Chitrakote falls and Kanger Ghati National ParkMonday, July 27, 2009
It’s 5 O’clock in the evening and now we are at what they said was the Jagdalpur Main junction trying to negotiate with the Jeep Drivers to take us to our destination, a resort developed by the tourism board right in front of the Chitrakote falls, 40 kms from the city. 250 Rs got us the front and middle seats in the jeep and the back seats were for the locals. We five and five more locals were crammed in the jeep and so we started our journey on the perfect roads towards Chitrakote. And then something amusing started to happen. Every 10 to 20 minutes a local would stop the jeep and would get in the back seat. It was like there was a huge invisible space in the back of the jeep. One after the other, people kept cramming themselves in the jeep and all in the back! Young women, old women, Young men, old men, children – every kind was in the jeep by the end of it. The journey to Chitrakote was pretty smooth as the sun set over the distant horizon. Soon we arrived at our destination – Chitrakote resort built right in front of the falls.
This magnificent horseshoe shaped cataract , also known as Chitrakot / Chitrakoot, is at a distance of 40kms from Jagdalpur. It happens to be India’s best kept secret and India’s biggest waterfalls comparable to Niagara Falls during monsoon.
Kanger Ghati (Valley) National Park:
Now the first thing that strikes you once you enter the Chhattisgarh territory is the really green and really tall trees lined up everywhere. Being from South, I found these to be very unusual but very pleasant too.
Distance – 40 kms from Jagdalpur
These 330 meter long caves have formed over many years which led to beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations inside. There is absolutely no light entering these caves and a particular species called blind fish have evolved over the years to become totally independent of sunlight. At the forest check post, a guide with a solar torch light would be provided for the caves cannot be entered without a guide or a torch light for that matter.
The entrance to the caves was all I could see because we were late and all the guides had left by then. But the entrance itself was so enthralling to me! The layered rocks looked very beautiful and the cherry on top was the rain.. yes it rained while I was deep in the forest. Since I am not a big fan of stalactites and stalagmites, I wasn’t too disappointed. But if you like exploring caves, this is the place to be! The best part about these caves is that they still look like caves – dark, damp, scary, unexplored and unadulterated! No artificial lighting, no sign boards and no humans. A narrow and steep stairs extend to the bottom of the cave and it can get quite steep at times. The caves in this forest are closed during the rainy season and are open only till 4 PM during the rest of the year.
Distance – 9 kms from the forest entry gate.
Tirathgarh falls is a very popular picnic spot among the locals. The striking thing here again is the layered rock formations and cascading water all over it! Water hops over the layered rocks with a height of 300ft creating a spectacle. You can go down to the base of the falls through the stairs. Also there is a small mass of land in the middle which hosts some small temples and the views are brilliant from here. These falls also can be accessed via a natural trail for all those interested in hiking if the road doesn’t seem interesting. Again since I went in hot burning summer, the falls were pretty dried up. So along with my pictures, I am also sharing one photo taken by Roopesh during his trip to Chhattisgarh post-monsoon.
Distance – 5 kms from the forest entry gate.
- This was a trip during the hot and burning season of May. Post monsoon the place is whole lot greener and full of water.
- The resort we stayed at Chitrakot Falls was very comfortable and also very secluded just in case you are one of those who does not like to stay in the middle of nowhere. You can contact Mr. Ram Tiwari - +919993854165 for bookings.
- Best time to visit would be August - February.