Karnataka is like a chapter from a history book. The state has been home to some of the oldest dynasties in Indian history dating back to the Indus Valley civilization seen at Hampi and many rulers since then. Crowded with travelers from all over the country and beyond, they throng the many beautiful tourist places in Karnataka, whether it is the man-made monuments or the scenic natural surrounding. Being the playing ground of so many civilizations, Karnataka has quite a few temples, forts and other prominent specimens of architecture. However, the true allure of the state lies in its natural beauty. Approximately thirty-five waterfalls in Karnataka are spread across the state and no matter where you are road tripping to within the state, you are sure to be able to enjoy some of them.
7 Water Falls in Karnataka
The highest plunge waterfalls in Karnataka and the second highest waterfall in India, Jog Falls is a sight to behold as it falls 253m down the rocks. The Joga Falls, or Gersoppa Falls as it is locally known, is formed by the river Sharavathi and located on the border of Shimoga and Uttara Kannada district. Four distinct falls emerge from it – Raja, Rani, Rocket, and Roarer. The waterfalls are one of the major tourist places in Karnataka. You can actually walk down approx. 1400 steps to the bottom of the hill to get an awe-inspiring visual of the waterfall. The climb takes some stamina and you should be very careful.
Best time to visit: August to January
Legend has it that when Lord Ram & Lakshman were passing the Brahmagiri hills, Lakshman shot an arrow into the hills to get water for his brother. Thus the Lakshman Tirtha river sprung our of the hills and the Irupu falls is the source of the river. This legend and the nearby Rameshwara Temple where Lord Ram is believed to have installed the Shiva Linga himself, make Irupu Falls one of the popular tourist places in Karnataka. It is located in the Kodagu district. You can drive up to the Rameshwara Temple from where you can trek through the forest to reach the waterfalls. Irupu falls is an easily accessible waterfall in Karnataka. You can trek to the bottom of the waterfalls and enjoy bathing in the cascades.
Best time to visit: August to January
The waterfalls are also known as Jessy Falls, in memory of the daughter of Madikeri’s first British caption. It is a major tourist attraction in Coorg, one of the must-visit tourist places in Karnataka. Many little streams come together to form the Abbey Falls, which runs down the rocky slopes in a lush coffee plantation and spice estate. The heady aroma of coffee and spices and the sound of the gushing water make it a spectacular experience. This is why it is one of the most visited waterfalls in Karnataka. You can drive to the entrance of the plantation and then walk up to the waterfalls. You must walk across the hanging bridge to visit the Kali Temple on the other side and get a closer look at the majestic waterfalls.
Best time to visit: Peak Monsoons (September to January)
A road trip to Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary gives you two great experiences. See tigers in one of the major tiger reserves of India and visit one of the beautiful waterfalls in Karnataka. The Hebbe Falls is a major attraction near Chikmaglur and one of the must-visit tourist places in Karnataka. It is made of many mountain streams and is divided into two stages, the Dodda Hebbe/Big Falls and Chikka Hebbe/Small Falls. The falls create a natural small pool before the second stage. You can bathe and play in the water, which is considered to have curative powers. You have to trek about 2 km from where you park your vehicle to get to the falls.
Best time to visit: October to February. Avoid peak monsoons as the trekking trails can be slippery.
The falls which is located near the Udupi-Shimoga district border is the highest cascading waterfalls in India. One of the important waterfalls in Karnataka, the Kunchikal falls and Varahi river which gives rise are the source of the hydro-electric power plant at Mani Dam. The magnificent falls which cascade down 455 m, against the verdant surroundings make for a mesmerizing sight! The falls is one of the hidden gems which is not one of the major tourist places in Karnataka yet. You cannot go near the falls due to dam security. However, it is definitely a must-visit waterfall in Karnataka during Monsoon, if you are in the area.
Best time to visit: July to September. Waterflow is lower during the rest of the year, due to the dam.
The river Kaveri divides at the Shivanasamudra island into two parts. One is called Gaganchukki falls, the other is Bharachukki; together forming the eponymous falls. These falls are one of the must-visit tourist places in Karnataka and a popular weekend getaway from Bangalore. The segmented waterfalls are breathtaking to look at from close quarters. The Gaganchukki falls is best seen from the Shivanasamudra watch tower or from the power station near the Dargah. You must not go near the waterfall as the gorge is very deep and the currents are strong. The cascading falls of Barachukki have much more to offer to the tourists. You can take a coracle ride to the mouth of the gorgeous falls. Or you can walk down a flight of steps with railings to get a better view of the falls, up close. ShivanaSamudra is no doubt, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Karnataka.
Best time to visit: July to January
Chunchi Falls is one of our recommended places to visit near Bangalore. It is a short driving distance from Bangalore which makes it very crowded on weekends. The falls is on Arkhavati river and falls 100 feet to form a small pool. You can relax near the pool or trek up the rocks near the falls. The drive to the falls is through green surroundings which puts your mind to ease. You must visit Sangama and Mekedatu nearby if you are visiting the falls.
Best time to visit: October to February.
These waterfalls are some of the gorgeous tourist places in Karnataka where you can truly relax and take a break from the fast-paced life.
We sure do love our waterfalls and you must check out the other popular waterfalls in India if you love destinations like these. Feel free to ask about any other waterfront destinations on our Community forums and our Scouts will help you. If you are looking to travel to these waterfalls, check out the Waterfalls in Karnataka package.