Agumbe Jog Falls Malnad Monsoon Tirthahalli Western Ghats

Monsoon in Western Ghats in India – An Itinerary to experience it!

Written by Poorna & Brinda
Monsoon in Western Ghats! Come June and it is time for Indian Monsoon. This is also the best time to see Western ghats and experience rain especially in the Malnad region of Thirthahalli in Karnataka. It is still unexplored and receives the second highest rainfall in India. This is THE place for someone who wants to experience Indian monsoons in full glory.
We would recommend you to make Thirthahalli as base (Thirthahalli) – it is centrally located and has good stay options – and you can comfortably plan for four to five days of outing. It is a sleepy little town in rural Karnataka. Thirthahalli and its surroundings is also an area which receives heavy rain fall.
Having been to Thirthahalli and surroundings many times, here is a recommended itinerary. Of course, this region can be visited throughout the year if you don’t want to get wet in the torrential rain! The season between October to March is the best when there is a nip in the air, mist on the mountains and a chance to see glorious sunrises and sunsets.
This itinerary is basically for a road trip from Bangalore. If you don’t intend to drive, don’t worry. You have an excellent option of taking a night train from Bangalore to Shimoga and ask your host to arrange for a pick up at Shimoga railway station. Shimoga to Thirthahalli is a beautiful and picturesque drive of an hour. If you are a person who loves bus journeys, you have option to catch a direct night bus from Bangalore to Tirthahalli.

A complete list to experience and enjoy monsoon in India can be read by clicking this link – Celebrating Indian Monsoon – A List!

Here is the itinerary. Hope you come back soaked with myriad experiences of monsoon!
Day 1 – Bangalore – Thirthahalli
Total Distance – 339 KMs
  • Leave Bangalore in the morning and reach Thirthahalli for Lunch.
  • It is a comfortable six hours drive.
  • Have breakfast enroute either at Tiptur (Kamat Restaurant) or Arsikere (Raghavendra Lodge) or Kadur (Vinayaka Cafe) or Birur (Preethi Canteen for best Butter Masala Dosa).
  • On the way visit Amritapura – five KMs from Tarikere – for its famous Hoysala temple.
  • In the evening go around Thirthahalli town, visit Bheemanakatte for a quiet evening by Tunga river.
monsoon in western ghats
Lovely sand banks on Tunga river in Bheemanakatte
Useful links
Day 2 – Tirthahalli – Kundadri – Agumbe – Thirthahalli
Total distance – 80 KMs
  • Experience the fury of rain and wind on Kundadri – A Small hillock on the way to Agumbe. You can drive up the hill and enjoy panoramic view. You may take a look at Kundadri pictures in our post on Monsoon drive here.
  • Visit Agumbe Rainforest research station and learn about King Cobra and wildlife in Western Ghats
  • Enjoy the cascades of Jogi gundi and Koodlu Theertha waterfalls
  • Walk on the streets where Swami and his friends walked in Malgudi Days!
  • Return back to Tirthahalli in evening.
  • You may not be able to see beautiful sunset at Agumbe during monsoons which is possible in winters and summer
monsoon in western ghats
Monsoon sky as seen from Kundadri hill
Useful links
Agumbe Rainforest research stationAgumbe Rainforest Research Station
Malgudi DaysMalgudi_Days
Day 3 – Thirthahalli – Sringeri – Horanadu – Kuppali – Thirthahalli
Total distance – 185 KMs
  • A beautiful drive.
  • Have early breakfast in the place of your stay or better have a good South Indian breakfast at Sringeri. Visit historical temple of Goddess Sharada.
  • Walk over the bridge on Tunga river and visit Shankaracharya’s Ashram – don’t miss seeing Award winning architecture of Sanskrit Pathashala.
  • Drive to Horanadu. Visit the famous temple of Goddess Annapoorneshwari at the foothills of mountains
  • Have lunch in temple.
  • After lunch drive back to Tirthahalli and on the way after Koppa, visit the beautifully restored heritage house of great Kannada poet KUVEMPU as a memorial for him at Kuppali – good signage is there. Trek to “Kavi Shyla” a small hill – ten minutes trek – adjoining to the memorial to see “Stonehenge” kind of structure done by well known artist K T Shivaprasad.
  • Enjoy the beautiful view of Sahyadris from the top.
  • Return back to Tirthahalli
monsoon in western ghats
Heritage home of Poet Laureate Kuvempu in Kuppalli
Useful links
Day 4 – Thirthahalli – Kollur – Thirthahalli
Total distance – 167 KMs
  • After early breakfast drive to Kollur.
  • Enjoy the beautiful drive through mountains/valleys
  • Visit temple dedicated to Goddess Mookambika.
  • Return to Tirthahalli for late lunch
monsoon in western ghats
Valley views on the way to Kollur
Day 5 – Tirthahalli – Kavaledurga – Mani Dam – Nagara Fort – Tirthahalli
Total distance – 114 KMs
  • Kavaledurga is a hillock fort close to Tirthahalli with amazing views of Mani dam backwaters and valleys.
  • After breakfast head towards Kavaledurga.
  • Climb the the hill fort – it has steps – enjoy the views.
  • Drive to Nagara fort
  • Drive to Mani dam on the way back and view beautiful backwaters formed by the dam.
  • Return to Tirthahalli for late lunch.
  • After lunch and rest visit Chippalagudde, a picnic spot on Tunga river
monsoon in western ghats
Nagar fort looks beautiful in Monsoon
Useful links
                        YouTube Video on Kavaledurga
Nagara Fort  – YouTube video on Nagara fort
Day 6 – Tirthahalli – Kodachadri – Tirthahalli
Total distance – 138 KMs
  • Trekking of Kodachadri in Monsoons is only for experienced trekkers.
  • Also visit beautiful Hittalamane falls at the foot hills.
  • In non monsoon season, one can enjoy amazing sunset from this peak.
monsoon in western ghats
Sunrise @ Kodachadri
Useful links
Day 7 – Thirthahalli – Mandagadde bird sanctuary – Sakrebailu elephant camp – Gajanur dam – Tyavarekoppa Lion safari – Thirthahalli
Total distance – 140 KMs
  • This can be done as a comfortable day trip. This trip is specially for Kids who will enjoy bathing elephants and seeing lions and tigers at close quarters.
  • Leave early with packed breakfast.
  • Visit Sakrebailu elephant camp. Watch how the mahouts bathe and train elephants. Allow kids to play with some baby elephants including bathing them
  • After breakfast, drive to Tyavarekoppa lion safari which is ten KMs from Shimoga. On the way stopover at Gajanur dam to enjoy beautiful vistas of backwaters of Tunga river
  • Enjoy lion safari and have lunch in Shimoga. Visit Shivappa Nayaka’s palace in city.
  • Drive back to Tirthahalli.
  • Stop over at Mandagadde bird sanctuary on the way for some bird watching.
A baby elephant enjoying bath in the camp!
Useful links
MandagaddeMandagadde Images
Sakrebailu – Sakrebailu Images
Day 8 – Thirthahalli – Sagara – Jog falls – Thirthahalli
Total distance – 220 KMs
  • After breakfast drive to Jog falls, the tallest waterfalls in Asia
  • On the way back visit famous temple at Ikkeri on the outskirts of Sagara.
  • Have lunch in Sagara.
  • Return to Tirthahalli
monsoon in western ghats
Jog falls in full glory
Useful links
Jog Falls 
          Wiki – Jog Falls
          Google Images – Jog Falls
Day 9 – Return to Bangalore after Breakfast
If you want to extend your trip after experiencing monsoon, here are some interesting Deviations
  • If one wants to visit Udupi, then they can deviate from Agumbe or Kollur.
  • If one wants to Murdeshwar and beyond, one can do so after Jog falls. Also there is a nice trek of Kanur fort from Jog falls for which one has to stay near Jog falls.
Travel Tips
  • Tirthahalli and surroundings experience heavy rainfall during monsoon. Take proper rain gear.
  • Make sure your car is in good condition. Check condition of tyres.
  • Always check locally for latest road condition. Your host will be of help.
  • You can hire a car at Tirthahalli for doing trips.
  • Plan your itinerary based on number of days you can spare.
  • While trekking or walking in monsoon, you may suffer leech bite. Don’t worry. It is a minor hiccup.
Stay Options
There are good home stays in and around Tirthahalli which provide nice accommodation with excellent meals. We have stayed at Bananki ( and the Malnad cuisine served by them is awesome. A very good home stay.
For more stay options, you may visit Travelmalnad which lists home stays in Tirthahalli.
Malnad – Is a shortened form of “Maley Nadu” meaning the region with rainfall. “Maley” in Kannada Language means Rain
Western ghats – Mountain ranges in peninsular India. A UNESCO World heritage site.
Hoysala – Medieval dynasty who ruled vast parts of South India. Famous for building artistically brilliant temples.
Malgudi Days – Iconic Indian television serial
Ashram – Monastery
Pathshala – School
Sahyadri – Another name for Western Ghats

Mahout – Elephant trainer

We request you to join the lovely drives we have done in Western Ghats during monsoon by clicking on the links below.

Monsoon Drive in Malnad – Countless Waterfalls and Visual Bliss!

Sakleshpur – Mesmerised in Monsoon!

Chikmagalur – A monsoon drive in Western Ghats!

If you are looking for a Driving Holiday from Bangalore to explore Monsoon in Malnad (Western ghats) , please click here

Driving Holidays from Bangalore 2 – Magical Malnad!

Did you like this post?  Do you need help in planning a trip to Tirthahalli and Malnad to experience Indian Monsoon? You are welcome to write to 


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About the author

Poorna & Brinda

We are Brinda and Poorna from Bengaluru, the “Silicon city” or “Garden city” of India.

We travel together. We caught the travel bug 20 years back. On our honey moon, we traveled over the sea, in the train, by bus and in an aircraft! Our adventures probably started in that year. It continues, ever since.

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  • India is one of the few countries in the world that are blessed with rich culture and heritage as well as a wide array of natural wonders. This land of diverse faiths and beliefs is one among the few regions of the world where early civilizations of the world flourished.
    Rajasthan Tour

  • Hai we are group of freinds from south/west part of india planing for a meet in jan between 24th and 27th. I would like to have a fine destination in wetern ghats which could be in same distance for all people [From chennai and From mumbai] since most of us are planing for ride on our own cars/SUVs. Since I am not good in that area and it seems you have explored this area well I request you to help us. Thanks.

  • Hi Sethu,

    Thanks for your feedback on our blog.

    There are four options when we talk of Western Ghats in Karnataka

    a) Coorg

    b) Chikmagalur

    c) Tirthahalli

    e) Dandeli

    Each one of them are beautiful with excellent flora and fauna. Since you mentioned that the group consists of friends from Mumbai and Chennai, i would recommend you to make Tirthahalli and explore Malnad. People coming from Mumbai can take a detour at Chitradurga and reach Tirthahalli via Shimoga. People coming from Chennai can do like wise after crossing Bangalore – Tumkur. This way it is equidistant to both groups. Tirthahalli is still unexplored and unspoilt unlike Coorg. You can pick and chose some of the drives i have mentioned in this post. all these drives are within 50-60 Kms longest being Jog falls which is 100 KMs. Bananki home-stay is outstanding and food is out of the world.

    Pls do not hesitate to call me @ 98450 44486 if you need more details.

    Best regards,

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