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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Ranchi waterfalls beckon you. What are you waiting for?

There are at least five major waterfalls near Ranchi that are worth visiting during rains; locals eagerly awaiting your visit.

ranchi Updated: Jul 14, 2017 20:53 IST
B Vijay Murty
B Vijay Murty
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
Jonha falls near Ranchi
Jonha falls near Ranchi(B Vijay Murty/ HT Photo)

It’s rainy season and Ranchi’s waterfalls are at their picturesque best. Barely between 30 and 40 km away from the city are located three beautiful waterfalls—the Dassam, Jonha, and Sita—that are brimming with water and are in full flow.

The tourism department has made adequate arrangement to attract visitors but the staffs and locals at the three tourist sites are disenchanted with the low turnout of visitors. Among the three waterfalls, Jonha witnesses a steady flow of visitors due to its proximity to the main road connecting block headquarters Silli to Ranchi. However, bulk of the visitors comprises local youngsters, especially couples. Families and tourists are still awaited.

Dassam, too, attracts a sizeable number of visitors on dry and pleasant days, but despite presenting an exuberant view, the waterfall still awaits a large number of visitors. Similar is the case with Sita fall, which is barely 5 km away from Jonha, but hardly sees 10-20 visitors a day, according to local staffs.

Fear of Left wing extremism (LWE), criminals, lack of proper sheds to take shelter during downpour, missing eateries and rest houses have kept tourists away from these majestic waterfalls. Locals aptly argue that if these waterfalls were in any western or southern Indian states, they would have attracted tourists in hordes in all the seasons.

Sita falls near Ranchi
Sita falls near Ranchi ( B Vijay Murty/ HT Photo )

“We sit here from 8 am to 6 pm but hardly get to see 5-10 visitors a day,” said Laxman Mahato, one of the four staffs engaged by state tourism department on contract for proper upkeep and maintenance at Sita Fall. He said since this area falls in the Red corridor and there is hardly any place to take shelter, visitors refrain from coming here. And since there are no visitors, local villagers too show no interest in setting up eatery stalls here, he added.

At Jonha, Mangal Munda, a local vendor said, rains liven up the falls but the visitors often keep at bay. “We hardly even manage to earn Rs 100 a day,” he lamented.

However, Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation (JTDC) officials feel conditions have immensely improved and so has flow of visitors. JTDC general manager Rajiv Ranjan said, the number of visitors swell into thousands during weekends. On weekdays, there is steady flow.

He said, for the convenience of tourists, Paryatak Mitras (tourist friends) have been appointed at all the major waterfalls in the state. “These tourist friends, who get a daily remuneration of Rs 225, assist visitors in all ways. We have also floated tenders for construction of more sheds at these waterfalls,” he said.

For the uninitiated, the majestic Sita Fall has a mythological significance too. As per folklore, during vanvasa (asylum in forests) Lord Rama had spent considerable time with his wife Sita near the waterfall. Her footprint is also found here, preserved under a temple shaped shed. Hence, the name Sita Fall.

The water here falls from 300 feet high mountain, while in Jonha, also popular as Gautam Dhara because of a Gautam Buddha temple here, water falls from 56 feet high rocky hill. Locals said Gautam Buddha stayed near the fall for a long time and meditated at the age-old temple.

In Dassam, which is also 40 km from Ranchi, the waterfall is 144 feet high.

First Published: Jul 14, 2017 20:53 IST

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