Friday, August 26, 2016

The popular Athirapally waterfalls, Kerala

Athirapally, located in Kerala- Tamil Nadu border (about 200kms from Coimbatore) was on my wishlist for long time. Athirapally is often quoted as India’s Niagra. Mid August I finally drove there. The falls is majestic but felt it was not at its best. This post shares photos of Athirapally falls, details on how to reach there and related information.

We watched the falls from 3 different spots. I think below one, visible from the main road without having to buy any tickets, is the best of them.

The other view is from the Chalakudy river bed, where in drops about 24 meters off a cliff. This is the ticketed area and barricades are in place to prevent people from going too close. This spot gives great vistas of the valley and the river and also gives an opportunity to get into river water a bit- for those keen on getting wet. Life guard was on duty, which is good thing, but he was an old man, blowing whistle and asking people to go back.

Best time is when none of the rocks are visible in above picture and water overflows all of them.Looks like August is not the best time to visit. May be September end or October. This implies Athirapally warrants another visit in future. (Or may be the year when rainfall is said to be above average?)

Upstream river is pretty calm and doesn't give any hint of the sudden drop ahead.

Third spot is from the bottom of the falls, opened to public only when river is not overflowing. Expect to see lots of people balancing themselves on small rocks and trying for a perfect selfie

Congress leader Digvijay Singh and his platoon visited the falls on the day of our visit. His vehicles got priority parking right next to entry gate. We lesser fortunate folks had to walk a km from parking spot.

How to reach Athirapally waterfalls?
Because Athirapally is in Kerala and Cochin is the nearest airport, most tourists reach Cochin and then reach Athirapally by road. That would be convenient if you would like to explore few other places in and around Kochi as well – such as houseboats in Alleppy, Kochi city, Kumarakon etc.

Alternate route will be from Valparai. I took a train to Coimbatore, rented a car from Kovai, drove to Valparai, spent a night and then drove further to Athirappally via Sholeyar dam. Athirapally is about 80 kms from Valparai. The drive is great, passing through tea mountains of Valparai and dense evergreen forest of western ghats. Road condition is good. With occasional rains, cool breeze and views, I enjoyed the drive.

Stay options:
There are several home stays around Athirapally should you wish to stay closer. Might be more convenient to do a day trip from bigger cities. Decide based on your preference/convenience.
A few road side hotels and shops are available near Athirapally. If you are not comfortable with them, then pack your food.

Below: Another waterfalls few kms before Athirapally (while driving from Valparai)

Overall, the Athirapally falls is no doubt great, but I feel Hogenakkal on Karnataka Tamil Nadu border can give you better experience all through the year. 
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VJ Sharma said...

Wow. Stunning views and I am sure it would be an awesome experience to sit around and watch these wonders of nature. Lovely pics.

Ami said...

Beautiful pictures. A perfect season to go right now. Will add it to the list of weekend outings :D

Ramdas Naik said...

Superb Pics. How much did it cost for the Myles car you took from Cbe and return? will it work out better than driving from chennai which like yu mentioned might be tiresome

R Niranjan Das said...

Am sure it would swell by September. Lovely captures.

svetlana said...

Wow. Stunning shots. Loved the post. Thank you for sharing.

rupam sarma said...

Woww wonderful. Amazing photos.

Tomichan Matheikal said...

Nice shots of a beautiful place.

Paresh Kale said...

amazing scenes you have captured. TFS.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful water falls.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Rajesh, Paresh, Tomichan, Rupam, Svetlana, Niranjan, Ami, Ramdass and Vijay Sharma...

There were a few typos which I have corrected now.

@Ramdass Naik- you can check on website- about Rs 2400 a day on average for etios, weekday & weekend mix. Diesel extra. If you can get sleeper class tickets, that will cost less than toll amount you have to pay between Chennai and Coimbatore. Anyday it is better to rent at Coimbatore than drive from Chennai all the way.

Atulmaharaj said...

Wonderful place, I've hears a lot about this but haven't been here. Thanks for sharing :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

You are welcome Atul. Do plan a visit

Prasad Np said...

very impressive, I am sure in more rains they will look bigger

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes Prasad... should visit again at that time