Important Waterfalls in India & the World – UPSC

In this article, You will read the Important Waterfalls in India, and Important Waterfalls in the World – for UPSC IAS.

Waterfalls

A waterfall is an area where water flows over a vertical drop or a series of steep drops in the course of a stream or river. Waterfalls also occur where meltwater drops over the edge of a tabular iceberg or ice shelf.

Waterfalls are commonly formed in the upper course of a river where lakes flow into valleys in steep mountains.

plunge pool (or plunge basin or waterfall lake) is a deep depression in a stream bed at the base of a waterfall or shut-in. It is created by the erosional forces of cascading water on the rocks at the formation’s base where the water impacts.

Waterfalls are an important factor in determining the distribution of lotic organisms such as fish and aquatic invertebrates, as they may restrict dispersal along streams. The presence or absence of certain species can have cascading ecological effects, and thus cause differences in trophic regimes above and below waterfalls. Certain aquatic insects also specialize in the environment of the waterfall itself.

Waterfalls upsc

Types of Waterfalls

  • Ledge waterfall: Water descends vertically over a vertical cliff, maintaining partial contact with the bedrock.
  • Cataract: A large, powerful waterfall.
  • Horsetail: Descending water maintains some contact with bedrock.
  • Plunge: Fast-moving water descends vertically, losing contact with the bedrock surface.
  • Block: Water descends from a relatively wide stream or river.
  • Multi-step: A series of waterfalls one after another of roughly the same size each with its own sunken plunge pool.
  • Segmented: Distinctly separate flows of water form as it descends.
  • Cascade: Water descends a series of rock steps.
  • Punchbowl: Water descends in a constricted form and then spreads out in a wider pool.
  • Tiered: Water drops in a series of distinct steps or falls.
  • Fan: Water spreads horizontally as it descends while remaining in contact with bedrock.
  • Moulin: A moulin is a waterfall in a glacier.

There is no standard way to measure the height or width of a waterfall. No ranking of waterfalls should be assumed because of the heights or widths provided in the list. Many numbers are estimated and measurements may be imprecise.

List of Highest Waterfalls in India

GK Facts

  • Kunchikal Falls in Shimoga District Karnataka is the highest waterfall in India with a height of 1493 feet.
  • The highest waterfall in India (Kunchikal Falls) is formed by the Varahi River.
  • Dudhsagar falls is known as the ‘Sea of milk’, it is formed from the Mandovi River.
  • Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand is known as the city of waterfalls in India.
  • Nohkalikai Falls located near Cherrapunji is the tallest plunge waterfall in India. Its height is 1115 feet (340 metres) and is one of the wettest places on Earth.
  • The Western Ghats are known as the Cherrapunji of South India.
  • Nohsngithiang Falls (also known as the Seven Sisters Waterfalls or Mawsmai Falls) is a seven-segmented waterfall located 1 kilometre south of Mawsmai village in East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya.
Waterfalls in IndiaLocationHeight Metre/FeetFeature
Kunchikal FallsShimoga district, Karnataka455 metres (1,493 ft)Tiered, Highest waterfall in India
Barehipani FallsMayurbhanj district, Odisha399 metres (1,309 ft)2 tiered waterfalls
Nohkalikai FallsEast Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya340m (1115 feet)tallest plunge type waterfalls
Nohsngithiang Falls or Mawsmai FallsEast Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya315 metres (1,033 ft)segmented type waterfalls
Dudhsagar FallsKarnataka and Goa310 m(1017 feet)4 tiered waterfalls
Kynrem FallsEast Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya305 metres (1,001 ft)3 tiered waterfalls
Meenmutty FallsWayanad district, Kerala300 metres (984 feet)3 tiered waterfalls/ segmented type
Thalaiyar FallsBatlagundu, Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu297 metres (974 ft)horsetail type waterfalls
Vajrai FallsSatara district, Maharashtra260 metres (853 ft)3 tiered, 2nd tallest plunge type waterfall
Barkana FallsShimoga district, Karnataka259 metres (850 ft)tiered waterfalls
Jog FallsShimoga district, Karnataka253 metres (830 ft)cascade waterfalls
Khandadhar FallsKendujhar district & Sundergarh district, Odisha244 metres (801 ft)Horse tail type falls
Vantawng FallsSerchhip district, Mizoram229 metres (751 ft)2 tiered waterfalls
Kune FallsPune district, Maharashtra200 metres (660 ft)3 tiered waterfalls
Soochipara Falls, Thoseghar WaterfallsWayanad district, Kerala, Satara district Maharashtra200 metres (656 feet)3 tiered waterfalls
Magod FallsUttara Kannada district, Karnataka198 metres (650 ft)2 tiered/Segmented waterfalls
Joranda FallsMayurbhanj district, Odisha181 metres (594 ft)plunge type waterfalls
Hebbe FallsChikkamagaluru district, Karnataka168 metres (551 ft)2 tiered waterfalls
Duduma Fallsthe border of Koraput (Odisha) and Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh)157 metres (515 ft)plunge type waterfalls
Palani FallsKullu district, Himachal Pradesh150 metres (490 ft)Surge waterfalls
Lodh FallsLatehar district, Jharkhand143 metres (469 ft)2 tiered waterfalls
Bahuti FallsMauganj, Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh198 metres (650 ft)2 tiered waterfalls, tallest waterfall in madhya Pradesh
Bishop FallsEast Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya135 metres (443 ft)3 tiered waterfalls
Chachai FallsRewa district, Madhya Pradesh130 metres (430 ft)on bihad river, comes down from Rewa Plateau
Keoti FallsRewa district, Madhya Pradesh130 metres (430 ft)segmented type waterfall
Kalhatti FallsChikkamagaluru district, Karnataka122 metres (400 ft)
Beadon FallsEast Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya120 metres (390 ft)3 tiered waterfall, twin of Bishop Falls
Keppa FallsUttara Kannada district, Karnataka116 metres (381 ft)fan type waterfall
Koosalli FallsUdupi, Karnataka116 metres (381 ft)6 tiered waterfall
Dabbe fallsShivamogga, Sagar, Karnataka110 metres(360 ft)
Pandavgad FallsThane, Maharashtra107 metres (351 ft)Plunge waterfall
Rajat PrapatHoshangabad district, Madhya Pradesh107 metres (351 ft)horsetail type waterfall
Bundla Fallskaimur district bihar100 metres (330 ft)
Vantawng FallsSerchhip district, Mizoram230 metres (750 ft)2 tiered waterfalls
Shivanasamudra FallsChamarajanagar District, Karnataka98 metres (322 ft)segmented type
Lower Ghaghri FallsLatehar district, Jharkhand98 metres (322 ft)cascade waterfalls
Hundru FallsRanchi district, Jharkhand98 metres (322 ft)segmented type
Sweet FallsEast Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya96 metres (315 ft)horsetail type
Agaya GangaiNamakkal, Tamil Nadu92 metres (302 ft)1 tiered/segmented waterfalls
Gatha FallsPanna district, Madhya Pradesh91 metres (299 ft)
Teerathgarh FallsBaster district, Chhattisgarh91 metres (299 ft)Block type Waterfall
Kiliyur FallsYercaud, Tamil Nadu91 metres (299 ft)fan type waterfall
Kudumari FallsUdupi district, Karnataka91 metres (299 ft)horsetail type waterfall
Muthyala Maduvu FallsBangalore rural district, Karnataka91 metres (299 ft)
Tirathgarh FallsBastar district, Chhattisgarh91 metres (299 ft)horsetail type waterfall
Langshiang FallsWest Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya85 metres (279 ft)
Talakona fallsChittoor district, Andhra Pradesh82 metres (269 ft)highest waterfall in andhra pradesh
Kakolat FallsNawada district, Bihar50 metres (160 ft)cataract waterfall
Athirappilly FallsThrissur district, Kerala25 metres (82 ft)Block/Segmented type waterfall
Chuliya WaterfallRajasthanChambal River
Athirappally Waterfalls
  • The famous Athirappally Waterfalls is located on the Chalakudy River in Thrissur district of Kerala.
  • It originates from the upper reaches of the Western Ghats at the entrance to the Sholayar ranges.
  • It is the largest waterfall in Kerala, which stands tall at 80 feet and is nicknamed “The Niagara of India”.
  • Controversy about a state-proposed hydroelectric dam on the Chalakudy River above the waterfalls began in the 1990s and continued through 2021.

List of Highest Waterfalls in the World

Famous Waterfalls in the World

  • Iguazu Falls – forms a border between Argentina and Brazil. It is the largest waterfall system in the world.
  • Niagara Falls – share the international border of Canada and the United States and lie in the states of new york and province of Ontario. It is a collective name of three waterfalls.
  • Victoria Falls – One of the Seven natural wonders of the world by CNN. It is in South Africa on the Zambezi river and shares the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. 
  • Kaieteur Falls – is in Guyana. It is twice as high as Victoria Falls and 5 times higher than Niagara Falls. 
  • Angel Falls – are the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfalls, on the Churún River, a tributary of the Caroní river.
  • Paulo Afonso Falls – is a series of waterfalls on the São Francisco River in the north-east of Brazil.
  • Livingstone Falls – are a succession of enormous rapids on the lower course of the Congo River in west equatorial Africa, downstream from Malebo Pool in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Boyoma Falls (Stanley Falls) Boyoma Falls, formerly known as Stanley Falls, is a series of seven cataracts, along a curve of the Lualaba River between the river port towns of Ubundu and Kisangani in the Orientale Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Beyond the cataract the Lualaba becomes the Congo River.
  • Tugela Falls – Tugela Falls is a complex of seasonal waterfalls located in the Drakensberg of Royal Natal National Park in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Republic of South Africa.
  • Utigord Falls – in Norway, also known as Ramnefjellsfossen or Utigardsfossen is unofficially listed as the third-highest waterfall in the world.
  • Alexandra Falls – is located on the Hay River in Canada.
  • Idaho Falls – on the Snake River, United States.
  • International Falls – on the south bank of Rainy River, Minnesota, United States.
  • Browne Falls –  is a waterfall above Doubtful Sound, which is located in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand.
Waterfalls in the WorldHeight – Metres/FeetsLocalityCountry
Angel Falls979 metres (3,212 ft)Canaima National Park, BolívarVenezuela
Tugela Falls948 metres (3,110 ft)KwaZulu-NatalSouth Africa
Tres Hermanas Falls914 metres (2,999 ft)Otishi National Park, JuninPeru
Olo’upena Falls900 metres (2,953 ft)Molokai, HawaiiUnited States
Yumbilla Falls896 metres (2,940 ft)AmazonasPeru
Vinnufossen860 metres (2,822 ft)Møre og RomsdalNorway
Balåifossen850 metres (2,789 ft)HordalandNorway
Pu’uka’oku Falls840 metres (2,756 ft)HawaiiUnited States
James Bruce Falls840 metres (2,756 ft)British ColumbiaCanada
Browne Falls836 metres (2,743 ft)Doubtful Sound, SouthlandNew Zealand
Strupenfossen820 metres (2,690 ft)Sogn og FjordaneNorway
Ramnefjellsfossen818 metres (2,684 ft)Sogn og FjordaneNorway
Waihilau Falls792 metres (2,598 ft)HawaiiUnited States
Colonial Creek Falls788 metres (2,585 ft)WashingtonUnited States
Mongefossen773 metres (2,536 ft)Møre og RomsdalNorway
Gocta Cataracts771 metres (2,530 ft)AmazonasPeru
Mutarazi Falls762 metres (2,500 ft)ManicalandZimbabwe
Kjelfossen755 metres (2,477 ft)Sogn og FjordaneNorway
Yosemite Falls739 metres (2,425 ft)CaliforniaUnited States
Cascades de Trou de Fer725 metres (2,379 ft)RéunionFrance
Olmaafossen720 metres (2,362 ft)Møre og RomsdalNorway (Tallest Waterfall in Norway)
Manawainui Falls719 metres (2,359 ft)HawaiiUnited States
Kjeragfossen715 metres (2,346 ft)RogalandNorway
Avalanche Basin Falls707 metres (2,320 ft)MontanaUnited States
Harrison Basin Falls707 metres (2,320 ft)MontanaUnited States
Haloku Falls700 metres (2,297 ft)HawaiiUnited States
Chamberlain Falls700 metres (2,297 ft)SouthlandNew Zealand
Alfred Creek Falls700 metres (2,297 ft)British ColumbiaCanada
Døntefossen700 metres (2,297 ft)Møre og RomsdalNorway
Brufossen698 metres (2,290 ft)HordalandNorway
Spirefossen690 metres (2,264 ft)Sogn og FjordaneNorway
Lake Unknown Falls680 metres (2,231 ft)OtagoNew Zealand
Kukenam, Salto674 metres (2,211 ft)BolívarVenezuela
Yutaj, Salto671 metres (2,201 ft)AmazonasVenezuela
La Chorrera Falls590 metres (1,936 ft)CundinamarcaColombia

World’s highest Waterfalls (Artificial Waterfalls)

Artificial Waterfall in the worldHeight Metres/FeetCountry
Cascata Delle Marmore (Created by Ancient Romans) tallest man-made waterfall in the world165 metres (541 ft)Parco Fluviale del NeraItaly
Liebian Waterfall (largest artificial waterfall in the world, tallest waterfall included in a building)108 metres (354 ft)Liebian International PlazaChina
Rain Vortex – Largest Indoor Waterfall40 metres (131 ft)Jewel Changi AirportSingapore
Cloud Forest Indoor Waterfall35 metres (115 ft)Cloud Forest, Gardens by the BaySingapore
Jurong Falls30 metres (98 ft)Jurong Bird ParkSingapore
Viktoriapark Waterfall24 metres (79 ft)ViktoriaparkGermany
Lotte Music Fountain18.2 metres (60 ft)Aqua Mall, Lotte Department Store (Busan)South Korea

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