Friday, December 18, 2009

Gokak Falls – Karnataka’s Niagara

Gokak Falls – Karnataka’s Niagara

Karnataka is blessed with many waterfalls.  Gokak Falls is a waterfall known for its beauty. This falls is often compared to the globally famous Niagara falls due to its thundering waterbody.
This falls has a height of about 170 feet. The falls is famous for its spread and shape. The rugged valley and the picturesque inspires poetry. The dull roar of the falls can be heard much before you reach it. "Except in width and colour of the water, the general features of the fall, its height, shape and rapidity above are much like those of Niagara". The falls are horse-shoe shaped at the crest, with a flood breadth of 177 metres.  Gokak gets its name due to the Goki trees found in abundance in these areas.

During rainy season, the thick reddish brown water sweeps far over the brink of the cliff with a roar that can be heard from distance. There is a hanging bridge across the river, measuring about 201 metres. Its height above the rock bed is 14 metres.
The waterfall is formed when the river Ghataprabha takes a 170 ft leap from over a horseshoe shaped sandstone cliff, spanning a breadth of 177 m. 

Gokak Water Falls is in Belgaum District, Karnataka, South India.  It is at a distance of 60 Kms from Belgaum and 10kms from Gokak town.


The best time to visit Gokak falls is the time between July to September, when the fall is impregnated with rain and it flows majestically and colorfully.

Route Map:
View Larger Map
How to Reach:
On Wheels:   Gokak Falls is a mere six km from Gokak town and 71 km from Belgaum. Every 15 minutes a bus departs from Belgaum’s Khade Bazaar bus terminus to Gokak.
On Tracks:   Ghataprabha railway station about 3 km from Gokak town is the nearest railhead. The Gokak falls is about 7 km from the railway station.
Fly Away:      Belgaum has a civilian airport at Sambra. Deccan Aviation operates regular flights from all major cities across the country.

Prime Tourist Attractions:


Shivalinga - Gokak Falls Temple

This riverside temple is dedicated to Lord Mahalingeshwara.  The temple is a large and sprawling structure built in the Later Chalukyan style of architecture. The temple has a garbhagriha, (sanctum), an ardhamantapa and a spacious but open mukhamantapa (frontal courtyard). The sanctum with its tall Shikara adorned with exquisite sculptures is a sight to behold.

Gokak Mills
Just walking down a few steps on the other side of the temple were the falls. A tiny bridge runs right over the falls and takes mill workers from one side of the falls to the other. The mill is called Yeah right Gokak Mills. They make cotton items. Tee shirts, curtains, towels, knitwear…

Hanging Wooden Bridge

Another important historical landmark here is the 210-metre long hanging wooden bridge built across the river built in 1907 to enable workers from nearby villages to cross the river and arrive at work. A walk on this century old creaking bridge – on which only 30 people are allowed at a time – is a thrilling experience. One can view the breathtaking vista of the waterfalls directly below as one walks across the bridge.

Chalukya Architecture

You can see the glimpses of glorious Chalukya architecture on the banks of Ghataprbha River near the falls
Electricity Generating Station
This is not an ordinary Electricity Generating Station. Electricity was generated here for the first time in the country in 1887. The generating station can be reached on the ropeway. Recommended only for the extra courageous!
Trekking Spot:

10 kms from Gokak falls there is a village named Godachinamalki. A trek of 2 Kms from here takes you  to a beautiful falls, the stream flows in a slow rhythm, until the first drop of about 70 Ft, If you trek to the spot, you come across a long line of tiny falls that add up to make the big jump. The area being a rocky bed facilitates the creation of numerous lovely cascades to give the look of a royal bath in a palace complex.
The main falls dips again a little further by another 50 Ft before joining the Ghataprabha. This is truly rejuvenating falls, unspoilt and devoid of noisy crowds.

Travel tips for Trekking at Waterfalls

Go for forest friendly coloured clothes like green/browns
Don’t jump into water pool as there
could be boulders beneath
Flat, comfortable walking shoes
Tease animals
Before plunging into stream for swimming seek locals' advice
Camera preferably with a tele photo lens
Talk loudly/make noise
Carry a bottle of kerosene to smear over the shoes to avoid leeches
Torch, sunglasses and hat
Get off the vehicle unless asked
Do not step on boulders covered with algae as they might slip
Essential Medicines
Use strong perfumes
Stay away from alcohol and liquor
Pick up anything as Souvenir
Do not go too close to the falls, as the water pressure could gush you out
Light jacket for winter
Touch insects/birds nest

Listen to sounds of nature
Wear bright coloured clothes

Observe/obey safety rules during safaries, coracles/boat rides and rafting
Play music

Famous Hotels and Resorts:

 The food in this part of Karnataka is unique. You get Rotis made from corn and some side dishes are mouth watering. Also, do not forget to pack some Karadantu, a local sweet dish in Gokak for your family.
There are plenty of hotels available in Belgaum to cater to your tastes and needs. There are hotels in Gokak too, although the choice is not as varied as the hotels in Belgaum.

Sankam Residency
Travel Inn
Hotel Adarsha Palace
Hotel Karishma
Hotel Milan
Hotel Hoysala
Central Park
Hotel Keerthi
Hotel Vaishali
Hotel Dharwar
Pai Hotel
Hotel Western Tower
Brindavan Lodge
Hotel Sheetal
Meenakshi Lodging and Boarding
Hotel Pavan
Hotel Gurukrupa
Hotel Nataraja

Other Fascinating waterfalls of Karnataka:

Other Interests:

Wishing you a very Safe and Happy Journey!!


  1. Wow..!!!

    Breathtaking waterfalls...!!!

  2. Lovely post... very detailed.. Love your blog and how detailed it is.. I've heard a lot about these falls.. but never had the chance of visiting.. someday ... ;-)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Very beautiful falls. Its a complete guide. This pristine and majestic waterfall is horse shoe shaped at the crest, a great place for a full day fun and frolic! Check out more about Gokak falls.