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 IndiaLocationFeature
Kunchikal FallsShimoga district, KarnatakaTiered, Highest waterfall in India
Barehipani FallsMayurbhanj district, Odisha2 tiered waterfalls
Nohkalikai FallsEast Khasi Hills district, Meghalayatallest plunge type waterfalls
Nohsngithiang Falls or Mawsmai FallsEast Khasi Hills district, Meghalayasegmented type waterfalls
Dudhsagar FallsKarnataka and Goa4 tiered waterfalls
Kynrem FallsEast Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya3 tiered waterfalls
Meenmutty FallsWayanad district, Kerala3 tiered waterfalls/ segmented type
Thalaiyar FallsBatlagundu, Dindigul district, Tamil Naduhorsetail type waterfalls
Vajrai FallsSatara district, Maharashtra3 tiered, 2nd tallest plunge type waterfall
Barkana FallsShimoga district, Karnatakatiered waterfalls
Jog Falls (Gersoppa Falls)Shimoga district, Karnatakacascade waterfalls
Khandadhar FallsKendujhar district & Sundergarh district, OdishaHorse tail type falls
Vantawng FallsSerchhip district, Mizoram2 tiered waterfalls
Kune FallsPune district, Maharashtra3 tiered waterfalls
Soochipara Falls, Thoseghar WaterfallsWayanad district, Kerala, Satara district Maharashtra3 tiered waterfalls
Magod FallsUttara Kannada district, Karnataka2 tiered/Segmented waterfalls
Joranda FallsMayurbhanj district, Odishaplunge type waterfalls
Hebbe FallsChikkamagaluru district, Karnataka2 tiered waterfalls
Duduma Fallsthe border of Koraput (Odisha) and Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh)plunge type waterfalls
Palani FallsKullu district, Himachal PradeshSurge waterfalls
Lodh FallsLatehar district, Jharkhand2 tiered waterfalls
Rajrappa WaterfallsRamgarh district, JharkhandRajrappa is a Hindu pilgrimage centre
Bahuti FallsMauganj, Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh2 tiered waterfalls, tallest waterfall in madhya Pradesh
Bishop FallsEast Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya3 tiered waterfalls
Chachai FallsRewa district, Madhya Pradeshon bihad river, comes down from Rewa Plateau
Keoti FallsRewa district, Madhya Pradeshsegmented type waterfall
Kalhatti FallsChikkamagaluru district, Karnataka
Beadon FallsEast Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya3 tiered waterfall, twin of Bishop Falls
Keppa FallsUttara Kannada district, Karnatakafan type waterfall
Koosalli FallsUdupi, Karnataka6 tiered waterfall
Dabbe fallsShivamogga, Sagar, Karnataka
Pandavgad FallsThane, MaharashtraPlunge waterfall
Rajat PrapatHoshangabad district, Madhya Pradeshhorsetail type waterfall
Bundla Fallskaimur district bihar
Vantawng FallsSerchhip district, Mizoram2 tiered waterfalls
Shivanasamudra FallsChamarajanagar District, Karnatakasegmented type
Lower Ghaghri FallsLatehar district, Jharkhandcascade waterfalls
Hundru FallsRanchi district, Jharkhandsegmented type
Sweet FallsEast Khasi Hills district, Meghalayahorsetail type
Agaya GangaiNamakkal, Tamil Nadu1 tiered/segmented waterfalls
Coutrallam Falls (Kutralam)Tenkasi district, Tamil NaduChittar River
Gatha FallsPanna district, Madhya Pradesh
Teerathgarh FallsBaster district, ChhattisgarhBlock type Waterfall
Kiliyur FallsYercaud, Tamil Nadufan type waterfall
Kudumari FallsUdupi district, Karnatakahorsetail type waterfall
Muthyala Maduvu FallsBangalore rural district, Karnataka
Gokak FallsBelagavi district of Karnatakalocated on the Ghataprabha River
Chunchanakatte FallsMysore district, Karnatakaon the Kaveri River
Tirathgarh FallsBastar district, Chhattisgarhhorsetail type waterfall
Langshiang FallsWest Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya
Talakona fallsChittoor district, Andhra Pradeshhighest waterfall in andhra pradesh
Kakolat FallsNawada district, Biharcataract waterfall
Athirappilly FallsThrissur district, KeralaBlock/Segmented type waterfall
Chuliya WaterfallRajasthanChambal River
Important Waterfalls in India
Important Waterfalls in India

Kunchikal Waterfalls

  • Kunchikal Falls is located in Nidagodu village near Masthikatte in Shimoga district of state Karnataka.
  • Kunchikal falls cascades down rocky boulders and a total height of fall is 455 meters according to the world waterfall database.
  • Highest waterfall in India
  • Kunchikal falls is formed by the Varahi 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.

Jog Falls

  • The highest untiered (Single Plunge ) falls (253m) of India, located on the Sharavati River in the Shimoga District of Karnataka
  • Also called as Gersoppa or Jogda Guindi
  • Famous tourist attraction
  • An HEP Project has been eastablished near it


  • Located on the Narmada River at Bheraghat town , just 20 km away from Jabalpur


  • Located in the Hazaribagh District where Bhairve (Bhera) joins the river Damodar, falling from a height of 30 ft.
  • In the vicinity lies a famous temple called Chinnamasta Temple
  • There are some impressive rock formations in this area


  • Located in the Ranchi district
  • Panoramic view of it is enahanting and attracts many tourists
  • 320 feet falls on the Subarnarekha highest waterfalls of Jharkhand
  • 45 km from the city of Ranchi


  • Located on the Cauvery in the Dharampuri District of Tamil Nadu , near the Karnataka border
  • The most beautiful fall in southern India
  • Downstream of it we have the Stanley Reservoir and the Mettur Dam.


  • Located in the Mussoorie Valley just 15 kms. from the Mussoorie city.


  • Located near Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh on the Indravati River
  • 29m high
  • Called as ‘Niagara of India’
  • Falls for the full stretch of the river
  • Look majestic in the monsoon season
  • A place of Hindu pilgrimage


  • A waterfall at Kanger Ghati on the Kanger River, just 35 km south–west of Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh.
  • Plunge for 91m in a single drop
  • Highest waterfalls of Chhattisgarh

Rakim Kund

  • Located on the Gayghat River, a tributary of the Ausane River
  • At the edge of the Rohtas Plateau where a series of waterfalls is formed
  • Located in Bihar

Shivasamudram (Cauvery falls)

  • Second biggest waterfalls of India
  • Located in the Mandya District of Karnataka
  • Gardens and parks developed in it add to its beauty.
  • The falls are surrounded by the Kaveri Wildlife Sanctuary


  • Waterfalls located on the Narmada River , in Madhya Pradesh , where it descends from the Amarkantak Hill
  • A distance of 8 kms from the origin of river Narmada, the river falls from a height of 100 feet creating a fall. It is believed that the Kapil Rishi meditated here.


  • Waterfalls located on the Ghatprabha River in Belgaum district of Karnataka
  • 52m high, resembles the Niagara Falls on a smaller scale
  • Horse-shoe shaped at the crest
  • Power generation is being done nearby it.


  • Located on the Western Ghats at an elevation of about 167m in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu
  • It has nine falls
  • Nicknamed as ‘the Spa of the South India’ as its water is believed to have medical properties


  • Located on the Mahana River, a tributary of the Tons, in the Rewa district of Madhya Padesh
  • It’s a knick point fall at the edge of the Rewa Plateau
  • 98m high
  • Segmented type of waterfall with a single drop

Johna / Gautamdhara

  • Situated at the edge of the Ranchi Plateau, it is a hanging valley fall
  • The Gunga River hangs over its master stream, Raru River, and forms the falls
  • Drops from a height of 43 meters
  • An example of a nick point falls caused by rejuvenation.


  • Located in the Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh on the Bihad River, a tributary of the Tons
  • Comes down from the Rewa Plateau for 130m.
  • It is an example of a nick point falls caused by rejuvenation


  • 157 m high waterfalls on the Machhkund River in Orissa
  • Supports a large hydro electric project
  • An important place of pilgrimage
  • It is called Matsya Tirth


  • A tired waterfall on the Mandovi River, located in Goa near the border with Karnataka
  • 60 km from Panaji
  • 310m high – four tiered
  • During the monsoon season it forms one of the most spectacular natural scene

Vajrai Waterfalls

  • These are located just 27km away from Satara in Maharashtra, over Sahyadris.
  • These are the highest waterfalls in India.


  • These are located in the Shimaga district in Karnataka.
  • These are the highest waterfalls in India.
  • These are the second highest waterfalls in India after Vajrai falls (Maharashtra).

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