It is really surprising that India is normally not considered a land of great waterfalls. Even the most enthusiastic traveler will have a hard time naming 10 best waterfalls in India and this fact itself surprises me a lot. When I started visiting some of the waterfalls in India, I discovered that somehow these great pieces of nature are not getting their due.
Now the truth, India with its diverse landscape has some amazing waterfalls that can match best in the world. Perhaps due to low awareness, they have not got the recognition that they deserve.
Here we present the list of top 10 and best waterfalls in India. Have a look and decide for yourself.
1. Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Goa
This majestic four-tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi River in the Indian state of Goa. Only 60 km from Panaji by road and is located on the Madgaon-Belagavi rail route about 46 km east of Madgaon and 80 km south of Belagavi.
Dudhsagar waterfall is literally translated as an ocean of milk from Sanskrit word Dudh – Milk and Sagar-Waterfall. The fascinating view gives an illusion of a flowing river of milk. Truly one of the must-visit waterfalls in India made famous by a depiction in the movie ‘Chennai Express’.
Most people didn’t believe that such a waterfall exists in India. They rather believed its a work of visual effects.
2. Jog Falls, Karnataka
A close contender for the top spot, Jog Fall is a close competitor to our number one position. Jog falls is the second-highest plunge after Nohkalikai Falls and the tallest un-tiered waterfall in India located in the district border of Shimoga and Uttara Kannada. Jog Falls.
Its beauty is enhanced by the surrounding lush green forests, making you feel as close to nature as you can imagine in your wildest dreams. And for all those the swimming enthusiasts, just hike down to the base and take a plunge into the serene river.
You can also go up to the Watkins platform to get an enigmatic view of the place. The nearby area also makes for a great trekking spot. All adventures packed into a one is what defines Jog falls, traveling there is a decision you’ll always cherish.
3. Hogenakkal Falls, Tamil Nadu
Hogenakkal Falls is a waterfall in the Kaveri (or Cauvery) River located in the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu. It is a major waterfall near Bangalore and also one of the best waterfalls in India, sometimes referred to as the ‘Niagara of India’.
This beautiful waterfall lies on the border of Tamilnadu and Karnataka, hence it can be approached either from the Tamilnadu side or from the Karnataka side. This beautiful waterfall is surrounded by thick forest and is uniquely placed.
You can hire a boat which can take you very close to the fall and it is also one of the best waterfalls in India to take a bath.
A boat can be hired for Rs.750/- which can carry max 4 people and will take you to the Tamilnadu side of the falls. The boat ride lasts around 45 mins to and fro.
4. Athirapally Waterfalls, Kerala
Athirappilly Falls is situated in Athirappilly Panchayat in Chalakudy Taluk of Thrissur District in Kerala, India on the Chalakudy River, which originates from the upper reaches of the Western Ghats at the entrance to the Sholayar ranges.
It is the largest waterfall in Kerala, which stands tall at 80 feet.
One of the reasons behind the popularity of Athirappilly Falls is the movies that were shot here. Athirappilly Falls is one of the top film shooting locations in India. There is a big list of hit movies which brought fame to this beautiful place.
Bollywood films like Guru, Dil Se, Khushi, Yaariyan and South Indian films like Punnagai Mannan, Paiyaa, Happy, etc. have shot some songs and scenes at Athirappilly.
5. Nohkalikai Falls, Meghalaya
Fifth on our list of best waterfalls in India is Nohkalikai Falls, the pride of Meghalaya tourism. It has some great accomplishments to its name. It’s the tallest plunge waterfall in India and fourth in the world. At a height of 1115 feet, its plunge and force to the landscape below are unmatched.
It makes a dramatic free leap from fairly well-forested drainage into a rocky base accompanied by a pretty blue pool.
Furthermore, the waterfall is located near Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places on Earth, making it full and fiery throughout the year.
6. Soochipara Falls, Kerala
Soochipara Falls also known as Sentinel Rock Waterfalls is a three-tiered waterfall in Vellarimala, Wayanad, India. It is surrounded by deciduous, evergreen and montane forests.
The water falling from Soochipara later joins Chulika River aka Chaliyar River after hills from Kerela and Tamil Nadu. Filled with varied flora and fauna, tourists are likely to have a lot of fun exploring and enjoying the natural beauty that the waterfall offers.
The drive itself up till the place is enjoyable and exciting. The forest department provides a few tree-top accommodations to its visitors. The tree-tops are located in such strategic locations that one gets an enthralling view of the entire Western Ghat valleys from there.
The serene ambiance of the waterfalls away from the hustle and bustle of the city is a treat to the eyes and a perfect getaway for relaxed minds.
7. Shivasamudram Falls, Karnataka
At a distance of 130 km from Bangalore & 81 km from Mysore, Shivanasamudra is a famous waterfall situated in Mandya District of Karnataka State. This is one of the best waterfalls near Bangalore and also among popular one day trip from Bangalore.
These waterfalls are also known as Siva Samudram, literally meaning Shiva’s Sea. Shivanasamudra is a segmented waterfall with several parallel streams formed adjacent to each other.
Situated on River Kaveri, Shivanasamudra is among the popular tourist places in Karnataka. The island of Shivanasamudra divides the Kaveri River into two parts that form two waterfalls, one is Gaganachukki and the other is Bharachukki.
Gaganachukki and Barachukki Falls are collectively called Shivanasamudra Falls, though it is Gaganachukki that is most commonly represented as Shivanasamudra Falls. This place offers breathtaking sight in the peak monsoons.
Gaganachukki includes a huge horsetail shaped waterfall dropping from a height of 90 m and two large parallel streams that cascade down through a rocky bed from a height of over 320 feet. The currents here are quite strong and the gorge is quite deep.
So, swimming is not permitted here. Asia’s first hydroelectric power station was set up in the downstream of the falls in the year 1905. The power generated here was initially used in Kolar Gold Fields. The power station is situated near a Dargah, from where you can have excellent views of the other side of Gaganachukki.
8. Bhimlat Falls, Rajasthan
The 60 meters high waterfall located in Bundi provides a great relief to the tourists in Rajasthan from the scorching heat of summer and monsoon.
It is located nearly 35 km away from Chittor Road and if you are traveling by air, the nearest airport is Kota. The best time to visit Bhimlat falls is between June and October when the monsoon is prevalent in the state.
9. Elephant Falls, Shillong
Named such due to the Elephant like stone located at its foot, the Elephant Falls are amongst the most popular falls in the North-East, near Shillong.
It is a tourists’ paradise with three layers of the falls accessible to the layman from different vantage points. The Britishers were the first one to name this fall due to the presence of an elephant-shaped rock on one side of the fall.
However, the stone disintegrated and was washed away due to an earthquake in 1897. The breathtaking Elephant falls were referred to as ‘Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew’ by the local Khasi people, which means ‘The Three Step Waterfalls’, as these falls consist of three mesmerizing falls in succession.
The first of the three waterfalls are tucked between the dense trees and is very broad. The second waterfall reduces to thin strands of water and is almost negligible in winters due to the receding water levels.
The third and the most visible waterfall is the tallest with clear water flowing like a sheet of milk on the dark rocks in the backdrop. Out of the three, the third waterfall tends to strike the visitors as the most impressive. Elephant Falls is a great stopover destination before one head for further journeys into the heavenly beautiful Indian state of Meghalaya.
10. Nuranang Falls, Arunachal Pradesh
Unknown to many travel enthusiasts, Nuranang Falls, some 100 meters high, is located in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, India. It is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in this part of the country, yet known to only a few, unlike the other waterfalls in India.
Also known as Jung/Jang Falls or Bong Bong Falls originates from northern slopes of the famous Sela Pass, furth Nuranang River forms the waterfalls and then it plunges into Tawang River.
It is located hardly 2 kilometers from Jang nearby the road that connects Tawang and Bomdila. And that’s perhaps the reason why it is known as Jang waterfalls.
There’s another myth associated with the name of the waterfall. Nuranang river and Nuranang falls are named after a local Monpa girl named Nura who helped the Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, a Maha Vir Chakra awardee soldier during the 1962 Sino-Indian War but was later captured by Chinese forces.
Not only it’s a spectacular attraction of Arunachal Pradesh, but also it is used to generate electricity for local use. There is a small hydel plant located near the base that generates electricity.