Khajuraho is known for its erotoc sculptures, and the Raneh falls provide a tourist haven a little away from the city.
Depending on the season one visits the city, Raneh could be roaring waterfalls, or you get to see what is famously known as the Grand Canyon of India.
Well, Gandikota in Southern India is also known by the same name. I have not been to Gandikota to compare the two, but I can promise the beautiful gorge that the Ken River passes through is a sure sight to see.
Raneh falls is about 20km away from Khajuraho en route Panna National Park. It takes about only half a day to visit the falls.
So you can either make a stop here on the way to Panna or make a half-day trip from Khajuraho. I did the latter. I hired an auto guy, agreed to a to and fro trip to Raneh falls from Khajuraho.
Early morning my friend and I set out to visit the falls. So along with the Raneh falls, there are a couple of things you can do. The waterfall is within the forest range of Panna. And so if you go early, you can opt for nature walks, bird watching, visit Ken Gharial sanctuary, and some more. You can get a ticket for all that or to watch the Raneh falls area. We skipped nature walks and other stuff as we had a train to catch in some time. There are also nature guides for you to hire if you wish to.
The auto reached almost close to the gate, and from there, there are neatly laid walkways. We went in December's winter, and so there was no waterfall, just water stagnated in crevices created by the Ken river on the rocks.
But the spotlight is the rocks and not the waterfalls. The stones were reflecting the light so much that it was all bright and shining. The first set of rocks were a contrast of black and pink. It is surprising to see rocks of the same area in different colors. Greenish water from the Ken river had filled up a hole, and it must be one of the waterfalls as the flowing water had left a trail on the rock.
The Rocks In Raneh Falls
The formation of rock in Raneh is intriguing. There are red, pink, black, brown, all different shades of smooth and structured rocks. Do you happen to remember Geography and about the Deccan plateau?
Once upon a time, the Deccan plateau was prone to the maximum volcanic eruptions, and so most of these areas are covered with volcanic basalts. Basalts are the sudden cooling down of the lava eruptions and giving it unique shapes, sometimes columnar, sometimes cylindrical, and so on. Even Ajanta Ellora caves are part of the Deccan Trap too, and you can see such rock formations. The other rock also found at Raneh falls the Granite.
Granite is usually found deep down on earth instead of Basalt, which forms over the lava on the earth's surface. The Granite looks more like crystal, and Basalt more like smoother edges. And it is here in Raneh falls you get to see both the different rock formations of the Deccan Traps.
The pathways are neatly laid, leading to viewpoints from where you can stand and take a good look at the gorge.
The canyon is about 30 meters in depth and runs for 5 km. You don't have to walk for the entire 5km, though. It is said that during monsoon, the water force is too much that it flows through these walkways, and so the place remains closed. I feel more than the waterfalls; the rock pattern is what you need to see, which is best done when it is not a monsoon.
Also read. Erotic sculptures of Khajuraho - Decoding The Sculptures Of Khajuraho
Walking down the river is the Ken Gharial Sanctuary. At the confluence of river Ken and Kudra is the conservation center for Gharial. The Gharial is more like an alligator but an even narrower snout. At this place, you can go boating or sit around and watch Gharial.
We were told that you might get to see them basking on the volcanic rocks either early morning or in the evening. Otherwise, they are comfortable remaining in the deep calm waters of the river.
If you have some more time, you can also visit the Pandav falls, almost inside the Panna National Park.
Stay at Khajuraho and do trip to Raneh falls and Ken Gharial Sanctuary.
Book your stay at Khajuraho here - Accommodation at Khajuraho
Here is a map to figure your way to Ranch Falls: