When the sky comes down on earth and the fog takes over the place, there's something instinctively exciting about confronting a waterfall cascading down from a height: you stand on the edge, hesitating, taking baby steps, before you finally take a deep breath and immerse yourself under the torrent. The apprehensiveness is quickly replaced by a rush of adrenaline and you emerge breathless, but undaunted, grinning ear to ear. And even for those who choose to stay dry, a picnic by a waterfall—with the roar of the water in the background, fine spray in the air—is one of the most immersive ways to experience the outdoors. And there's no better time to do that than when the rivers are deluged by the monsoon rains. While there's no dearth of waterfalls to seek out, here are five waterfalls in India to gush about.
1. Jog falls, Karnataka:
Jog Falls (830ft), one of the tallest plunge waterfalls in India is located in the state of Karnataka. River Sharavathi in Shimoga District of Karnataka plunges down 830ft in four segments to create this magnificent beauty. Each segment of the falls are named describing their purpose. Raja, on the far left taking the direct plunge. Rorer, the short waterfalls next to Raja make the roaring sound. Rocket, are a series of shooting jets. And finally you will find the gracious Rani on the right. The power station at the Linganmakki Dam has been operational since 1948 with a capacity of 120 MW, one of the largest hydroelectric power stations in India back in 1948.
Jog Falls and its surrounded region is beautifully covered by the lush green grass and trees, and also declared as one of the UNESCO ecological hot spots in the world.
2. Dudhsagar waterfalls, Goa:
Stowed away on the borders of Goa and Karnataka these magnificent milky white falls makes everyone fall in love with it at the first sight. Locals say that Goa is never prettier than when it rains. Far from the beaches and tourist hotspots, the forested hinterland of the State literally comes alive during the monsoon.
The Falls are so named for the white frothy appearance of the water here. Dudhsagar literally translates to “Sea of Milk”. During the monsoon, the Falls become exponentially enraged with water plummeting 1017 feet and crashing with an ear-splitting roar on the surface.
Part of Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, the different levels of the falls can be reached in different ways. The most popular being the trek starting from Kulem, Goa alongside a railway track that winds through forests, tunnels and waterfalls. You can also camp by carrying your own tents a night across the tracks overlooking the falls. On the weekends due to limited space it gets crowded so try to leave early to enjoy the falls. Alternatively you can also visit the base level from the Bhagwan Mahavir Widlife Sanctuary.
3. Hogenakkal, Tamil Nadu:
With such intensity of water the Hogenakkal falls are aptly named as the Niagara falls of India. The falls are partly in Tamil Nadu and partly in Karnataka. It is closest to the town Dharmapuri (approx 46km) and 150km away from Bangalore.
All the beauty of the heaven is being captured in the splashes and gushes of the running water of the falls which flows on the river Kaveri.
Apart from just standing and gazing at the gigantic beauty of the falls, Hogenakkal meaning ‘Smoking rocks’ in Kannada is best explored on the Coracles, locally known as Parisal/ Puttu. These are round boats made of bamboo with the bottoms covered by plastic, with a single paddle for steering.
They give you some fun rides by swinging the boat around. They also take you under a few small water falls to enjoy the water. At one point you get off your Coracle on the other side of the fall and can have freshly cooked fish right there.
4. Athirapilly, Kerela:
Covered in Bollywood movies like Guru, Raavan, Madras Café, Dil se, these mighty waterfalls cascading down the rocks are the largest waterfalls in Kerala which come in full swing in monsoons. Located in the Thrissur district of Kerala, the nearest airport is Cochin. The road trip to the falls is something you can never forget with the winding roads, small villages and lush green trees being the loyal companions along the path. There are even wooden benches for you to sit and admire the beauty.
One must not miss a Golden chance of visiting Vazhachal Falls, just 5 KM above from Athirapally. It is the source for Athirapally Falls and if you are lucky, you will be able to spot Hornbills and Macaques!
5. Umbrella Falls, Maharashtra:
Tucked away in the less known hill stations across Maharashtra Umbrella falls is behind the Wilson Dam in Bhandardara. As most of the falls are mainly accessed by the trekkers Umbrella falls is known for its ease of accessibility. Standing upfront on the bridge, enjoy the splashing drops of water of the roaring falls and is the perfect spot for photographing these gorgeous falls.
When in Bhandardara do not miss its sister waterfall, Randha Falls on the Pavara river.
Also, the highest peak of the Sahyadri range, Mount Kalsubai offers spectacular views of Wilson Dam and Bhandardara’s famous Arthur Lake. This 1,646 meters high peak was once used as the watch tower during the Maratha reign and now is a hit amongst the Trekkers.
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