Ballalarayana Durga Bandaje falls trekking - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Ballalarayana Durga Bandaje falls trekking

I wanted to visit Ballalarayana Durga. After planning and canceling multiple times, the trip finally happened. Ninada visited in December and he gave some useful insights. Armed with that info, I planned a trip. Of several people who showed interest and few who confirmed, no one eventually joined so I went solo. This post shares my experience and tips. What I thought would be a few hours program turned out to be a full day program draining every bit of energy from my legs.

What to expect?

Ballalarayana Durga trek offers the following

1. About 2.7-3 km uphill trek to visit Ballalarayana Durga fort. Only a small portion of the outer wall remains and there is nothing to see in the fort area, but the view of the surrounding area is nice. Uphill trek involves medium complexity trek under the woods and in open area. A few streams passby where you can refill your water bottle (only 1 was spotted in Feb 1st week, may be more during post rainy season)

2. About 3.7 -4 kms one way (as per google map, in reality it felt like 10 kms!) to Bandaje falls from the fort. You can view the falls from top and the scenic valley below. Return is another 4 kms to the fort area, mostly uphill and was very exhausting. The view was worth it though.

Watch a short video here

You will be greeted with great views all around, some interesting flowers along the way. 

I started from home at 3.30 AM, had a tea and bun near Bajagoli checkpost, reached Rani Jhari by about 8 AM, began my trek, took me about 90 mins to reach the fort. At about 10 AM I came down a bit and contemplated my next move.

After visiting the fort I could have returned or proceed to Bandaje falls. My original plan was to go to Devaramane viewpoint once done with Ballalarayana Durga, but I noticed that it would be better to tick off Bandaje falls as I have already trekked uphill. Though few people said it will take more than an hour to reach, I decided to proceed. Reaching the falls took about 90 minutes- there were enough signages and well marked walking trails to guide me so I didn't get lost anywhere. Reaching the falls was easy as the path was downhill but returning was tough due to the uphill trail. Being able to view the water drop down hundreds of meters was amazing. A lush green view was also rewarding. But while returning my leg refused to cooperate so I had to rest a lot again and again. Started from the falls at about 12 noon and I could reach the car parking area only by 4 PM. Took 5 hours to complete 7 kms.

Overall you will be trekking 13 to 15 kms if you visit both fort and falls. You may save 1 km if you skip the fort. 

Took 2-3 days for my legs to recover fully. But I am glad I visited Bandaje falls from the top. There is another trekking trail from the bottom- from Belthangady side- should try it next time. Otherwise I am done with Ballalarayana Durga and Bandaje falls trek. Not planning to visit again. People were still beginning to climb as I was getting to town (at 3 PM)- that would be too late and not worth it. Go in the morning half.

Tips to manage your Ballalarayana Durga/Bandaje falls trek better:

I began my trek without food. I had started at about 3.30 AM from home, had only a tea and bun on the way and began trekking at 8 AM. It was 4 PM when I came down and 5 PM before I could eat something. Water was my only refresher. If I had some food my legs would have had more energy and I could have walked better. Have your breakfast, carry some food, glucose and lots of water.

Before beginning trek to Ballalarayana Durga I hiked a small hill enroute to check the view- just 100-200 meters hike, in search of “Rani Jhari Edge point” but I should have skipped it and saved some energy.

Maybe go directly to Bandaje falls- 10 kms trek if you have the time, energy and motivation. Fort can be visited on the way back or even skipped if too tired. 

I spent about 30 minutes at the falls and started my return journey. I should have rested longer so that my legs get enough time to recover. I had to stop and rest every few hundred meters as my legs were too tired to proceed.

Go early in the morning and pray for cloudy weather. Hot sun will complicate matters even more.

Bonus: Visit Koodige falls enroute.

I could get airtel signal in some select spots along the trail, at most spots there was no signal.

How to reach? Ballalarayana Durga is 300 kms from Bengaluru, 130 kms from Mangaluru, 75 kms from Chikmagalur/Sakaleshpura. To reach here, Rani Jhari coffee shop is your turning point on the main road. Reach till there, turn left (if coming from Kottigehara side, turn right if coming from Kalasa side) and follow the road.

Last 2 kms are bad roads. Normal cars can go till the parking area but you may need some confidence. If not comfortable you can park earlier and walk more.

Ticket/Entry fee: There is a massive 250 INR entry fee as per Govt of Karnataka rule. You can book on My or you can buy offline tickets on the way at Rani Jhari coffee shop. Don’t ask me will there be someone to check the ticket at the entrance or any service provided (like first aid, toilet, drinking water, changing room etc- nothing- govt just wants easy money, that too massive 250 Rs to use our own legs and trek.

Facilities available at Ballalarayana Durga/Bandaje falls

A small shop in the parking area sells some snacks. Drinking water bottle you may be able to refill in streams on the way(may dry out by Feb end)  or at Bandaje falls. No other facilities available

Stay: it may be more convenient to stay in a homestay nearby for the night and return next day. Below are some homestays nearby


  1. Nice!! This was my first trek and I had walked from Belthangady side and halted overnight on top of the falls. It was in 1999. I should plan to visit from the fort side. Photos look inviting.

  2. Sir. very nice & informative article on B.R.Durga & Bandaje Falls .pica are good too ..🙂


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