With the monsoon in full swing, almost all the rivers across the country are flowing in their full glory. So are the waterfalls!
There is no better time than the monsoons to witness and experience these spectacular and natural wonders on earth.
Here are some of the best waterfalls from across the country that you shouldn’t miss visiting this monsoon:
1. Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Goa
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Nestled in the majestic Western Ghats, close to the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, the Dudhsagar falls in Goa is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country.
The water that gushes through the vertical mountain face from a height of around 1,017 ft, is truly a visual treat to behold. It is a four-tiered waterfall originating from the Mandovi river in Goa.
Dudhsagar which translates to ‘sea of milk’ has been derived from the illusion it creates while falling from a great height.
Also considered one of the tallest waterfalls in India, it is currently one of the most popular spots for tourists visiting Goa and nearby places.
The best time to visit the falls is right after the monsoons. But to witness Dudhsagar in all its glory, between June to October, one can take a train from Collem railway station to Castlerock station and be sure to look out for the majestic Dudhsagar along the way.
Distance from Panaji: 70 km
Time: 9 am to 6 pm
2. Nohkalikai Waterfalls, Meghalaya
Located around 7.5 km from Cherrapunji in the East Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya is the Nohkalikai Waterfalls, one of the most photogenic waterfalls in India. With a drop from a height of about 1,100 ft, it is the fifth highest waterfall in India.
The spectacular view of the water falling on the red cliffs surrounded by a thick forest range is breathtakingly beautiful. There is also a natural pool at the base of the waterfall, which changes its colours from blue, green and aqua according to the season.
But the name Nohkalikai, which translates to ‘Ka Likai’s Leap’ in the Khasi language, was derived from a tragic Khasi story of a woman named Likai who jumped off the edge of the waterfall.
Monsoon, between July to September, is undoubtedly the best time to visit the waterfall as it can be witnessed at its full glory.
Distance from Shillong: 54 km
Distance from Cherrapunji: 7 km
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
3. Sanaghagara Falls, Odisha
Sanaghagara Falls, situated in the Keonjhar district of Odisha, is noted for its rich and natural beauty. Sanaghagara, which means ‘small waterfall’, originated from the Machakandana river and drops from a height of 30.5 m.
The waterfall that runs through a hilly tract enveloped in lush greenery adds to its natural beauty.
Distance from Keonjhar: 6 km
Distance from Bhuvaneshwar: 224 km
Time: 7 am to 6 pm
4. Chitrakote Waterfall, Chhattisgarh
Situated in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, the Chitrakote waterfall originates from the Indravati river. The waterfall dropping from a height of 90 ft is the largest among the waterfalls in the state.
This 30 m wide, horseshoe-shaped waterfall is also one of the broadest in India and hence has been hailed as the ‘Niagara falls of India’. Its drop from a horseshoes gorge from Chitrakote.
The best time to visit the falls is during the monsoons from July to October when the Indravati river will be flowing full making the falls come together covering the gaps between the cliffs and dropping down in full force and glory.
Distance from Raipur: 289 km
Time: 8 am to 6 pm
5. Patalpani Waterfall, Madhya Pradesh
Patalpani waterfalls–situated in the Mhow Tehsil of Indore, along the Indore-Khandwa train route–is one of the most scenic waterfalls in Madhya Pradesh.
Cascading from a height of 300 ft, the Patalpani waterfalls are formed by the Choral river surrounded by lush forest covers and majestic hill ranges. Since the depth of the water at the base of the waterfall is unknown, people colloquially say that it reaches the ‘patal’, which means under the earth’s crust. Hence the name Patalpani.
Distance from Indore: 35 km
Time: 11 am to 8 pm
6. Umbrella Waterfalls, Maharashtra
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A seasonal waterfall located at the Bhandardara in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, the umbrella waterfall is amidst the luscious and green hill ranges of the Western Ghats.
The falls that come alive during the monsoon time originate in the Wilson dam. When the dam overflows, the water runs out from an opening on its northern end and drops down from the edge of a semicircular-shaped rock, thereby forming the beautiful Umbrella that falls from a height of 500 ft.
Tourists who visit the falls can have a great view by standing on a footbridge, right below the waterfall.
Distance from Mumbai: 161 km
Distance from Pune: 165 km
7. Talakona Waterfall In Andhra Pradesh
Dropping from a height of 270 ft, the Talakona waterfall is the tallest among the waterfalls in Andhra Pradesh. Situated close to Tirupati-Madanapalle highway, in Sri Venkateswara National Park in Chittoor district, the waterfall drops from 270 feet.
Nestled amidst dense forests with a wide variety of flora and fauna, enhancing its beauty, it is one of the few places to visit near Tirupati.
Distance from Tirupati: 58 km
Time: 6 am to 7:30 pm
8. Jog waterfalls, Karnataka
Located in the Shimoga district of Karnataka, the Jog falls is yet another of India’s tallest waterfalls. Also known as Gersoppa Falls or Jogada Gundi, the waterfall drops in four cascades namely Raja, Rani, Rover and Rocket from a height of 829 ft.
Surrounded by wild and dense evergreen forests adding to its charm, the Jog falls is a breathtaking sight along with rainbows appearing now and then. The waterfall that directly drops down without streaming on rocks, is also the highest untiered waterfall in the country.
Distance from Mangalore: 216 km
Distance from Bangalore: 420 km
Time: 7:30 am to 9:30 pm
9. Hogenakkal Falls, Tamil Nadu
Situated in the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu, Hogenakkal waterfalls is undoubtedly one of the best waterfalls in the country. It is formed from the river Cauvery, when it enters Tamil Nadu from Karnataka, the Hogenakkal falls have about 14 channels varying between a height of 14 to 16 ft.
The name Hogenakkal is formed from the Kannada words ‘Hoge’ meaning smoke and ‘Kal’ meaning stones forming ‘smoky rocks’, referring to the illusion formed by the mist surrounded by the beautiful waterfalls.
One of the major attractions at Hogenakkal is coracle riding, which is allowed only during the winter and monsoon seasons. However, tourists should beware not to plan visits during heavy rains as with the rise in water levels, authorities close the site for precautionary measures.
Distance from Bangalore: 125 km
10. Athirappilly Waterfalls, Kerala
Formed from the Chalakudy river in Thrissur, Athirapilly falls from a height of 80 ft, making it the largest waterfall in Kerala.
Three waterfalls namely Vazhachal, Charpa and Athirapilly falls are formed from the Chalakudy river that cascades down while flowing through the Vazhachal forest division.
Known for its picturesque setting, the Athirapally falls is surrounded by lush green forests on either side that house several rare flora and fauna making the region one of the best wildlife destinations in Kerala.
Distance from Kochi: 73 km
Time: 8 am to 6 pm
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)