If you thought of Odisha as a home to beautiful beaches, awesome temples and exotic wildlife sanctuaries, then do not forget to add waterfalls to the list. Almost all the districts of this state have one or more falls which are worth exploring. Let’s get to know each of these Waterfalls of Odisha in a precise way!1) Barehipani
Odisha’s pride among all the reserved forests, Similipal Tiger Reserve, has got this stepped waterfall which descends from the Meghasani hills in Mayurbhanj district. It is the highest waterfall of the state coming down from a height of 400 metres. Barehipani’s beauty from the viewpoint on the other side of the hill is a thing to marvel. As the birds in the forest become quiet at dusk, the sound of the waterfall becomes very prominent. Moreover, the Barehipani waterfall looks breathtaking in full moon!
Similipal is also home to Joranda waterfall (150 metres) amidst the rich Sal vegetation. The tall trees around the fall create a wonderful ambience.
Devkund Waterfall, in periphery of Similipal Tiger Reserve, has a series of beautiful waterfalls and the holy shrine of Goddess Ambika. It is situated at a distance of 65 kms from Baripada and 140 kms from Chandipur. On the outer periphery of the Sal forest, the perennial waterfall is situated under the Udala block. The water falls from the hilltop in five stages by creating five kundas or reservoirs named Amrita Kunda, Ghrita Kunda, Haladi Kunda, Devi Kunda & Deva Kunda. On the banks of the river Deva, festivals like Raja and Makar Sankranti are celebrated every year.
This beautiful Khandadhar waterfall in the mineral-rich forests of Sundargarh district descends from a height of 225 metres and is the second highest waterfall in the state. The magnificent view of the cascading waters also make for a good picnic spot and the entire area is a treasure trove of rare medicinal plants. Khandadhar is 114 kms from the steel township of Rourkela.
5) Badaghagra/ Sanghagra
Part of the Ghagra river, a tributary of Baitarani, the waterfall is 10 kms away from Keonjhar town. The 60 metres fall is also near the Sanghagra falls (30 metres), lying 5 kms from the district headquarters town. These two falls are popular picnic spots near Keonjhar town. However, another picturesque spot is Gonasika (45 kms from Keonjhar) where the river Baitarani goes underground briefly and emerges further down over a stone projection shaped like the nose of a cow.
The sacred hills of Gandhamardan in Bargarh district enshrines the temple of Nrusimhanath. Waterfalls like Bhimadhar, Gadadhar, Guptadhar & Chaladhar are some beautiful locations. Besides the falls, tourists also love to see ancient archaeological remains present in the area. The spot is 20 kms from Nuapada.
On the southern side of Gandhamardan hills, Harishankar shines with a series of beautiful waterfalls cascading on the hill slopes and the last one provides a water slide to the amusement of bathers. An added advantage to the two places of Nrusimhanath and Harishankar is the 16 kms trekking route by which travellers can go from Harishankar to Nrusimhanath and vice-versa. The journey even ensures meeting many rare, endangered and precious medicinal plants. Historians say that influence of Buddhism was also seen in the archaeological works in the entire area. According to Chinese scholar Hiuen Tsang, the belt might be the seat of a Buddhist university called Polo-mo-lo-ki-li.
The 16 metres high waterfall is only 15 kms from Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district. The rainbow created by sun rays playing with the water spray, creates a special charm.
This beautiful fall is part of Pradhanpat hill, which offers a scenic view and the water comes with many steps from the top creating several natural swimming pools on the hill itself. Close to the Deogarh town, the place is 96 kms from Sambalpur on NH-6. This waterfall had the first hydro-electric power unit in the state.
The southern-most district of the state, Malkangiri, has got this beautiful waterfall besides several marvellous lakes spread across the region. The fall is situated 70 kms from Jeypore town. Duduma waterfall descends from a height of 155 metres and feeds water to Machhakunda Dam.
Apart from the waterfalls listed in tourism packages, Gandahati in Gajapati district and Khandadhar, Gundichaghai and Handibhanga in Keonjhar district also draws large crowd.