What comes to our mind when we say Chhattisgarh? Naxalites, rice bowl of India, “Oh! Jharkhand is your cousin”, it was part of Madhya Pradesh earlier. Yes, but it is also gifted with a beautiful waterfall called Chitrakote falls which is often touted as to the Niagara fall of India as it is a visual delight. Chitrakote falls is located on Indravati River in the district of Jagdalpur Of Bastar district in Chhattisgarh. It is located on the Indravati River. It is a single sheet free fall of 98 feet and because of its horse shoe shaped gorge it is often compared to the Niagara falls, even though the width of the fall is one-third lesser than that of Niagara falls, considering it is 980 feet wide. However, during rainy season or floods the width increases and it is filled with mud. A small hindu shrine of Lord Shiva located on the left side along with grottos called Parvati Caves. Also the image of Lord Ganesha is seen.
The weather is pleasant except for summers. Visit of tourists is seen all over the year except for rainy seasons due to floods. Boating can be done in the plane part of the falls.
It is one of the six waterfalls in India which has been classified as germophosites which means geoheritage sites with germophological interest. They have been studied and discussed in seminars by UNESCO, IUGN IUCS and IUG.
In 2008 when then President Pratibha Patil had a visit to this beautiful place there was a terrorist attack on a police vehicle. It was blown up. A small power plant of 7.5 MW capacity has been planned to utilize for irrigation purposes.
The Ministry of Tourism and Development of the Government of India had assessed the potential of this site in 2003 as of a natural “ambience” suitable for development of eco-tourism. Based on this assessment, plans were drawn up to develop facilities such as local restaurants, nature camping sites, a playground for children and platforms to view the falls, and also to improve the road condition, fix signs along the road from Jagdalpur to the falls, and beautify the site. Environmental conditions in the vicinity of the falls are in a preserved state but need attention as eco-tourism develops. As of 2010, some infrastructure facilities had improved. There is a government run hotel at the top of the fall. A series of steps from the garden of the hotel leads to the falls. “Chitrakote Log huts” with basic and modern cabins have also been built at the location.