Chitrakote Waterfall a.k.a the Niagara of India during monsoon is a sight to behold.
Chhattisgarh

5 Unique Ways to Experience Chitrakote Waterfall Like Never Before

Chitrakote waterfall is the most famous tourist attraction of Bastar Region in Chhattisgarh; and rightly so! Also known as the Niagara Falls of India, it is the widest waterfall, where Indravati river cascades down almost 100 ft drop. The giant horse show shaped fall is surrounded by the majestic Vindhya range.

It is said that once upon a time herds of deer inhabited this area and that is why it was named Chitrakote – “chitar” being name for a deer in Halbi dialect. It is also said that when Nagvanshi rulers ruled this part, they called this waterfall “Chakrakot” due to its shape and width.

Unlike many other waterfalls in the region, Chitrakote waterfall is not a seasonal waterfall. However, the best time to see the grandeur of Chitrakote waterfall is post monsoon, i.e. from September to December.

Almost 99% of tourists, who come to see the mighty Chitrakote waterfall, do a day-trip. However, I personally feel that just a single day trip doesn’t do full justice to the magnificence of this place. So, here I am sharing 5 unique ways to experience this gem of Chhattisgarh like never before.

Read also: 5 Reasons why you should travel to Chhattisgarh

Night view at Chitrakote Waterfall, Bastar, Chhattisgarh. Pic credit - Anzaar Nabi.
Night view at Chitrakote Waterfall, Bastar, Chhattisgarh. Pic credit – Anzaar Nabi.

1. Cycling to Chitrakote

Relive your childhood cycling memories by reaching Chitrakote waterfall on bicycle from Jagdapur city (around 40 kms).

Since cycling is not yet popular here among tourists, you might find it a little difficult to find cycles. You can either bring your own bicycle or rent it from Raipur/Jagdaplur.

The quality of road from Jagdalpur city to Chitrakote waterfall is excellent and there is not much traffic.

The journey to Chitrakote is quite picturesque once we cross the Jagdalpur city. Rice paddies and local palm trees are visible on both sides of the road.

Once you reach Chitrakote, just go to the bottom of the waterfall and jump. A dip in the cool water of Indravati river after completing your ride is one of the best ways to surrender yourself to the nature.

In January, 2018 Chhattisgarh Tourism Board organised a cycling event, Tour De Chhattisgarh, which ended their cycling trip at Chitrakote waterfall. Pic credit - Chhattisgarh Tourism Board.
In January, 2018 Chhattisgarh Tourism Board organised a cycling event, Tour De Chhattisgarh, where cyclists rode bicycles on various stretches of roads between Raipur and Chitrakote waterfall. Pic credit – Chhattisgarh Tourism Board.

2. Trekking around Chitrakote

There are many short and long trekking routes around Chitrakote waterfalls. You can choose the trek route depending upon your fitness level and time at hand These routes vary from 2 kms to 20 kms.

If you are up for some adventure and adrenaline rush, you may do the trek from Chitrakote waterfall to Mehndri Ghumar waterfall (around 16 kms).

And if you are really up for a challenge and physically fit, you can also trek from Chitrakote waterfall till Tamda Ghumar waterfall (around 18-20 kms).

Both Mehndri Ghumar and Tamda Ghumar waterfalls are seasonal waterfalls. If you go by road, you see these two waterfalls from above; but when you trek to these waterfalls, you reach the bottom of the waterfalls, crossing majestic hills and dense forests.

As these treks are still unexplored, they have hidden beauty and at the same time require caution. So always take at least one local person/guide with you. Dress appropriately and wear comfortable shoes. Also carry some food and water.

View from Mehndri Ghumar Waterfall. Pic credit - Anzaar Nabi.
View from Mehndri Ghumar Waterfall. Pic credit – Anzaar Nabi.

3. Camping, stargazing and bonfire

Yes, you can camp at Chitrakote waterfall and it is absolutely SAFE. Camping is available at Tirtha side of Chitrakote waterfall. While camping, you will get to stay in quality tents (on single/ double sharing/ triple sharing basis).

Camping at Chitrakote on a full moon night will surely leave you spellbound. At night, flood lights show the beauty of waterfall. Enjoy bonfire while chit-chatting and dancing with friends and family.

Even without full moon, you can spend the night stargazing. Bring your DSLRs and shoot the night sky with magical milky way; or, simply keep your gadgets aside and have deep conversations with yourself while staring at the million twinkling stars.

Get a taste of authentic local cuisine when you eat tribal food prepared by the local tribal guides.

Camping at Tirtha side of Chitrakote Waterfall. Pic credit - Unexplored Bastar
Camping at Tirtha side of Chitrakote Waterfall. Pic credit – Unexplored Bastar.

4. Boating and mist bath

Boating is available at the bottom of Chitrakote waterfall during all seasons, except during monsoon when it becomes highly dangerous. The boats available here are non-motorized locally-made basic wooden boats.

Local tribals can be seen using tiny wooden boats (one such boat can carry up to two persons including the boatman) for fishing. However, for tourists, little bigger boats are available which can carry 5-10 persons. You are also given safety jacket for any contingency.

Nonetheless, if you are an adventurous soul who is not scared of water, then you should try the tiny boat.

While boating, the boatman also takes you for mist bath; it basically means that the boatman will take the boat as close as possible to the bottom on the waterfall where you literally get a bath from the water droplets flying in the air.

It is here that you realize the enormity of Chitrakote waterfall.

Boating and mist bathing at Chitrakote Waterfall. Pic credit - Vishal Singh Sengar.
Boating and Mist bathing at Chitrakote Waterfall. Pic credit – Vishal Singh Sengar.

5. Detour to other attractions

If you are traveling either by your personal vehicle or by a hired vehicle, do not restrict your visit to Chitrakote waterfall only. Instead, take full benefit of the route as many other attractions come en-route Chitrakote.

So take a detour and do not miss Mehndri Ghumar Waterfall, Tamda Ghumar Waterfall, Chitradhara Waterfall, Narayanpal Temple and Memory Pillars.

Although locals are very well aware about these attractions, majority of tourists hardly know these places.

Chitradhara Waterfall. Pic credit - Anzaar Nabi.
Chitradhara Waterfall. Pic credit – Anzaar Nabi.
How to reach Chitrakote waterfall

Chitrakote waterfall is around 40 kms from Jagdalpur city, Bastar District, South Chhattisgarh. In order to find out how to reach Jagdalpur, please have a look at A Quick and Practical Travel Guide to Chhattisgarh. The most convenient way to reach Chitrakote waterfall is by hiring a private vehicle.

Public buses are also available from Jagdalpur city to Chitrakote waterfall crossing Lohandiguda village. However, public transport is very time taking. The last bus from Chitrakote to Jagdalpur departs at around 5:00 PM in the evening. You can also take shared tempos till Chitrakote and back.

Chitrakote waterfall has two sides. The first one is the main side (touristy) where the bus/tempos drop tourists. The road from Jagdalpur comes straight to the main side of Chitrakote.

The second side of Chitrakote waterfall is the Tirtha side (non-touristy). To reach Tirtha side, while coming from Jagdalpur city, you have to take a right turn 4-5 kms after crossing Lohandiguda village. You will then cross Indravati river bridge. Stay on this road for roughly around 3 kms and then take a left turn towards a village. Stay on it for another 3.5 kms and you will find a V-crossing; take the left road and cross a small bridge and take last left turn. You will find a vehicle parking here for Tirtha side.

Night Camp at Tirtha side of Chitrakote Waterfall. Pic credit - Dheeraj Katara and Chhattisgarh Tourism Board.
Night Camp at Tirtha side of Chitrakote Waterfall. Pic credit – Dheeraj Katara and Chhattisgarh Tourism Board.
Where to stay

If you want to stay at Chitrakote, then you can either camp at Thirtha side or you can stay at the Chhattisgarh Tourism property – Dandami Luxury Resort. There is a PWD rest house as well; but, it is not properly maintained.

Few homestay options, where you can stay with local tribal people, are also coming up soon at Chitrakote; the work is in progress.

However, if you don’t want to stay overnight at Chitrakote, many basic hotels are also available at Jagdalpur.

A local fisherman catching his meal. Pic credit - Unexplored Bastar.
A local fisherman catching his meal. Pic credit – Unexplored Bastar.
Where to eat

You will hardly get anything to eat on your way to Chitrakote waterfall from Jagdalpur, except few packaged food items and hot tea at Lohandiguda. So, pack your food accordingly from Jagdalpur.

During peak season time, you might get few snacks options at the main side of the waterfall.

The Chhattisgarh Tourism Board resort at Chitrakote has its own restaurant that serves basic food.

If you are camping at Tirtha side, camping generally includes freshly prepared local tribal food. However, no food shop is available at Tirtha side as on date.

Some freshly prepared tribal food during camping at Chitrakote Waterfall.
Some freshly prepared tribal food during camping at Chitrakote Waterfall.

If you are interested in visiting Chitrakote waterfall and enjoy the above mentioned activities, I would recommend Unexplored Bastar for all your travel needs.

Don’t just go and see Chitrakote waterfall; truly experience and immerse yourself in its majestic beauty.

Have you ever been to Chitrakote waterfall? How was your Chitrakote waterfall experience? Did you do any of these activities? Let me know in comments below.

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