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The Small Yet Charming Mendri Ghumar Waterfalls

In the newly formed state of Chhattisgarh in India, Jagdalpur is a fast-growing lively town in Bastar district. This district is renowned for its gorgeous ancient forests and the tribal population living there for thousands of years in complete harmony with nature. The culture is a mix of tribal and Odiya culture.

Thick forests Saag, Saal, Jamun, Ber cover the hills almost completely. Even in the harsh summers, the undergrowth yellows but the hills still look green with patches of rocks. The hills collect ample rainwater that forms streams and rivulets some seasonal and others perennial. These rivers like Indravati are tributaries of the expansive River Godavari.

Mendri Ghumar Waterfall is located in the hills about 24 kilometres from Jagdalpur. The hills around this waterfall have flat plateaus on top and the topography supports myriad waterfalls. In the same region there are many gorgeous waterfalls-Chitrakote Falls, Tirthagarh, and Barasur.

The height of the Mendri Ghumar is almost 70 meters and water flows throughout the year. In summers its water runs unhurriedly and calmly. In monsoon, the gush is ferocious and noisy.

Sometime ago, this region suffered some Naxalite activities. Schools and other public buildings were destroyed and people were scared. However, with the help of locals, the reconstruction of a lot of schools and hostels has been successful. People are feeling safer despite one off incidences.

Being just 44 kilometres from Jagdalpur the location is a favourite picnic spot for residents of Jagdalpur for one day outings. There aren’t any big hotels to stay here but the residents in the region are in the habit of renting out rooms that one can rent out for a night. It is also possible to pitch a tent in the region in the fields when they are dry. One of the main attractions in the region is the weekly flea market that happens on Mondays, which is a must visit if you do choose to visit the region.

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The surroundings are lush green and tranquil. The hills are picture perfect and scenic. This makes Mendri Ghumar a favourite picnic spot for tourists and locals alike and is a great ecotourism destination in the state.

Being a relatively unexplored region the best way to explore the waterfall is by a trek. A short walk from the road through green paddy fields leads to the waterfalls. Though the waterfall is a must see in all seasons, during monsoon the fall is breath-taking. As the trek to the waterfall passes through paddy fields, walking on the narrow borders of the paddy fields is an adventure in itself. There is a distinct echo of tumbling water that you hear much before you spot the waterfall. The water collects in a small reservoir and flows downstream into the Kanger River.

You are greeted with a flat plateau on top of the hill that ends abruptly into a huge crescent of the red black rock face. The arc is obviously the work of years of the raw force of the gushing water that falls 70 meters straight down in the valley disappearing into the virgin green forest. The view is spectacular.

Before the waterfall the water is bouncing off the flattish stones making gurgling sounds and white foam and suddenly at the edge of the cliff it gathers momentum and turns into this hefty cascade. It is amazing to watch the transformation.

One can sit there for hours enjoying the rhythms of water and soaking in the scenic beauty of the place, the millions of shades of green, the glistening rocks and the widespread hills made dreamy with the mist.

Featured Photo: Waterfall by Steven Polunsky under CC BY 2.0

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