Bandaje Falls Trek (Ballarayana Durga Fort) – Travel Guide

Brief About Bandaje Falls Trek

Immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of the Ballalarayana Durga Fort and Bandaje Arbi trek, where the paths remain unspoiled by crowds. Located in the Charmadi Ghat section of the Western Ghats, this trek boasts serene landmarks like Rani Jhari Falls, Ballarayanadurga Fort, and Bandaje Arbi. As you explore the offbeat trails of the Kudremukh mountain range, you’ll feel a soul-deep connection with nature’s enchanting splendor.

Beautiful Top of Ballarayana Durga Fort Amid The Clouds
Beautiful Top of Ballarayana Durga Fort Amid The Clouds

Just 280 km from Bangalore, this trekking adventure combines the captivating charm of a 17th-century abandoned fort and the exhilarating sight of a waterfall cascading from a thousand feet. Perfect for both beginners and experienced trekkers, this monsoon favorite trek offers a thrilling experience for those who venture into its pristine landscapes.

Built by the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century, Ballalrayanadurga is a secluded fort atop a dense forest, offering breathtaking views and vibrant sunsets at 5,000 feet. This historically significant fort is also a popular trekking destination, with the most frequented route starting at Mundaje and leading to Bandaje Arbi before reaching the ruins.

Key details of the Bandaje Falls Trek:

  • Ideal Number of Days for the Visit: 2-3 days
  • Trek Distance: 15 km two way
  • Trek Altitude Range: 5000 feet
  • Starting Point: Kadivithwara Village, Belthangady
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kadur Junction Railway Station (40 km)

Best Places to Visit & Observe during Bandaje Falls Trek

Venture into the Ballalarayana Durga trek, where you’ll be captivated by its rich, diverse landscapes. Start with the lively forest section, teeming with ancient trees, insects, birds, and flora. Then, traverse the picturesque Shola grasslands, reminiscent of the enchanting Ali and Bedni meadows in the Himalayas. Finally, marvel at the awe-inspiring waterfall, plunging from a snout over 1,000 feet above the ground, an unforgettable sight offered by this unique trek.

After conquering the Ballalarayana Durga – Bandaje Arbi Trek, you can explore more of Chikmagalur’s captivating attractions. If you have extra days to spare, consider these thrilling treks: Kudremukh Trek, Karnataka’s most stunning trek to its third-highest peak; Aane Gudda Trek, a beginner-friendly trek near the serene village of Haluvalli; and Ettina Bhuja Trek, offering panoramic views of the Charmadi range and Shishila valley. Get ready for a series of unforgettable adventures in the heart of the Western Ghats!

Great Mountains at Ballarayana Durga Fort
Great Mountains at Ballarayana Durga Fort

What is the best time to visit Bandaje Falls Trek

For the most vibrant, lush green scenery and powerful waterfalls, plan your trek during monsoons. Unlike Kumara Parvatha, which is risky during monsoons, Ballalarayana Durga is a monsoon delight.

If you prefer crystal clear views of the surrounding Ghats and Kudremukh National Park, opt for post-monsoon and winter seasons when the skies are clear and haze-free.

How to reach the starting point of the trek?

To explore Ballalarayana Durga – Bandaje Falls trek, you can choose between driving your own vehicle or taking public transport for an added adventure.

Driving is ideal, as the trek starts from a remote location, offering leisure and rest before and after your journey. The trip from Bangalore to the base at Sunkasale/Durgadahalli passes through beautiful roads in Karnataka, with lush greenery surrounding you. Durgadahalli is 6.5 km from Sunkasale, and the Kalabhyraveshwara temple serves as the trek’s base. Behind the temple, find a secluded mound where you can camp.

If you opt for public transport, be prepared for a longer journey and more walking. Buses from Bangalore to Horanadu or Mudigere are available, but you will need to switch buses multiple times.

Once you arrive in Mudigere, take a bus to Sunkasale and stock up on drinking water. From there, look for a jeep or minibus to Durgadahalli, or walk 6.5 km to the campsite. Regardless of your chosen mode of transportation, make sure to reach the base by 4 pm, pitch your tents, and enjoy a quick hike to Rani Bagilu for stunning views of Kudremukh National Park before turning in for the night.

Availability of accommodations and food near the trek


There are no proper restaurants at the base and only a few small eateries in Sunkasale. It’s a good idea to pack non-perishable food from Bangalore, such as bread with jam or peanut butter, or rotis. Make sure to bring enough for dinner on Day 1 and breakfast and lunch on Day 2.

For water, fill your bottles at Sunkasale before starting the trek, as the water tank near the temple isn’t suitable for drinking. The next available water source is Bandaje Falls, 6 km into the trek.


When it comes to accommodations, you’ll find plenty of homestays and resorts in Charmadi. Many travelers choose to drive from Bangalore and camp at Sunkasale, but you can also book a homestay according to your preferences.

River Mist Resort in Charmadi
River Mist Resort in Charmadi

The Difficulty level of the Bandaje Falls Trek

The Ballalarayana Durga – Bandaje Falls trek is an adventure that’s manageable for most trekkers, but it’s essential to be prepared for a few challenging sections. During the monsoon months, the trail can be slippery due to mud and loose gravel, so choose your footwear wisely and stay updated on weather forecasts.

Keep an eye out for steeper sections in the grasslands after Ballalarayana Durga Fort, where loose stones and gravel can make navigation tricky. Trekking poles can help with stability and grip in these areas.

At the snout of the waterfall, exercise extreme caution, especially during monsoons when the rocks can be slippery. To safely enjoy the view, lie down with only your head exposed so your body weight keeps you secure, or ask a friend to hold your hand and provide support while you take a peek.

Is Camping Allowed On Ballalarayana Druga – Bandaje Falls Trek?

Remember, you can only pitch tents in the clearing behind Kalabhyraveshwara temple. If you’ve driven, leave your tents in your vehicle before setting off. For those who arrived by bus, kindly ask a local in Durgadahalli or Sunkasale to look after your tents while you’re on the trek. Carrying tents on the trail is not permitted.

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