I have been to see Jog Falls twice now. To me it is not a fancy weekend getaway but a really nice fun one. You leave Bangalore on Friday night and are back by 5am Monday morning (in time for school and work). Taking a train means that you sleep well and reach back well rested to take on a Monday.
Below are the logistics I have used for both my trips:
Bangalore > A.Shimoga > B. Sagar > C. Mattuga (Homestay 6km from Jog Falls)
A. We went on a train Friday night. You leave at 11:15pm via Shimoga Express that gets you to Shimoga at 6:30am. We returned on Sunday night on the Bangalore Express that left at 10:15pm.
B. The first time there we got on a bus from Shimoga railway station (right outside the station) to Sagar. The second time we had a taxi waiting for us at the Shimoga station (arranged by the homestay)
C. The homestay will arrange for a taxi to pick you up from Sagar and bring you to Mattuga - a 30min drive away.
Both times we stayed at Stay@Mattuga – a home stay.
There are not many places to stay in that area and this is the most ‘luxurious’ and a pretty decent homestay.
- Really nice huge property with lots of fruit trees.
- Nice people and nice home cooked food (only breakfast in included in tariff.)
- Owned by a person staying in Bangalore but run by locals.
I really like this place; it has potential but needs some overseeing and extra help during high traffic weekends. The first time we were there we were the only people and stayed in the main house. Rooms were basic but nice and we loved the attention we got. Since then the number of rooms has gone up but the number of staff seems to be the same.
Second time we ‘upgraded’ to newly build cottages and did not like it all that much (as of 11/9/2011) –
- Construction on cottages is still going on so there is raw material around the place.
- Cottages are complete but not ‘finished’ and tested. Teething pains are ongoing (only hot water in taps one morning), paint and dirt in the bath tubs.
- Beds felt damp and musty and towels were hard and washed out.
I expect these to be sorted over time and this is a pretty nice place for a home stay (best in Jog Falls area)
Full Day Taxi with awesome local driver (speaks very little English or Hindi)
There are buses from Sagar ( and Shimoga) that take you to Jog Falls. We opted for a full day taxi (Rs 1700 per day). The taxi is a slightly beat up Maruthi Van but I cannot praise the driver enough. He is who made the whole trip for us. A local man he knows the place inside out. He showed us the waterfalls from three vintage points. Walked to the bottom of the falls with us. Took us to sugarcane, pineapple and coconut farms. Showed us rock and log bridges. Arranged for a motor boat ride on the back waters. He was the driver cum guide.
Things To Do:
- Waterfalls: See from multiple vantage points. Play in the water. Eat from the shops lining the path to the viewpoints. Walk down to the waterfalls (20min – 1hr), walk back up (25min – forever J) (Tip: Go early morning to avoid the touristy crowd)
- Village and Plantation visits: Ask the driver to show you what is local and growing. He will take you to really nice farms with hospitable people.
- Temples: Sagar is home to a lot of very old and architecturally beautiful temples. You can spend the whole day visiting them
- Backwaters: Motor boat and water adventure sports on the Sarawathi backwaters.
Train booking : http://www.makemytrip.com/
Driver:Mahabaleshwara – Phone: 9449454168