In a general way, waterfall forms when there are horizontal bands of resistant rock positioned overexposed, less resistant rock. The soft rock is eroded quicker than the hard rock and this creates a step, it also occurs where meltwater drops over the edge of a tabular iceberg or ice shelf. Generally, in the upper course of a river, this type of land shaped is formed where lakes flow into the valleys of steep mountains.
In India, Kunchikal Falls which is located in Agumbe, Shimoga, is the highest tiered waterfall in the country with a height of 1493 ft. Besides this, India offers some of the tallest waterfalls in the world, such as the Barehipani Falls of Odisha, and the world-famous Nohkalikai Falls of Meghalaya. During the Monsoon season, Indian states receive plenty of rainfalls and host some of the world-famous waterfalls such as Jog and Dudhsagar waterfall of Karnataka, and Chitrakoot waterfall of Chhattisgarh.
List of Most Popular waterfalls in India:
1. Kunchikal Falls – Karnataka
This famous waterfall is located at the Nidagodu village of Shimoga district of Karnataka. It is situated 138 km from Mangalore Airport. It is formed from the Varahi River and is the main water source of one of Karnataka’s hydroelectric plants. It is the second biggest waterfall in Asia, but after the construction of an underground power generation station near Hulikal of Shimoga district and Mani Dam near Masthikatte of Karnataka, the flow of the waterfalls is reduced and it’s is visible only between July and September, during the rainy season of Karnataka.
2. Dudhsagar Waterfall – Goa
The famous waterfall of Goa is Dudhsagar waterfall, which gets water by Mandovi river, having a height of 1,020 ft. This waterfall is also known as the “Sea of Milk” and it is the 227th highest waterfall in the world. The most beautiful falls in India are surrounded by dense jungle, high peaks, and the greenery of the Western Ghats. During the Monsoon season, it becomes one of the most famous natural phenomena in Goa. This is situated on the border of Karnataka and Goa and is a part of the Bhagwan Mahavir Wild Life Sanctuary. Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Salim Ali Bird sanctuary are the very famous park of Goa and major tourist attractions.
3. Jog Waterfall – Karnataka
One of the most famous Jog Waterfalls is located in the Shimoga District, Karnataka and it gets water from the Sharavathi River. It is the second-highest plunge waterfall in India with a height of 830ft after the Nohkalikai Falls of Meghalaya (having a height of 1100ft). It is associated with the Linganamakki Dam across the Sharavati River. During the rainy or monsoon season, it is known for its sound of fall, the spray, and the massive flow of water. Due to its rich ecological surrounding region, Jog Falls is declared as one of the UNESCO ecological hot spots in the world.
4. Nohsngithiang Waterfalls – Meghalaya
This waterfall is also known as the seven sisters waterfalls and it is one of the major waterfalls in Meghalaya. The waterfalls are situated in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya near the Mawsmai village, for this reason, it is also known as Mawsmai falls. This region is also known for its deep gorges, wildlife, and extensive underground cave network. Nohsngithiang Waterfalls is the fourth highest waterfalls in India and it only flows during the monsoon season from a height of 1,033ft. This waterfall is surrounded by valleys, canyons, and mountains of rocks of different sizes and shapes.
Kerala, the land of godis already known for its number of attractions such as monsoon, sand beaches, nature, and waterfalls. There are a number of important waterfalls in Kerala like Athirapally, Vazhachal, Palaruvi, and Thusharagiri, Athirappilly falls is one of the famous places to visit during the monsoon in Kerala. Athirappilly waterfalls are created by chalakudy river near the Vazhachal forest in the Thrissur district of Kerala. The surrounded area of the fall is home to many endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna, the only place in India where 4 types of endangered Great Hornbill are found.
Inside the Sri Venkateswara National Park in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh, the Talakona fall is situated, this is the highest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh with a height of 270 feet in the starting point of the Tirumala mountain ranges. The fall is surrounded by many varieties of sandalwood trees and some valuable medicinal plants, even surrounded by herbs with healing properties. This fall is also famous for its dense forests, wildlife, and is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Some rare and endangered species of this forest area are Panther, Giant Indian Squirrel, birds, and beautiful butterflies and greenery, this is also the part of a mountain that is are also known for deep caves, treacherous trekking routes. The most popular temple town of Tirupati has located 50 km from Talakona and in 1989, it’s declared as a biosphere reserve.
The tallest waterfall of Orissa state is Khandadhar Waterfall and it is located in the Bandapani forest of Sundargarh district. Having a total height of 801 ft, this waterfall is the 12th highest waterfall of India and is created by a perennial stream that flows throughout the year, during monsoon season the flow of the falls is very large. The surrounding region of this fall is very rich in a wide range of flora and fauna, the deep forest area is also counted in wildlife sanctuaries, surrounded by a thick forest of Kendu, Kusum, Sal, Segun, Mohua, Palash, and Akashmoni trees. Khandadhar Falls has located about 60 Km from the Sundargarh town of Orissa.
Chitrakot waterfalls also known as Niagara falls of India are situated on the river Indravati in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. It is one of the famous waterfalls of Chhattisgarh, having a total height of 29 meters, and is created by a perennial stream that flows throughout the year, during monsoon season the wide of this fall becomes 1000 feet, making it the widest waterfall of India. During the rainy season by the Bengal monsoon branch, this fall receives very huge water, and this waterfall is surrounded by a dense green forests area in the mountain ranges of Vindhya.
9. Ethipothala Falls – Andhra Pradesh
Ethipothala Falls is situated in the Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, India. The falls drops down from an altitude of 21m tall which is located on the Chandravanka river, a tributary of River Krishna right. It is situated 11 km far from Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. This is located at a distance of 140 km from Guntur city. There are Ranganatha and Dattatreya temples in the surroundings of Ethipothala Falls, in which the temple of Lord Dattatreya with Ekamukhi, is the main worship god for Lambadi Tribal people around this place. In that place, there is a crocodile breeding farm in the pond formed by the Ethipothala waterfall. The waterfall is a combination of three streams namely, the Chandra Vanka stream on Macherla, Surya Bhaga stream on Nagarjuna hill, and Krishna river of Nagarjuna Sagar. Hence, it is like a Triveni sangam Datta Guru’s Temple is located just adjacent to the falls.
10. Thalaiyar Falls, Tamil Nadu
This fall is also known as Rat Tail Falls, because of its rat tail-shaped look. This falls located in the Palani Hills of the District of Dindigul, which flows as Manjalar River, one of the tributaries of the Vaigai River of Tamil Nadu State. The falls drops down from an altitude of 297 m tall and are the highest waterfall of Tamil Nadu and the sixth highest waterfall in India. The top of the fall is the very edge, and the low concrete wall on both sides concentrating the flow of the water. One can easily get down to the edge of the rock to look directly straight down to see a little river at the bottom continuing placidly through the forest. This fall is one of the silent falls of India.