OT Travel Itinerary: All You Need To Know About Hiking To Bandaje Falls

The moderately trek takes around seven to eight hours to complete. Visitors have to apply for a permit beforehand
On the way to Bandaje Falls
On the way to Bandaje FallsInstagram/solopassport

The 61m high Bandaje Falls in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka is surrounded by dense green forests where the spectacular views of the Western Ghats and sounds of chirping birds make the landscape pulse with energy. The 6-7km long trek to see it cuts through grasslands, rolling hills, rocky terrain and forests, making for an exciting seven to eight hour journey.

En route to the waterfall, hikers will come across the ruins of the Ballalarayana Durga Fort, supposedly constructed by the Hoysala dynasty in the 12th century. The best time to visit Bandaje Falls is after the monsoon (September to Feburary), as the gushing waterfalls roar their delight and the greenery dazzles with its vividness.

The trek can be divided into two sections. Here’s what you can expect.

The Trek To Ballalarayana Durga Fort

Trekking in Kudremukha National Park
Trekking in Kudremukha National ParkUdayaditya Kashyap/Shutterstock.com

Beginning at the Kalabhairaveshwara Temple, the hike to Ballalarayana Durga Fort is around 3km and will take around 90 minutes to complete. On your way you will come across the Rani Jhari viewpoint from where you can see Kudremukha National Park.

Follow the trail that leads you into the forest. At the first and the second forest sections, always take the trail to your right so you don’t get lost. Keep yourself hydrated and take small sips every few minutes.

The Rani Jhari peak
The Rani Jhari peakRealityImages/Shutterstock.com

Climb the rock face after which you can glimpse the fort from a clearing. Take utmost caution when ascending. Hold onto tree branches and trekking poles to ensure you do not lose your footing. The appearance of a second clearing indicates the fort is nearby.

Take a rest upon reaching the fort. You can explore the ruins and its stone carvings amid panoramic views of the shola grasslands.

The Trek To Bandeje Falls

Bandaje Falls
Bandaje FallsSumesh Always/Wikimedia Commons

Bandeje Falls is 3.5 km from the fort and should take roughly two-and-a-half hours to complete. This second part of the trek is relatively easy.

From the fort, go back down for approximately 350m. Take the grassland trail on your left to proceed towards the waterfall.

Bandaje Falls is best enjoyed in the period after the monsoon season
Bandaje Falls is best enjoyed in the period after the monsoon seasonNaveen K G/Shutterstock.com

The entire trail from the fort till the waterfall passes through rolling hills. The trail starts to descend towards the final downhill to reach Bandaje Falls after two-and-a-half-hours. Upon reaching a section filled with thick trees you will start to hear the sound of falling water.

At the Bandaje Falls, soak your limbs in its refreshing waters, rest, eat lunch and take in the beauty of the landscape around you.

Handy Tips

Bring snacks like chikki on your trek
Bring snacks like chikki on your trekdilipgraphics888/Shutterstock.com

1. You need a permit to trek to Bandaje Falls. Apply at the Karnataka Ecotourism website or call their contact number.

2. Snacks, water, a first aid kit, weather-appropriate clothes and sturdy trekking shoes are a must on this trek. Avoid wearing shorts during the monsoons if you don’t want leeches on you.

A leech hangs out on a plant
A leech hangs out on a plantInna Horosheva/Shutterstock.com

3. The trek is a moderate challenge so please ensure you are fit enough to do it.

4. You can hire a guide from the local village to show you the way. Let your homestay provider or accommodation know when you plan to return.

Check in at a local homestay the night before your trek to Bandaje Falls
Check in at a local homestay the night before your trek to Bandaje Fallssilverrayhomestay.com/Website

5. Start the Bandaja Falls trek early in the morning around 6AM so you can be back at the starting point by 2PM.

Getting There

Mangalore is the closest city to Bandaje Falls. Take a bus or taxi to cover the 80km distance.

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