India assumes an avatar in monsoon like no other country can. After the extreme heat of summer leaves some parts of the country humid, and others arid, monsoon brings with it verdure. Every living being gets soused by its thirst-quenching touch. Everywhere we look, there’s green to soothe our senses. The numerous rivers, streams and brooks of India spill over. At this time, the waterfalls streaming down the hills and valleys are a heavenly treat for the eyes. The waterfalls in our country may not be the tallest or of the greatest volume in the world, but their beauty is rare. Let’s take a look at some of the most gorgeous waterfalls to visit this monsoon.
1. Jog Falls
Jog Falls, aka Gerosoppa Falls or Jogada Gundi, is a plunge waterfall in the green forests of Karnataka. Created by the Sharavathi River tumbling over the Raja, Rani, Rover and Rocket cascades which combine to form it, Jog is a mighty waterfall whose force against the rocky cliff is perceptible as it drops to the ground directly, from a height of 259 m. This majestic waterfall has a massive girth of 290 m, which is what it is most famous for. During monsoons, there is a discharge of water that goes reaches up to 3.4 million litres per sec. This is 40% more than the average flow of the Niagara Falls. The second largest waterfall in Asia is a popular tourist spot, especially for trekking, and necessary provisions are available.
Location: 380 km from Bangalore
Route: Bangalore – Tumkur – Tiptur – Kadur – Arsikere – Tarikere – Shimoga – Sagara – Jog Falls, by KSRTC, IRCTC and Bangalore Cars.
2. Dudhsagar Waterfall
Dudhsagar Waterfall is located in Goa, on its border with Karnataka, and is a part of the Mahavir Wild Life Sanctuary. It is formed by the small Mandovi River, but due to its heavy volume, especially in the monsoon, the waterfall appears like a white ribbon from a distance, flowing down the jungles of the Western Ghats and falling from a height of 310 m. The appearance comes from the spray and foam, and makes you realize that it is aptly named, i.e. Dudhsagar, meaning sea of milk. This exquisite waterfall has a width of 100 m. The Kuveshi-Dudhsagar route through the lush green jungles is ideal for the adventurous trekker in you, while the Kulem Route and the Castle Rock Route are also popular trekking routes to this waterfall.
Location: 107 Km from Panjim
Route: Panaji via Old Goa, Ponda, Mollem to Dudhsagar Waterfalls, by car
3. Athirapilly Falls
Athirapilly Falls is on the west-flowing Chalakudy River near the Athirapilly Falls, in the beautifully verdant state of Kerala. The stunning waterfall passes through a landscape of small villages with green trees and winding roads, before it falls down a height of 25 m. Its width varies from 311 m to 400 m, which earns this water its nickname, Niagara of India. The panoramic stretch is a vision to behold. Come monsoon, and the waterfall assumes a special vibrancy, as it roars and bounces. It is definitely one of the most marvelous waterfalls to visit this monsoon. Along with the nearby Vazhachal Falls, the Athirapilly Falls is a common favourite of Bollywood. The forest region near the waterfall is home to endangered fauna.
Location: 238 km + 45 km from Thiruvanthapuram
Route: Thiruvanthapuram – Thrissur – Athirapilly, by train (up to Thrissur) and car (up to Athirapilly)
4. Chitrakoot Falls
The majestic Chitrakoot Falls is located in the state of Chattisgarh, where it is formed by the Indravati River at the point of leaving the Jagdalpur Plateau. The river might be mellowed by the dams in Orissa, but during monsoon, it swells up enough to make the Chitrakoot Falls to be fashioned as the Niagara of India. A bridge across the river near Jagdalpur is built to withstand a discharge of 15 million litres per second. This gives a fair idea of the amount of water hurtling down the waterfall. While the height of the waterfall is about 29 m, it is the width that makes it so grand. The waterfall stretches across a horse-shoe shaped cliff of 300 m., and is one of the grandest waterfalls to visit this monsoon, when its width may vary.
Location: 448 km from Raipur
Route: Raipur to Chitrakoot, by train
5. Hogenakkal Falls
Also referred to as the Niagara Falls of India, though unofficially, Hogenakkal Falls in Tamil Nadu is a series of smaller waterfalls which together give it a magnificent look and a frightening volume of water, especially during the monsoon. It is located on the Cauvery River whose water flows through a forest noted for its herbs, and it is believed that these herbs give the water special curative properties. In fact, you can take medicinal baths in the waters of the Hogenakkal Falls. Besides these baths, you can also enjoy rides in coracles, locally known as parisals, in the water of this fall. Altogether, it will give you a truly holistic experience, which sets it apart from the other large and notable waterfalls in the country.
Location: 276 km + 53 km from Chennai
Route: Chennai – Salem (by train) – Hogenakkal (by taxi)
6. Nohkalikai Falls
Nohkalikai Falls is in the state of Meghalaya, the wettest place in the world, where monsoon lasts almost throughout the year. Naturally, the state has a number of spectacular waterfalls, of which Nohkalikai Falls is the most fascinating. It is the tallest plunge waterfall in India, falling from a height of 335 m. It is located near Cherrapunji Falls, as well as Kynrem Falls and Mawsmai Falls in Cherrapunji. Together with the other waterfalls, the Nohkalikai attracts many travellers, not just as a monsoon waterfall in India, but as a round-the-year tourist destination, since it has a perennially large volume of discharge. At it falls down an enormous height from the top of the rocks and greens, its force and immensity create a spectacle.
Location: 58 km + 7.5 km from Shillong
Route: Shillong – Cherrapunji – Nohkalikai Falls, by bus or taxi
7. Khandadhar Falls
Perched amidst the lush forest of Sundergarh and surrounded by sprawling vistas, Khandadhar Falls in the state of Orissa is a photogenic waterfall. This waterfall is considered more spectacular than the others in the state, because of its fuller-bodied flow, which makes it visible distinctly even from a distance of 10 km away, on a clear day, especially during the monsoon. The horsetail-type Khandadhar Falls is fed by the Korapani stream which is perennial, and hence, this waterfall can be seen pelting down the cliff throughout the year. But during the rainy season, the river swells copiously, and so does the waterfall. The Khandadhar crashes down from a height of 244 m, and is a picturesque monsoon river in India.
Location: 285 km from Bhubaneswar
Route: Bhubaneswar to Khandadhar via NH 23/ Rourkela to Khandadhar (83 km via NH 23), by car
With India being the land of rivers and rainfall, there are several other magnificent waterfalls to visit this monsoon, such as the Langshiang Falls and Nohsngithiang Falls in Meghalaya, Shivanasamudra Falls and Iruppu Falls in Karnataka, Jang Falls in Arunachal Pradesh, Kune Falls and Vajrai Falls in Maharashtra, Bhimlat Falls in Rajasthan, Chachai Falls in Madhya Pradesh, Barehipani Falls in Orissa, and many more.
These waterfalls, rolling and gushing down the cliff, pounding on rocks, splashing and spraying, carry with them the spirit of speed and the iridescence of romance. All these waterfalls come to life during the rains. And, with monsoon being the most romantic season in the country, these waterfalls are your definite destinations during the season. The black clouds are rushing to thicken in the sky above your city. It’s time to take a break from your busy schedule and get away from the waterlogged city streets. The most incredible waterfalls to visit this monsoon are calling, and it’s time for you to answer.