Waterfalls

India is home to some of the most gorgeous waterfalls with every region boasting of several big and small ones. While some of these are ‘easily approachable’, some play ‘hard to get’ and require you to trek across winding tunnels, moss-covered railway tracks and steep hills. Though the beauty of these waterfalls can be savoured throughout the year, the best time to enjoy them is during monsoons as that is when they will be bursting at the seams. Here is our pick of some of the most majestic waterfalls of India. So the next time you want to travel, pick one of these and move along!

Dudhsagar Falls, Goa

Translating to a ‘sea of milk’, Dudhsagar Waterfalls is named so because the water turns from blue to white as it crashes onto the rocks from a great height. While most trains entering Goa pass through this majestic beauty, if you want to enjoy the falls in leisure, you need to do a long trek through the tunnels and the railway tracks of the lush green Konkan region, which is an experience by itself. The journey to Dudhsagar may be a tough nut to crack but then no pain, no gain right?

How to get there:
Take a train to Londa Junction, Goa, followed by a local bus/taxi/train to either Kulem or Castle Rock. From here, trek on the railway tracks for over 12 km to reach the waterfalls. There are also trains from Madgaon to Castle Rock that pass the falls during monsoons.

Where to stay:
Since Dudhsagar is a tough place to reach, the closest hotels are at least eight kilometres away. We suggest you try Jungle Book Goa in Collem or Dudhsagar Farmstay in Cormonem.

Best time to visit:
While trekking to the falls during monsoons is an unforgettable experience, if you are looking for a more comfortable trek and visit, the end of monsoon is a better time.

Jog Falls, Karnataka

Jog Falls is the second-highest plunge waterfall in India, which means it has a vertical drop and plunges directly without getting support from the cliff. Also known as Gersoppa falls (named after the region) and Jogada Gundi, Jog Falls is also the second highest falls in Asia and is a combination of four falls named Raja Rani Roarer and Rocket. While Raja is the highest waterfall and joins Roarer, which is named so due to the gushing sound it makes, Rani falls gracefully and Rocket goes down like a jet! 

How to get there:
The closest airport is Mangaluru which is connected to all the major cities in India. From the airport, one can avail taxi services. Shimoga is the nearest railway station and trains from Bengaluru, Mysore, Chennai and Vasco are connected to it. Buses from Mangaluru, Bengaluru and Shimoga regularly ply to Jog Falls.

Where to stay:
The KSTDC Hotel is a comfortable place to stay at. If you are a backpacker, you can check out the Youth Hostel and Homestays at Sagar.

Best time to visit:
There are regular complaints throughout the year that there is a lack of water at the falls. So the rainy season is definitely the best time to visit Jog as it will be at its glorious best.

Nohkalikai Waterfalls of Meghalaya

The tallest plunge waterfall of India, Nohkalikai Falls is located near Cherrapunji and is a major tourist attraction. It has seven segments and falls from a height of 315 metres thereby making it one of the most magnificent waterfalls of India. It is also called as the Seven Sisters Waterfalls or Mawsmai Falls (as it is located near the Mawsmai village in East Khasi Hills). A befitting tribute to the Seven Sister States of North East India.The waterfall is a befitting tribute to the Seven Sister States of North East India.

How to get there:
Guwahati, Assam, is the closest city in all ways. While Borjhar airport in Guwahati, which is about 166 km away, is the nearest airport, the nearest railway station to Cherrapunjee is also the one in Guwahati (at a distance of 99 kms). Via road, it’s a 4 hour journey to Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, from Guwahati. From Shillong, Cherrapunjee is 54 kms away.

Hotels:
By The Way a travellers’ and backpackers’ hostel is the right pick to experience the culture and beauty of the place.

Best time to visit:
During monsoons, the falls is covered by a thick cloud. The skies are clearer in months of September and October thereby making it a better time for a visit.

Athirapally Falls, Kerala

Remember the waterfalls in the background of the song ‘Barso Re Megha’ in ‘Guru’ and ‘Jiya Jale’ in ‘Dil Se’? Apart from being one of filmmaker Mani Ratnam’s favourite shooting places, Athirappilly Falls is the most popular waterfall of Kerala and simply takes one’s breath away. Situated in Athirappilly Thaluk in Thrissur district of Kerala, Athirappilly starts in the Annamalai mountain ranges and is formed by the Chalakudy River in the Chalakudy Taluk. A trek across the lush green forests to the base of the mighty waterfalls is a must to get a splendid view of the falls.

How to get there:
To reach Athirapally by air, you will have to fly down to Cochin, which is the nearest city with an airport. The good thing is that Cochin is well connected to all the major Indian cities by flight.

By Rail :
Cochin and Coimbatore are the two nearest stations. From Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru, there are many trains that take you to Cochin. Places like Chalakudy, Thrissur, Cochin and Munnar are well connected to Athirapally by road.

Best time to visit:
The falls look absolutely amazing during monsoon. However, it becomes hard to trek down to the base of the falls. September to January is relatively a better time to visit.

Where to stay:
Plantation Valley, a government-run hotel, offers amazing views of the countryside and has a quaint, old-world charm that takes you away from the grind.

Hogenakkal Falls, Tamil Nadu

‘Hoge’ means smoke and ‘kal’ means rocks. If you want to experience the beauty of nature at its best, head to these ‘smoky rocks’ where the waterfall cascades down amidst the picturesque Melagiri Hills in the backdrop and crashes down at the rocks, thereby staying true to its name. Located in Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri district, Hogenakkal Falls too has played host to many film shoots due to its unmatched beauty. When here, you can take a relaxing coracle ride (with precautions of course!) and also enjoy a fabulous oil massage near the river bed. Seafood lovers can savour some fresh lipsmacking river fish.

How to get there:
Bengaluru is the closest city via road and air, and the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has many buses from here to Hogenakkal Falls. The closest railways station to Hogenakkal is Salem which is 53 km away.

Best time to visit:
The weather is pleasant during winters so you can plan your trip between October and March.

Where to stay:
Various hotels are available at reasonable prices. While Hotel Tamilnadu is a government-run hotel which is one of the more reasonably priced hotels, if you are looking at something more luxurious, you can try the Golden Nest Resorts in Dharmapuri.

Dhuandhaar Falls, Madhya Pradesh

The ‘smoky rocks’ of Hogenakkal face some strict competition from the ‘dhuan’ (smoke) of Dhuandhaar Falls of Jabalpur. Meandering its way through a maze of the pristine marble rocks of Bhedeghat, River Narmada takes the leap of faith to form this gigantic waterfall known as Dhuandhaar. During the ‘Narmada Mahotsav’ which takes place during Sharad Purnima, tourists come from across the world to watch the shimmering moonlight fall on the marbles of this valley. Another added attraction here is the boat ride on the still waters that lie between the white marble formations.

Best time to visit:
The right time to plan a trip to Bhedeghat is between September and March and during monsoons, the marble rocks and falls have restricted access.

How to get there:
Jabalpur is the closest city to the falls via all means of transport. It’s connected to all major cities via air and railways. There are many government and private buses that go from Jabalpur to Bhedeghat on a daily basis.

Where to stay:
Palm Pair Resort is one of the most beautiful and relaxing places to stay at in Jabalpur.

Chitrakote Falls, Chhattisgarh

River Indravathi, located in Jagdalpur in the Bastar district, flows down the Vindhya mountain ranges to take a 95 feet plunge down to form this mammoth water body. Also known as Chitrakoot or Chitrakot Waterfall, this is the widest falls in India and thereby also known as the Niagara Falls of India. Though its width is less during the summers, during the rains the falls is as wide as 150 metres!

Best time to visit:
If you want to see the falls widen up to as much as 150 metres , then monsoons will be your best bet! However, during October to February, the skies are clear and the weather pleasant.

How to get there:
The nearest airports are Allahabad (135 kms from Chitrakote), Khajuraho (175 kms) and Varanasi (275 kms).  Karvi, the nearest railway station, is 8km away. Many buses are available from Allahabad, Banda, Kanpur, Satna and Jhansi too.

Where to stay
Naman Bastar is a beautiful resort spread across 3.5 acres that is located on the way to Chitrakote Waterfalls. For cottagess , one can check out the Dandami Luxury Resort.

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin

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