Last year when we were on 4 days backpacking trip to Gokarna many of our instafam suggested us to include Jog falls in the trip as well. While we successfully covered other suggested place such as Yana caves, Vibhuthi falls and Murudeshwar with our trip however due to time shortage we dropped the idea to visit Jog falls. This monsoon we planned to visit Karnataka again and Jog falls was again on our list. We were looking forward to our trip, but unfortunately due to heavy rains and subsequent landslides we have to cancel our Karnataka trip. We changed our itinerary in last minute and went to Goa instead but not visiting Jog falls was somewhere back in our mind. We had one spare day in trip and thus we planned to visit Jog falls on last day. And this is how we finally ticked off this famous destination from our list! This blog is about our experience and will provide you budget trip details so that you can plan it by yourself, read on!
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Madgaon to Honnavar
Once we decided to visit Jog falls from Goa, the next and real hindrance was how to reach Jog falls ? We googled, asked on travel communities, asked fellow travelers but no one had an exact answer. The easiest option was to take a cab from Goa itself but that would costed us bomb! There was no detailed information on bus timings on KSRTC site, the ambiguity was making us anxious but we so wanted to visit it and this was the closest we could materialize our plan.
So after hours of brainstorming we chalked out a plan, We booked an early morning train from Madgaon to Honnavar which is around 60 k.m from Jog falls. As it was an impromptu plan, we decided to reach station in night around 9 pm and find accommodation in retiring room. Things went south when we could not find any stay in retiring room as it was full. Waiting rooms were also jam packed and I had to sit separately in ladies waiting room, because there was no charging port free in common waiting room. What worse? train got delayed by more than two hours, which means we have to spent night on station only. We started doubting our decision, we could have easily relaxed in Goa and now we didn’t even know will we able to reach Jog falls. As night progressed sitting on uncomfortable hard chairs was becoming tough, we did not have bed sheet to lie down. We even tried buying from nearby market but there was none. Two ladies sitting adjacent to me were looking at me going in and out of waiting room frantically to meet my husband and in distress. They smiled at me, I smiled back and we started talking, they were daily wage workers and used to sleep on station daily. They shared how they want to come to Mumbai to earn more and warned me to take care of my belongings. When they got to know my situation, one of them offered her sheet. She asked me to take it and lie down for a while, she told me not to worry and in case she is sleeping just keep it back near her. I didn’t know how to thank them enough, I did not want to belittle their help by offering money, to be honest I would not have done something like this for a stranger. I thanked them profusely and went in common waiting room to take some rest. We boarded the train at 5 a.m with groggy eyes.
Honnavar to Jog falls
We reached Honnavar station at 7.15 a.m., freshen up and took an auto to bus depot, the rickshaw charged us 100 Rs for 5 k.m. Luckily just as soon as we reached bus depot, we found a KSRTC bus leaving for Sagar via Jog falls. We confirmed everything with conductor and hopped on the bus at 8 a.m, it costed us around 65 Rs per head for the bus ride. It takes around 2.5 hours to reach Jog falls from Honnaver and the whole journey is very scenic. The bus passes through dense forest area on serpentine Ghat roads. The monsoon made the whole environment more beautiful and dreamier.
As we had not slept well (not at all) in night we spent the journey sleeping. As two hours passed, We started looking constantly outside the window if we have arrived or not, we enquired about the same with fellow passengers and one man replied “Don’t Worry! You can actually see Jog falls from bus , it is that big, so rest assured you will not miss the stop.” His word not only comforted us but also got us excited. We reached the Jog falls bus stop just on time at 10 a.m. and the entry gate for falls was just in front of the stop.
Jog Falls is the second-highest plunge waterfall in India after Nohkalikai falls, located in Shimoga District of Karnataka state. Jog falls is created by Sharavathi river that plunges from a height of 253 metres in four magnificent cascades namely Raja, Rani, Roarer and Rocket.
The area around Jog falls and viewpoints are nicely maintained by Karnataka tourism department and the entry fee is 10 Rs per head which is minimal. As we had heavy backpacks with us, the first thing we inquired about was luggage room. Just as you walk past entry gate there is an array of shops and food stall on left, there are many shops which keep luggage for 20 Rs per bag. We quickly kept our backpack there and left to witness Jog falls.
As it was rainy season the whole place was covered in mist but we could hear the sound of falling water. Soon the fog disappeared and we are in front of scenic view of huge waterfall, the sight of falling water from such a great height was mesmerizing. All the tiredness vanished in a second and we were really happy that inspite of all difficulties we made it here. We wanted more of it, we hopped from one view point to other to get a better view of this beauty.
We got to know that there are around 1500 stairs to reach the bottom of the falls but due to heavy rains the access to stairs was closed. Later the security official told us that since the dam water is being released the stairs has been closed keeping safety in mind. We were anyway happy that we got to see the falls in full glory during monsoon, we roamed for another one hour in surrounding area to satiate our eyes with splendid beauty of the place.
Karnataka tourism hotel chain KSTDC Mayura is just beside falls, so if you are planning for a stay-cation, staying here will give you best view of Jog falls. In breakfast we hogged over delicious Idlis and Wadas in KSTDC restaurant.
It was already 12.30 p.m in noon and we had to catch a train at 4.30 p.m for Mumbai, so we decided to reach Honnavar as early as possible. We collected our backpack and went to bus stop, earlier we had already inquired about bus timings and got to know there is are bus from Shimoga which will pass from here at 1 p.m. , 3 p.m etc so we were waiting for it. Just to be sure we again inquired about bus timings, this time many locals and bus drivers suggested us to take an auto or cab for Mavingundi which was 6-7 k.m. from Jog falls and catch a bus to Honnavar from there. We didn’t have time to take chance so we took a shared cab till there and boarded a bus from there for Honnavar. We reached just on time and easily boarded our train to Mumbai.
Last 24 hours were full of doubts and hardships, with no proper plan and limited knowledge we went ahead with this plan of visiting Jog falls and catch a train back, we were so proud and happy that together we were able to fulfill our wish to see Jog falls in its full glory that too on budget!
Now that we are back from the trip here are few points which will help you to plan your backpacking trip to this majestic falls better!
How to Reach:
By Air: If you are planning to fly, the main airports are Hubli Airport (HBX): 130 km , Mangalore International Airport (IXE): 200 km , from these airports you can easily book a cab for Jog falls.
By Train: Talaguppa (13 km) and Sagara (30 km) are two nearest railway stations to Jog falls. However if you traveling from Mumbai, Honnavar (68 km) Bhatkal(90 km) will be more easy to reach which are on Mangalore – Mumbai Konkan Railway route.
By road: From Bangalore, the route to be followed is (Bangalore-Shimoga-Sagar-Jog). There are direct buses from Bangalore to Jog Falls. The other alternative is take the Bangalore – Sagara bus. From Sagara there are local buses available.
As we were visiting Jog falls after Goa trip we choose to reach Honnavar. From Honnavar, we hopped on a state run bus. Check our Vlog to know how to reach Jog falls in most budget way:
Best time to visit:
Monsoon and winters (August to December) are best seasons to witness this beauty in its full glory, however heavy rains can cause mist and danger of landslides, so before planning please check weather updates. Post monsoon months like September/ October are perfect time to visit when the flow will be good with lower probability of heavy rains.
Restaurants and stay options:
Just as you enter the Jog fall arena there are plenty of small shops in a complex just left to the road however we will suggest you to walk further and stop at KSTDC run restaurant to have your meal, its cheap and tasty.
It will take not more than a half day to cover the Jog falls, so plan accordingly. If you are planning for stay-cation, we suggest you to stay at Hotel Mayura run by Karnataka tourism department the prices are little bit on higher side(around 2k per night for an AC room) but it comes with a splendid view of Jog falls from your balcony.
Entry fee to Jog falls is nominal mere 10 Rs. per person, other than that if you are carrying luggage you can drop at many privately run luggage room for Rs. 20/- per bag charges. We were there for only a day trip hence our budget does not include stay charges. Here is a break up of our total expenditure:
|Honnavar Station to Bus depot||100 Rs.|
|KSRTC bus to Jog falls||65 Rs. X 2|
|Entry fee||10 Rs. X 2|
|Cloak room||20 Rs per bag|
|Breakfast at KSTDC restaurant||160 Rs.|
|Shared taxi from Jog falls to Mavingundi Circle||150 Rs. per head X 2|
|Bus to Honnavar||65 Rs. X 2|
|Auto from bus depot to railway station||100 Rs.|
|Total expense||1000 Rs. for two person|
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Hope this budget guide helped you in planning your trip to this majestic waterfall, 🙂 In case you have any doubt or suggestion drop a comment below and do not forget to subscribe us for our travel updates!
Happy tripping 🙂