travel Blog of India.

How to reach Jog Falls

I found it very easy to reach Jog falls from Shimoga. I had arrived at Shimoga railway station from New Delhi and after exploring the mind-blowing food scene of Shimoga, I headed to Jog Waterfalls the next morning via a government run public bus.

By air

Mangalore airport is the closest international airport from Jog falls. However, it is located very far from Jog Falls.

By train

The closest railway junction from Jog falls is Shivamogga Railway Station. Train is the easiest and cheapest way to reach Shimoga. I had taken a train all the way from New Delhi to Shimoga. You can take the train to Shivamogga from Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and other big and small city as well.

Private cab

In case you are a family or a large group of friends, it is suggested to hire a private car which is easily available from Shivamogga. The roads are smooth here and it is a pleasure to drive from Shimoga to Jog falls.

By Bus

It is fairly easy to reach Jog Falls. I had made my base as Shimoga also known as Shivamogga in Karnataka. From Shimoga, I explored Mattur: The Sanskrit Village, Jog Falls, Aghoreshwara Temple in Ikkeri Sagara and Rameshwara Temple in Keladi.

I took a government run public bus from Shimoga bus station which dropped me straight away at the Jog Falls. While finding abus from Shimoga was easy and quick while returning from Jog falls to Shimoga, I had to wait for the bus for a while.

“Wait for a few minutes. A bus to Shimoga will come.” A local man said as labourers from my home state Uttar Pradesh worked on a construction site in background. Luckily, the bus to Shimoga arrived right at the entrance of Jog Falls.

If you are using bus or any other public transport, I would suggest that you should start early from Shimoga and return back by afternoon or early noon. The frequency of buses to and from Jog falls lessen and even stop towards late evening. Overnight buses (both private and government run) are available from Shimoga to Bengaluru and Mysuru.

The bus tickets are very cheap and apt for those who want to backpack to Jog Falls.

Local Transport for sightseeing in Jog Falls

The public bus from Shimoga is the only local transport available for sightseeing in and around Jog falls. Some times you can see auto rickshaws waiting for passengers. That said, you will get plenty of modes of public transport in Shimoga. Auto rickshaws are very popular in Shivamogga.

Distances from Jog Falls

Distance between Shivamogga to Jog Falls is approximately 106 kilometres and takes around 2 hours by road.

The other distances from Shivmogga to other nearby places are listed as below in ascending order:

Distance between Mattur to Shivamogga is approximately 8 kilometres and takes around 20 minutes by road.

Distance between Ikkeri to Shivamogga is approximately 75 kilometres and takes around 1 hour 20 minutes by NH69

Distance between Keladi to Shivamogga is approximately 80 kilometres and takes around 1 hour 30 minutes by NH69

Distance between Agumbe to Shivamogga is approximately 93 kilometres and takes around 2 hours by NH169 and NH169A

Distance between Sringeri to Shivamogga is approximately 95 kilometres and takes around 2 hours 20 minutes by NH169

Distance between Chikmagalur to Shivamogga is approximately 97 kilometres and takes around 2 hours 20 minutes by NH69 and SH57.

Distance between Chitradurga to Shivamogga is approximately 105 kilometres and takes around 2 hours 15 minutes by Shivamogga Chitradurga road.

Distance between Udupi to Shivamogga is approximately 148 kilometres and takes around 3 hours 15 minutes by NH169 and NH169A.

Distance between Honnavar to Shivamogga is approximately 161 kilometres and takes around 3 hour 15 minutes by NH69

Distance between Murudeshwara to Shivamogga is approximately 187 kilometres and takes around 4 hours by NH69

Distance between Gokarna to Shivamogga is approximately 211 kilometres and takes around 4 hours 20 minutes by NH69

Distance between Dandeli to Shivamogga is approximately 245 kilometres and takes around 5 hours by NH69 and SH93.

Distance between Karwar to Shivamogga is approximately 251 kilometres and takes around 5 hours 10 minutes by NH66 and NH69.

Distance between Dabolim airport, Goa to Shivamogga is approximately 333 kilometres and takes around 7 hours by NH66 and NH69.

Best Time to Visit Jog Falls

The temperature at Jog Falls is hot to moderate depending on the season.

Monsoon: The famous full flow of Jog falls can be experienced in monsoon months, since it is a rain dependent waterfall. Every year, during the peak rainy season, Jog falls metamorphoses into a plunge waterfall. I had visited Jog falls in the month of September. June, July, August and September are the best months to visit Jog Falls.

Jog falls is located in the Malnad area, so most of the time it rains heavily here.

Winter: Unlike North India and North East India, there is nothing like “very cold” in Karnataka and South India even during the winter months.

Summer: It can get very hot in Jog falls during the summer months. That said, you can still visit Jog falls in summer because the path to waterfall is mostly shaded with thick tree canopies. However, do not expect a voluptuous waterfall. In summer months, the Jog falls will look much thinner than what it is in monsoon.

Jog Falls Timings

Jog falls is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. every day.

What to wear in Jog falls?

Wearing good shoes are a must when you hike up and down the stairs that lead to Jog Falls. Though proper steps are made and you can walk on the steps in any footwear including flip flops, but shoes make it easier to walk on stairs.

During most part of the year, you can visit Jog Falls in just a T Shirt and shorts.

How many days to spend in Jog falls?

What can I do in 2 days in Jog falls?

Well, most tourists who visit Jog Falls stay there for only 2-3 hours. For me as a solo budget traveler, the trip to Jog falls was just a half day tour from Shivamogga.

What can I do in 2 days in Jog falls?

Not many stay for 2 days in Jog falls area. That said, if you want to commune for longer with nature and want to do activities such as trekking and birdwatching around Jog Falls, then you might want to stay here for longer.

Places to stay in Jog Falls

There are not many good hotels to stay around Jog falls. Also, I didn’t feel it necessary to stay at Jog Falls as there is nothing else to do here. Since I made a solo, budget trip from Shimoga to Jog falls, I stayed at Shimoga.

You can stay at any of the hotels of Shimoga if you are planning a day trip to Jog falls or even in other places such as Ikkeri, Keladi, Sringeri Mutt, Ramachandrapura Mutt, Mattur etc. There are plenty of luxury, budget and mid-range hotels available in and around Shivamogga.

I stayed in the luxurious Royal Orchid Central hotel in Shimoga on my first trip.

Low Budget Stay

During my second trip to Shimoga, I was on a low backpacking budget, so I opted for a very small dingy room that costed me just INR 200 a night. It is located right opposite the luxurious Royal Orchid Central where I stayed previously. I had literally slept on a discarded hospital bed to pass the time. The bed bugs were complimentary of course!

I have stayed in all kinds of rooms so far. From Brothel like ‘Decent hotels’ to luxury rooms where Deepika Padukone once stayed. But this is the cheapest deal I got since I started traveling independently in 2008. Filter coffee at the restaurant below was comforting though.

Royal Orchid Central, Shimoga

I stayed at the Royal Orchid Central hotel in Shivamogga. It is located at walking distance from the Shimoga Bus Stand. Also situated close to the Shimoga Railway Station, Royal Orchid Central. Shimoga is one of the few centrally located luxury hotels in Shimoga.

My air-conditioned room at Royal Orchid Central in Shimoga was spacious, air conditioned, minimalist and yet luxurious. The room also had a bathing tub in the attached washroom.

I also enjoyed the sumptuous vegetarian and vegan breakfast buffet of Royal Orchid Central that comprised of Idli, Mendu Vada, Dosa, Poha, Khara Avlakki, Khara Bath etc. Needless to say, this is one of the best places to stay in Shimoga.

Solo Budget Travel Tips for Jog falls

I have been to Shimoga on both a luxury trip as well as a low backpacking budget. All my trips to Shivamogga have been solo budget trips though. The best part is that there are many tourist attractions near Jog Falls. Most of the places of interests are located near Jog Falls and Shimoga.

Shimoga and Jog Falls are suitable for Solo Travels. Since this comprehensive travel guide to Jog falls has every information, you want to know about the place, you must also know that I saw very few outside tourists in Shimoga during all my visits. I was probably the only North Indian on the roads.

Backpacking Budget Travel Tips for

Shimoga and Jog falls, despite being a major attraction in Karnataka, are also the cheapest places I have ever been to since I started traveling independently in 2008. The only expenditure I did to visit Jog falls was the bus tickets to and from Jog falls and the sumptuous lunch I did at Jog falls. It is possible, this to visit Jog Falls under INR 500.

Luxury travel Tips for Jog Falls

Money can buy you a lot of things and then there are places where you can not spend a bomb even if you want to. Jog falls is one such places.

The most you can spend on a trip to Jog falls is one the flight tickets, luxury hotel in Shimoga and a privately booked car for sightseeing in Jog falls. There is not much else you can spend on in Jog falls.

ATM in Jog falls

I didn’t see any ATMs near Jog Falls because it is situated in a remote location. It is better to withdraw some cash in Shimoga or Bengaluru, so that you don’t get stuck in an uncomfortable situation.

Is Jog falls safe to visit?

Jog falls is a very safe place despite being located in a secluded place. The lower most viewing platform of Jo Falls is barricaded with metal fence or jaalis so that no one can cross and swim in the water of Jog Falls. Some people illegally cross the fence for a swim but it is dangerous to swim in Jog falls.

The local people around Jog Falls and Shimoga are very friendly. You just need to be careful of the protests. I was stuck in a row over Cauvery aka Kaveri River. I saw people burning effigies on the road near Shimoga bus stand. I retreated to my hotel room and cancelled my further trips in South India.

You should check the news before planning a trip, though mostly it is a peaceful region. Also, refrain from venturing out in night around Jog falls as it is a remote area. As a man, I walked solo even at late night on the streets of Shimoga and found it safe.

Languages spoken in Jog falls

Kannada is the main language spoken and understood in and around the Jog falls. Some people can also speak and understand English. Most people also understand Hindi very well.

Toilet facility in Jog falls

Paid toilet facility is available around Jog falls. You have to pay a small amount to be able to use the clean public toilets of Jog falls.

Conclusion: Why visit Jog falls?

Jog falls or the Gersoppa falls, comprises of 4 waterfalls namely Raja fall, Rani falls, Roarer falls, and Rocket falls.To summarise, Jog falls is the most popular and famous waterfall of not just Karnataka or South India but all of India.

Jog falls is the top picnic spot of Karnataka for a reason! Being the 3rd tallest waterfall of India, Jog falls receives tourists around the year.

However, tourist influx swells even as the flow of water in Jog Fall swells up during the monsoon months of July and August.

If you are looking for top things to do in Karnataka, then Jog falls is one of the best tourist attractions you can plan a trip to. Jog falls also makes for a quick weekend getaway from Bangalore and Mysuru.  

Jog falls, one of the best places to visit in Karnataka is a must visit place for all age groups. Jog falls is also a top place to visit with friends, family and kids.

The view from my Soul Window is fluid!

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