Sharavathi Backwaters

Nestled in the heart of the Western Ghats, the Sharavathi Backwaters offer a serene and picturesque escape for those seeking a tranquil retreat amidst nature’s bounty. Located in the Shimoga district of Karnataka, India, this hidden gem is a pristine haven that captivates visitors with its lush greenery, tranquil backwaters, and the melodious symphony of the surrounding wildlife. In this travel guide, we will delve into the beauty, activities, and practicalities of exploring the Sharavathi Backwaters.

Getting There:

The nearest town to the Sharavathi Backwaters is Sagara, which is well-connected by road. The backwaters are approximately 30 kilometers from Sagara, and visitors can hire local transportation or drive to the destination. The nearest major city is Shimoga, which is around 120 kilometers away.

Best Time to Visit:

The ideal time to visit the Sharavathi Backwaters is during the post-monsoon season, from October to March. The weather during this period is pleasant, and the lush greenery is at its prime. However, the backwaters have a unique charm throughout the year, and each season offers a different perspective of the landscape.

Things to Do:

  1. Boat Ride on Sharavathi River:
    • Explore the backwaters by taking a boat ride on the Sharavathi River. The gentle ripples of the water and the scenic surroundings make for a peaceful and enchanting experience.
  2. Jog Falls:
    • While in the vicinity, a visit to Jog Falls is a must. It is one of the highest waterfalls in India and is just a short drive from the Sharavathi Backwaters. The view of the falls, especially during the monsoon, is breathtaking.
  3. Bird Watching:
    • The Sharavathi Backwaters are a haven for birdwatchers. The lush vegetation attracts a variety of bird species, making it an ideal spot for bird watching. Keep your binoculars handy to spot colorful avian residents.
  4. Photography:
    • The backwaters provide ample opportunities for photography enthusiasts. Capture the reflections of the surrounding hills on the calm waters or the vibrant hues of the sunset painting the sky.
  5. Camping:
    • For those seeking a more immersive experience, camping along the banks of the Sharavathi River is a memorable way to connect with nature. Campsites in the area offer a rustic experience with basic amenities.
  6. Trekking:
    • The Western Ghats surrounding the backwaters are a trekker’s paradise. Embark on a trek to explore the rich biodiversity of the region and be rewarded with panoramic views of the Sharavathi Backwaters.


While there are limited accommodation options directly at the Sharavathi Backwaters, nearby towns like Sagara and Shimoga offer a range of choices, from budget guesthouses to more upscale resorts. Some adventurous travelers may choose to camp along the backwaters for a closer communion with nature.

Local Cuisine:

The cuisine in this region is a delightful mix of Karnataka’s flavors. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor local dishes such as Neer Dosa, Akki Roti, and the delectable local sweets like Obbattu. Many local eateries offer authentic Karnataka cuisine, allowing visitors to indulge in the culinary delights of the region.

Tips for Travelers:

  1. Pack Light:
    • Since the Sharavathi Backwaters offer a nature-centric experience, pack light and essentials like comfortable clothing, insect repellent, and a good pair of walking shoes.
  2. Respect Nature:
    • Practice responsible tourism. Avoid littering and respect the natural habitat and wildlife in the area.
  3. Guided Tours:
    • Consider hiring a local guide to enhance your experience. They can provide insights into the local flora, fauna, and culture.
  4. Check Weather Conditions:
    • Before planning your visit, check the weather conditions, especially during the monsoon season, to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
  5. Carry Drinking Water:
    • While exploring the backwaters or trekking in the hills, it’s essential to stay hydrated. Carry an adequate supply of drinking water.

In Conclusion:

The Sharavathi Backwaters beckon those in search of a tranquil escape, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, adventure seeker, or someone craving moments of serenity, this hidden gem in Karnataka offers an idyllic setting. As you navigate the gentle waters of the Sharavathi River and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Western Ghats, let the enchanting charm of the Sharavathi Backwaters create memories that linger long after your journey is over.