Personally, there is nothing I like more than water. I love jumping into water. I love splashing water. I love walking in shallow water. There is something about the way you feel after a good swim, or in my case just splashing it everywhere (I can’t swim). So, it is only natural that I like waterfalls where it is safe to enter the water and Athirapally is at the top of my list for a day in the river. The largest waterfall in Kerala, Athirapally Waterfalls is situated in Thrissur District of Kerala. It is called as the “The Niagara of India” and for good reason too. During the monsoon season the waterfalls are a beautiful sight which resembles the great Niagara Falls in Canada.
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE MOVIES
Athirapally has been featured in many movies. Airshwarya Rai and Preity Zinta danced to their songs in front of these majestic falls and we all exclaimed in awe. But Athirapally is not just about the Bollywood and the movies. If you decide to visit “the Niagara of India”, the pointers below will be of help.
- Take a dip – Athirapally waterfalls might look menacing but the river before the fall is ideal for taking a dip. The clear water is sure to clear your mind of There are tiny falls in the river under which you can stand and let the water fall on your head and shoulders. Nobody gives a better head massage mother nature. However, be extremely careful when you are in the water. Check for any signs of water level rising. Be cautious and make sure no warnings have been declared by the Government against entering the water. Listen to the guards and officials there and you will be safe.
- Trek to the bottom of the falls – On a good day, you can trek to the base of the Athirapally waterfalls. Sprays of water will drench you in an instant and you can take many photos to show the people back home. After all, you are “standing exactly where Aishwarya Rai danced in ‘Bharso Re’ and Preity Zinta posed in ‘Dil Se’”!
- Walk around and enjoy the thick dense trees – If you are someone who enjoys watching monkeys and their mannerisms, you are in for a treat. The forests near Athirapally are home to numerous monkey families, some of whom are friendly. The others might steal whatever you’re holding and run away, so be careful. Just walk around and see how calm and relaxed you can feel even in the midst of crowds.
- Pack a picnic lunch – The best part of Athirapally is how it brings families together. You can pack a picnic lunch and eat it on the side of the river. The beautiful water, your loved ones talking and passing time and the tasty food in your tummy is sure to be a good experience.
SINCE YOU ARE THERE…
Since you are already planning to get to Athirapally, check out these two waterfalls nearby. They may not be as majestic as Athirapally, but are still worth a visit.
Just 5 kilometres from Athirapally waterfalls is Vazhachal. You cannot enter the water there but these falls here are not about the water alone. The scenic forest that surrounds the waterfall is breathtaking. The cool water running down the slanted rock might even drench you with water sprays if you are visiting in the monsoon season.
Charpa is a stopover for a casual photograph or a random craving for Chai(India Tea). It is situated between Athirapally and Vazhachal. These waterfalls are seasonal and if you happen to be visiting in summer, there is a high chance that you wouldn’t see anything scenic there.
YOU UP FOR A BIKE RIDE?
The road from Chalakudy to Valparai, via Athirapally is one of the most beautiful routes you can travel on a bike. Ditch the car and get some motorbikes and travel through this route passing through Kerala’s rainforests. Starting from Chalakudy, the road passes many tourist centres also. Photos will not do justice to this route or the feel you get on a bike ride through this place. Try it yourself. You’ll understand what I am trying to say.
There are other ways to get to Athirapally (obsiously!). The nearest airport to the destination is the Cochin International Airport which is less than 40 kilometres from the waterfalls. Thrissur is the closest city to Athirapally, just 60 kilometres away and Kochi is about 72 kilometres from the falls. The small town of Chalakudy is the nearest town and is 30 kilometres away. Travellers might want to get all the necessary items from Chalakudy since the next stop is Athirapally and most products tend to be more expensive there.
Athirapally is best visited when the rains are pouring over the State. Monsoons bring a different type of beauty to Athirapally. You might not be able to enter the water at this time though. Maybe the greener forests and the breathtaking view will suffice. Don’t forget about that bike ride though. That is sure to make the journey worth every second of your time.