In this article, You will read the Important Waterfalls in India, and Important Waterfalls in the World – for UPSC IAS.
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.
A 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.
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
- 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 India||Location||Feature|
|Kunchikal Falls||Shimoga district, Karnataka||Tiered, Highest waterfall in India|
|Barehipani Falls||Mayurbhanj district, Odisha||2 tiered waterfalls|
|Nohkalikai Falls||East Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya||tallest plunge type waterfalls|
|Nohsngithiang Falls or Mawsmai Falls||East Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya||segmented type waterfalls|
|Dudhsagar Falls||Karnataka and Goa||4 tiered waterfalls|
|Kynrem Falls||East Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya||3 tiered waterfalls|
|Meenmutty Falls||Wayanad district, Kerala||3 tiered waterfalls/ segmented type|
|Thalaiyar Falls||Batlagundu, Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu||horsetail type waterfalls|
|Vajrai Falls||Satara district, Maharashtra||3 tiered, 2nd tallest plunge type waterfall|
|Barkana Falls||Shimoga district, Karnataka||tiered waterfalls|
|Jog Falls (Gersoppa Falls)||Shimoga district, Karnataka||cascade waterfalls|
|Khandadhar Falls||Kendujhar district & Sundergarh district, Odisha||Horse tail type falls|
|Vantawng Falls||Serchhip district, Mizoram||2 tiered waterfalls|
|Kune Falls||Pune district, Maharashtra||3 tiered waterfalls|
|Soochipara Falls, Thoseghar Waterfalls||Wayanad district, Kerala, Satara district Maharashtra||3 tiered waterfalls|
|Magod Falls||Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka||2 tiered/Segmented waterfalls|
|Joranda Falls||Mayurbhanj district, Odisha||plunge type waterfalls|
|Hebbe Falls||Chikkamagaluru district, Karnataka||2 tiered waterfalls|
|Duduma Falls||the border of Koraput (Odisha) and Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh)||plunge type waterfalls|
|Palani Falls||Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh||Surge waterfalls|
|Lodh Falls||Latehar district, Jharkhand||2 tiered waterfalls|
|Rajrappa Waterfalls||Ramgarh district, Jharkhand||Rajrappa is a Hindu pilgrimage centre|
|Bahuti Falls||Mauganj, Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh||2 tiered waterfalls, tallest waterfall in madhya Pradesh|
|Bishop Falls||East Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya||3 tiered waterfalls|
|Chachai Falls||Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh||on bihad river, comes down from Rewa Plateau|
|Keoti Falls||Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh||segmented type waterfall|
|Kalhatti Falls||Chikkamagaluru district, Karnataka||–|
|Beadon Falls||East Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya||3 tiered waterfall, twin of Bishop Falls|
|Keppa Falls||Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka||fan type waterfall|
|Koosalli Falls||Udupi, Karnataka||6 tiered waterfall|
|Dabbe falls||Shivamogga, Sagar, Karnataka||–|
|Pandavgad Falls||Thane, Maharashtra||Plunge waterfall|
|Rajat Prapat||Hoshangabad district, Madhya Pradesh||horsetail type waterfall|
|Bundla Falls||kaimur district bihar||–|
|Vantawng Falls||Serchhip district, Mizoram||2 tiered waterfalls|
|Shivanasamudra Falls||Chamarajanagar District, Karnataka||segmented type|
|Lower Ghaghri Falls||Latehar district, Jharkhand||cascade waterfalls|
|Hundru Falls||Ranchi district, Jharkhand||segmented type|
|Sweet Falls||East Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya||horsetail type|
|Agaya Gangai||Namakkal, Tamil Nadu||1 tiered/segmented waterfalls|
|Coutrallam Falls (Kutralam)||Tenkasi district, Tamil Nadu||Chittar River|
|Gatha Falls||Panna district, Madhya Pradesh||–|
|Teerathgarh Falls||Baster district, Chhattisgarh||Block type Waterfall|
|Kiliyur Falls||Yercaud, Tamil Nadu||fan type waterfall|
|Kudumari Falls||Udupi district, Karnataka||horsetail type waterfall|
|Muthyala Maduvu Falls||Bangalore rural district, Karnataka||–|
|Gokak Falls||Belagavi district of Karnataka||located on the Ghataprabha River|
|Chunchanakatte Falls||Mysore district, Karnataka||on the Kaveri River|
|Tirathgarh Falls||Bastar district, Chhattisgarh||horsetail type waterfall|
|Langshiang Falls||West Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya||–|
|Talakona falls||Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh||highest waterfall in andhra pradesh|
|Kakolat Falls||Nawada district, Bihar||cataract waterfall|
|Athirappilly Falls||Thrissur district, Kerala||Block/Segmented type waterfall|
|Chuliya Waterfall||Rajasthan||Chambal River|
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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).
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 World||Height – Metres/Feets||Locality||Country|
|Angel Falls||979 metres (3,212 ft)||Canaima National Park, Bolívar||Venezuela|
|Tugela Falls||948 metres (3,110 ft)||KwaZulu-Natal||South Africa|
|Tres Hermanas Falls||914 metres (2,999 ft)||Otishi National Park, Junin||Peru|
|Olo’upena Falls||900 metres (2,953 ft)||Molokai, Hawaii||United States|
|Yumbilla Falls||896 metres (2,940 ft)||Amazonas||Peru|
|Vinnufossen||860 metres (2,822 ft)||Møre og Romsdal||Norway|
|Balåifossen||850 metres (2,789 ft)||Hordaland||Norway|
|Pu’uka’oku Falls||840 metres (2,756 ft)||Hawaii||United States|
|James Bruce Falls||840 metres (2,756 ft)||British Columbia||Canada|
|Browne Falls||836 metres (2,743 ft)||Doubtful Sound, Southland||New Zealand|
|Strupenfossen||820 metres (2,690 ft)||Sogn og Fjordane||Norway|
|Ramnefjellsfossen||818 metres (2,684 ft)||Sogn og Fjordane||Norway|
|Waihilau Falls||792 metres (2,598 ft)||Hawaii||United States|
|Colonial Creek Falls||788 metres (2,585 ft)||Washington||United States|
|Mongefossen||773 metres (2,536 ft)||Møre og Romsdal||Norway|
|Gocta Cataracts||771 metres (2,530 ft)||Amazonas||Peru|
|Mutarazi Falls||762 metres (2,500 ft)||Manicaland||Zimbabwe|
|Kjelfossen||755 metres (2,477 ft)||Sogn og Fjordane||Norway|
|Yosemite Falls||739 metres (2,425 ft)||California||United States|
|Cascades de Trou de Fer||725 metres (2,379 ft)||Réunion||France|
|Olmaafossen||720 metres (2,362 ft)||Møre og Romsdal||Norway (Tallest Waterfall in Norway)|
|Manawainui Falls||719 metres (2,359 ft)||Hawaii||United States|
|Kjeragfossen||715 metres (2,346 ft)||Rogaland||Norway|
|Avalanche Basin Falls||707 metres (2,320 ft)||Montana||United States|
|Harrison Basin Falls||707 metres (2,320 ft)||Montana||United States|
|Haloku Falls||700 metres (2,297 ft)||Hawaii||United States|
|Chamberlain Falls||700 metres (2,297 ft)||Southland||New Zealand|
|Alfred Creek Falls||700 metres (2,297 ft)||British Columbia||Canada|
|Døntefossen||700 metres (2,297 ft)||Møre og Romsdal||Norway|
|Brufossen||698 metres (2,290 ft)||Hordaland||Norway|
|Spirefossen||690 metres (2,264 ft)||Sogn og Fjordane||Norway|
|Lake Unknown Falls||680 metres (2,231 ft)||Otago||New Zealand|
|Kukenam, Salto||674 metres (2,211 ft)||Bolívar||Venezuela|
|Yutaj, Salto||671 metres (2,201 ft)||Amazonas||Venezuela|
|La Chorrera Falls||590 metres (1,936 ft)||Cundinamarca||Colombia|
World’s highest Waterfalls (Artificial Waterfalls)
|Artificial Waterfall in the world||Height Metres/Feet||Country|
|Cascata Delle Marmore (Created by Ancient Romans) tallest man-made waterfall in the world||165 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 Plaza China|
|Rain Vortex – Largest Indoor Waterfall||40 metres (131 ft)||Jewel Changi Airport Singapore|
|Cloud Forest Indoor Waterfall||35 metres (115 ft)||Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay Singapore|
|Jurong Falls||30 metres (98 ft)||Jurong Bird Park Singapore|
|Viktoriapark Waterfall||24 metres (79 ft)||Viktoriapark Germany|
|Lotte Music Fountain||18.2 metres (60 ft)||Aqua Mall, Lotte Department Store (Busan) South Korea|