People associate India with Taj Mahal, Ganges, wildlife and food but very few know that India has some of the most spectacular waterfalls. These waterfalls complement the diverse flora and fauna of the country. Seeing the water gushing down into the valley and lush jungles of India is truly a magnificent sight. Nature and adventure enthusiasts can combine travel to the prominent sites of India with a visit to any of these scenic waterfalls.
Located in the state of Karnataka and approximately 130 km from Bangalore, Shivanasamudra Waterfall is easily accessible by road. The drive from Bangalore is in itself scenic with mountain views and greenery on both sides of the road. The waterfall is situated along the river Kaveri and the river splits and falls in two separate places – Gaganachukki and Bharachukki. The fall offers a captivating view and has an average width of 305 meters (1,001 ft), a height of 98 meters (322 ft).
The best time to visit is from September to January. The waterfall is in its full glory in the monsoon season (July to September). You can enjoy boating in the small circular boats (called coracles) that takes you near the stunning waterfall. The gushing river flowing down the rocky cliff is a treat to your eyes.
With a height of 320 meters (1017 feet) and an average width of 30 meters (100 feet), Dudhsagar Waterfall is situated in Goa and is one of the tallest waterfalls in India. The majestic cascade of white water, Dudhsagar waterfall is also known as the Sea of Milk. The waterfall is approximately 70 km drive from Goa Airport.
Trekkers have a good option to trek here. On reaching the entry gate, one has to book a separate jeep (shared or private), that will take you further to the falls. The waterfall is a four-tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi river and you will be mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the falls and its natural surroundings. Dudhsagar waterfall paved its way to limelight when a Bollywood movie “Chennai Express” starring Shah Rukh Khan was shot here. The best time to visit October to January.
Athirapally waterfall is located on the Chalakudy river in Thrissur district of Kerala. It is one of the most picturesque places in South India. Approximately 38 km from Cochin Airport, Athirapally is the largest waterfall of Kerala. During the monsoon (June to August), the drive to Athirapally with lush greenery around is a pleasing experience. Once you get your entry ticket, walk through the woods, enjoy the nature and reach the waterfall.
The fall is gigantic with a height of 25 meters (82 ft) and a width of 100 meters (330 ft). This waterfall gained more popularity when the famous movie “Bahubali” and Bollywood movie “Guru” where the song “Barso Re Megha Megha” featuring Aishwarya Rai Bachhan was shot here. Athirapally waterfall never dries out but the best time to visit is from September to January. So get on your shoes, walk down the forest way and enjoy the scenic waterfall.
Asia’s widest and India’s largest waterfall, Chitrakote waterfall is also called as “the Niagara Falls of India”. Located in the Indian state of Chattisgarh, the waterfall originates from the Indravati river in the Bastar district. You can also visit the ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which is situated near the waterfall.
During your visit to the falls, you will come across several stalls where the locals sell handmade artistic items called Bastar Art. Chitrakote waterfall is at a height of 29 meters (95 feet) and nearly 300 meters (980 feet) in width. The natural beauty of the waterfall is enhanced by the dense jungles surrounding it. One can also climb down a flight of stairs and take a boat ride at the bottom of the waterfall. The view from here is truly breathtaking and scenic. The best time to visit is from July to October. During winter, the climate is pleasant and water is milky white.
The pride of the state of Meghalaya and the fourth highest waterfalls in the world, Nohkalikai Waterfall is approximately 05 km from Cherapunjee – one of the wettest places on earth. Nohkalikai waterfall is the highest plunge waterfall in India with a height of 340 meters (1120 feet) and a width of 23 meters (75 feet) located in the evergreen rainforest of the Khasi Hill. Noh Ka Likai means “the leap of Likai”.
There is a sad story associated with this place. Legends say that a young mother named Ka Likai had thrown herself over the precipice adjoining the waterfall, in the grief of her daughter (from an earlier marriage) being killed by her new husband. Thus, the fall has ever since been known as Nohlakikai. The waterfall is extremely beautiful in monsoon when the water comes down directly into the pool formed under, making it even more mesmerizing. Thus the ideal time to visit is monsoon when the falls are in full form. You can also find stairs, which will take you down to various other viewing points. One can shop for some amazing souvenirs at the local stalls around. Get a delightful view of the grand waterfall on your tour.
Located in the dense evergreen forest of Shimoga district in Karnataka, Jog fall is second-tallest waterfall in India. The nearest international airport is Mangalore and the nearest domestic airport is Hubli. Jog falls is also called as Gerosappa Falls or the Joga Falls. During monsoon, the water level increases giving a majestic look to the falls with rainbows seen now and then.
The height of the falls is 253 meters (830 feet) and width is 472 meters (1,549 feet). The waterfall drops directly and does not stream on to the rocks. The best time to visit is August to December as this time is also considered to be the season of the best flow. One of the largest hydroelectric stations in India is also operational here.
The stunning milky-white waters hitting against the rugged rocks, Mallalli Falls are located in the western ghats at the foot of Pushpagiri Hill Ranges of Coorg district. The falls originate from River Kumaradhara over 200 feet in two steps. From Mallalli falls the river goes on to and merges with the Netravati River and later meets the Arabian Sea at Mangalore. You will experience the lush green mountains and steep valleys. Trekkers also have the option to trek around the lovely hills of Mallalli falls.
The best time to visit is between July to December when the water level is higher. The nearest international airport is Mangalore and the closets domestic airport is Mysuru.
Jay Kajaria is Founder of Bespoke India Holidays. Bespoke India Holidays is an award-winning company that specialises in creating luxury trips to India and the subcontinent.