Waterfalls and Hindi

Namaste! Today we are going to talk about waterfalls and Hindi. We’re going to learn how to say waterfall in Hindi, learn about waterfalls, see photos and more!


  • How to say waterfall in Hindi
  • What is a waterfall?
  • How is a waterfall formed?
  • Photos of types of waterfalls
  • Samta Aunty’s waterfall photography
  • Review of Hindi vocab covered in this post

How to Say Waterfall in Hindi

Waterfall in Hindi is jharna. Click the play button below to hear how it’s pronounced.

This is a tricky “h” word. Hindi has loads of what I refer to as, “tricky H’s”. These are consonants and vowels followed by an “h” sound. And without that ‘h’ sound the meaning of the word could change. They’re tricky because you have to meld two letters together to say it correctly – and for my students (and I) for whom English is our first language, it takes some getting used to. 

What is a Jharna?

A jharna is a river (in Hindi a nadi) or stream that falls off of a cliff.

How is a Jharna Formed?

A jharna is made up of pani (water) and a cliff. Think of the cliff like a cake. It has layers.

At the top is a layer of hard rock. Underneath the hard rock is a layer of softer rock. Both layers of rock erode over time. Erode means that the rock breaks down and disappears because of the fast moving pani that’s constantly flowing on top of it. But as you can probably guess, the softer rock erodes faster than the hard rock.

That means that over time the jharna will get more and more bada (big). And it even moves as the rock fades away. But that takes a looooong time to happen.

The tallest jharna in the duniya (world) is in South America, in a country called Venezuela. It’s 9000 feet! That’s even taller than the tallest building in the world! (the Burj Khalifa).

Salto Angel waterfall after a rainy night. The Salto Angel is the highest waterfall in the word with 979 meter. Canaima, Venezuela.

Types of Jharnas

Did you know there are lots of different types of jharnas?

  • Plunge
  • Cascade
  • Horsetail
  • Fan
  • Punchbowl
  • Block
  • Tiered
  • Segmented
  • Chute
  • Slide
  • Ribbon

Plunge Jharna

Plunge jharnas feature a vertical drop that does not touch the underlying cliff face.

Plunge waterfall

Cascade Jharna

They fall along a sloped surface.

Panther Falls, Rabun County, Georgia on the Tallulah River.

Horsetail Jharna

The name says it all. These jharnas fan out while dropping along a steep slope and maintain contact with the underlying cliff face.

Cascada Cola de Caballo waterfall under Monte Perdido at Ordesa Valley Aragon Huesca Pyrenees of Spain

Fan Jharna

Fan jharnas are similar to horsetail jharnas except they fan out wider. They will descend on a steep slope and maintain contact with the underlying cliff face.

Waterfall Bigar. Located at the intersection with the parallel 45 in Romania

Punchbowl Jharna

These jharnas flow from a narrow stream, then fall over a cliff face into a narrow gorge into a body of water creating an effect that looks like a…punchbowl.

Block Jharna

A block jharna is wider than it is tall. Like Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Canada and Victoria Falls on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Tiered Jharna

A tiered jharna has more than one tier that are close enough together to be seen from one vantage point. The vantage point part can vary a bit depending on the size and location of the tiers.

A long exposure shot of the beautiful tropical Kuang Si Waterfall in Luang Prabang, Laos

Segmented Jharna

A segmented jharna splits into into two or more descending parallel flows or threads.

Foz do Iguacu, Brasil

Chute Jharna

A chute jharna rushes through a narrow channel which causes pressure to build up and a strong gush of water over the drop. Chute jharnas are loud, frothy and difficult to distinguish from rapids.

Murchison Falls, Uganda

Slide Jharna

Slide jharnas sometimes look more like rapids than a waterfall. It depends on the angle of the slope.

Samta Aunty at Yosemite National Park, California

Ribbon Jharna

Ribbon jharnas are thin and long.

Waterfall as seen from Waimea Canyon, Kauai

Jharna’s Samta Aunty Has Photographed

Hindi Vocabulary Review

Waterfall: jharna
River: nadi
Water: pani
World: duniya
Bada: big


Today we talked about jharnas – waterfalls. These beautiful natural phenomena can be found across the globe. In addition to learning the science behind jharnas, there are photos of different types as well as a collection of jharnas Samta Aunty has photographed.

Want To Learn Conversational Hindi?

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About Samta Aunty

I try to be like the quintessential cool Masi, to all of my students. Smiling, loving, and ALWAYS trying to make them laugh.

Welcome and thank you for joining me today! I set out to create an educational platform for desi children to learn conversational Hindi (no reading, no wriring) and their culture in a fun, no stress, and convenient way. Students across the globe take our classes right from the convenience of their living room!

I learned Hindi at home while growing up in southern California. My parents were amongst the first Indian and South Asian immigrants to this country and I appreciated their efforts and those of the Uncles and Aunty’s that worked hard to foster cultural and religious awareness for us first generation American-born desi kids. Especially when they themselves were establishing their lives in a new country.

And now I’m in a position to continue their work. Language connects people. And for the children I teach I’m helping them connect to their grandparents and other loved ones.

Samta Aunty enjoying vegan ice cream.