The Complete Guide to Dabbe Falls Trek
The first name that comes to anyone’s mind when asked to name a waterfall in Karnataka would be Jog Falls. Undoubtedly, it is one of the bests of this region. It comes alive during monsoon and post-monsoon. That’s why Jog Falls is flocked by travellers in these seasons. While the beauty and the experience of it remain unmatched, the trekker in you might crave a little more adventure than visiting this touristy spot.
What if we tell you, just 35 km away from Jog Falls, exists a waterfall hidden deep in the forests of western ghats. The waterfall is known as Dabbe falls. It does not just offer you an adventure you’re seeking, but also solitude as a cherry on the top of a cake.
Dabbe falls trek takes you through the dense forests of western ghats. The trail descends steeply to the base of the waterfall. Some sections are so steep that you’ve to hold on to the roots of the trees and descend. You even have to use a rope and rappel down for about 10 feet at one point!
Dabbe falls is a Moderate level trek. It is preferred to have some trek experience before you attempt this.
Table of Contents
Just like you, we love trekking! And this is a trek we’ve documented in great detail to help you do it on your own. Drop-in comments at the end of the page if you need any help! You will get all the information required to do Dabbe Falls Trek on your own.
To navigate through the documentation easily, use this section of the Table of Contents.
- Trail Information
- Best Season to do the Dabbe Falls Trek
- Difficult Sections on the Dabbe Falls Trek
- How to Reach the Dabbe Falls Trek
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Emergency Contacts on the Dabbe FallsTrek
- ATMs and Networks on the trek
- Places to visit after the Dabbe Falls Trek
1. The Dabbe Falls
The Dabbe Falls is the main highlight of this trek. The sound of the waterfall gushing is a constant companion on this trek.
The descent in the dense forest begins with the roaring sound of the waterfall. But Dabbe falls makes its appearance only after the three fourth of the trek. It’s a treat to watch the waterfall after a hard descent.
The Dabbe Falls as seen from the base. Picture by Manasa N L
Once you’re at the base, you’ll find yourself in a beautiful valley. Right in front of you, is a milky white waterfall falling from a height of more than 350 ft. It’s hard not to fall in love with it.
2. An adventurous descent and ascent in the dense forest
The descent to the Dabbe falls is an adventurous one. Initially, you walk alongside farmland and then descend through the dense forest of western ghats.
The dense forest trail that takes you to Dabbe Falls. Picture by Anjan Shanbhog
The trek is very challenging as you have to descend through steep sections throughout the trail. The entire trail is minimum of 60 degrees steep. In some sections, you’ve to hold on to the roots of the trees and descend.
Immediately after the viewpoint, you’ve to use rope and rappel down. This is an adventure that stays with you long after you complete the trek.
Dabbe falls trek can be divided into two sections.
- Konjavalli to Dabbe Falls Viewpoint
- Dabbe Falls Viewpoint to Dabbe Falls Base
Section I: Konjavalli to Dabbe Falls Viewpoint
Trek Distance: 1 km
Trek Duration: 1 hour
Dabbe falls trek starts from a village called Konjavalli. There is a house at the starting point of the trek. Speak to the residents there and show them the permission that you’ve got. They’ll give you a rope which is required if you want to trek beyond the viewpoint.
The road that leads to the starting point of the trek. Picture by Poorvaja M S
The first 150 metres of the trek is alongside the farmland. On your left, you see the pretty farmland. This farmland is just infront of the house. A walk in this section gives you a peek into the culture of the region. On your right, you have the forested valley. But at this point, you can hardly make out that it’s a valley. It looks like a forest situated just one step below you.
There is a very narrow trail that deviates from the farmland and takes you into the forest. Ask locals for the correct route if you are not able to find it.
The initial forest section is easy. But after about 50 metres into the forest, you get a glimpse of the descent that you’re about to take. From here, until the viewpoint, it’s a steep descent.
Glimpse of a steep descent in the forest. Picture by Manasa N L
Continue to descend carefully. About 200 metres, you come across a section that’s almost 60 degrees steep. There are roots of the trees that you can hold on to and descend here. Be very cautious of your footsteps when you’re navigating.
Steep section you’ve to navigate through enroute Dabbe Falls. Picture by Manasa N L
From here, until the viewpoint, it’s at least 50 degrees steep. But the good thing is, you can make out the trail easily. But in some sections, you have to make decisions on which way is easier to descend and navigate accordingly.
The engulfing forest section makes you feel like you’ve entered a new world altogether. It’s unlike any other you see on the western ghats trek. What differentiates this section from others is how the trees have grown here. It’s interesting to see how life is thriving on such a slope.
You’ll often see the roots of the trees spread out on the forest floor. It not only adds to the charm but also makes your descent easier.
Notice how the roots are spread out. It gives you support and makes your descent and ascent slightly easy. Picture by Poorvaja M S
As you’re approaching the viewpoint, you can hear the roar of the Dabbe Falls. It’s so soothing to your ears and keeps your excitement alive. Once you’re at the viewpoint, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the sight of the waterfall. You get the view of majestic Dabbe falls and the surrounding valley from a distance. Spend some time soaking in this beautiful view.
First view of Dabbe Falls from the viewpoint. Picture by Gurumurthy N V
Section II: Dabbe Falls Viewpoint to Dabbe Falls Base
Trek Distance: 250 metres
Trek Duration: 15 - 20 minutes
The section next to the viewpoint is the trickiest and the most challenging section of the trek. It’s around 10 feet tall and close to 80 degrees steep. Use the rope that’s been given to you. There is a tree trunk lying around, use it to tie the rope tightly. Hold on to the rope and descend down carefully. Make sure only one person goes at a time. Do not untie the rope at this point. Leave it fixed and you can take it along with you while going back.
After this section, the waterfall plays hide and seek with you. It disappears again for the next few minutes. Here, you pass through a very narrow trail covered by bushes on either side of you. It’s very much doable.
The next section is a gradual descent through the rocky terrain. These rocks are slippery. So watch your footing. As soon as you cross this section, you’ll reach the base of the waterfalls. This takes you to a boulder, from where you can get a view of Dabbe Falls from a short distance. Reflect on your journey so far as you sit on this boulder and take in the views of the surroundings.
Dabbe Falls as seen from the base. Picture by Gurumurthy N V
While you’re awestruck by the beauty of Dabbe Falls, make sure to observe your surroundings. It is equally beautiful. On either side of the waterfall, you have huge rocky walls, the height of which level the snout of the waterfall. It’s as if nature has built it to protect the Dabbe Falls. The structure of these rocks is also something to watch out for. Moss on the rocks adds to the charm.
An up close view of rocky wall on the side of Dabbe Falls. Picture by Poorvaja M S
If you want to go near the falls, on its right, you have a narrow rocky terrain through which you can reach. These rocks are very slippery especially when it rains. The boulders near the waterfall are very slippery even otherwise. So if the flow of the waterfall is too high, do not attempt to go there.
The rocky terrain that takes you closer to the waterfall. Picture by Anjan Shanbhog
The ascent is through the same route. It’ll take about 1 - 1.5 hours to ascend. It is equally steep and is very tiring. Make sure you’re well hydrated. Keep a Turn Around Time(TAT) of 4 pm so that you’ll be back before it gets dark.
While ascending the section after the viewpoint, use the fixed rope that you’ve kept there during your descent. There are small spaces on the wall where you can place your foot in. Hold on to the loose end of the rope for support and ascend carefully. It’s not too technical, but you must watch your footing.
Best Season to do the Dabbe Falls Trek
The best time to do Dabbe Falls Trek is from late October to January.
During post-monsoon you’ll witness the lush greenery of the place. The water flow will also be high. You’ll also see a lot of greenery around the falls.
The Dabbe Falls during post-monsoon. Picture by Anjan Shanbhog
During winter, you’ll still witness the greenery as most part of the trek is in the forest section. But it wouldn’t be as lush as it is during monsoon and post-monsoon. Nevertheless, the Dabbe Falls doesn’t fail to amaze you. All the pictures attached in the documentation are from the winter season.
During monsoon, the descent becomes slippery and too risky.
You can trek during summer, but the water flow will be too less.
Difficult Sections on the Dabbe Falls Trek
Dabbe falls trek is rated as moderate difficulty.
Though the trek is of short distance, it is steep throughout and you must be very careful.
The section immediately after the viewpoint is the hardest part of this trek. It’s around 10 ft tall and almost 80 degrees steep at a few locations. You must use the rope here for support to descend and ascend.
It’s advised not to go beyond the viewpoint if it’s raining. This section becomes extremely slippery and risky.
Tip: It’s a steep descent throughout the trail. Wear proper trekking shoes.
How to Reach the Dabbe Falls Trek
Dabbe falls trek starts from a village called Konjavalli. It’s around 35 km from Jog falls.
Reaching Dabbe Falls Trek by your own transport
Konjavalli village is in Hosagadde Taluk, Karnataka. It’s on Sagara - Bhatkal Highway. Refer to the link to help set up navigation on Google Maps.
Near Konjavalli village, you need to take a right deviation and head straight for Dabbe Falls. But this is not marked on Google Maps. Once you’re there, ask locals for the correct route and they will be able to guide you.
Reaching Dabbe Falls Trek by Public Transport System
The buses that run from Sagara to Bhatkal go via this route. Get down at Konjavalli.
But from here you’ll have to walk for about 2 km to reach the starting point.
Nearest Airport and Railway Station
Hubballi Airport is the nearest airport to Dabbe Falls and is around 195 km away.
Talaguppa Railway Station is the nearest railway station and is around 42 km away.
Frequently Asked Questions
Permission and Camping
You need to take permission from Shimoga DFO (Contact Number - 08182272210) to do the Dabbe Falls Trek.
Another option is there is a small check post in Konjavalli village just beside the main where you take a deviation to Dabbe Falls. You can take permission from here as well. But this is not always reliable. Better to take permission prior from Shimoga DFO.
Camping is not allowed on the trek.
Stay Options near the Trek
There are a few basic hotel options available in Kargal. Even hotels near to Jog falls has quite a few options for the stay.
Timings on the Trek
There are no specific timings on the trek. The total time it takes for Dabbe falls trek is 3-4 hours. But it’s best to start your trek in the morning and come back by lunch.
If you’re starting afternoon, keep a Turn Around Time (TAT) of 4 pm. This is to make sure you’ll be back by dusk.
Food and Water Source on the Trek
Food: The nearest place where you can buy food is Kargal. Kargal has a few hotels and shops.
Green Tip: If you are buying food from the outside, make sure you carry your own tiffin box, cutlery and mug. This ensures that you will not litter anywhere on the trek.
Water: For the water source, you can fill your water bottles in the house at the starting point of the trek. Another option is, on the way to Dabbe falls, just before 300 metres from the starting point, you come across a water stream. This water is potable. You can fill your water bottles here.
Emergency Contacts on the Dabbe Falls Trek
Nearest Hospital and Police Station
Aralagodu Hospital is the nearest hospital to Dabbe falls and is 20 km away.
Aralagodu Police Station is the nearest police station to Dabbe Falls and is also 20 km away.
ERSS: For any kind of emergency help, you can contact the Pan-India Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) number- 112
ATMs and Networks on the trek
There are a few ATMs in Kargal. They are not reliable. The best option is to carry cash from Sagara or any other town on the way depending on where you’re traveling from.
You don’t get any network on the trek. In fact, from Konjavalli, when you take deviation from the main road for Dabbe Falls, the signal becomes patchy initially and then goes off completely.
Places to visit after the Dabbe Falls Trek
Jog Falls:Jog Falls needs no introduction. The waterfall is created by Sharavathi river. The water falls from a height of 830 ft in four cascades namely Raja, Rani, Roarer and Rocket. It’s the third-highest waterfall in India and the first in Karnataka.
Jog falls as seen in the month of December. Picture by Manasa N L
Jog Falls is just 35 km away from Dabbe Falls. Monsoon and post-monsoon are the ideal seasons to witness it in full glory. But though the water flow is less, it’s a treat witness Jog Falls even during winter. There are ways to get down to both the base and snout of the falls. However, depending on the rainfall and the season you’re visiting, there could be restrictions.
Bheemeshwara: Bheemeshwara is another beautiful waterfall located just 20 km away from Dabbe Falls and 50 km from Jog Falls. The waterfall is formed by the Sarala River. Next to the waterfall is a small Shiva temple and it has an interesting mythological story behind it. The waterfall and the temple are separated by stairs.
Bheemeshwara Falls in the month of June. Picture by Manasa N L
The best season to visit is the beginning of monsoon and post-monsoon. During peak monsoon, the water flows on the stairs and the temple also gets submerged to an extent.
Trek explored and photos contributed by Manasa N L, Anjan Shanbhog, Poorvaja M S and Gurumurthy N V.
Trek written by Manasa N L.