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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrIndia is a land of diversity. From the Himalayan mountain range, tropical rainforest, arid desert to a plethora of perennial rivers, India has always been a traveler’s delight. The number of rivers that passes through this country also gave rise to many significant waterfalls. One such fall is the Chitrakoot Falls. Located near Jagdalpur of Bastar district, Chitrakoot Falls is also referred as the ‘Niagara of India’.
Chitrakoot Falls is the largest waterfall in India and has originated from the Indravati River, a tributary of the Narmada River . The height of the waterfall is around 30 meter and its breadth varies depending upon the water level, as it changes from season to season. During the winter seasons, the waterfall is calm as it becomes tall and narrow. But during the monsoon season, the scenario is totally different. As the river carries heavy silt during the monsoon, the water looks brownish and widens up to 150 meters (approx.) in breadth. The widening of the fall and the accompanying rumble of water in the monsoon season is captivating and equally threatening.
The surrounding area of this waterfall is mainly covered by dense forest. During winter, the pristine waterfall and the nature make it worthwhile to pay a visit. You can spend hours sitting here, but be careful while walking over the rocks as they are very slippery and it may lead to fatal accidents. If you are lucky, you may even see spotted deer in and around the location, owing to the presence of the forest.
HistoryChitrakoot also has a strong mythological connection. According to the Hindu legend, Lord Rama and his wife, Sita, lived in Chitrakoot jungle during their exile for 14 years, as told in the epic tale of Ramayana. It is for this reason that Chitrakoot has become an important location for the Hindus as thousands of devotees flock to this strip of land to pay obeisance to Lord Vishnu, one of the main Gods in the Hindu mythology.
The peacefulness and tranquility of the location during the winter season has made it a favorable spot to relax and meditate. If you visit the waterfall in the morning, you may find a good number of people doing meditation as the place is conducive to do yoga. In fact, there are Ayurvedic centers in and around the waterfall. One of them is Aroyadham, which is the most popular and is nearest to the waterfall. For a photographer or a painter, Chitrakoot Falls is a favorite subject, especially during the winter season when it looks like a horseshoe.
Other Tourist Attractions In and Around Chitrakoot
Hanuman DharaThis location is one of the most important spots in Chitrakoot, located on the top of a hill. There is a beautiful spring here, along with a number of important temples of the Hindus. Moreover, the view of Chitrakoot from the hilltop is fascinating.
RamghatIt is by the banks of the Mandakini River and is revered as a holy place for the Hindus. This place is ideal for meditation. Moreover, you may find ‘aarti’ (traditional Hindu ritual form) in the evening, which is quite a unique event to check out.
KamadgiriBuilt in 1725, Kamadgiri is another important religious location for the Hindus. Kamadgiri is a hill with a large number of temples located at its base. According to the Hindu legend, it is said that this hill has the power to fulfill any desire we pray. The hill is filled with dense trees and is green all through, except during the summer when the weather gets dry. Furthermore, the place looks like a bow if viewed from any other distant locations close to Chitrakoot.
Aforementioned are three major spots which you can consider to visit besides the waterfall.
AccommodationChitrakoot is an important tourist and pilgrimage zone in India. Owing to its religious importance and frequency of travelers in this location, there are a number of hotels in Chitrakoot for accommodation. Most of these hotels have their own dining facility. However, if you are planning to eat outside you will find local food stalls that you can check out.
How to ReachIn order to visit Chitrakoot, you first need to reach Jagdalpur. Being the state headquarters of Chhattisgarh district, Jagdalpur is well connected via road to other parts of the country. Interstate bus services are available from cities like Vishakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Koraput, Jeypore and Rajahmundri. From Jagdalpur, you can take the local bus or hire private cars to reach Chitrakoot as the distance between the two is approximately 38 kilometers. If you plan to travel by rail, the best option would be to reach Khajuraho and journey for Chitrakoot via road.
By air, the nearest airport around Chitrakoot is Khajuraho. Take a take a local bus or hire a private car to reach Chitrakoot from the airport. The distance between Khajuraho to Chitrakoot is around 192 kilometers.
Best Time to VisitIf you are trying to catch a glimpse of the wild waterfall, the best time to visit would be from July-October. From October-February the water is calmer and is a good time for those looking for tranquility.
What to Do and What Not to DoChitrakoot is a religious town and it is important to maintain the sanctity of the place. Try to avoid wearing short dresses and refrain from alcohol consumption during your stay.
You may often find local touts reaching you near the waterfall for a boat ride or trekking. Be sure to avoid them as there is no such official facilities available in this region.
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Author: SubhasishMitra. Last updated: Sep 06, 2014