Nature personally takes charge to ensure that Athirapally (Athirappilly) gives a scintillating performance while falling like a spellbinding beauty. Sholayar Forest Ranges lend strikingly green backdrop. River Chalakudy, flowing silently otherwise, turns turbulent at this point. And monsoons pour in voluminous amount of water which keeps this gurgling cascade alive almost for the entire year. Spectators ranging from wild elephants to gorgeous hornbills acknowledge nature’s invitation to watch this spectacle. You simply don’t like the idea of missing the magic, do you? Here’s a complete guide to Athirapally Waterfalls Kerala that intends to educate and inspire you for a trip to this outstanding vista.
Athirapally at a Glance
Known as: Niagara of India
Claim to Fame: Kerala’s largest waterfall, it regularly features in prestigious Indian cinema projects (movies and songs).
Height: 24 m. (80 ft.)
Location: Thrissur District of Kerala
Nearby Towns and Cities: Chalakudy (about 31 km.), Thrissur (about 61 km.) and Cochin or Kochi (about 73 km.).
Highlights at Athirappilly
The Mighty Fall: The excitement starts brewing up as your senses are subjected to the sights and sounds of the cataract from a distance. As you reach the fall, you watch the thundering spectacle sprinkling water all around and creating clouds of mist and fog. However, the real show begins as you descend down via a path amidst lush green canopies and reach the rock-strewn bottom. Get enthralled watching multiple plumes of milky water hitting the surface and forming a beautiful pool. Everything is enough to charm and de-stress your mind.
Verdant Plantations: The entire region is beautified and fragranced by the presence of bamboo, teak, eucalyptus and other sorts of plantations. Every possible shade of green seems to reside in the palettes of nature over here.
The Bamboo World: You would be enthralled watching everything made of bamboo here. From the falls’ entrance gate to the rest houses and tourist huts as well as the washrooms and benches make great use of bamboo which adds to the place’s grandeur.
Rich Fauna: Wild elephants are a common sight near the falls and across the banks of River Chalakudy. In addition, you may opt for a Jungle Safari trip (hosted by the Tourism Promotion Council of Thrissur) to explore the majestic species like tigers, leopards, spotted deer, giant Malabar squirrel, lion-tailed macaques, bison and more.
Exotic Avifauna: Bird-watching in the region is beyond any description. Painted in different shades, the wingers here include Malabar whistling thrush, emerald dove, red whisker bulbul, blue winged parrot and a lot more. However, the best of the lot are the great hornbills, Malabar grey hornbills, Malabar pied hornbills and other varieties of the endangered specie.
Film Shoots: You may come across one or the other shooting unit near the fall. Romantic and dance songs are frequently shot here.
Photography: Whether you are a photography professional or hobbyist, the hotspot offers a lot to prepare an outstanding photo album. Do carry sophisticated lenses to capture the flawless magnificence.
When to Visit?
Being a year-around destination, the falls are busy attracting flocks of tourists all the time. Athirapally Waterfall best time to visit is during monsoons (July-September) as well as post-monsoon months (November-February). Luxuriant greenery, balmy breeze and the fall at its full glory captivate the visitors during these months.
Timings and Fees
Athirapally Falls timings are from 08:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. every day of the week. It is advised to reach early morning if you wish to avoid long queues at the ticket counter. Avoid Sundays and festival days that experience huge crowds. The entry fee is INR 15 per person. You will have to pay additional INR 10 for vehicle entry.
Accommodations: You may choose to stay near the fall by choosing one of the popular Athirappilly hotels, resorts, forest guesthouses and villas offering basic to luxury amenities. Some good accommodations are also available at Chalakudy and Thrissur.
Food: There are limited eating joints near and on the way to the fall. You must prefer to eat and pack at one of the nearby towns or cities. Spicy Kerala cuisines as well as the Indian and international food can be easily availed at these places. Don’t miss the refreshing coconut water. Prefer drinking packaged water.
Shopping: The locally produced honey is available at the Eco Shop (also offering juices and soft drinks) near the fall. It also offers the herbs grown in the region. A variety of souvenirs can be purchased as memories of the trip.
Fuel: Kallely Petrol Pump is only about half a km. from the falls.
Accessing the Waterfall
Here’s how to reach Athirappilly by:
- Road: Buses (state transport and private) ply from Chalakudy to Athirapally on SH 21. You may also board a bus from Thrissur. Alternatively, you may hire cabs and taxis from these cities as well as from Kochi.
- Rail: The closest railheads are Chalakudy (about 34 km.), Thrissur (about 58 km.) and Ernakulam (about 84 km.). Hire taxis or cabs for the connecting road trips.
- Air: Cochin International Airport is only about 53 km. away from the falls. You may easily book cabs or taxis from the airport.
What’s around Athirapally?
- Vazhachal Falls: Only about 5 km. away is another mesmerizing fall amidst riparian forests and surrounded by different flowering plants.
- Charpa Falls: It is located only 3.5 km. from Athirapally and though not very high offers great natural beauty.
- Thumbootmuzhi Butterfly Garden: 15 km. from the fall is this stunning garden boasting of over 180 species of butterflies along with a scenic dam site, children’s park and other attractions.
- Kauthuka Park: About 30 km. away is this ecotourism destination known for living tree hits, walking trees, spices, ponds, caves, hillocks and much more.
- Theme Parks: Get ready for exhilarating adventures at the popular theme parks like Dream World and Silver Storm in the close proximity.
- Thrissur: Do explore the grand temples, churches (including Asia’s highest, Our Lady of Dolour Syro-Malabar Catholic Basilica) and the extravagant Thrissur Pooram Elephant festival (April-May) at this cultural hub of Kerala.
- Kochi: Colonial heritage, backwaters, temples and many other attractions make Cochin one of the top-ranking tourist destinations in India.
- Munnar: If time allows, visit the most celebrated South India hill station of Munnar (about 138 km.) known for tea gardens, tea factory, waterfalls, lakes and a number of adventures.
- Activities: Camping, fishing, bamboo rafting, wildlife safaris and many such activities are within convenient reach of the fall. You may also indulge in Ayurvedic massages and herbal treatments for skin rejuvenation.
You can visit “5 Most Beautiful Waterfalls In Kerala” – http://travel-blog.waytoindia.com/5-most-beautiful-waterfalls-in-kerala/
Things to Know:
- Be careful of slippery paths, leeches and torrential rain if you plan to visit during monsoons.
- Carry umbrellas and rain gear.
- Protect your cameras and gadgets from getting wet due to huge amount of water sprinkled by the falls.
- Night riding is not allowed on SH 21.
- Do choose good walking shoes.
- Getting too close to the falls is strictly prohibited.