The Peculiar Road
The once inaccessible fall has legendary stories of presence of flying snakes which added to the mystic aura of the place. On one hand, the narrow road cuts across remote hamlets, solitary farms, few dilapidated schools and barren parched fields while on the other, the presence of a heavily guarded police station with armed watch towers and electric fences seemed enigmatic. The condition of the road and the absence of any sign posts make the journey arduous and seemingly endless.
Shining like a diamond on the top of a distant hill, the sparkling waterfall finally comes into view after a diversion of almost 45 km from the main road in Keonjhar district. As one walks on the red muddy path, the loud roar of falling water reverberates through the dense canopy. The dazzling, almost blinding white reflection that emanates from the top of the fall is a spectacular sight. The sheer drop against the brazen rock face is a sight to behold.
The silvery streak of water gets divided into four minuscule falls after it hits rocky protrusions at the bottom. This natural intervention results in a refreshing spray of small water droplets. Standing near the fall with closed eyes and experiencing the flurry of tiny droplets caress your face, will let one feel unencumbered, free to reinvent oneself and the world as one deems fit and for a sliver a time, might believe it too. The noise of all discordant thoughts disappears in the ubiquitous sound of flowing water. Such rejuvenation can never be experienced in any spa therapy centers.
The Mountain Village
It is difficult to comprehend the presence of a tiny village consisting of around 10 families on top of the cliff. On further enquiry, it came to light that the presence of the stream has made the mountain soil fertile and selling home-grown vegetables in the local market was the only way of sustenance for these people. Just when one would be leaving with the thought of harsh life in the mountains, one might encounter group of women folk and children shrieking with juvenile glee and manic laughter returning with empty vegetable baskets on their way back up in the hills. May be this is how one is supposed to live, rejoicing in nature’s harmony.
Wee places like Khandadhar, are not much travelled. May be the reason why the area is still pristine and wild. Sometimes it is pleasing to know the dominance of nature which limits unnecessary human intervention. The inaccessibility of the fall till recent years has kept Khandadhar waterfall the way it should be – mystic, enigmatic and hidden.
Getting There: Khandadhar falls is located in Keonjhar district. Approximately 200 km from Bhubaneswar, Keonjhar is well-connected by rail and road.
Best Time to Visit: November to March
Transport: The only viable option to reach the falls is by booking a private cab. There is no public transport to this area.