Those, who do not like waterfalls, are rare. Who can deny the beauty of the water that is spilling over rocks and falls from the height like a stream of milk? Artists, photographers and poets have spent an inordinate amount of time to capture the romantic essence of waterfalls. India is rich with lots of waterfalls that are different in shape, sizes and characteristics. Most of them are famous tourist spots that attract numerous people from various corners of the world. Karnataka itself has many big and small waterfalls that function as tourist spots as well as source of electric power.
1 Kunchikal Falls (455 m)
Kunchikal Falls, one of the highest waterfalls of India, is located near Masthikatte-Hulikal under the Hosanagara talul of the Shomoga district in Karnataka. Formed by the Varahi River, this water fall presents a marvelous view cascading down through hundreds of rocks. Kunchikal water-fall, which starts from a height of around 455 meters, gushes down the rocks for more than one kilometer. It is also one of the primary sources of hydroelectric projects in the state.
Kunchikal falls is an offbeat destination !
Even though many visitors from various parts of the country visit this place to enjoy this natural beauty, Kunchikal Falls is not much explored. Therefore, the area is clean and pristine that can give a serene atmosphere to the people. As Mani Dam is situated near, people are not allowed to move around the waterfall. Once you reach Kunchikal waterfalls, you can also visit the other tourist spots like Jogi Gundi falls, Nibhani Gudda, Agumbe hill station etc, which are within a few km from the fall.
When & How to reach kunchikal falls ?
The nearest railway station to Kunchikal water fall is at Udupi, while Mangalore is the nearest airport.
Even though there are a few bus services from Bangalore to this place, hiring private cars is the comfortable transport option. You can see some small shops and restaurants near the fall, where you get snacks and food.
Rainy season that prevails from July to September is the best time to visit Kunchikal Water fall.
2 Barkana Falls (259 m)
Barkana falls, which is the contribution of Seeta river, is one of the tope ten highest waterfalls in India. Barka means mouse deer that is present at Western Ghats. This may be the reason for getting this name to this waterfall. Barkana waterfalls is situated in Balehalli forest area, about 7 km away from Agumbe village in Shimoga district of Karnataka. Started at the height of 850 feet, Barkana Falls is also the source of hydro-electricity project.
The Barkana view point, near the waterfall is a perfect spot to enjoy the mesmerizing view of the Western Ghats and the hill slopes of the region. It is also the favorite trekking points of tourists. The trek here involves undertaking a steep route from the Western Ghats to waterfall via Gumbo Ghats. You can see a wide variety of flora that seems to change after every 100 meters, while you trek. The forest has an amazing mix of plants and trees from bamboos to herbs and shrubs that will really make the trekkers wonder.
Barkana Waterfall gives its most amazing vie during the rainy season. Even though Barkana falls attracts many tourists from all parts of India, visiting this place during rainy season is risky, as trekking route gets slippery. Moreover, there are abundance leeches here during rainy time. So, the comfortable time to visit this location is during the early winter season.
3 Jog Falls ( 253 m)
The second highest plunge waterfall in India, Jog Falls, is located near Sagara in Shimoga district of Karanataka. This famous tourist spot is also known as Gerusoppe falls, Gersoppa falls and Jogada Gundi. Sharavathi River that rises at Ambutirtha near Nonabar in the Thirthahalli taluk forms Jog falls at a height of 253 meter. Sharavati river flows over a very rocky bed and comes down in four distinct falls such as Roarer, Raja, Rocket and Rani. The Tourism Department has built nearly 1500 steps till the bottom of the hill from the view point.
There is a dam called Linganmakki Dam across river Saravathi, associated with the waterfall. It serves hydro-electric power station, which has been operational since 1949. It is one of the largest hydro-electric stations in the country and a significant electric power source for the state with a capacity of 1200 MW.
During monsoon season, the Jog falls creates a spectacular sight with rainbows every now and then. August-December is the season of best flow. As the sky is clear of the mist, winter is the most suitable time to visit Jog Falls. People can also try an adventurous walk at the bottom of the gorge, only when the gates of the dam are closed. Nearest airport is Mangalore International Airport and nearest railway station is Thalaguppa, in Shimoga district. Jog waterfall is also accessible by National highway 206.
4 Kalhatti Falls (122 m)
Kalhatti Falls or Kalahasti Falls, located at Kallattipura in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka, offers an excellent view of the cascading water from the Chandra Drona hill from 122 meters. It is one of the most loved tourist locations in India. The falls gets all the more roaring in monsoon period, as the waters come thundering down in massive quantities. Klahatti falls is the perfect location for photography and film shooting. Exotic flora and fauna are the other attractions of kalhatti falls. The exotic species around the falls make this area a wonderland for the lovers of wild. Kalhatti Falls also offer great scope for adventure lovers.
As this water fall is located near Ooty, the famous tourist spot in South India, many people visit here during their vacation in Ooty. One of the Hindu shrines built during Vijaynagar era is the other attraction near Kalhatti falls.
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5 Belkal theertha(92 m)
Belkal Theertha falls, located in the deep forests of Western Ghats at a distance of 50 km from Kundapura in Karnataka, falls from a height of 300 feet from Korshi Betta, which is an extension of Kodachadri. As Kodachadri is the sacred place of Saraswathi, the goddess of knowledge, in Hindu religion, Belkal theertha waterfalls from the extension of Kodachadri is also considered as the holy water. People from various parts of India come here to take a holy dip in the water to wash away their sins and to recover from diseases.
Belkal theertha, amidst the green dense forests, is also a famous tourist spot, as it homes different wildlife sports. The fall is located at the height of 300 feet. It is also the favorite location of trekkers and adventure frenzy group people. You can visit Belkal Theertha except the months from February to May, as the water here completely dries off during this period. Mangalore is the nearest airport and Kundapura is the nearest railway station to Belkal Theertha. If you go through NH- 17 towards the Kundapura-Lollur road, you will reach Madur, from where you have to travel 3 km to reach Belkal Village. It takes about 2 hours to reach Belkal Theertha from the village.