Bilihole Falls: Hidden Waterfall amidst the untouched forests of Western Ghats in Karnataka - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Bilihole Falls: Hidden Waterfall amidst the untouched forests of Western Ghats in Karnataka

Hike to Bilihole Falls view point near Sirsi, Karnataka

It is one of the last untouched stretch of forests in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. A rich and diverse ecosystem survives here completely unaware of the human civilization living beyond their jungle. Great hornbills, leopards, macaques, langurs, king cobras and even tigers are found here. Earlier, this used to be a protected forest reserve, but due to its ecological importance, it has been added to the newly formed Kali tiger reserve. This article is about a short trek to a stunning waterfall and forest view point inside this untouched forest.

This waterfall is called Bilihole falls (some people also refer to it as Keppa Jogga falls) and it looks like the trunk of Hindu god Ganesha when you look at it from far away. Surrounding it is dense jungle that can only be visited with permission from the forest department and that too only if you are visiting for research studies (species, herbs, etc.).

The trail starts near Jajjigudde village in the Uttara Kannada region of Karnataka, meanders its way through private properties, coffee plantations and forests to reach a steep cliff drop. At the edge of this steep drop is a tree and a small flat surface from where you can catch a view of the Bilihole falls and the pristine forest. If you reach this place around sunrise or sunset, you can also spot huge groups of great hornbills flying over this pristine forest.

The photographs and the video above were taken during the monsoons and hence you cannot see the mountain ranges in the background, but if you refer to this article of mine from my winter trip here, you can see spectacular sunset shots and mist covered 6 to 7 mountain ranges of the Sahyadris one behind the other. It is quite a spectacular sight at sunset with the trunk like waterfall (you can hear it too), the floating clouds, the meandering mist, the dense green forests, the mountain ranges and the setting sun. And if you get lucky, you can spot hornbills and gaurs too.

Do remember to exercise caution here as the place is extremely slippery during the rains. If you take good care of yourself, you can peacefully enjoy one of the rare sights in the Western Ghats of Karnataka.

Bilihole or Keppa Jogga Falls view point, Karnataka

How to reach there:

From Sirsi, you head towards Hulekal and then towards Vanalli. From Vanalli, you turn towards Jajjigudde and about 6 kilometers after the turning, turn left into a private property. At this point, someone should guide you to the view point or you might get lost.

It is best to take with you a local person or guide for safety reasons. If you are staying at Tavarumane homestay, then Mr. Padmanabha Hegde will take you to the view point.

The nearest long distance bus station would be Sirsi. Hubli would be your nearest airport and large railway station.

Bilihole Falls surrounded by pristine forests and the Sahyadri mountains

Other nearby tourist attractions:

1) Unchalli falls – A massive waterfall created by a 118 meter drop in the Aghanashini river

2) Yana rocks and caves – One of the wettest places in Karnataka, Yana is known for its twin limestone rocks that tower amidst dense green jungle

3) Vibhuti falls – A beautiful jungle waterfall with a natural swimming pool

4) Devimane ghat view point – A stunning forest and mountain panoramic view point between Sirsi and Kumta

5) Sonda mutt – One of the ashta mathas established by Sri Madhvacharya, the famous dvaita philosopher

6) Magod falls – One of the most magnificent waterfalls of Karnataka

7) Sathodi Falls – Karnataka’s prettiest jungle waterfall that is located by the Kodasalli reservoir

8) Shivapura hanging bridge – A cable suspension bridge over the Kodasalli reservoir

9) Mirjan Fort – A fort from the 16th century located between Kumta and Gokarna

10) Jog Falls – One of the tallest waterfalls of India and the pride of Karnataka

11) Gokarna – A small coastal hamlet known for its temple and beaches

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