Friday, October 16, 2009

Waterfall Around Ranchi

Ranchi is surrounded by several waterfalls, though they are scattered in different directions, if you start early you can cover all these in a day. The Panchghagh and the far flung Hirni lie on the route to Chaibasa. From Dassa, you can also cover Panchgagh, by continuing on the diversion from Taimara to Khunti, Sadni, Lodh, Sugabandh and Mirchaiya are best covered if you are travelling between Netarhat and Betla.

• Jonha Falls – It is also known as Gautam Dhara as Lord Buddha is believed to have bathed here. A temple and ashram dedicated to Buddha was built atop Gautam Pahar by the sons of Raja Baldevdas Birla. A sign clearly proclaims that the ashram was originally meant for people of the Hindu faith as well as all branches of arya dharm (Buddhist, Jains, Sikhs, Sanatani, Aryasamajis). Locals also call Johna the Gunga Nala because the stream apparently comes from Ganga ghat. 453 steps take you down to the waterfall and to the farflung villages of Konardih and Duarsini on the other side of the stream.

• Sita Dhara – Named after Sita who is believed to have bathed here during her years of exile, Sita Dhara is less visited and hence more difficult to access. The steps leading down often get obscured by foliage. Those who take the trouble to go down to the bottom of the fall will be rewarded by the sight of a pair of footprints, which are believed to belong to Sita.

• Hundru Falls – Hundru Falls is perhaps most famous of all. Located at the distance of 45 km from Ranchi this falls is created by the Swarnarekha river falling from a height of over 320 feet.

• Dassam- It means ‘ten’ after the number of rivulets, Dassam atually means falls in the local Mundari language. The Kanchi river plummets from a height of about 144 feet and you can see the waterfall from platforms at different elevations.

• Hirni Falls – The Ramgarha river which travels 12 km through dense jungles, plunges down in a broad torrent as Hirni. From the car park, a walkway to the left takes you to the other side of the river to a tourist hut whereas steps to the right lead up to the top of the hill. From an observation tower at the top you can see the mighty fall and the jungles that lie beyond. A little further up there’s a bridge spanning the river and a shed. It is believed that Hirni name comes from the profusion of deer in the area. Even today, the limestone caves deep inside the jungles above, are home to beasts like tigers, bear and porcupine.

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