The Athirapally Waterfalls in Trichur, Kerala, are often referred to as the Niagara Falls of India. They come crashing down from a height of 80 feet, and are an amazing sight to behold.
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
How to get here
Both Athirapally and Vazhachal are 90 kilometers from Cochin. The
nearest airport is Cochin and tourists can get to Athirapally by road
from here. Bus services are available from Chalakudy on the
Cochin-Trichur highway. The Chalakudy Railway Station is around 30
kilometers from Athirapally and tourists can hire a cab or taxi from
the station to Athirapally.
There are a couple of resorts at Athirapally that offer a comfortable stay.
What to buy
Athirapally is popular for herbs, wild honey, herbal soaps, bamboo wall hangings and hats.
You can visit the waterfalls only between 8 am and 6 pm everyday.
Consumption of alcohol or smoking is strictly prohibited.
Swimming in the falls is prohibited too, as it can be very dangerous.
Visitors are advised to refrain from feeding animals as the waterfalls are plastic-free zones.
The best time to visit Athirapally is just after the monsoon season, when the waterfalls would still be in full force. September to February is the ideal period to visit.
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