There is a certain peacefulness in the steady sound of water. Even if the water is cascading violently onto the rocks below, a waterfall will still be beautiful. The most popular waterfall in the world is, without a doubt, the Niagara Falls. The waterfall creates a giant wall on the eastern border of Canada and the United States.
India is a land of rivers. Our country has beautiful cascades of its own. So why not plan your next trip around a few of them?
We have more than 100 notable waterfalls here in our country. Most of them are situated in, and south of Madhya Pradesh.
The Athirappilly Falls in Kerala is called the Niagara of India as it is not the 24-metre height but the vast width of this waterfall that makes it a spectacular sight to behold.
Matching its majesty is the Courtallam Falls, which stands tall at an impressive 160 metres. As the water here falls in steps, it is very beautiful to observe. The Chittar river in Tamil Nadu, which originates in the Western Ghats, fuels it. Hence, the water flows strong throughout the year irrespective of the season.
Most waterfalls are best visited during the monsoon as the origin rivers are swollen. The Dhuandar Falls in Bhedaghat, Madhya Pradesh is better visited during the summer months as the water has made crevices in the limestone, and when the river is slow, these crevices make for a breathtaking view. In the monsoon, the powerful curtain of water hides these grooves.
The Hogenakkal Falls, situated about 180 kilometres from Bangalore, is similar. Though this waterfall is not very tall, a unique formation has taken place due to water eroding the soft rock, and the waterfall is circular and does not fall against a straight wall or steps. This is a good tourist destination as it has vendors selling light snacks and has hotels that allow for overnight stay, which is a must, as at least two days are required to appreciate the strength of Hogenakkal’s falling water.
Another picnic spot is the Abbey waterfall at Kodagu, Karnataka. The monsoon may be humid and hot in the southern States, but this waterfall successfully cools visitors down with its spray and its calm surrender to gra-vity.
The Soochippara Falls in Kalpetta, Kerala, also known as the Sentinel Rock Falls, falls through the green forest making it a sight of arresting beauty. In the summer, you can hike up a trail to reach the waterfall and take a shower under it. The water falls from a height of 200 metres, thus causing mist to form at the bottom. Keep in mind that during the monsoon, the water can be dangerous and that’s why it’s better to visit here during the summer months.
The Elephant Falls in Shillong has a celebrity status as it features in quite a few paintings. The mist and fog created by the waterfall chills the climate and hence, it is advisable to carry warm waterproof clothes. To view the three waterfalls, you have to walk down for about 100 metres after each fall. So make sure that you have comfortable waterproof shoes on, or the actual might of these falls may be ‘dampened’ for you (pun intended!).
A lot of waterfalls have temples close by and can make for a pilgrimage trip. The likes of Bhagsunag waterfall and the temple in McLeod Ganj in Dharamsala; Siyadevi temple and the waterfall in Chattisgarh are wonderful opportunities to see god’s glory as it translates in the waterfalls.
The most popular waterfall to visit in India is probably the Jog Falls in Karnataka. Watered by the Sharavathi river, it drops from a height of a whopping 253 metres, making it the second highest waterfall in India after Nohkalikai Falls in Meghalaya, which falls from a height of 335 metres.
The Kempty Falls near Mussourie, Uttarakhand, falls from 4,500 feet in sections, making it the longest flowing waterfall in the country.
If you are in the vicinity of a waterfall on your vacation, do take time out to visit it. The might, the power, the roar and the beauty of the water bodies as they make their way to the sea is something that you have to witness at least once in your lifetime.