Monsoon drive to Jog Falls, Kalhatti and Hebbe Falls

Monday, September 14, 2009



Actual Date of Travel - August 1-2nd 2009

Monsoon had cast its magic and we were spellbound for sure. Yet another eventful weekend in the diaries of the Wandering Soul. Read on to find out more.
You see the thing with waterfalls is you won’t be fully delighted until you get up close and personal with it! Awesome feeling it is, experiencing the full force of the thundering cascades, the feeling of being completely dwarfed by the towering cascades, the feeling of being justly rewarded after hours of walk in the dirt and leech infested trails at the first sight of the white cascades! Waterfalls.. it’s all about waterfalls!

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Monsoons are an inviting time for the true nature lover to get out of the comfort of their cozy homes and step into the muck for spectacular scenery that comes alive this season!
I went on four monsoon trips till now and have come up with the monsoon magic series of which you have already read about my Kumara Parvatha experience. Today let’s take a journey to the Malnad and Chikmagalur regions of Karnataka.

Route Followed from Bangalore to Shimoga - On google Maps

Distance from Bangalore to Shimoga – 270 kms.


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Friday night(July 30th 2009), five of us set out on a quest for Dabbe but ended up at Hebbe on Sunday afternoon! Since this was a monsoon special, we wanted to trek to some relatively unknown falls and Dabbe Falls were just the thing we wanted. Some googling to get some buzz words to ask people like Dabbe Falls, Hosgadde, Sagar and we were all set for the adventure. We decided to drive down to Sagar as it would give us more flexibility. We started from Bangalore at around 12.30 AM Friday night. The roads were pretty decent and we were covering good distance at a good speed. We were all meeting after a long time. So with lots of catching up to do, the night went by swiftly. We took our first break at 4.30 or so near a small village called Birur. A hot cup of chai and we took to the roads again. We reached Shimoga by 6 AM Saturday and the sleep deprivation had already left us worn out. A quick nap at hotel Navrang which was strictly just about OK and the investigation started. We had no route plan to go to Dabbe and we trusted the locals enough to come unprepared. Here’s the typical conversation that ensued on the eventful day.

One of us: Do you know how to go to Dabbe Falls?
One of Them: I know Hebbe Falls..I know Abbey Falls.. what’s this Dabbe?

Nice… we ask them where it is and they ask us what it is instead. :-|
A slight variant.

One of us: Do you know how to go to Dabbe Falls?
One of Them: Do you mean Hebbe?

Right… we got confused between a D and a H!

A lot of phone calls and local inquires still got us no closer to Dabbe Falls than we were from before. With nothing better to do, we decided to go on the customary touristy kind of tour to the Jog Falls and then head to somewhere else. Little did we know that Jog Falls was going to keep us busy all day long!

Jog Falls: 


A different view of Jog Falls that you've already seen - Perspective

The drive to Jog Falls from Shimoga was awesome. And by awesome I do not mean the quality of the road (which was good anyway) instead it is the quality of the scenery that keeps you company all along. And the cherry on top was the lovely rain. Jog Falls is at a distance of 103 kms from Shimoga and we started from Shimoga at around 10 and reached Jog Falls by 12.00. Hunger pangs led us to the nearest makeshift hotel and not even a glance at the poor mighty Jog Falls. Fill your stomach first and then fill your senses seemed to be the motto! After a sumptuous meal, we headed towards the view points and it was still raining.

Jog Fallswaterfalls

At first glance, it was not that impressive. The exact feeling was okay.. So this is Jog Falls. Nothing great about it and especially nothing great at all when compared to its earlier glory! A huge green valley, on one side lies the view point and on the opposite side falls the Sharavathi River. Falling from a height of 830ft, it is a pleasure to watch the tiny ant sized humans at the bottom of the falls. It was not until we started to get down the fun started rolling in. It is almost a near vertical slope but the stairs go zig-zag down the way. And mind you, there are a lot of steps,1380 to be precise(Yea ok! I didn’t count. They were numbered). And getting back up is going to be super tough if you are not up to it. Shaky knees and vertigo are the possible side effects.

Jog Falls

Once at the bottom, we did wade through the crowd, streams and boulders. We did a lot of boulder hopping over the slippery rocks to reach a high point adjacent to the pool. Slippery that it was and the cold shower from the top made it an enthralling experience. It was 4 PM and we were now looking at the Herculean task of getting back up. It took us half an hour to reach the top.

From here we headed to the Bungalow viewpoint right opposite this view point which takes one on top of the plunge. If you take a left from the bridge on your way back from Jog, it leads to the Bungalow view point. We spent a good one hour watching the water drop from various rock faces. It was 6.30 by the time we headed back to Shimoga and reached Shimoga by 9 or so. A day well spent.

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On the way to Shimoga Friday night, we saw signposts showing Kalhatti falls and Hebbe Falls at a distance of 34 and 42 kms off NH-206. Since we had nothing better to do on Sunday either, we decided to visit Kalhatti Falls on our way back to Bangalore.

Kalhatti Falls:

A diversion from NH-206 and after 32 kms, we reached Kalhatti Falls. All along the way, we could see a two tiered falls on the distant mountain. I am not sure if those were Kalhatti Falls or Hebbe Falls or something else. If any of you readers know, please let me know. So a decent drive along the estate and we reach a place which says Kalhatti Falls, only to find it is a small shrine. :-o If the big waterfalls we saw on the way were the origins of Kalhatti and we saw its smaller downstream version, then I would say “Kalhatti, I will come again!” Royally disappointed in Kalhatti, we head towards Hebbe.

what falls?

Hebbe Falls-

This is how we ended up at Hebbe starting our quest for Dabbe! A good 42 kms from NH-206, the route passes through beautiful scenery, mountains and clouds keeping you company for most parts. We could see Mullyangiri from a distance and the guys played with some weird creepy crawlies for quite a while! Duh Guys! Then we reached the crossroads where the signpost said 1 km to Mullyangiri and 13kms to Hebbe Falls.

From here, the ride to Hebbe though the green pastures and the estate lands easily could be one of the bumpiest rides of your life. You need to hire a jeep unless you own a SUV. We were running late already and only one jeep was left which was more of cargo jeep. It had no seats and you could fit in some 5-10 goats in it. We 5 got into it and hung on to our lives while the driver mercilessly whizzed past the rugged terrain. And then suddenly, we found ourselves amidst a sea of greenery and mist covered mountain tops. That was a jaw-dropping sight! The landscape was very different from the usual Western Ghats that we saw until now. The dried, dark bark of the trees, the super red soil and the super green grass was the sight that welcomed us into the valley. Mesmerized we took in the views with great pleasure while still hanging on to our lives..Literally! ;)

green route

A good hour later we reach a small house in the estate from where Hebbe Falls was a 30 minute walk. It was now that the driver deemed fit to enlighten us about the possible leech attack on our way to Hebbe. This wouldn’t have been a problem if not for the broken slippers of Sujeet and the flip-flops of the rest. A handful of salt and we headed on the muddy path towards Hebbe. We crossed the stream a couple of times, we slipped, we managed before we were treated to the majestic tiered falls - Chikka Hebbe and Dodda Hebbe meaning the little Hebbe and the big Hebbe. The trek to the second level of the falls (Dodda Hebbe) takes 3 hours it seems. Here the showers were drenching us even at a far distance from the drop. Taking pictures was a real challenge with the showers directed upon us by the conspiring wind. I did not want to get wet. But I wanted a picture of me in front of the falls. So I went near the falls only to be totally camouflaged by the surrounding rocks and totally got drenched to the core. Well yea.. I was the one who wanted to get up close and personal. Who am I to complain now! It was delightful as ever. The guys had a good time under the falls. Satisfied, we started back.

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Hebbe Fallssome mountain?

It was 9’O Clock in the night and we were somewhere in Bangalore outskirts stuck in traffic with nothing good to look forward the next day. The past two days along NH-206, we spotted signposts full of Waterfalls, wildlife sanctuaries, Temples, hills, viewpoints. An option for each kind. But now we were looking at signposts showing “Mekhri Circle” “Yashwanthpur” and a couple of more uninteresting destinations. What an unwelcoming welcome that was. But all good things come to an end.

You see, also the thing with mountains, waterfalls, forests, rivers is , that no matter however many times you have seen the sight before, each time it is a revelation nonetheless. That is reason why you will see me raving about the mountains, waterfalls, rivers or the forests in each one of my posts. Just as beautiful as ever!

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25 comments

  1. Hi nileema,

    that 2 tiered waterfall is the 'Kalhatti' waterfall. It is also known as Kalahasti waterfall. The mountain ramge is known by the name 'Chandra drona' range. The one you visited is a small 5-7ft falls near the temple at kallattagiri. Most visitors mistake it as the real kalahatti falls. But thats not the case.

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  2. @ The Drifter - Ohh!! how sad we missed it! It would've been super fun to trek to the real Kalhatti Falls and I was kind of hoping it be Kalhatti. Hebbe was fun too nevertheless. Thanks for the info. Will make it to the real falls soon.. :)

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  3. Hi Neelima! Wonderful post! Lovely pictures!! The monsoon has some advantages it seems; not only floods and disaster...

    Sorry for the long absence, but after one year work, I got my official week off and, as always, the week before was terrible and the return awful... ;). Furthermore, there was 09.09.09, which for me was a bit depressing, as I entered a Club 60 I would prefer to postpone the joining... ;))

    Blogtrotter is in Turkey, but now in blue, after the green... Enjoy and have a fabulous week!

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  4. For Dabbe falls, you need to go 25 km further towards Bhatkal... and get down at a village called Hosagadde (or Kunjalli). A Jeep then would take almost to the falls (or trek for an hour). But to see the falls, you need to climb down the valley for 30 minutes!!

    As drifter mentioned, you need to trek for an hour to reach Kalahatti falls.

    Photos have come really nice!!

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  5. Wow Nice!!. Mullyangiri Brought back the memories of my first trip on the bike. Gem of a place, only that I was scare to death, when rain descended on the earth, while I was stuck at the top shivering on my bike, descending carefully down and I am all alone.

    Sheesh!! I can never do that again

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  6. The 5 pineapples pic is a classic shot - like it very much. I am sure you are saving bucks for a DSLR. When you do buy a camera - start off with a 10-22mm lens than the standard 18-55 kit lens that you get with most starting range DSLRS.

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  7. Wow - the place looks amazing. So wet and green all over.

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  8. @ GMG - thanks.. :) yes, the monsoon is a lovely time for me.. And congratulations on entering club 60! so many years of travel must've been fun. :) Have fun on your vacation.

    @ Aravind - we tried asking people at Sagar if they had any idea about Dabbe Falls..no one knew.. so we had to abandon our plan.. :( But thanks for the info.. next time we might try again.. and this time we will be more prepared.. :)

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  9. @ Dhanush - That's some experience! Like the one we had on KP only i wasn't alone but the whole group was stranded. :)

    @ Amrit - Thanks.. i only could take this shot coz that guy posed and asked me to take his pic..else i can never point my camera at a stranger.. i feel very uncomfortable doing that.. :(
    Sure..thanks for the pointer about the lens too. will keep in mind.

    @ Bindu - Yes, the place was amazing. Monsoon brings out a whole new side of Western Ghats. :)

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  10. Hi Neelima,
    As usual again a great post. Ofcourse, as u've said, u can keep visiting the Natural Trails time n again... Amazing shots of the falls... Loving it all.
    And thanks for dropping by my blog. Guess this is your first visit there. Glad I could remind you of those sweet memories..
    Welcome to my blog dear. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Do drop in often. I'd love your visits comments n followups.
    My Travelogue

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  11. the portrait of the guy with pineapples is something very unique and interesting!

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  12. @ Mitr - Friend - Thank you so much. Glad you liked the post. :)

    @ joshi daniel - Thanks.. :)

    @ Mina - Welcome to my blog. Thank you.. Do visit again! :)

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  13. Oh Man! Its simply awesome!!!

    You are leading a charmed life... I must say... and lots of folks would like to exchange places with you!

    btw... what do you call your 'gang'... the 'Famous Five'... ?!!

    "But all good things come to an end." True! But, the memories linger... on and on and on...

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  14. Wow....very nice ...

    especially the wide angle [pic of jog falls and that kid with pineapples....

    How often do u go for outing??
    is it a group or what?

    jus let me know...


    See you around wandering soul :P

    Cheers
    Mahesh

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  15. Thats wht I was wondering ... No comment from any of our team member....
    So I am one of the lucky guy out of lucky-5 :-)

    @Roshmi Sinha, I was thinking on the name of our gr88 grp since sometime ...for the time-being, we have kept it fantastic-5 :-) plz suggest if you have some better in ur mind :D ..

    It was indeed a lovely trip ....with such a gr8 company, enjoyed each and every moment of trip. I dont laugh in whole year which I do in 1-2 day trips with our gang... :-)

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  16. BTW guys, just thought of informing you all ...our fantastic-5 gang is again going for another life-time trek ...Roopkund :-)
    So wait for another lovely blog from Neelima :-)

    Cheers
    Ravindra

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  17. @ Roshmi - Thanks and how nice of you! :)
    Well I haven't christened our gang yet.. famous five doesn't sound bad. :D

    @ Mahesh - Thank you... I go trekking with a club called BMC. And the subsequent travels i went with the people i met during these the treks.. :)

    @ Ravin - What happened to the last three letters of your name? :P
    Yea..it was a good trip! :)

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  18. Fantastic pictures of the waterfalls-- really brings your trip to life. You don't often see such dramatic photos.

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  19. @ Apurva - I was on another vacation. So couldn't reply earlier. Thanks..Glad you liked this post and pictures. :) The waterfalls are amazing in this side of our country.
    Do keep visiting and Oh! Welcome to my blog! :D

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  20. Nice description of other Waterfalls' bt nt so wit Jogfalls - which surely d tourists 'ld b xpectin for... and dat too wen d description is on google :(

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  21. @ Kharrn - I didn't write much about Jog Falls as most of the information is available in other travel sites. This is a very famous falls right.. ;)
    anyway..do let me know what's the information you are looking for..would be glad to help if i can!

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  22. wow amazing pictures... regarding kalhathigiri and kemmangundi... its like my one of favourite places.. has been there 5 time... and will go there again and again.. most ecnomic place to be in outdoors from bangalore...
    after trekking up to the kalhathigiri falls, climb the peak and theres a trail to Kemmangundi(beware of forest guards)

    Also instead of taking jeep track to hebbe choose a trek path of 8 kms through hills and jeep tracks in between will be more fun:)

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  23. Hebbe Fall is quite pristine and amazing site... I loved the trek amidst absolute wilderness...

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