Bheemeshwara temple & waterfall off Bhatkal Sagar highway - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Bheemeshwara temple & waterfall off Bhatkal Sagar highway

Bheemeshwara temple and waterfall is a nice place to visit between Bhatkal and Jog Falls (off SH 50-Bhatkal-Sagar highway) Bheemeshwara temple was on my radar since few months and we finally visited it last weekend. This post shares all the details 

What to expect at Bheemeshwara temple and waterfall?

1. An ancient Shiva temple

As the name suggests it is an Eeshwara (Shiva) temple. Only thing prominently visible is the Nandi statue in front of the temple and some carvings around it. The main sanctum where idols are kept is not open to visitors and it was difficult even to get a glance. We did some circus throwing mobile light through the locked door openings and managed to get a glimpse with difficulty. I understand entry is for priest only but slightly better view can be provided to visitors with some lighting inside and slightly more visible door.

2. A tall, beautiful waterfallA few other rooms in the temple complex seem to be kept empty or probably used only during special occasions.  A small set of idols were kept in open near the falls.

Probably the main reason people come to Bheemeshwara. A tall waterfall through the rocks is located right next to temple complex. No further hiking needed. A hand written display bars visitors from entering the falls, but no stopping over enthusiastic crowd. With some difficulty you can get under the falls, but be aware rocks are slippery. There is no pond like space below the falls, hence no safe place to take a bath. Because of these reasons, Bheemeshwara waterfall is best viewed from a distance and not entered into

3. Three kms of offroad experience/trek

The Bheemeshwara temple and waterfalls is about 2.5 - 3 kms from main road. This distance is accessible via a slushy mud road not suitable for normal cars. You can hire a 4x4 jeep (Jeep person keeps waiting for customers at the main road, unless already on a ride towards the temple)

We parked our cars and tried covering this distance on few of the bikes in the group. But due to slippery road bikers also decided to park after some distance and we covered the rest on foot.

4. Waterfalls along the way

While driving towards Bheemeshwara from Bhatkal, we spotted 2 different waterfalls. These were only good for viewing, without any easy access to go closer.

Bheemeshwara Temple & waterfalls visitor info:

  • Opening hours: There is no timings. You can visit any time during the day. Within the temple the main room where god and godess idols are placed was closed and locked. After dark it may be difficult to visit, hence best to visit during daytime
  • Stay: Bhatkal, Kollur or Sagara towns are best places to stay. You might find a homestay nearer
  • How to reach? Bhatkal (45 kms)/Jog Falls (44 kms)/Kollur (56 kms) are the nearest towns to visit Bheemeshwara temple and waterfall. You can follow google maps and reach Bheemeshwara in your own vehicle or taxi. Last 3 kms are bad roads, no possible for normal cars. You have to either trek or hire a 4x4 jeep (600 per jeep per trip is November 2021 rate). If you have a 4x4 vehicle or a bike you can try going further. Bikers in our group went for about a km and decided to park and walk rest of the distance as the road was slippery and tyres were not getting grip. Going back up would be tricky. In summer I think bikes can reach much further.
  • Vehicle will take you till Yaga shala. You will still have to walk last 500 meters, including some 100 steps climb.
  • Time to spend: 30 mins to 1 hour after you reach. From Bheemeshwara you may need 1.5 hours to reach Kollur/Bhatkal/Sagar. Plan well. The area is in reserve forest. Night travel might attract more checking.

Our experience

As we turned at highway 4x4 jeep driver who was waiting for customers said our car won't go. But he confirmed bikes can go. As we had many bikes as well in the convoy we decided not to take the jeep and try reaching on bike/trek. Those in car got on a bike as pillion and started. However due to recent rains road was slippery. Bikes like Dominar, Apache 310 with track tyres were finding it difficult to retain traction. After about a KM most bikers decided to park and walk. On the way back we hired jeeps to save time and effort.

Best Season to visit Bheemeshara temple and waterfalls: 

  • July to September: Maximum water, heavy rains, slippery roads, leeches. Visit if you are very adventurous and wish to get amazing view of the walls and water flowing down the steps. 
  • October to December: Less water but better conditions to visit, more comfortable.
  • Jan to June: Not much water in waterfalls, dry roads so easy to visit-good time if temple is your focus and interest, avoid if waterfall is main attraction.

Other things to remember while visiting Bheemeshwara temple and waterfalls

  • Mobile network is non existent in the region. Download offline map, keep an eye for the small board that calls out Bheemeshwara
  • A local has was selling tea, water and snacks in a makeshift shop. Nothing else is available for purchase. Take whatever you need
  • Be mindful of leeches
  • Going down seems easier, but your vehicle will have to climb up while returning. No help will be available. Watch out if being adventurous.

Places to visit nearby: Bhatkal Lighthouse * Jog Falls * Muppane Ferry * Sigandur * Kodachadri * Mini Maldives * Koosalli falls (map says 20 kms, do explore)

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