5 Waterfalls To Visit In The Monsoon: Part II
Does your heart leap with joy when the rain-gods shower the Earth with their bounty? Are you invigorated by the smell of wet earth? Can you sit beneath a waterfall for hours till your fingers turn soft and crinkly? Then a trip to a waterfall is what we recommend. We present 5 waterfalls close to cities that are great for a weekend break. By Reshma Kulkarni
Nohkalakai Falls, Meghalaya
Closest city: Shillong
This waterfall gets its name from the heart-wrenching story of a woman called Ka Likai. Ka Likai’s envious second husband killed and cooked her only child and she too mistakenly ate the flesh. Ka Likai realised the horror of her actions only after she found her child’s little fingers tossed away by the husband. Blinded by fury and desperation, she rushed to the edge of a precipice and jumped off it. Noh means, ‘to jump’, and so the waterfall cascading from that spot is called Noh Ka Likai.
The water falls from a well-forested mountain top onto big boulders and finally end up in a serene blue pool at the bottom. Just be prepared for the fickle changes in weather, which can shroud the area in a cloak of fog.
How to get there: The best option is to drive down from Shillong to Cherrapunjee. These are 53 kilometres of gorgeous countryside!
Pandav Falls, Madhya Pradesh
Closest city: Panna
This 30 meter high fall is located on a tributary of the Ken River in the Panna district of Madhya Pradesh. The place gets its name from the legend of the Pandava’s exile, when they stayed in the caves at the base of the waterfalls, which cascade down into a pool. The remains of the caves and the shrines still exist here.
Popular as a picnic spot for the scenic surroundings, the Pandav Falls is best visited in October and November, after the monsoons, when it cascades through the slate rocks. The falls are close to Panna Tiger reserve and the Khajuraho temples, making it an ideal pit-stop en route to these destinations.
How to get there: Drive down the Panna-Chhattarpur highway. The falls are located just off the highway, 12 kms from Panna.
Hundru Falls, Jharkhand
Closest city: Ranchi
45 kms from Ranchi, on the Swarnarekha River are the 320 meter high Hundru Falls. Situated on the edge of the Ranchi plateau, it is one of the many scarp falls in this region. An idyllic bathing spot in the summer, the falls engorge with water and assume humungous proportions during the monsoon. The diverse shapes of the rocks in the fall make it a picturesque locale. The unique shapes of the rocks are attributed to the force of the falling water. Hundru Falls is also a popular location for trekkers.
How to get there: Get to Ranchi by train or air and take the Ranchi-Purulia road. The falls are 21 kms from the main road.
Closest city: Mysore
This freshwater cascade is located close to Nagarhole National Park in the Brahmagiri range. Also known as Lakshamana Tirtha Falls, this is a major tourist attraction and a pilgrimage spot. The famous Rameshwara temple is located on the banks of the Lakshamana Tirtha River that unleash the falls. Surrounded by a lush green forest, it a makes for a scenic family picnic.
How to reach: Take the highway from Gonikopal to Nagerhole National Park off the Kutta Road. Nearest airport and railway station is Mysore.
Hogenakkal Falls, Tamil Nadu
Closest city: Bangalore or Salem
Hogenakkal Waterfalls are located in Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts of Tamil Nadu. The name comes from two Kannada words hoge and kal which mean smoke and rock. When the water of the Hogenakkal falls on the rocks below it appears as if hoge (smoke) is released from the top of the kal (rock) and so it is known as smoking rock or wall of smoke.
These horseshoe-shaped falls are described as the Niagara of India and are located 750 feet above sea-level amidst the Melagiri hills. The route to the falls is beauteous due to the mulberry fields and terracotta statues around. The falls have carbonite rocks and are famous for the hide-boat rides, as well as the medicinal properties of the water.
How to reach: Close to Bangalore in Karnataka, you can hop onto one of the inter-town buses that take you right up to the falls in Hogenakkal village.