Have you been thinking of visiting Niagara Falls but there are multiple reasons limiting you? If you like to travel on a shoe-string budget and yet get the maximum out of it, then this package to Chhattisgarh’s hinterlands is for you.On the Vindhya ranges of Chattisgarh, there is a river named Indravati. The Chitrakote Waterfalls are situated on this river. It is also known as the ‘Niagara Falls of India’ because of its wide gauge which is shaped like a horseshoe. This is India’s widest and Asia’s second widest waterfall. During the monsoon, this waterfall covers a width of around 350 meters.
Eco-tourism has gained a lot of popularity in India and Chhattisgarh is blessed with few such destinations. The big range of flora and fauna found here, the wildlife that you can see here will surprise you as you won’t be able to easily see them anywhere else in the country. Chhattisgarh can offer you an experience which you will not be able to forget anytime soon.
Jagdalpur is in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district. About approximately 38 kms away from west Jagdalpur, you will find the Indravati river. From Chitrakoot’s horseshoe gauge, the river takes a 95 feet plunge. What a sight this enormous drop from the cliff makes! You will be in sheer awe as you become a spectator of the Chitrakote waterfalls.
During monsoon, the Indravati river gets flooded and the Chitrakote Falls, 38 kms from Jagdalpur, becomes a force to reckon with. All the various small streams amalgamate and gain power and form a blanket over the flat area just above the cliff.
The powerful waterfall which becomes 300 metre wide has rightfully been named as India’s Niagara Falls. If you want to have a proper view of this glorious waterfall, there are local boatmen who will take you to the area below the waterfall, where the water is like a spray. The view from here is mindblowing. Try being here during sunset as the rays of the setting sun makes it look like the waterfall is changing its hues!
If you go there just after monsoon gets over, you will find that the silt carried by the river has become brown and also the forest around has overgrown, especially the one surrounding the river bank. Chitrakoot has turned into a popular picnic spot and you will hear small refreshment stalls too, like tea shops. While you walk along the river side, don’t forget to take out your camera. You must take some wide-angle shots of the waterfall. You will also come across tribal people, especially women, selling wooden handicrafts. The carvings on the woodwork looks like they have been done by experts. The greenery of the sal forests and the sight of paddy fields forms a beautiful scene as the sun rises in the morning.
Though this waterfall is one of the major attractions of the Jagdalpur’s Bastar region, it is not easy to find a public transport which can take you there. There are a few buses which move slowly towards their destination through green fields. But a bus ride will also give you an opportunity to interact with the locals who are tribal people. Their hairstyles, metal ornaments and clothing style is quite different.
The buses are rickety and they leave from their stand opposite Anupama Cinema, from Agrasen Trisquare. Not more than three or buses leave on a day and it will take about two hours to reach Chitrakote Falls as the bus halts at all village markets on the way. For returning from the Falls to Jagdalpur, the last bus starts at 5pm. You might be able to get on a shared auto too which goes to other villages by travelling via the Jagdalpur-Chitrakoot route. Hitchhiking is another option which you can try if you are a solo traveller. People of Bastar are generally helpful and friendly and getting a ride shouldn’t be difficult. But if you like to travel in comfort, then you can always hire a vehicle from Jagdalpur.
Right in the middle of Chhattisgarh’s wilderness, the Chitrakote Waterfalls is located. The months from July to October are the ideal months for a visit to the falls. During this time the Indravati river flows with full force, brimming with water. There is a great amount of silt present in the water. Nevertheless, the waterfall looks spectacular to everyone coming here.
If you are someone who loves to be amidst nature or someone who is into nature photography, most probably you would like to view the waterfalls when it’s white and the view is very clear without any fog or cloud, you should be here between October and February, i.e. post monsoon and winter. This is the time when the weather remains clear and comfortable.
If you are wondering about where you can stay during your trip, Chhattisgarh Tourism has made available a classy resort for visitors. This resort is opposite to the Falls and has been built on the ridge. Most of the rooms offer great views of the waterfall from the balconies.
Tirathgarh Waterfalls is one of the falls of Chattisgarh which has not yet gained much popularity among tourists. When you are on a trip to visit Chitrakote Falls, you must not miss going to this waterfall which has three drops and falls from a height of 299 feet.
By road, Tirathgarh waterfalls is located about 35 kms away from Jagdalpur. One has to go in the south-west direction from Jagdalpur. The Chitrakoot to Tirathgarh distance is 65 kms and by road, it will take one hour and twenty minutes from one to another. The falls is located within the premise of Kanger Valley National Park. One has to pay entry charges. The fee is 25 rupees both for cars and people. Located in the national height, the approximate height of Teerathgarh Falls is 300 feet. It is believed that this place was visited by Sita, Lord Ram and his brother Laxman when they were in their Vanvas. You will see the Rama Kund and Sita Kund over here.
River Kanger feeds this waterfall. The water of this big falls is milky white. Though it falls from a height of 91 meters, the fall does not look dangerous but very picturesque because of its staircase or step structure. The waterfall has ten levels. It is said that many years ago the cliff along which the milky white water flows downstream, was hit by a lunar crater and there was an earthquake too. This collision led to the creation of the stairs. This place is also very suitable for having a picnic. The water before adjoining the falls were part of different streams which flowed in a zigzag pattern over various paths.
You will see that the water is not clear when it falls from Chitrakote falls but here you will find the water to be almost white, especially after it has rained. It is almost as if not water but milk is descending down the slopes. Tourists can visit the Falls on any day of the week. Post-monsoon is the best time to be here, from October to February. The shining and bright waterfalls amidst tall and rugged mountains create a romantic atmosphere. The Falls is located right on the Munga Bahar river.
It is possible for tourists to go close to the waterfalls and take a bath. The sprays of water will be enough to make you fully wet. Because it is falling from such a great height, the streams flow down at a very high speed. Do not miss out on going near it as it is going to be absolutely refreshing. There are rocks which you can use as steps to reach the top of the waterfall. There is no availability of food inside the national park and thus one must carry some food items with themself.
This scenic waterfall should be a must-visit place in Jagdalpur and also after travelling for about 4.5 hours, you can reach another must-visit place, the Kotumsar caves. Not only nature lovers visit the Tirathgarh Waterfalls but also religious people as there is also a temple where Shiva Parvati is worshipped.
People from all corners of Chhattisgarh and the country, whether they are regular tourists or religious-minded folks, come in thousands to see this majestic waterfall and also to offer prayers to the temple. Once you are here, you will not feel like returning back, that’s for certain. Tourists get completely mesmerised by looking at the different shades of one waterfall.
The Kutumsar Caves made of limestones are at a distance of 30 kms from here.You can reach Teerathgarh Falls by getting on a State Highway bus, or you can hire a private vehicle/taxi from either Sukma or Jagdalpur.
Kotumsar Caves was formerly known as Gopansar caves, which means hidden. As the cave is situated near the Kotumsar village, the cave too gained popularity as Kotumsar caves. The cave gets flooded very frequently during monsoon. This happens annually from mid-June to mid-Oct. During flooding, the caves are closed for visitors. One can find water pools and blind cave-fish inside the cave. The pools form out of the water seepage, which continues the whole year.
The Kutumsar caves are also present inside the Kanger Valley National Park. These prehistoric caves lie at a distance of about 10 kms from the National Park’s main entrance. As you walk towards the caves, you will find sal trees lined up on both sides of the way. The path is filled with red gravel stones and along the jungle lane, there are also big mounds made by termites. Visitors throng the caves to see the stalactite and stalagmite formation. Towards the rear end of the cave, there is also a Shiva Linga. The Shiva Linga brings in a lot of religious tourists to the cave.
There is a tiny iron gate which serves as an entrance gate and the path is extremely narrow. As soon as you step in, you will find that you are going underground with limestone rocks all around you. There will be someone managing the queue of visitors as they wait to enter the caves. You will also find personnels inside the cave with light chargers/lamps managing people inside. It would be helpful for you too if you wear a head torch or carry a handheld torch while visiting the cave. You will be able to get a better view of different wet limestone formations, especially the ones which are shaped like needles.
A few spots inside the caves can be slippery, so you need to be extra careful as you walk along the corridors to see the carvings made by nature itself. Inside the cave too there is the presence of fauna like blind frishes and different frog species. For going out of the caves, you take the same path through which you entered.
Kutumsar cave was discovered during the British rule in India but people started being aware of it after the 1950s. The natural limestone cave’s primary attraction is the different kinds of speleothems present in the various chambers and passageways. Earlier people used to worship one of these unique structures by lighting up camphor and incense sticks. This practice had to be put an end to as it messed up the cave’s ecosystem.
The cave is situated near the Kanger river and falls on the Kanger limestone belt. When it rains heavily in monsoon, the cave gets partially submerged in the flood. When you enter the cave, you will see a long tunnel, one which is 200 metres long. This is the main tunnel and then there are multiple passages going down. One can enter the Kotumsar caves through a vertically shaped fissure. To help tourists be able to reach the end of the cave easily, an artificial path has been built using concrete. As mentioned earlier, there are pools formed by water seepage.
The biodiversity of Kutumsar caves has made it more popular. Newer species of arthropods, crickets, presence of blind fish and other varieties of species have been found inside these caves. The Kutumsar cave is well-connected through railways and roads to the Jagdalpur city.
Visitors can enter the Kutumsar Caves between 7 in the morning till 5 in the evening. The entry fee is just 23 rupees per person. If you are carrying a still camera, you will need to pay 25 rupees for it too. And if you carry a video camera, you will need to pay 200 rupees.
The Kutumsar Gufa or Gupanpal is a karst cave and was discovered in 1900. This was found in 1951 by a group of tribal people who were hunting a porcupine. In their chase of the porcupine, they found them inside a cave. In 1958, mr. Shankar Prasad Tiwari, who was a geographer discovered this cave again. An extra chamber was discovered in the year of 2011 and it was explored.
The Kotamsar Gufa is probably the world’s longest or second longest natural cave and it is a truly wonderful one. The world’s longest cave though is the USA’s Mammoth Cave which is around 572 kms long. Anyways, only the guards of the Kanger Valley National Park are allowed to give guided tours and you cannot go without a guided tour. Again a reminder that through the guards carry lamps, it is advisable that you carry one too. The guides take the visitors in their four-wheel drive to the parking spot near the cave’s entrance. This is the point where the steep stairs along the hillside to the cave entrance. The steps inside the caves are steep too, so you must wear comfortable sports shoes, preferably with a good grip.
The tribal people are the indegenous people who are the citizens around this place. They have been aware of the caves for a very long time and you might be able to hear different legends about the caves. The Shiva Linga, which is the phallic symbol of Shiva, found at the cave-end is interestingly also a stalagmite formation which the tribals had started worshipping.
By Air – The nearest accessible airport is 300 kms away. It is the airport at Raipur. Under the Udan scheme, the state government has started operating Bastar’s very own airport. Currently only AIR ODISHA has flights operating from Jagdalpur to Visakhapatnam and Jagdalpur to Raipur. But the Raipur airport is well connected to most big cities. Multiple operators run their flights. You can reach Jagdalpur from Raipur airport easily by availing a prepaid taxi.
By Rail – The Raipur Railway station is 298 kms away and it is well-connected to other major cities like Nagpur and Delhi. Jagdalpur is the headquarter of Bastar district and the railway station is well-connected with Raipur, Visakhapatnam and few other places. East Coast Railway operates Jagdalpur Railway Station. Iron Ore gets transported on this railway line, especially from NMDC Bacheli to Vishakahapatnam. The main trains which are operating from Jagdalpur now are Visakhapatnam-Jagdalpur (Night Express), Visakhapatnam-Kirandul Passenger train (58501), Hirakhand Express (18448), Durg-Jagdalpur Express (18211) and Howrah-Koraput Express (18005).
By Road – Jagdalpur is 20 kms away and buses, autos and taxis are available from here. Regular buses – both express and sleeper are available in Jagdalpur city (Bastar). These buses ply to and fro between the city and the falls. The buses run daily on well-connected routes like NH30. State Bus Transporters like OSRTC, TSRTC and APSRTC also run their buses. These buses run on routes like Jagdalpur-Hyderabad and Jagdalpur-Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry.
Leave Hyderabad at 6 pm
Arrive at Chitrakote
Enjoy adventure activities
Viewing sunset and camping at Chitrakote
Visit Tirathgarh Waterfalls
Go to Kotumsar caves next
Leave for Hyderabad
Reach Hyderabad at 6 am