If sunshine is pure gold on earth, rain is the nectar of the sky. As monsoon grips the country, rushing currents and gurgling streams become ubiquitous. Here are the most beautiful waterfalls in India to wet your soul –
Dudhsagar Falls (Goa)
The sight of the Dudhsagar Falls in monsoons is a magnificent one. The Mandovi River takes a mighty plunge from the lofty peaks of the Western Ghats to form this white cascade that falls about 310.9 metres (approximately 1020 feet) in all. This four-tiered fall is called Dudhsagar (Sea of Milk) because of its white frothy appearance. Located in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park (Goa – Karnataka border), the Dudhsagar is a major tourist attraction. One of the most spectacular views of the falls is from the train on the Vasco-Londa line atop the falls.
Jog Falls (Karnataka)
Another spectacular and beautiful waterfalls in the south-western part of the country is the Jog Falls located in the state of Karnataka. The falls are made up of four different cascades – Raja, Rani, Rover and Rocket – plunging down from an elevation of about 253 metres (approximately 829 feet). Often referred to as the Geruoppe Falls, the Gersoppa Falls, or the Jogada Gundi, this waterfall on the the Sharavathi River is a beauty to behold. It is one of the tallest untiered waterfalls in the country. The Watkins Platform is the best viewpoint from which the might and the beauty of the Jog Falls may be captured.
Hogenakkal Falls (Tamil Nadu)
The majestic Hogenakkal Falls in the Dharmapuri District of Tamil Nadu offers splendid views as the River Kaveri crashes down the hillside in a wide flow. The drop is 20 metres (65 feet) at its highest, not much in comparison with others but the beauty of the falls more than compensates for this. The water here is believed to have healing properties and is very famous for its medicinal baths. The Carbonatite rocks in the vicinity are some of the oldest in the world. The pool formed by the falls is a great boating spot but it’s allowed during the dry season only.
Chitrakote Falls (Chhattisgarh)
Often called the Niagara of India, Chitrakote Falls on River Indravati is the widest waterfall in the country. During the monsoon, the torrents drop from a height of about 30 metres (98 feet) in a horseshoe shape forming a beautiful sight. The mist from the waterfall reflects the sun’s rays and creates spectacular rainbows. The Government of Chhattisgarh has done much to develop the tourism potential of this waterfall and has installed coloured lights which add to its brilliance after sunset. The waterfall tends to dry out during the summer months.
Athirappilly Falls (Kerala)
The Athirappilly Falls located in the Thrissur District is the pride of Kerala. The Chalakudy River falls from a height of almost 25 metres (82 feet) to create this wonderful sight. The white waters set against the dark green foliage of the Vazhachal Forest creates a stunning view. Apart from being a popular tourist attraction, these falls have been the setting or many popular movies. Located right at the beginning of the Sholayar ranges, this waterfall alone attracts a great number of tourists to the town of Chalakudy. A number of Ayurveda resorts and healing centres have come up in the vicinity.
Nohkalikai Falls (Meghalaya)
One of the most stunning and dramatic waterfalls in the country, the Nohkalikai Falls is located in Meghalaya near Cherrapunji. It is an unencumbered fall of about 340 metres (1115 feet) and is a delight to watch during the monsoon months but getting here during the rainy season may be tough. The fall is a perennial one since Cherrapunji is one of the wettest places on earth. It is possible to trek to the foot of the waterfalls and bathe in the plunge pool here but it is recommended that tourists do not attempt to undertake such an activity during the monsoon months.
Shivanasamudra Falls (Karnataka)
River Kaveri is one of the most beautiful rivers in southern India. In Karnataka state’s Mandya District, this mighty river splits into two and creates two sets of waterfalls – the Gaganachukki falls and the Bharachukki falls. Together these make up the Shivanasamudra Falls. The small island town of Shivanasamudra stands midstream and is home to a number of temples from ancient times. The greatest height of the falls is around 98 metres (322 feet). The beauty of these wide and majestic falls divided by a rock island with temples seems straight out of the Indian mythology books.
Kutralam Waterfalls (Tamil Nadu)
The sheer beauty and serenity of the Kutralam falls in the Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu makes it one of the most coveted tourist destinations of the region. Kutralam is a collection of nine different waterfalls at nine places where the Chittar River cascades over the rugged Western Ghats. The maximum height of this waterfall is about 92 metres (300 feet). The water of the Kutralam Falls is believed to hold many curative and healing powers. Most tourists prefer to stand under the falls and soak in the goodness of the natural beauty and the warm waters.
Vantawng Falls (Mizoram)
The water of the Vanva River crashes down 229 metres (751 feet) in a brilliant display of wild beauty. The Vantawng Falls is located in the Serchhip district of Mizoram state. Getting close to the falls and making your way through the wilderness may be almost impossible but that turns out to be an advantage too. A look at the pristine white stream of the Vantawng falling down the brilliant green forested mountainside must be enjoyed from afar. Alternatively, you may choose to go up to the viewing point constructed by the Department of Tourism in Mizoram.
Kempty Falls (Uttarakhand)
In the mid 1800s, the beauty of the Kempty Falls on the Mussoorie-Dehradun route prompted British officer John Mekinan to organise picnics for his friends in the vicinity. In 2003, the Government of India showcased the beauty of the Kempty Falls by releasing a postage stamp. The 12 metre (40 feet) long waterfall may now be overcrowded by families and tourists during the peak season but its beauty remains quite undiminished.