Swift and sometimes torrential, waterfalls are dramatic, inspiring poets, painters and writers and their breath taking beauty evokes many feelings. They are motivating and addictive. If you are looking forward to a respite from the maddening city life then let yourself loose in the lap of the nature and feel and enjoy the beauty of the cascading waterfalls.
It is near to the entrance of the Sholayar range is a place of great scenic beauty. Here, the water plunges from a height of nearly 80 feet before joining the Chalakudi river. Vazhachal is just a drive from Athirampally, this picturesque spot is adjacent to dense green forest.
A tranquil and much needed escape from the troubles and stress of life. Let the soothing sounds take you to some of natures most relaxing places East of Chalakudy, near the entrance to the Sholayar forest ranges, are the beautiful waterfalls of Athirampally and Vazhachal (Prounced as vaazhachaal).
The charm of the Athirapally and Vazhachal nature cannot be described by words, Starting calmly from the high ranges, and crashing through gorges overhung with trees, these waterfall is one of the best places in India to re-capture a real sense of the classical idea of the "Picturesque"...not just calm and sweet, but something wild and natural.
Perched high above in the the Sholayar forest ranges on the fringes of Kerala's famed rain forests, the waterfalls provides a restful escape for those wanting to leave the hurried pace of city life behind. wild and beautiful, unspoilt by the passing of time.
A tranquil and much needed escape from the troubles and stress of life. Let the soothing sounds take you to some of natures most relaxing places Both this waterfalls are a part of the Chalakudy river and 5 km apart on the road to hill station (valparai) which has excellent tea estate and is one of India's highest elephant density habitats and is a crucial corridor between Perambikulam and Malayattur.
How to get there ?
Athirapally & Vazhachal is just 90 km from Cochin and is a popular picnic spot. Bus services are available from Chalakudy on Cochin Trichur highway or you can catch a cab (Taxi) from Chalakudy Town or Railway Station. This scintillating waterfall in thick green forest is a part of the Chalakudy river stream.
Major Attractions Nearby
While the waterfalls are the highlight of this region, there are quite a few places to see in and around Athirapally.
The Vazhachal waterfalls are located very close to the Athirapally falls and are a part of the Chalakudy river stream. Vazhachal is popular for its flora and herbal plantations (maintained by the forest department) apart from the scintillating waterfalls set in the backdrop of a lush green forest. This is an ideal picnic spot too.
Two water-theme parks - the Dream World and Silver Storm are located to the west of Athirapally.
The Thumpurmuzhi gardens are located amidst the two water theme parks. The water from the river is redirected to deep tanks at Thumpurmuzhi, creating a waterfall like impact. The gardens are well maintained and have scenic surroundings.
The lesser-known Charpa falls are situated to the east of Athirapally. The water plunges on to the road in the monsoon, so get ready to get drenched if you are visiting it in the rainy season.
If you take a ride through the deep forest and high ranges you will come across the Malakapara tea gardens. Around 50 kilometers from Athirapally, this tea garden has picturesque surroundings and sometimes one can spot wildlife here.
Vachumaram is a calm and beautiful lake surrounded by hills. If you are lucky, you can spot deer and wild elephants here.
A few kilometers from Vachumaram (about 20 kilometers from Chalakudy) is Anakkayam (which means elephant pit). Tourists will find a serene lake, bubbling streams, natural rock formations and flora here.
The Peringalkuthu and Sholayar Dams are situated deep in the forest on the way to Valpara. Both the dams generate hydroelectric power to the state and entry to the dam site is with special permission only.
Moreover, the Chalakudy River is known for its diversity, as it contains 85 species of fresh water fishes out of the 152 species known from Kerala. Among these, 35 are endemic species of the Western Ghats and nine are considered to be endangered.
Nearby Places of Interest
The enchanting but lesser known Charpa falls which plunges on to the road during monsoon is a sight to watch and enjoy.
About 20 km from Chalakudy on the sholayar peringalkuthu route, Anakkayam means the "Elephant pit". It is noted for a lake with cool and placid waters. The place is a forest untouched by human encroachments and is a haven for those who wish to escape from concrete jungles. It attracts the visitor with its bubbling streams, natural rock formations and flora.
Water Theme Parks
For those who want a little extra recreation there are two water theme parks nearby with plenty of adventure games and water sports.
Malakapara Tea Gardens
For the adventurous a family safari through the deep forest and high ranges (Western Ghats) complemented with lots of hairpin curves takes you to the fascinating sculptured beauty of Malakapara tea Gardens. Along the route if you are lucky you may end up seeing some good wildlife.
Thumpurmuzhi is an ideal stopover with its garden, scenic splendor and a classic waterfall.
Other Waterfalls in Kerala
Thommankuth waterfalls is another marvellous wonder of the nature situated at 74 kms from Cochin. There are buses from Thodupuzha, which is 18 kms away from Thommankuth. Hotels and restaurants are available at Thodupuzha.
This waterfall falls in the border of Kerala and Tamilnadu. Its access is 35 kilometers east of Punalur on the Quilon - Shenkottah road. It is near Ariankavu mountain pass. 5 kilometers away is the spectacular Palaruvi waterfall at an attitude of 300 ft. with smaller cascades nearby. There you can see ruins of ancient temples. The water is said to be medicated as it flows down from the forest and is said to be a preventive for many diseases.
This is a tiny village nearly 15 kms from Malayattur. The crystal clear medicated water of the River Mulamkuzhi and the waterfalls of Venanbravady near Malayattur is an enchanting sight. There is also a confluence of the rivers Periyar and Perumthode.
This place is located between Munnar and Pallivasal, and a beautiful sight of waterfalls and rolling hills can be seen here. Attukal is also ideal for long treks
The Cheeyappara and Valara waterfalls are located between Narimangalam and Adimali on the kochi-Madurai highway. The Cheeyapara waterfalls cascade down in seven steps. It is a real feast for the eyes.
10 Kms from Munnar, located between Munnar and Rajamala Nyamkad is a land of breathtaking waterfalls. The Waters cascade down a hill from a height of about 1600 meters, the enchanting surrounding make an excellent picnic spot and trekking point.
Power House Waterfall
18 Km from Munnar, this waterfall is on the way to Thekkady from Munnar, which cascades down to step rock 2000m above sea level. The spot is enriched which the scenic western mountain range and is an ideal place for a break on the way to the Periyar Wildlife sanctuary.
Lying 50kms east of Kozhikode, Thusharagiri is a little tribal tourist spot in Kerala. Tow streams originating from the Western Ghats meet here to form the River Challipuzha. The river diverges into three waterfalls, creating a snowy spray, which gives the name 'Thusharagiri' which means 'snowy peak'. A 5km trek upstream will take one to the stream's origin. Of the three waterfalls, the highest is the Thenpara that drops 75 metres below.
The Kesari waterfalls, also known as Valanjamkanam falls, lies between Kuttikanam and Murinjapuzha on the Kottayam-Kumaly route. Valanjamkanam is a 3 hr. journey from Kottayam by any bus to Kumaly; trek to Kuttikanan offers additional adventurous spirit and closeness to nature.
This lies a few kms away from Eerattupetta. It is exactly 7 kms from Teekoy rubber estate. From here a private vehicle can take you further 2 kms after which the road is not motor able. To reach the falls one has to trek through the estate over the rocky path. The waterfall is about 60 metres in height, falling into a 12-meter deep pool and joins the River Teekoy way down.
A Dhoni waterfall is a 3 hours trek from the base of the Dhoni Hills. A thick reserve forest surrounds it. Dhoni is about 15 kms from Palakkad.
A Meenvallam waterfall is around 8kms from Thuppanad junction on the Palakkad- Manarkkad route. It is a combination of enchanting beauty and scenic splendor. The water falls from nearly 20 to 25 feet and the depth is around 15-20 feet. There are 10 steps of waterfalls of which eight are located in the upper hills inside the dense forest. They are inaccessible, only the remaining two steps are accessible. One has to hire a jeep from Koomankund junction and then trek a distance of 1.5 km by crossing the river Thuppanad.
Perumthenaruvi is a famous waterfall on the banks of the River Pamba. Here, the water flows down a rocky bed into a ravine 60 to 100 feet deep. The place is a favourite picnic spot for both domestic and foreign tourists.
60 kms from Thiruvananthapuram and 7 kms from Bonecaud estate are the beautiful Aruvi Waterfalls in the Peppara forest range. This 4 feet cascade is one of the most verdant and untouched spots in Kerala. Road accessibility is only up to Bonecaud, there on; the Kanni tribesmen accompany trekkers along the mountain path. Prior permission from the forest department is required before approaching the area.
Kombaikani and Meenmutti Waterfalls
These are two magnificent waterfalls on the upper reaches of the Neyyar Reservoir. A trek of 2 kms through dense forests, would take one to Meenmutti waterfalls and a further 2 kms, to the Kombaikani waterfalls. The waterfalls and forecasts around them are worth experiencing.
Chethalayam Waterfalls is located 12kms from Sultan Bathery. One has to trek around 4kms from Chethalayam for having a glimpse of this lovely waterfall.
This waterfall is about 30 m in height and gives a panoramic view. It is located 12 kms southeast of Kalpetta
Meenmutty Waterfalls has a cascading waterfall in three tiers, from a height of 500 metres. It is located 12kms east of Meppadi
Sentinal Rock Water Fall
Sentinal Rock Water Fall is 22kms at Soochipara near Meppadi, south of Kalpetta. A three step water fall of more than 200m in height with a fantastic scenery provides for white water rafting, swimming, bathing, etc., The tree top huts at Soochipara will give unique view of the valleys of Western Ghats. It is also an ideal place for rock climbing.
Soochipara Waterfalls is located 22 kms from Hotel Green Gates. One can reach the waterfalls only after a 2-km walk into the dense equatorial forest of Wayanad.