A lot of people claim that there aren’t that many adventure spots in Varanasi and sometimes the spiritual overdose in Varanasi does get to the nerves. It cannot be denied that there are some amongst us who love the great outdoors. People who love to go on jungle treks, climb hills, bird watching – nature is the perfect aphrodisiac for such folks. And it so happens that Close to Varanasi in the neighboring district of Mirzapur lie some beautiful, scenic locales where small tribal settlements dot the hills. The area has not so high hills formed from the famous Chunar rocks-extremely hard rocks used in the erstwhile days to build huge forts.
About 55 kms from the city of Varanasi, lying ensconced in the hills is a beautiful waterfall that drops down in to a lovely lake surrounded on all sides by rocky cliffs. The water from the fall flows downstream in the form of a small stream whose bed is covered with boulders all the way downstream for almost a mile. And to reach the waterfall, you have to climb, slide,walk,twist and turn through these boulders. There is no other way, you see. Interested? Read on.
The place we are talking about is Lakhania Dari and is the perfect place to spend a day away from the crowded streets of Varanasi. And once you are out of the city limits, the journey to the place itself is refreshing. The tree lined road stretched in to the green fields and small rocky hills. A little further ahead, you can see the meandering river stream with small tribal settlements and small tribal boys herding their cattle. This place is on the national highway that connect Varanasi to Robertsganj and its easy to miss the entrance to Lakhania Dari if you don’t know the place. The entrance is just around a bend that has a bill board with the name Lakhani Dari on it, and there is a small shop owned by Chhote Lal who sells packaged water, Chai(tea) and some snacks. Leave the road and climb up and you will see a track through the bushes leading ahead and not very far, you will see the stream from the waterfall with boulders perched at just the right degree, offering a cool site to sit down and have your bottle of beer or juice – the choice is yours, of course.
But this is just for the picnickers. If you really want to reach the waterfall, you will have to trek for almost a mile through these boulders, yes, you heard it right. You have to climb and jump over these boulders to reach the water fall. And let me tell you that it’s not easy. You have to be extremely careful or else, you will have to turn back with a sprained ankle. So when you decide to go, get some tough shoes with solid grip. If you slip, well, it’s your head against the rock. And do not go there during the rainy season, not until you are an expert in rock climbing. Those rocks can get very slippery.
On the way to the waterfall, you will see some caves that lie high up on the face of the walls of the hills. It is said that they were inhabited by men who roamed and hunted in this area long before the TV and telephone was invented. But only a trained rock climber might be able to reach those caves if he has the right equipment. So after the arduous trek through the rocky bed, when you finally reach the waterfall – you will love it, it’s really worth the journey. The water where it falls has created a small lake and surrounding the lake is the rocky cliff on the other two sides where you can lie down and listen to the mesmerizing sound of the falling water. The area is relatively cool and so is the water and if you are a good swimmer, well, jump in. How deep is the lake? Nobody knows. Can’t be too deep though. Only one way to find out, jump in!
The water is clean and cool. The place is frequented by very few people as not many know of its existence. On Sundays though, you will find a crowd of families gathered for picnic. It’s a great idea to pack some ice and bottles of beer and lie down on the rocks by the lake and chill out. For the journey, do not forget to carry water bottles and fresh juice. The small trek does make you thirsty if it’s a sunny day. And yes, we would request you to carry back your empty bottles and food packets etc and not just litter it away like many others do. We do not want to set a bad example, do we?