Thinking of visiting the Niagara Falls and getting lost amidst the sound of the free roaring water? Why not give poor India a chance before you get there! India is no less than Canada when it comes to massive waterfalls. So before you land up in Niagara, make a plan and visit the Chitrakoot Falls in Chattisgarh.
The Niagara Falls of India
Also known as the Niagara Falls of India because of its crescent shape, Chitrakoot Falls is the third largest and the broadest waterfall in India. Because it is located in a small town, sadly not many people are even aware of it. However, the best destinations are often those which are relatively unknown. Even a few years ago, nobody traveled to Ladakh because people were unaware of its charm. Now it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations. Here is hoping that the same happens for our very own Chitrakoot Falls.
A color changing waterfall
The specialty of the Chitrakoot falls is that the water changes color with every season. Sometimes its yellow, sometimes it is white and sometimes it is sparkling silver. The Indravati River is one of the tributaries of one of the greatest rivers of India, the Narmada. The breadth of the waterfall changes according to the water levels of Indravati. It is quite a sight to behold when the river is in its full force during the monsoon and the breadth of the waterfall increases to as much as 95 to 100 feet. The waterfall becomes quite aggressive and wild at this point of time. The best time to visit the waterfalls is before and after the Monsoon season. The best time for taking photographs is during the day as it is not recommended to stand anywhere near the waterfalls after sunset. There is no stopping the gigantic massive waterfalls at that time.
A pilgrimage town
The Chitrakoot Falls have located 48 kilometers away from Jagdalpur, a small town in Chattisgarh. According to the map of India, there is a town named Chitrakoot in almost every state in the North. However, what makes this Chitrakoot different from the others is that it houses the waterfalls. Thousands of people also come here to worship the local God known as “Hari”. Chitrakoot town is one of the most ancient pilgrimage centers of India and anybody who comes here pays a visit to the waterfalls at least once. The number of repeat visitors is also quite high. Anybody who visits it once makes sure to come back again next year!
When to visit
In spite of its relatively unknown status, the Chitrakoot Waterfalls remain quite crowded from the month of July to October. It is best to avoid visiting it during summer months because the temperature is as high as 47 Degrees and tourists are at severe risk of suffering heatstroke or dehydration while visiting the waterfalls. As mentioned above, the waterfall is at its best during the monsoon and remains covered with lush green vegetation from all sides during that time. The roar of the water plunging almost 100 feet below amidst the greenery is a sight to remember.
Where to stay
There is no dearth of hotels in Chitrakoot. There are budget hotels as well as luxury resorts. There is something to suit each and every pocket. Tourists coming here also prefer to stay at the “Log huts” owned by the Chattisgarh Tourism Board and also at the camps near the river. The last option is especially for people who are adventurously inclined and would like to stay as close to the waterfall as possible. However, these river camps are best avoided during the monsoon. They are best for staying in between the months of October to February.
How to reach
Jagdalpur is very well connected to the rest of the country, be it via rail or road. It is easy to reach Jagdalpur from Raipur, the capital city of Chattisgarh via overnight AC or Non AC buses. On reaching Jagdalpur, hiring a private car or taking a bus is the best way for reaching Chitrakoot. The first option is preferred by most people because the buses remain crowded with pilgrims most of the time. Regardless of which option you take, the ride from Jagdalpur to Chitrakoot is a very smooth one because the road is very, very well-maintained.
It is not just the waterfalls!
There are much more things to do and see in and around Jagdalpur. Two of them are as follows:
1. Tirathgarh Waterfalls
Yet another waterfall located about 35 kilometers away from Jagdalpur and also another must–see destination. There are no signboards leading towards the fall but local people are always up and ready to help tourists with that.
2. Kutumsar and Dandak Caves
Though not as famous as the Ajantha and the Ellora caves, the Kutumsar cave is actually the seventh largest naturally formed cave in the world. A must visit? You bet!