INDIA TRAVEL - LESSER KNOWN WONDERS OF INDIA - Part 5 - CHITRAKOOT FALLS

Welcome back! I think each one of us known about the Niagara Falls, described as one of the most beautiful sights in the world. What if I told you that India had it's own Niagara Falls? Right in the heart of the country. And it provides as majestic a sight as Niagara Falls. Would you not like to travel this place?

Curious? And what if I tell you that it is the widest fall of India which measures 300 mtrs(app. 950 ft.) during monsoon season. Though it is much less than Niagara Falls, but it's visual splendour matches that of Niagara Falls and that's why it is named the "Niagara Falls of India".

I am talking about Chitrakoot Falls(also known as Chitrakote or Chitrakot Falls).


Chitrakut Falls in full glory
CHITRAKOOT FALLS

Located in Bastar district of Chattisgarh state in central India, it is a natural fall on the Indravati river. It is located about 38 kms(24 mi) west of Jagdalpur city. Indravati river originates from Odisha state, falls at Chitrakoot and then merges with Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh. The height of falls is around 30 mtrs(app. 95 ft.). In normal season, it forms a horseshoe shaped gorge but during monsoon season, it covers the entire stretch of horseshoe. The sheer length of drop (95 ft) makes for a magnificent spectacle.


Picnic at Chitrakut Falls
PEOPLE ENJOYING AT CHITRAKOOT FALLS
Local boatmen operate boats below the falls and under an early morning sun, the view of falls is reflected in sunlight with a blue hue. However, the best time to enjoy the view is during the sunset.
There is a rock ledge on the left bank of the falls and when we climb down the cliff, it leads to a naturally formed niche. It has stone slabs carved with images of dieties.
Those adventurously inclined, can use boats in the stormy part of the pond. And religiously minded can take dip in the calmer part.. During the non monsoon season, peddle boats are used to go to pools formed in the upstream part. And swimming is permitted in the pools below. Under the spray below the falls, local boatmen can peddle their boats.

WHEN TO VISIT - Best time to visit is July to October which is the monsoon season and Indravati river is flooded. However, if you are a nature lover or are looking for some great clicks with your camera or wish to see cleaner and calmer falls, the time to visit is October to February.


Chitrakut Falls boating
BOATING AT CHITRAKOOT FALLS





Bathing in spray at Chitrakut Falls
CLOSE VIEW OF SPRAY

HOW TO REACH - 
1. By Road : It is well connected by road to Raipur, the capital of Chattisgarh, which is at a distance of 276 kms(170 mi) and takes around 5 hrs to reach. The nearest city is Jagdalpur which is 30 kms(24 mi) fro here, from where you can get taxis. From New Delhi, it is about 1450 kms(app. 900 mi) and will take around 20 hrs to reach.


2. By Rail : It is located on the Vishakhapatnam - Kirandul rail line and nearest rail station is Jagdalpur, from where you can take shred taxis.

3. By Air : Nearest airport is Raipur and from there it is around 5 hrs drive.

WHERE TO STAY - 
1. There is a govt. run hotel Dandami Luxury Resort at the top of the falls. Some of the rooms give a direct view of the falls.
2. Chitrakote Log Huts have also been built here, some of which provide good view of the falls.

ACTIVITIES YOU CAN DO - 
1. Walk around the falls and get breathtaking view of the rainbows being formed. Best time to take a stroll is just before noon and try and get as close as possible to the falls. You will get the stunning beauty at it's best.

2. Go for boating and swimming at the pool.You can take paddle boat ride or swim in the pool in the upstream of the falls. And you can even go all the way to the spray below the falls with the help of local boatmen.

3. Visit wonderful Tirathgarh Falls in the Kanger Valley National Park. It is around 36 kms(app. 25 mi)
Stream at Chitrakut Falls
ANOTHER STREAM OF CHITRAKOOT FALLS

from Jagdalpur in the opposite direction of Chitrakoot. To reach the falls you have to drive through the Kanger Valley National and this 6 kms drive is a treat for any nature lover.

4.  Kutumsar Caves - These 1327 mtrs (app. 4000 ft) long caves are located in the Kanger Valley National Park and can be explored enroute Tirathgarh falls or back. These caves have been discovered only about 20 years back.


Kutumsar Caves at Chitrakut Falls
KUTUMSAR CAVES

Another one of Kutumsar Caves
ANOTHER CAVE

 These caves are supposed to be the largest caves in Asia and 7th largest in the world. You can't visit these caves from June to August as these are filled with water during this time.

5. Kailash Gufa Guided Tour - Another caving site awaits you inside the Kanger Valley National Park. This goes by the name of Kailash Gufa. It is located on a hillock inside the park and is 100 mtrs(300 ft) long. There is a formation in the shape of Shivalinga at the deep end of the cave and locals hold it in deep religious importance.


View of Kailash Gufa
KAILASH GUFA

So pack your bags and enjoy this holiday season in awesome surroundings at Chitrakoot Falls.

Let me know how did you like this post.


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