There can be no other feeling more wonderful than dipping your feet in cold , running water and feeling the spray on your face as the cascades knock you down with force . Try bathing in a waterfall , when the rocks are slippery and the water almost lures you to a different world. There is nothing more exciting and energising in life . You throw your hands in gay abandon and let yourself be purged by the milky white waters rushing through the cliffs in mountains and descending downwards to join a wayward river.
My earliest memory is a bath in the Courtrallam Falls, often referred to as the Spa of South India. With the Western Ghats bordering it, the mist of Agasthiyamalai in the background, the waters of Courtrallam is formed through several rivers that have their source up in the hills and they bring down with them medicinal properties. There are nine waterfalls in all here, but the three main ones are the Old Coutrallam, the Five Falls and the Main Falls. I was barely a child when I went to Courtallam as our native village is down South in Tirunelveli, barely an hour away .
During my recent visit, I drove down to another beautiful falls, called Manimuthar, an absolutely stunning scenic spot, lost to man . A few monkeys and some locals join me as I let the waters rejuvenate me .
Waterfalls either come with a fancy name or they do not have a name at all. In Kodaikanal, the tourists are familiar with Silver Cascade, but deep inside the mountains is a fall that has taken the world of advertising by storm. This waterfall was one of the earliest to be branded and we walked through rain and hail to experience the force of the cascades.
Recently I visited Goa and saw an entirely different side to the beach country. Goa is not just a destination – it is a state of mind. I travelled into the deep forests in Goa and hiked around and came upon this cascade of waters. Not all waterfalls are famous or have a name, but sometimes its the experience that you remember. We spotted snakes and birds and listened to the hooves of gaurs who thumped around the rocks as they left. In Mollem, we crossed two rivers and a wildlife sanctuary and climbed up rocks to see the milky white Dudhsagar Falls , but that will soon be another post.
One of the most gorgeous waterfalls down South is the Athirampally Falls bordering Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The mist, the spray, the foam, the rainforests, the mountains in the background – Athirampally is absolutely gorgeous as she takes a fall into the valley below. We hiked up and crossed the border and saw the Vazhachal Falls gently tumbling down the rocks.
And finally the Chitrakoot Waterfalls in Chhattisgarh. Now, this is an experience I can never forget. The fury of the cascading waters was echoing in our ears as we woke up to see the massive waterfalls greet us from our rooms.
We took a boat and went right below the massive waterfalls and let ourselves be completely drenched . The spray hit us, the foam blinded us and the sound was absolutely deafening, but what an experience ! Something that needs to be soaked in.
More alive is awesome experiences include Shimsha in Karnataka ( I am yet to visit Jog), the Corbett Falls up north and of course, the Hogenakkal Falls in Tamil Nadu .