Amidst the iconic landscape of snow-capped mountain peaks, one also comes across in Uttarakhand picture perfect waterfalls where water gush down breaking the silence of the pristine surroundings. While most of these waterfalls are perfect for a short trek, being away from the busy tourist attractions, there are others that are crowd pullers. The waterfalls have an average height of 126m and an elevation of 1400m above the sea level. The falls add more charm to the beautiful state and visitors can spend time fishing, bathing under the glimmering falls, boating, swimming or just enjoying a good meal around nature.
1. Kempty Falls
Located 14.5 km from Mussoorie and 48 km from Dehradun on the Mussoorie-Yamunotri Road, this fall is a fascinating one and among the best in India. Set at an elevation of 1364m above the sea level, this is a perfect picnic spot where one can enjoy water activities or just spend a relaxed evening. Developed as a tourist destination in 1835, the name came from the words Camp-tea, as the place was used by the Britishers for organizing tea parties. The water here drops from a height of 50 feet flowing through five cascading falls in the downstream. Below there are big pools that offer excellent opportunity to swim and play in crystal clear water of the mountain stream.
2. Bhatta Falls
It is located 7 km from Mussoorie on the Mussoorie-Dehradun Road near Bhatta village. On reaching here one has to walk for about 3 km on narrow and steep but smooth road. The waterfall cascades down from a height of 30 feet into a naturally created pool where people of all ages come to bath and play. The location of this waterfall is in a quaint area making it a good place for relaxing. There is a children’s park nearby that is ideal for kids. Eateries around offer basic ready-to-eat food like noodles, soups and coffee.
3. Jharipani Falls
This cascading falls is known for pristine beauty of its surroundings. Located about 9 km from Mussoorie on the Mussoorie-Jharipani road, one can get beautiful view of the Shivalik Range of the Himalayas from here.
4. Tiger Falls
Located 111 km from Dehradun, 105 km from Mussoorie and 26 km from Chakrata, it is a beautiful waterfall in the middle of hilly terrain at an elevation of 1395m. It cascades down from a height of 50m forming a small pond at the base. Visitors can enjoy a relaxed bath in the pond. It is a favourite spot for basic trekkers and picnic goers. It takes a 5km trek from Chakrata through forest with rhododendron and oak trees to reach this falls.
5. Sahastradhara Falls
Located about 14 km from Dehradun, the water of this falls is said to have medicinal properties. The sulphur water spring attracts huge number of tourists. The caves around are added attractions. It is particularly crowded during the rainy season.
6. Jimi Ghat Waterfalls
Blessed with lush greenery all around, this waterfall in the Pithoragarh District offers scintillating views of the Nanda Devi Mountain. The ghat is encircled by the rhododendrons and birch trees.
7. Vasudhara Falls
These falls are often said to be the most beautiful in Uttarakhand. Located 11.5 km from the holy city of Badrinath and 6 km from Mana Village, near these falls are a perfect relaxing spot from where one can enjoy the views of lofty mountains against the blue sky. It is popular as a short trekking route from Badrinath. The water falls from a height of 400 feet here. During the short trek to this waterfall, visitors pass through scenic views of the Vasudhara River valley and the Chaukhamba, Nilkantha and Balakun mountains at a distance. A refreshing bath under the cascading water washes away all the exhaustion of the arduous trek. There are no shops around, so one must remember to carry water bottle and food. It is said that the beauty of the Vasudhara falls can only be enjoyed by those who are clean, pure and unstained from guilt and to those who are not, the waterfall is invisible. Monsoon is the best time to be here.
8. Garud Chatti Falls
Located 9 km from Rishikesh and 4 km from Lakshman Jhula, this is a small waterfall nestled amidst lush greenery. One needs to trek for about 1.5 km from a temple dedicated to Garuda in Lakshman Jhula to reach the waterfall.
9. Chineshwar Waterfall
Located in a small village called Garaun in Kumaon, this giant waterfall measuring 160 ft in height is hidden inside a dense pine forest.
10. Corbett Falls
This cascade is 38 km from Nainital and 25 km from Ramnagar on the Ramnagar - Kaladhungi highway inside a dense teak wood forest. It cascades down from a height of 20m in to a pool. Although not huge, bathing in the pool is not permitted. One can visit here for enjoying the natural beauty though. Trekking in forests, bird watching and nature walks are some activities to indulge in here.
11. Patna waterfall
Located at a distance of 13 km from Rishikesh and 6.5 km from Lakshman Jhula in Patna village, this waterfall is famous for the limestone caves nearby. This trek to the waterfall is steep and difficult. However, the waterfalls is almost dry in summer and hence summer time should be avoided.
There are many other waterfalls in Uttarakhand. Some of the most prominent ones are the Rudradhari Waterfall near Kausani, the lesser known Kimona Waterfall in Chakrata, Maldevta Waterfall and Shikhar Waterfall near Dehradun, the Moigad Fall located 69 km from Dehradun, jade blue coloured Neergarh Waterfalls located about 5 and 7 kms from Lakshman Jhula, the Phool Chatti Waterfall in Rishikesh, Birthi Falls near Tejam and Mossy Falls in Mussoorie. All come with their own uniqueness, but what is common to them is abundant beauty and pristine charm. All of them deserve to be seen with naked eyes.