One of the most spectacular waterfalls in Karnataka that is about 200 feet high plunge nestled in Belthangady taluk of Dakshina Kannada district is a must to visit attraction in the state. Nestled in the lap of dense forests and grasslands, the waterfalls can be reached only by trekking and is worth it. Immerse in the beauty of lush green dense forests, mesmerising Ghats, breath-taking sunsets, melodies of the chirping birds and the fragrance of wild flora only at the trek route towards the Bandaje falls.
Take a road and trek the trail that is less travelled and chase those gushing Bandaje waterfalls.
A paradise for the nature lover, a photographer’s delight and a dream trek for a trekker, Bandaje falls and the Ballarayanadurga Trek is sure to be visited again and again. The serene and panoramic landscapes will ensure that everyone who visits will have a ball of a time. A drive to Bandaje falls crossing the Charmadi Ghats of the Western Ghats, is a must-to-do while in Karnataka and en route to Chikkamagalur. To visit the falls and trek in Ballalarayana one needs to take forest permission from the Belthangady wildlife range office in Kudremukh National Park. The trek and the falls are a visual treat to the eyes. Due to dense forest and permission issues, there are no permanent accommodations available. However, you can have the option of camping. Ensure you travel with a reliable tour organiser and a guide. Soak up in the beauty of the starry night with a cool breeze staying in a camp amidst dense forest.
The best part of Bandaje falls is that the route to reach is less- travelled as the trek trail is a strenuous one. Trekking is the only way to reach the falls and if one is dedicated and determined, loves nature and is comparatively fit can reach the final destination. Yes, to reach the falls one must ensure physical fitness as the trek requires a lot of energy. The waterfalls continue to flow as a single stream and join the river Netravathi as a tributary and are worth all the efforts for that surreal sight.
The mesmerising sight intensifies during the sunset. The various hues of the sky when merging with the roaring shining waterfalls in the backdrop of lush greenery, the whole setting is beyond imagination. The unexplored and untouched beauty should surely be on the bucket list of every adventure seeker and nature lover.
Best time to visit
Needless to mention, the best time to visit the falls and trek the Ballalarayana is post-monsoon. Enjoy the captivating gushing waterfalls and lush greenery all around. The trek can be challenging during monsoon as it gets slushy and you may not like to get encountered by leeches. Winters are pleasant. Avoid summers as the forest is dry and hot and there is hardly any water in the falls. Hence the best time to visit is from September to February.
How to reach Bandaje Falls?
To reach Bandaje falls one has to trek Ballalarayana Durga Fort Trek. A moderate trek of 6-7 km takes about 7-8 hours for a return visit. Hiking up from the dense trails to the viewpoint it takes about 2 hours to reach Ballalarayana Durga Fort. After the fort hikes up to the distance of 3.5 km for 2.5 hours to reach the Bandaje falls. This second part of the trek is relatively easy. Please ensure you trek with an authorised guide only. There is a very likely chance of getting lost in the forest.
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How to reach
The best way to reach the last mile or closest to the falls is via road. However one can reach by flight, train or road without any complexities.
The nearest International and domestic airport is Mangalore about 78 km and takes about 2 hours to reach the falls. One can either hire a taxi or take a train to reach Belthangady. Belthangady is 57 km away and takes about an hour to reach.
Mangalore is the closest major rail junction and is well-connected with several cities within the state and the rest of the country.
The best way to reach the closest and to the last mile is via road. After reaching the major railway station or the airport, one can take a cab, a private bus or the state-run transport service to reach the falls. These buses ply from Mangalore and Bangalore as well.