The Only Guide You Need for Your Offbeat Waterfall Trail in India

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Photo of The Only Guide You Need for Your Offbeat Waterfall Trail in India by Karishma Shaikh

In the travel industry, India is often associated with the Taj Mahal, Varanasi, the wildlife, the crowded streets, and its culture. But, apart from all of this, India is home to some of the most spectacular waterfalls. A lot has already been said about the most famous and touristic waterfalls around the country, but I believe a waterfall should be one with nature. Seeing the crisp freshwater gush from heights, surrounded by vast green jungles and engulfed by the moisture-laden air is truly spectacular. If you are anything like me, here is a list of some of the most offbeat, uncommercialised waterfalls that will leave your eco-nut heart content.

One of the tallest plunging waterfalls in India, Nohkalikai has situated around 7. 5 Km from Cherrapunji, Meghalaya. Encapsulated in the lush green forest, between the red rustic mountains, dropping into the turquoise pool 340 m below these waterfalls leave the tourists aghast. It is not one of the hidden gems but the trek results in fewer people seeing it.

The trail to the hike is easy to find but if traveling alone, it is advisable to take a local guide along.

When should you visit?

The best season to visit the waterfalls would be the summer season as then you could swim in the blue lake. During monsoon and winter, the flow of water is quite high and hence it is not possible to swim.

How to get there?

You can get a ride from Shillong to Tyrna. From here you can take the 3000-step road to the Nongriat village, which is also known for its double-decker live root bridges. Another marvel of primitive engineering that is indeed a unique feat. After crossing a few bridges, you will come across the Nongriat Village surrounded by beetle trees. It is recommended to stay the night here and then continue to the waterfall the next day. The hike takes three hours to return to the Nongriat village.

Located in the Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya, the Krang Suri waterfall is cut off from the tourist circuits. So, the ones looking for an offbeat location: level 2, this hidden gem is your answer. It is 30 minutes’ walk from the parking spot taking you through the trail of ornate nature. The crystal blue water forming a pool amidst the lush green surrounding enchants its visitors on its first glimpse. You can have a picnic by the lake surrounded by the sound of gushing water and later take a swim in it. The best part is you can also swim behind the waterfalls.

When should you visit?

You can visit the Krang Suri waterfall all around the year as it is a perennial waterfall.

How to get there?

The Krang Suri waterfall is 90 km from Shillong and you can drive up to the first sign welcoming you the waterfall and then you just 30 minutes away from rejuvenating your soul.

(c) Iam_jeetu_soren

Photo of Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh, India by Karishma Shaikh

In the Bastra district of Chhattisgarh, the Indra River takes a deep dive from the Chitrakoot gorge. The onlookers are blessed with a 300 m wide waterfall that falls from 30 m high and leaves them with a sense of awe. Owing to the width and the might with which the waterfalls, it is also known as the Niagara Falls of India. The mighty Chitrakoot waterfalls are cocooned inside the nearby forests which are home to thousands of species of Flora and Fauna. The local boatsman takes your experience up a notch by taking you close to the crisp sprinkling water.

When should you visit?

The best time to visit the Chitrakoot waterfalls is from June to October when the falls are the strongest due to the monsoon. The cold monsoon breeze gives the visitors a touch of ethereal.

How to get there?

The Chitrakoot waterfall is situated 38 km from Jagadalpur and has an unreliable bus service running three to four times a day. In the case where you fail to get on one of these buses, there are private and shared autos that run to the nearby villages of Potanar or Badanji.

(c) Tushar Arya

Photo of Menal WaterFall, National Highway 27, Menal, Rajasthan, India by Karishma Shaikh

Falling from 150 ft high from a V-shaped valley, the Menal waterfall swishes over the rocks joyfully. The gigantic pool at the bottom lingering with fresh air fills your lungs and energizes you. You can also take a dip in these fresh fairy pools. The waterfall is fenced in between the dancing tropical forest and the aroma of nougat sweet flowers that wash over you on your arrival.

When should you visit?

The best time to see the waterfall is between June and October when the waterfall is in its full might.

How to get there?

The Menal waterfall lies between Bundhi and Chitoorgarh road in the Chittorgarh district, Rajasthan. There are regular buses that start from the Begun bus stand. Tourists exploring Menal by self-driven vehicles can reach via Chittor - Bundi Road or NH27.

Located on the Lendi River and cascading from 300 ft, Dabhosa is a serene waterfall just a short distance from Mumbai, Pune, and Nashik. The blissful pool formed at the bottom is viridian green. The Whirpurring waterfall is the highest waterfall around Mumbai. The water rolls down the edges of the rugged mountains and the trees nod in the arrival of the mischievous winds. it is a superb adventure spot with Kayaking, Valley Crossing, Zip Line, Rappelling and laddering, Trekking, and fishing.

When should you visit?

Dabhosa is a perennial waterfall and can be visited all around the year. Although from October to Feb is the best time to visit the falls.

How to get there?

Dabhosa Waterfalls is a waterfall situated in the village of Dabhosa in Jawhar Tehsil, palghar district, Maharashtra, India. Due to its secluded nature, it is recommended to have a private vehicle or join a guided tour. The price for the tour is approximately 1000- 1500 INR from Mumbai.

(c) Sachinder S. Rathore

Photo of Jogni Waterfall, Malana Valley Road, Jari, Himachal Pradesh, India by Karishma Shaikh

One of the easiest treks of Manali will lead you to the icy fresh waters of the Jogini falls. The falls are situated near the Vashisht Village in Himachal Pradesh. Spilling eel-like over the rocks, the waterfall descents from 150 high through multiple levels.

The beautiful serene pool that forms at the bottom invites the visitors to take a dip in its lively liquid. The stream eventually joins the mighty river Beas, the shining star of Manali.

When should you visit?

The best time to visit Jogini Waterfall is during the summer season, i.e. between March and May, and during the winters, i.e. between October and February.

How to get there?

The Jogini waterfalls are three km from the Vashisht village and it takes 40minutes to reach them. The trek route traverses pine forests, orchards, and several small streams.

(c) __travel_stories__

Photo of Koodlu Waterfall, Nadpal, Karnataka, India by Karishma Shaikh

Also known as the Sita falls, Kudlu Teertha Falls is a picturesque waterfall located in the deep jungles of the Western Ghats near Hebri. The water gushes down from 150 ft forming a pool at the bottom. You can take a swim and the pool and also go close to the waterfall when the force is not too strong. The waterfall has remained an isolated beauty that can be reached by trekking through the dense forest and crossing the river Sita on the way.

When should you visit?

The best time to visit the waterfall is between August and December when the flow of water is more in volume and you can enjoy the waterfall in all its glory.

How to get there?

To reach the Kudlu Teertha falls you need to go to Hebri, which is 30 km from Udapi, which is connected by bus. From here you can hire a private vehicle to the nearest road point and then it is a 4 km hike to the falls.

The gravity defying waterfalls of Naneghat

To add to other mysterious things on Earth, the reverse falls of Naneghat are here to be added to the list. This less-known waterfall is situated only a three-hour drive from Mumbai. The steep mountain that presents the world with a waterfall flowing in the reverse direction defying gravity is on the bucket list of any serious hiker. The Naneghat trek welcomes everyone from beginners to regular hikers. The trek lasts 5 hours both ways and the waterfalls are a treat for the hikers.

Letting the cat out of the bag, the reason for the cascading waterfall mystery is the strong winds that flow in the opposite direction.

When should you visit?

The best time to visit the waterfalls is in Monsoon to see it when it has the strongest flow.

How to get there?

You can board a train from Kalyan and get down at the Junnar. It is located on the Malshej Ghat road, close to Vaishakhare village. From there it is easy to reach the beginning of the hike by road. Alternatively, multiple guided hikes start from Mumbai and Pune for as low as 750 INR.

Dhondane Waterfalls

(c) sambhajichopdekar13

Photo of The Only Guide You Need for Your Offbeat Waterfall Trail in India by Karishma Shaikh

Dhondane is a tall plunge waterfall situated in Mumbai – Alibaug highway, Maharashtra. The water thunders down into a pool like a giant spout and foams at the bottom. The waterfall weaves itself with the threads of watery fabric and the tips of the rocks pierce it. The fresh air born from the parsley green forests will flood your senses and leave you enthralled.

When should you visit?

The best time to see the waterfall is during the monsoon season, i.e., July to October. The freshly poured rain feeds the waterfall, growing its size and the surroundings are abloom with greenery.

How to get there?

The Dhondane waterfall falls on the same path as the Sagargadh trek that starts from the Khandale village. On the way to Alibaug, take the exit for the Khandale village. It is located 8 km from Alibaug. The trek to the top is approximately two hours but the falls arrive before you reach the top. There are guided tours that start from Mumbai for around 1300 INR.

India hosts innumerable such gems and sometimes it is absolutely impossible to note down the "crème de la crème" based on personal perspectives. All of the above waterfall mentioned have one thing in common, they are meant for travellers who indulge in exploring their senses and hearts. If you have any such places that you would like us to know about, let me know in the comments.

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