Kakochang – I am sure, not many of you have heard of it. And believe me, I too heard about it just a couple of days back before I set out to explore what it is all about. And having set my foot on this utterly adventurous journey, my jaw dropped not only on witnessing its beauty but that how such a pristine nature’s hub could be hidden from the world around?
Kakochang waterfall also known as kakojan is an amazingly beautiful waterfall set amidst untouched and unexplored nature’s bounty. Geographically it falls under Karbi Anglong district of Assam. However, this waterfall is accessible from Bokakhat, a small town in the Golaghat district of Assam. From Bokakhat, Kakochang base is at a distance of around 12 to 14 km and from the base, the trek of around 4 km would take you to the Kakochang waterfall.
OUR JOURNEY BEGINS:
From Bokakhat Town we started our journey at around 8 AM. You can on your Google navigator and it will guide you to a point after which you have to find your own way. But it’s easy. The locals are very helpful and friendly and they will surely show you the right way.
The road at first is very smooth but as you move ahead, the kutcha road starts that will give you some tight bumps and jumps. But never mind, the scenic attire on both your sides is too good to set your mood off. On your left, there is a tea garden and you must stop for a while to witness its serenity and feel its raw flavor.
As you move ahead suddenly you realize that you are detached from a world that mattered to you so much till now. But the detachment comes as a fresh whip of air and you just start loving it instantly.
As we parked our car in our base, we got prepared to go off on a trek of which we had no idea and no guidance from any previous visitor. This is because not many people know about this place. The reason behind it is that the waterfall was open for public just a year back. Later we came to know from the locals that in 1971, the government ordered to close Kakochang for public because a huge fight had taken place between some tourists and the local villagers. After which no one heard of Kakochang until recently when it was open again.
TREK ON THE MAINLAND:
Our trek began by crossing a crystal clear river on foot and that was the moment when I realized that we are heading to something really magnificent. Besides the scenic view, the river set out our mood with its purity and the pristine river bed that was just so transparent. We could clearly see small fishes hastening their ways as to escape from the chaos we created for them.
Just at the start of our trek to Kakochang Waterfall, there is a beautiful Karbi Village (Karbis are an ethnic tribe of Assam). The women gather firewood from the forest, carrying them in the baskets that they hang with a rope over their heads. It was a beautiful sight here where the small children were taking bath in the cold water of the river enjoying lives at its best and I cannot imagine a better childhood than this.
I interacted with few ladies to know about the route to the Kakochang waterfall and they said that we have to cross around 5 to 7 rivers to get to it. That was pretty exciting to hear. As we crossed the first river and moved ahead, the road started getting darker and loner. You have to carry a really good pair of shoes because the road is full of small stones and river pebbles. Barefoot would make it difficult to walk. However while crossing the rivers you have to open the shoes every time so instead, you may carry a strong pair of floaters.
After crossing about half a kilometer, we caught up on the second river which has little more depth than the previous one. The surrounding too was little dark as the whole route is now covered with tall bamboo bushes and other taller trees. I was little skeptical of moving further as there were no one to be seen and crossing through such dense forest I was fearing an encounter wild animals. When I shared it with our other 3 group members, they laughed away and assured me that nothing of that sort would happen.
Little more ahead and I could feel an air of relief when I saw two ladies walking towards us from the opposite direction. They were local inhabitants and on asking them about a possibility of meeting any wild animals (that had been my fear till now on this trip), they laughed away too and told us not to fear but make our way clear. I thanked God at heart for having met these ladies who assured us of the trek that lay ahead.
Then, the third, the fourth, the fifth, and the sixth river we crossed with the ever-growing curiosity of nearing our destination. In between, while crossing one of the rivers I slipped on one of the stones below water and got myself all wet. That was a pretty good fall and all I could do was to laugh away together. You have to be really careful while passing by the rivers as some stones below are very slippery.
Each river we crossed compelled me to marvel at the beauty of the Mother Nature. How beautifully and gracefully God created this world. Different shades of leaves on the trees would remind you how colorful our world is. Throughout our trek, we could just fill our words with praise, praise and only praise.
After crossing the seventh river, the trek would suddenly lead you to a steep hill unexpectedly. The climb is tiresome but once you are at the top of it you feel as if you are at the top of the world. The river below looks amazing against the hills at the backdrop. Wait, we are yet to reach our desired destination.
From the top of the hill you have to keep walking for a while and there you can spot jhum cultivation done by the villagers. There are varieties of vegetable gardens which are purely organic. We were taken aback by the ladyfinger garden. Never in our lives have we seen such huge ladyfingers. The narrow route suddenly opens up to an open space and at last, we could see few villagers with their kids. There is a bamboo hut which is set by one of the locals and he uses it to sell fruits and vegetable to the trekkers.
So, it seemed to be the end but where is the Kakochang waterfall? The man pointed his finger towards his left and as we moved few steps, there we stood at the top of the hill to witness the marvelous sight that we had been trekking for. Yes, the gorgeous Kakochang waterfall with all its grace and might stood in front of us and I could just feel its magnanimity by just looking at it from the top.
But there is still quite a hard way to reach to the bottom of it. We had to literally slide down because it is a small way with no proper stairs to crawl down. For a moment I thought I won’t be able to make it but we hold on to each other to get down to the bottom. The waterfall welcomed us with the sprinkles of water from afar. As we got down, we could not hear each other because of the sound created by the waterfall.
We all jumped in happiness as we successfully landed at our destination. The waterfall falls from a height of 40 to 45 feet. The surrounding is deep dark green and the mysterious environment that it creates is one of its kinds. I cannot express in words, how wondrous, how peaceful, how gorgeous, how beautiful and how soulful, Kakochang waterfall is.
Adventure and trekking lovers must not anyhow miss the opportunity of exploring Kakochang. Another heaven awaits you. As we stood below the Kakochang waterfall, the breeze that touched us took away all our pain. Journeys like this definitely clean our soul and mind. And journeys like this do tempt us to opt for such more tours.
While on our back journey, we tasted some local delicacies served to us by the people in the hut. They were eating rice cooked in bamboo cookware with boiled local vegetable and believe never have I tasted such delicious no-oil foods. The locals Karbi people would fill your hearts with their love and kind gestures. I promised them that I shall be back soon to be with them for a happy meal together.
We did not forget to bring our souvenir which is a bamboo cup and some wild banana flower and wild pineapples.
Team up Kakochang with Kaziranga:
The best thing about Kakochang Waterfall is that you may always team up your travel plan to Kakochang while going to Kaziranga. It is just a few kilometers from Kaziranga to Bokakhat from where you can head towards Kakochang. But you cannot plan both Kaziranga and Kakochang on the same day. Kakochang trek needs a full day so that you may explore it well.
How to Reach Kakochang Waterfall:
There are many private and public bus services running from Guwahati to Bokakhat.
Trains are also available. The nearest railway station is Furkating in Golaghat.
The nearest airport is in Jorhat.
Where to stay:
There are many hotels and lodges in Kaziranga and Bokakhat. If anyone wants to experience ethnic homestay, we can arrange that in a Karbi household in a nearby village.
When to Visit:
Best Time to visit Kakochang is from Oct to March.
Where and what to eat:
Before heading for your trek, make sure you eat properly because there are food services on the way. You may carry snacks and fruits. Plan your trek to Kakochang on a Sunday as there is local market held nearby and you may get to grab some really local flavored delicacies.
Things to carry on Kakochang Trek:
- A good camera is a must
- A good pair of shoes
- A good pair of floaters
- Few bottles of water
- Put sunscreen
- Sportswear is best suitable
Hope this article on Kakochang is a help for you, my dear readers to plan your trip ahead. Thanks for reading and visiting my blog. For more related articles, you may also read….
Picture Courtesy: Kabyashree Borkotoky
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