Waterfalls of India

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India Waterfalls are amongst the most unsung attractions of subcontinental Asia. For when one thinks of this dynamic country, all sorts of adjectives and place names come into play such as the Taj Mahal, spices, Kashmir, tigers, Bollywood, Slumdog Millionaire (confronting poverty), Hinduism, doctors, outsourced IT jobs, etc. But one thing we've come to realize when asked to summarize our experiences in this country is that it's really hard to associate India with any one word or phrase for it'd be selling so many things about the country short. Indeed, the subcontinent is never as you'd expect it regardless of how many Indian friends you've got, how much you've read or learned about India, or how many pictures you've already seen. It's a place that you just have to come and experience for yourself, and become transformed in the process.

And it's this confounding property about the country that we've come to realize that it is also the case with the waterfalls of India. For as unsung as the natural attractions are, waterfalling here will definitely put you off the beaten path (see map), out of your comfort zone, and right into the heart of some of the best as well as some of the most worrisome aspects about the country's Nature and how the people deal with survival let alone land management.

Our experiences put us directly in front of the country's most famous waterfall, Jog Falls (which could've easily been the continent's best waterfall if it wasn't compromised by hydroelectricity), sprayed by the natural herbal waters of Courtallam (Kutralam) Falls, looking down at Nohkalikai Falls just before fog rolled in, and swimming with monkey-feeding tourists beneath the popular Dudhsagar Falls. In some cases, we were the only non-Indians in the area so we received lots of attention in the form of curious stares, photographs, or inquisitive questions about our background.

Even though we've visited India in November 2009, it followed a weak (and late) monsoon with many locals blaming Global Warming and Climate Change. So the states of some of the falls were a bit on the disappointing side. Whether our experiences were more of an anomaly or a worrying long term trend remains to be seen. This was also the first time when our waterfalling experiences were impacted by some political instability from separatist groups (e.g. Maoists, Naxalites, etc.) thereby preventing us from seeing Chitrakote Falls in Chattisgarh, Barehipani Falls and Joranda Falls in Simlipal National Park in Orissa, and Hundru Falls in Jharkhand.

Nonetheless, we felt a trip out of our comfort zone and head first into the best and worst of India was both transformative and rewarding. For it was through this experience that we got to see the country as its genuine self. We hope by checking out the pages in this region that you too might be motivated to take a chance to go waterfalling here and experience the essence of India. Besides, our humble sampling of India Waterfalls merely scratches the surface of what's here. It's a real big country and there's only so much that we could see on our limited time and budget so surely you're bound to find some spectacular ones that haven't gotten any love from us. Some of these parts of the country could certainly use the increased attention (and accompanying infrastructure and potential for economic improvement as well)!

We hope to make a return visit and see more of this dynamic country as well as its many waterfalls...

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To get a glimpse of what each waterfall looks like, check out the table below. Click on the waterfalls to read more about them.

Jog Falls

4 Jog Falls

Shimoga District, Karnataka
Unchalli Falls

4 Unchalli Falls

Uttara Kannada District, Karnataka
Athirappilly Falls

3.5 Athirappilly Falls

Thrissur District, Kerala
Nohkalikai Falls

4 Nohkalikai Falls

East Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya
Magod Falls

3.5 Magod Falls

Uttara Kannada District, Karnataka
Sathodi Falls

2.5 Sathodi Falls

Uttara Kannada District, Karnataka
Dudhsagar Falls

3.5 Dudhsagar Falls

Molem National Park, Goa
Palaruvi Falls

2.5 Palaruvi Falls

Kollam District, Kerala
Kutralam Five Falls

2.5 Kutralam Five Falls

Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
Courtallam Main Falls

3 Courtallam Main Falls

Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
Old Courtallam Falls

2 Old Courtallam Falls

Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
Elephant Falls

2 Elephant Falls

East Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya
Bishop Falls

2 Bishop Falls and Beadon Falls

East Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya
Kynrem Falls

1.5 Kynrem Falls

East Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya
Nohsngithiang Falls

1 Nohsngithiang Falls (Seven Sisters Falls)

East Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya
Dumdam Falls

1 Dumdam Falls

Ri Bhoi District, Meghalaya

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