Water holds a great fascination for mankind, whether as a lake, a brook, a river, a sea or an ocean, but waterfalls have a fascination all their own as they gurgle and tinkle down hillsides, showering us with water droplets and dancing away amidst the greenery and sunlight with a grace all their own.
If you are visiting or living in Chennai, you can actually plan to spend a wonderful day visiting one of these nearby beautiful waterfalls or even travel a little to enjoy their unique beauty.
Waterfalls near Chennai (Within 250 kilometres)
1. Ubbalamadugu/Tada Waterfalls
Popularly known as Ubbalamadugu Waterfalls, the falls at Tada are in the midst of a dense forest called Siddulaiah Kona in Kambakam Hills which is a popular destination for people who enjoy physical activity and want to go trekking and climbing, with a suitable guide.
A popular picnic spot, the area is very scenic and full of streams amidst lush greenery.
Distance from Chennai: 91 Kilometres
2. Kailasakona Waterfalls
These waterfalls are in the midst of Nagari Hills, in Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh. Originating from a split in a massive rock, these 30-metre falls are perennial and their crystal clear and pure waters contain a number of minerals and have medicinal properties.
The place is extremely calm and picturesque with scenic surroundings and good arrangements for tourists. No one is allowed to climb to the top of these falls.
Distance from Chennai: 92 Kilometres
3. Talakona Waterfalls
These gorgeous falls are situated in the middle of Sri Venkateswara National Park near Nerabailu village in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. Falling from a height of 270 feet, these falls are a sight to behold, amidst their green surroundings.
The waters are considered to have healing powers and the forest around the falls offers a rich and diverse variety of flora and fauna, making it one of the last haunts of endangered animals like slender loris, golden gecko and mouse deer.
Distance from Chennai: 192 kilometres
4. Dumukurallu/ Kaigal Falls
This natural waterfall is perennial but most impressive in the monsoons, where the Kaigal stream falls from a height of 40 feet amidst the greenery in the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary. This waterfall is found in a dense forest, where there is a great deal of flora and fauna for the observations of the nature lover.
A location perfect for a picnic, this waterfall also has religious significance for worshippers of Shiva.
Distance from Chennai: 234 kilometres
Waterfalls near Chennai (Within 500 kilometres)
5. Amirthi Zoological Park
The Amirthi River forms a waterfall at the Javadu Hills of Tellai, within the Amirthi Zoological Park premises. The park, with waterfalls and animal habitats, is a popular tourist spot. One half of the park is built for the pleasure of tourists, while the other half is a wildlife sanctuary.
The pool formed by the Amirthi Falls is open to swimmers, and animals in the sanctuary include foxes, spotted deer, crocodiles, peacock, eagles, etc.
Distance from Chennai: 254 kilometres
6. Papanasam Waterfalls
The term, “Papanasam,” translates to “absolution of sins.” These waterfalls promise to absolve people who take a dip, of their sins and physical ailments. The waters are rumoured to have medicinal properties, and that soaking in them feels like an oil massage.
These waterfalls are located in the town of Papanasam in the Thirunelveli district. On a secular note, these waterfalls are astoundingly beautiful – surrounded by the forests of the Western Ghats.
Distance from Chennai: 309 kilometres
7. Puliyancholai Waterfalls
Visit the Kolli Hills to see the Puliyancholai waterfalls in the middle of a forest of tamarind trees. The scenic surroundings are extremely enjoyable and one can go trekking in the forest or bathe in the natural springs springs. Trek to the Shiva temple which is 12 kilometres to the falls or visit the Pithukkuli cave.
Distance from Chennai: 339 kilometres
8. Hogenakkal Waterfalls
If you want to visit a waterfall where you can swim in the pool at its base or go trekking in the surrounding forests with dense foliage and teeming wildlife, Hogenakkal is where you will head to. The swimming is not for novices though, as the waters can prove challenging, depending on the time of your visit.
Accommodation and food are available at Dharmapuri nearby and the place is developed for tourism.
Distance from Chennai: 343 Kilometers
9. Agaya Gangai Waterfalls
Hidden away among the hills of the Western Ghats, the Agaya Gangai Falls are famous for the medicinal properties of their waters and the herbs that grow in the forests surrounding them.
People believe that disease can be cured by bathing in these waters. The Falls can be reached by climbing down 1300 steps, or doing a five hour trek.
Distance from Chennai: 369 kilometres
10. Shivanasamudra Waterfalls
Also known as Shivasamudram (Shiva’s Sea) waterfalls, this is popular tourist destination offers segmented waterfalls, with many parallel streams falling in graceful streams, next to each other. Shivanasamudra is an island which is divided by the river Kaveri in half.
Try and visit the falls during the monsoons for a breathtaking experience. The natural beauty at this location is unparalleled.
Distance from Chennai: 460 kilometers
11. Ethipothala Waterfalls
The Ethipothala Falls are located in the Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh. The River Krishna has several tributaries, including the Chandravanka River, which forms the source of these waterfalls. At a distance of 11 kilometres from Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, there’s a viewpoint for the falls from a nearby hill.
A pond formed by the waterfalls is a breeding ground for crocodiles requiring safety measures. Fed by a stream from the Dam, these falls are perennial.
Distance from Chennai: 481 kilometres
12. Thalaiyar Waterfalls
These falls are the highest in Tamil Nadu and the third highest in India. You can see them from miles away as you approach them along the ghat road. It is necessary to trek about six kilometres to reach the falls. The waters are not really safe for bathing in.
Distance from Chennai: 485 Kilometres
Waterfalls near Chennai (Over 500 kilometres)
13. Mallela Theertham
The Mallela Theertham Waterfall can be found in the Nallamala forest. The childhood desire of playing in the pool near a waterfall can be satisfied here. the location is plucked from a postcard in a souvenir shop, and the waters fall from 150 feet, surrounded by a dense, thick rim of green forest. Sometimes, however, the flow of the water can grow too strong. Sages have stayed here, and tigers are said to visit when the weather is warm.
Distance from Chennai: 509 Kilometres
14. Bear Shola Falls
Legend has it that these falls used to quench the thirst of a bear. The falls are famous even otherwise for their beauty and the scenic surroundings. Rainy season sees the falls at their best drawing many people to visit here and enjoy a picnic.
Distance from Chennai: 512 Kilometres
15. Silver Cascade Waterfalls
The Silver Cascade Waterfalls are born from the Kodaikanal Lake, and are found in the Lower Ghats, at a distance of around 8 kilometres from Kodaikanal Bus Stop. The Waterfalls are 500 kilometres from Chennai.
The waterfalls and their surroundings are popular for their beauty and peace and offer souvenirs at gift-shops, as well as shopkeepers who sell fruit. One may even find visiting monkeys, that live around the waterfall.
Distance from Chennai: 519 kilometres
16. Catherine Waterfalls, Coonoor
This beautiful waterfall amidst the Nilgiri Hills offers spectacular views and a great opportunity for trekking. The double cascades of these falls come down from a height of 250 feet, as the river Kallar forms the falls, named after a lady called Catherine Cocburn, who introduced coffee plantations to Yercaud and Kotagiri in the Nilgiris.
Distance from Chennai: 527 kilometres from Chennai
17. Vaideki Falls
Located close to Coimbatore, these falls are also called Tholayira Murthi Kandi with the current name being derived from a movie which was made here. It is not easily accessible to visitors and is surrounded by abundant wildlife. One of the best falls near Chennai.
Distance: 532 kilometres from Chennai
18. Kutralam Waterfalls
Anglicised to Courtallam, the Kutralam waterfalls are also famous as the Spa of the South with the waters of these nine falls offering medicinal qualities. Biggest among the nine is Peraruvi, which falls from a height of 60 metres. Water can be found at all times of the year and visitors come here from all over India, with the peak season being February to October.
Distance from Chennai: 625 kilometres
19. Ulakkai Aruvi Falls
These beautiful falls in the hills of Kanyakumari district are extremely beautiful and offer a hard challenge to anyone who wants to visit them, after an hour-long trek through the forest. These perennial falls run low during the hot months but the water is always cool here and bathing in the waters is allowed.
Distance from Chennai: 691 kilometres from Chennai
20. Thiruparappu Waterfalls
Also known as Kumari Kuttalam, these waterfalls in the Kanyakumari district flow for seven months in a year and offers scenic beauty and a great pool for swimming, with even children having a safe pool for swimming. The Mahadeva temple near the falls is one of the important Siva temples in the district.
Distance from Chennai: 829 kilometres from Chennai
Water is really great fun to play with and the falls near Chennai are extremely exciting and inviting places for this reason. But it must be remembered that water could also prove extremely unsafe if we approach it without necessary precautions and this is probably an important caution to practice when visiting any of these waterfalls. Got any questions? Do let us know in the comments.