Where shall I be going today? This had become a natural question cropping in my thoughts for the past 57 days. And today, on the eve of the final day of #XploreBharat, I ask myself as I write this post- ‘Where should I take them now?’ As I think, my thoughts turn towards this long forgotten place which I had visited before my marriage… around a decade ago. So, let me take you on the journey of ‘India’s Niagara- The Chitrakote Waterfalls’.
Situated in the Bastar district of Chattisgarh, it is the widest waterfall of India. The height of this waterfall is 95ft and width around 985ft. This waterfall is on River Indravati and is known for its beauty especially during the monsoon season. The river has a high flow due to the rain and it gushes over the cliff to give a sight which captivates the spectators.
HOW TO REACH
One can reach Chitrakote via road. There is no airport or railway station in Chitrakote.
The nearest airport is Raipur Airport but it is around 300km from Chitrakote. The nearest railway station is in the neighbouring city of Jagdalpur. One can hire a cab from there to travel 38kms to reach the waterfalls.
WHERE TO STAY
There are mostly government-owned resorts around the banks of the river where one can stay but, do not expect a very luxurious affair. Maybe the things must have improved considerably now, but it was very basic during the times when we visited.
For food, you will find many eateries near the falls but proper restaurants are still rare in that place.
THINGS TO DO
There are many things to do around in Jagdalpur city. The historical monuments and various temples in and around this city are truly marvellous. However, I saw all these things in passing as we had come to visit the waterfalls in particular. There are few sets of caves as well in and near Jagdalpur. And how can we forget the Kanger Valley National Park. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to visit them.
WHEN TO VISIT
The waterfalls look best during the monsoon season as I have written earlier. One can visit in between June to September. In other seasons the water in the river recedes. Still, I have heard that the sight is better in Winter compared to summers. They say the water reduces considerably in summer.
THE BEAUTY OF CHITRAKOTE
The waterfalls are a beautiful sight and I was fortunate enough to see them in their full glory. When seen from the front, you can witness the complete expanse of this waterfall. Standing at an angle where I could see the complete waterfall in front of me, I realized it was really wide. Shaped in the form of a horseshoe, the waterfall is an epitome of beauty.
The huge amount of water gushing over the cliff to plunge straight down was a pleasant shock. I had never seen such a huge waterfall before and so I couldn’t imagine this enormous quantity of water falling straight down. The sound of the waterfall was music to my ears. As we waited for our teachers for arranging some boats to give us a ride near the waterfall, we walked around the area.
TIP: It is advisable to not bring elderly people and kids to visit, as the rocks are quite slippery.
There are few shops near the entrance selling handicrafts made by the tribal people of that area. As we explored the terrain around the waterfall we came across few Shivlings. The guide along with us said that there are many Shivlings and tridents near the waterfall as well. Most of them can be seen clearly when the water recedes during the summer or winter seasons.
We climbed the boats after a while and the boatmen took us near the waterfall. It has been so many years, yet that moment is still fresh in my mind. This waterfall has a straight plunge which creates a mist around with water droplets. As it was the afternoon time, the rays of sun caught in these water droplets gave an effect of a rainbow.
Young as we were, we got so excited to see the rainbows appearing and disappearing in the mist. The boatmen didn’t take us very near to the waterfall as they said that it is the beginning of the rainy season and the water sometimes suddenly increases. Concerning our safety, even our teachers asked them to turn back the boat. However, the boatmen were kind enough to give us a tour of the river till the other side as well.
After an hour or so, we were back on land. We clicked many pictures as we laughed and giggled around the waterfalls until it was time to go back to our hotel.
TIP: The Waterfalls are open from 6.30am in the morning to 6.30pm in the evening. So plan road travel accordingly.
Chitrakote Waterfalls are best in their own element. They are part of the beautiful memories of my college life and hence it holds a special place in my heart.
The next stop of #XploreBharat will be Andaman & Nicobar with Pragun.
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