Karnataka abounds in sparkling waterfalls set amidst the sylvan environs of the districts of Kodagu and Uttara Kannada. West-flowing rivers gush through thick forests in coastal Uttara Kannada, breaking into streams that meander over hilly tracts to end in an series of dramatic, plunging finales throughout the region.
The Sharavathi River makes a spectacular drop of 810ft in four distinct cascades-known locally as Raja, Rani, Rover and Rocket- to create the highest fall in Asia-Jog Falls. When the sluice gates of the upstream Lingamakki Dam are closed, it is worth taking a walk right down to the bottom of the gorge.
A 5km trek from Heggarne, a dreamy hamlet in uttara kannada district brings you to the picturesque Unchalli Falls wich is about 400km from Bangalore. These falls are also known as Lushington Falls, after a former British District Collector, who first discovered the falls and Keppa Joga because of the deafening sound they make.
The Bedthi River takes two distinct leaps to hurtle from a height of 650 ft into a rocky ravine as the Magod Falls. Located 80km from Karwar, the thickly wooded country side, the roar of the gushing water and the beautiful views combine to make this an idyllic spot for choice outings.
An 8km trek from Kemmanugundi along a steep and narrow path leads to the Hebbe Falls. Surrounded by dense forests ands coffee plantations, the cascade drop from a height of 250ft to form Dodda Hebbe (Big Falls) and Chikka Hebbe (Small Falls). A dip in the herb-infused water here is believed to be remarkably refreshing.
Shivanasamudram Falls is a tiny island-town 65km east of Mysore. The forests provide a staringly calm setting for the Cauvery River as it plummets from a height of 75m into a deep, rocky gorge to form two picturesque falls, Barachukki and Gaganachukki. When the Cauvery is in spate, watching the river crash into a cloud of foaming spray can be an exhilarating experience. This is also the site of Asia’s first hydroelectric project established in 1902.
About 9km from Madikeri, in the midst of private coffee and spice estates, Abbey Falls offers a splendid backdrop for picnics. The falls make a sudden and dramatic appearance amid stocky coffee bushes and tall trees entwined with pepper vines, before they join the Cauvery Riverdownstream. The ideal time to visit the falls is during the monsoon.
Adjoining the Rajiv Gandhi National Park in Nagarahole, 260km from Bangalore, Iruppu Falls, present a stunning sight during the monsoon. The falls plunge 170ft in two distinct stages before flowing as Lakshmana Teertha (Sacred River of Lakshmana).A forest trail leads from these falls to the Brahmagiri Peak in Southern Kodagu.
Kalhatti Falls start at thee top of the Chandra Drona Hill, from a height of 45m to flow before the Veerabhadreshwara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Situated 10km from Kemmanugundi, kalhatti is about 250 km from Bangalore.
Lalguli Falls are located 15km north of Yellapur in Uttara Kannada district. Here, the Kali River creates a grand spectacle tumbling from a height of about 250ft in a series of picturesque rapids of varying heights.
About 32km from Yellapur, several streams converge near Kallaramane Ghat, and plunge from a height of 15m to create the magnificient Sathodi Falls, locally known as the “Mini-Niagara of Uttara Kannada”.