To the top of Khandadhar waterfall, Odisha
Khandadhar waterfall is a famous tourist destination in the western part of Odisha. Horse tail type Waterfall is a 244 meters drop which secures a place to the list of highest waterfall of India. Khandadhar (Khand + Dhaar) literally means stream coming from the canyon/slit in the hill.
Pauri Bhuiya, a local tribal residing in the area near by, has an interesting story to tell about the fall. It is reproduced here from outlook:
“A Pauri Bhuiya legend speaks of how their mountains came to be so munificent. The Sundergarh branch of the community was once possessed by a rapacious goddess named Kankala Devi, who consumed trees, soil and everything else. In despair, the Pauri Bhuiya placed her on a rock, which she ate through as well—creating a deep hole from which poured out the Khandadhara (split-rock waterfall). So they had water.
Then a couple from the community went to visit relatives at the eastern, or Keonjhar, end of the Khandadhar mountain range. Their prospective hosts were away but a pile of grains had been left outdoors and, amazingly, not even the birds were eating it. Inside the heap, the couple discovered a small goddess, Khand Kumari, protector of the region’s prosperity. They stole her and brought her back to Sundergarh, and so her bounty became theirs.”
As per observations by regular visitors, the stream has reduced and apparent cause is the heavy mining in the adjacent hilly areas. The streams leading to this giant waterfall can be explored in the jungles of Khandadhar. The route to the top is different from the one which leads to the famous location of Khandadhar fall. Follow Lahunipada-Barsuan -Koira road. From Barsuan check post, turn right to reach Khadadhara Mines office.
This serene and untouched jungle is full of small streams of water flowing among the common Saal trees. Trees here can grow up-to a hundred feet straight. In the month of January when we visited, the temperature was moderate and perfect for walking around. Reaching in the early morning paid back in terms of some awesome landscapes. The best season to visit could be from November till February. Although very few visitors come to this place, it is safe for a family outing.
|Interesting layers of the rocks seen around the place|
Life around the valley:
|Many dwellers earn bread and butter working in the mines.|
|A local catching the fish in the water. He overturns a rock and quickly filter the water though the net to catch the fish.|
Butterflies spotted at Khandadhar:
- Large Oakblue (plenty in number)
- Common Pierrot
- Grey count
- Grass Yellow
- Common Mormon
- Grey Pansy
- Common Cerulean
- Common Leopard
- Glassy Tiger
- Common Sailer
- Gram Blue
- Common Crow
|Common Pierrot at a stream|
Acknowledgement:The splendid arrangement was done Dr. Liu and Satwindarji, expert photographers from Rourkela. Students of Third Eye Photography accompanied as well. Thanks to everyone.
How to reach:
- The Khandadhar Falls is 104 kilometers (65 mi) from Rourkela.
- Private and sturdy vehicle must be hired. Road in some part is rough.
- Vehicle must have high ground clearance. In rainy season four-wheel drive is a must.
|Hockey ground near Khadadhara mine office from where a small and simple jungle walk of about 2 Km starts.|
|Trekking from the playground to the top (near the Khandadhara Mines office|