Athirapally falls – Biggest Waterfalls in Kerala
About Athirapally falls – Biggest Waterfalls in Kerala
Athirapally Falls is located in the Athirappilly panchayat of Chalakudi Taluk in Thrissur District of Kerala State. This is the biggest natural waterfall in Kerala which is approx 82 ft in height and 167 ft in maximum width. Chalakkudi river which originally originates from Anamudi mountain ranges in the Western Ghats flows in Tamil Nadu also and when it enters Kerala, its called Chalakkudi River. Before it falls from a height of 82 ft to the bottom of the rocks, it flows via Parambikulam and sholayar forest, crosses two dams – Peringalkuthu and Sholayar dam. The interesting thing about the Chalakkudy river is that it flows flat from the Peringalkuthu dam to Thumboormuzi Dam making it easy to walk on the river bed when there is no raining or flood. If you want to take a bath in the river, this is the perfect place. Since the two dams constructed to generate hydroelectric power, the river is always having water therefore you can see the waterfall round the year. But intensity or the force of the water may much less and you can see the water is falling from four, three or two different channels, depending on the water in the rive during summertime. Please see below the picture of the falls during monsoon season and summertime.
1) Athirapally Falls during monsoon:
2) Falls during summer or when there is no rain:
Wheel Chair or handicapped person allowed?
Wheel chaired persons can see the waterfall from the top. You need to go approximately 500 meters from the gate through a paved pathway which is wheelchair friendly. You cannot access the down below place by handicapped or wheelchair persons.
How much time Require to Visit Athirapally falls?
It depends on what you want to experience during your Athirappilly visit. You need an hour’s time to see the falls from the top only and 2.5hrs to see from the top and bottom provided you are physically fit. A half-day required for all the sightseeing in Athirappilly along with the waterfall from both sides. But during holidays and weekends or when there is a huge crowd, you may need almost a full day to cover the entire Athirappilly sightseeing.
Entry to Athirapally and Vazhachal Water Falls:
The waterfall is under the Vazhachal forest division; therefore, the forest department is responsible for the upkeep or the maintenance and security of the persons visiting the place. They have made elaborate arrangements so that the visitors have a safe and memorable day in Athirappilly. The forest department arranged an entry point from which you can enter subject to the entry fee. Below are the details of the entry tickets.
|Children 5- 12 yrs||Rs 10|
|School/College Children with school letter duly signed and stamped||Rs 10|
|Children up to 4 yrs||Free|
|Foreign National||Rs 150|
|Still Camera||Rs 50|
|Video Camera||Rs 150|
Things To Know Before Visit Athirapally Waterfalls
- Open at 08:00 hours and entry close at 16:30 hours. The entry fee is Rs 40 per adult, Rs 10 for Children, and 150 for foreigners.
- You can see the waterfall from two different places. One is from the top and the other is bottom.
- Since the pathway to the bottom is too steep, persons with breathing and heart problems should avoid this. Wheelchair or handicapped persons cannot access the bottom of the falls.
- Bathing in the river is possible in selected places. So keep your changing clothes with you before entering.
- Plastic bottles or water bottles are allowed to carry subject to a security deposit. You will lose the security deposit in case these are not taken back.
- Eateries are not allowed inside the forest.
- A wheelchair is accessible at the top of the falls provided you need to bring your own.
- Entry tickets once bought should be kept safely as the same is required for Vazhachal falls also.
- If you are going on the bottom of the falls, ensure you have normal footwear and carry an umbrella.
- Menace of monkeys is all around Athirappilly.
- Very limited space is available for parking. In case parking is not available, you need to park your car on the roadside. Even if you need to walk a little more, ensure you parked your car safely.
- Public washroom facility available at top of the waterfall.
- The best time to visit the waterfall is from 09:00 hours till 11:00 hours or afternoon from 15:00 hours onwards.
Top 10 Tours and Activities in Athirappilly:
- Athirapally waterfalls
- Chapra waterfall
- Vazhachal waterfall
- Thumboormuzi hanging bridge and Garden
- Peringalkuthu Dam
- Sholayar Dam
- Athirappilly Jungle Safari
- Athirappilly bird watching
- Dream World Water Park
- Silver stormwater theme park
Experience the Wildlife in Athirappilly
Athirappilly village falls under the Vazhachal forest division which also has Charpa, Vazhachal, and Sholayar forests in its jurisdiction. The importance of this forest division is – low elevation riparian forest in the Athirappilly – Vazhachal area which is the home of the different types of Indian Hornbill locally called “Mazamuzakki Vezambal”. The famous four types of hornbill found in this area are the Great Hornbill (State Bird of Kerala), Malabar Pied Hornbill, Malabar Grey Hornbill, and Indian Grey Hornbill. This place is also famous for inhabitants of Asiatic Elephants, tiger, leopard, bison, sambar, and lion-tailed macaque. There are many incidents of human attacks by leopards at Malakkappara and Valparai which is located 60 km from Athirappilly. There are many spotting of wild elephants crossing or standing on the Athirappilly- Malakkapara route by the persons traveling by road.
How can I see wildlife at Athirappilly?
If you like to observe wild birds in their habitat, Athirappilly is one of the best places for you. You can easily spot wild Malabar Squirrel and Great Hornbill for sure. After you get the entry tickets for Athirapally waterfalls, you need to walk approx 500 meters on the paved pathway which goes to the top of the waterfall through the thick forest which has tall trees. Walk slowly and look around on the trees; you can see this in this place.
A jungle safari to enjoy the wild beautifies of riparian forests of Athirappilly and Vazhachal is being conducted by the Thrissur District Tourism Promotion Council. This tour covers the Athirappilly-Vazhachal-Sholayar forest area, many waterfalls in this area like Athirapally, Vazhachal, Thumboormuzi, Charpa, and Anakkayam along with sholayar dam are the main attraction. Get more details about these famous waterfalls of Kerala.
Best Time to Visit Athirapally falls:
As we have mentioned earlier, the waterfall is in the Chalakudi river which originates from Anamudi Mountains in the Western Ghats, therefore completely dependent on rainwater. Before reaching Athirapally, the river passes through two dams constructed for hydroelectric power ie Peringalkuthu and Sholayar. Therefore, the best time to visit this place is during and after monsoon ie from Jun till Sep when the river is almost overflowing and the width of the falls reaches up to 70 ft or little more. It starts reducing after that and falls width also gets reduced but still is a good option to visit till Feb. Summer starts in Kerala from Feb onwards and water in the falls is also get reduced to four, three, or two channels. Even if the rain is less or not raining, due to power generation from the two dams, a small volume of water used to flow in the river making the waterfall is live round the year.
How best you can experience the Athirapally waterfalls?
You can see and experience the waterfall from the top as well as from the bottom also, therefore; the best way to experience the waterfall is from both sides. Since the entry ticket counter is near to the top of the falls, get the tickets, and proceed directly to the top of the fall. You need to walk 500 meters to the fall from the entrance. This is the top of the fall from where the water start flows down. You can experience the waterfall flows down, the vast river, and nearby areas from this place. You can have good landscape photos of the falls along with other places also. Now another option is to go to the bottom of the fall from where the experience is also very good.
Experiencing the waterfalls from the bottom. As we mentioned earlier, the total height of the fall is 82 ft. Though this is just 300-400 meters walking to the bottom of the falls, due to several reasons, access is difficult. The pathway towards the bottom of the fall is just 4/5 ft in width, there is no proper road constructed except rock paved way to the bottom which is too steep in some places. This pathway is always slippery during the rainy season. Finally, when you reach the bottom, you need to walk little on a muddy path, there is no proper place where you can sit for some time and take photos except the big rocks and inclement weather. The sight of the waterfall from the bottom is worth a memorable experience whether your clothes wet due to tiny droplets of the water or dirt on your shoes. But the experience or the view of the fall is so beautiful; you will forget everything for a moment.
How to Reach Athirappally Waterfalls?
Below are the details of how you can reach Athirappilly from different tourist destinations in Kerala.
1) By Airport:
- In case you are reaching to Kochi airport and like to proceed to Athirappilly, you have only two options. One is by private taxi and others by local bus.
2) By Railway Station:
- If you are coming by train to Kerala the nearest railway station is Chalakudi. Another suitable railway station is Aluva. Ernakulam railway station is a little far off from Athirappilly.
3) From Kochi city, Fort Kochi, or Ernakulam:
- The best route to reach Athirappilly is from Ernakulam is via Chalakkudi. You might have seen a google short map via Angamali-Kariyamparambu – Ezattumugam bridge. But this road via palm tree plantation is damaged.
How to include Athirapally waterfalls in your Kerala tour itinerary?
Before including this destination in your Kerala itinerary, four important things you should to know:
- This place is a more beautiful and must-visit destination during or after the monsoon. Monsoon in Kerala start from Jun, therefore, this is a must place to visit from mid-Jun till Sep end. The volume of water gets reduced when the rain is stopped and you can see the falls till Feb.
- You do not need to stay overnight in Athirappilly to see the waterfall, but you can include this as a sightseeing option during your trip to Kerala.
- If you like a forest, greenery, countryside, river bed, taking a bath in the river – you should consider staying in Athirappilly. Below are some of the tips which help you to plan how Athirappilly can be included in the trip.
- This place is located opposite side of common visiting places like Munnar, Alleppey, Thekkady, or Kochi. Therefore, keep in mind that you need 2 hours of extra travel time to visit this place.
Below are the tips to add Athirappilly on your Kerala trip:
- If you are traveling by train to Kerala for the trip, you can alight at Chalakudi Railway Station which is just 30 mins drive. In case your train does not stop there, the next suitable is Aluva railway station. It takes an hr drive by road to Athirappilly.
- If you are reaching Kochi airport by evening, either you can stay at an airport hotel and then the next day morning visit this place. But most suitable is to stay at Athirapally, visit the next day and proceed to your next destination. This will save you travel time.
- If you are reaching Kochi airport in the morning before 9 am and proceed to Munnar, you can visit Athirappilly and then go to Munnar.
- Suppose you are on a family holiday with children or bachelors, an overnight stay s recommended.
- If you are staying in Kochi you can visit Athirappilly on a full-day tour. In case your flight in the evening or late evening, we recommend you visit this on the last day and then proceed back from the airport. You can save a few taxi charges.
Where to Stay at Athirappilly
The most beautiful thing after the waterfall is the Chalakudi River. We recommend you to choose any homestay or hotels which are located on the river banks will be a good experience for you. You can also stay in hotels on the roadside, but the experience of staying and enjoying the beautify of the river and the countryside is always memorable. Please contact us as we have the best riverside resorts information.
Restaurants Near Athirapally:
Athirappilly is a famous tourist destination among Keralites and tourists coming from outside Kerala. Therefore, all types of South and North Indian foods available in Athirappilly. Most of the restaurants are located close to the Athirapally waterfalls entrance. If you want more options like a buffet, there are good hotels in Athirappilli offer this facility.
Shopping in Athirappilly:
Visit echo shop called “Vanasree” just in front of the entry gate of Athirapally waterfalls. You can buy some unique products from here and help a community who is living near the forest. The Kadar tribal group who lives nearby forest is estimated to be approx 2000 odd people who mostly depend on collecting forest produce mainly honey. They used to sell these specialty products in Vanasree shop.
Best Athirappilly Tour Packages:
Athirappilly is one of the best destinations in Kerala which offers a verity of sightseeing options and activities for all types of tourists whether its honeymooners, family with children, or bachelors. Experiencing the biggest waterfall in Kerala, bird watching, enjoying wildlife, a unique and unforgettable open bathing in the river, or spending some time in the water theme park, all these make the tourist a memorable holiday in Athirappilly. This destination is suitable for a weekend holiday and short trips also. SreesTours have designed affordable and comfortable tour packages for all types of people who are looking for a holiday in Athirappilly are given below.
- A day out from Kochi to Athirappilly. If you are visiting or staying in Kochi, you can do a full-day excursion to Athirappilly. More details About the Athirapally package from Kochi.
4-weekend trips to Athirappilly with nearby destinations.
· 2 days Athirappilly weekend holiday. More details about the Athirapally weekend package.
· 2 days Athirappilly and Aleppey package. More details about the Athirapally and Alleppey tour package.
· 2 days Athirappilly and Cherai beach package. More details about the Athirapally and Cherai beach package.
· 3 days Alleppey Houseboat and Athirappilly package. More details about the 3 days Alleppey and Athiapally package.
· 3 days Alleppey Houseboat, Kumarakom village, Athirappilly, Cherai Beach, Fort Kochi. More details this 3 days Kerala package.
Other Packages Covering Athirapally:
. 5 Days Kerala Tour Package Covers Munnar, Alleppey, Fort Kochi & Athirapally Waterfalls. More about this 5 days Kerala package.
. 6 Days Kerala Tour Package Covers Munnar, Thekkady, Kumarakom (Alleppey) Kochi, and Athirapally. More details about this 6 days Kerala package.