Athirapally and Vazhachal Waterfalls in Kerala

Written by Sudhir Kumar

Athirappally Waterfalls and Vazhachal waterfalls are two popular tourist destinations situated in the Sholayar forest ranges in Thrissur, Kerala. Athirappally Falls is about 80 feet high and is one of the most enthralling sights to visit in Kerala, India. Located in the forest area, the beauty of cascading waterfalls made it a popular shooting location for numerous movies. The Athirappally Falls is 60 km from Thrissur city and 70 km from Kochi. Visit for more  India Travel Places.

About Athirapally and Vazhachal Waterfalls in Kerala :

Athirapally & Vazhachal falls are situated in Thrissur District, in the state of Kerala. Situated on the border of Sholayar forests of the Western Ghats, which are the rain forests of Kerala, Athirapally & Vazhachal are famous mostly for its 42 meter high waterfalls. These waterfalls are perennial, and fall from an average height of 300 meters above sea level. These waterfalls consist of 14850 hectares of tropical wet, evergreen, semi-evergreen and moist deciduous riparian forest ranges. Athirapally & Vazhachal forests is one among the five main territorial ranges of Vazhachal Forest Division, the others being Charpa, Vazhachal, Kollathirumedu and Sholayar. The protected forestland of Athirapally & Vazhachal is one among the world’s top biodiversity hotspots, as it serves as a home to endangered, as well as some threatened species of flora and fauna. Athirapally & Vazhachal also draw attention of biologists because its forest ranges are situated at a low altitude of just 300mts, which in itself a unique phenomenon in the whole of Western Ghats.

The strikingly magnificent waterfalls of Athirapally & Vazhachal are situated at River Chalakudy, which originates at the upper ranges of the Western Ghats called Anamudi Mountains. River Chalakudy is the main river which flows down through the Vazhachal Forest Division till it reaches Athirapally & Vazhachal. The rocky river-bed at Athirapally & Vazhachal makes the river water turbulent and it gushes forward around big rocks to form segmented water cascades. The Athirapally & Vazhachal waterfalls consist of three waterfalls, the biggest of which is 42 meters high and 220 meters wide. This place supports the natural riparian ecosystem and this ecosystem consists of about 319 species of flowers out of which 24 are endemic to the Western Ghats and 10 are rare and endangered. Out of 85 species of fresh water fish found in River Chalakudy, 35 are endemic and 9 are endangered species.

The Athirapally & Vazhachal Forest Ranges is also the natural habitat of species like the great hornbill, Malabar pied hornbill, Malabar grey hornbill, Indian grey hornbill, Asiatic elephant, tiger, leopard, bison, sambar and lion-tailed macaque. Athirapally & Vazhachal also offers adventure activities like river rafting, trekking, etc. September to February is the best time to visit Athirapally & Vazhachal. These waterfalls are the main reason why wildlife thrives at this place.

Surrounding Attractions :

Valparai : A heavenly hill resort with lot of tea plantations around and has a good elephant density which is the highest in India.

Vazhachal : This waterfall is part of Chalakudy River. It is a beautiful waterfall and a famous picnic spot located on the border of the Sholayar Forest Range in Kerala.

Annakayam : Annakayam is a serene place not spoiled by human encroachment. It has a calm lake which is relaxing and the water is soothing. You could reach there by traveling 20 km from Chalakudy.

Charpa Falls : Charpa Falls is located between Athirapally and Vazhachal Waterfalls and is very close to the road.

Peringalkuthu & Sholayar Dams : These dams are constructed across the Chalakudy River and are located deep inside the forest on the way to Valparai. The dams generate hydroelectric power to the state and with permission from the government you could visit these places.

Water Theme Parks : There are two Water Theme parks in Athirapally which offers lots of adventure games and water sports. They are the Dram World and Silver Storm.

Thumpurmuzhi Gardens : It is famous for its idyllic location, consisting of well maintained gardens, a good waterfall and green surroundings.

Distance from Athirampally waterfalls :

Thrissur: 61 Km
Kochi: 87 Km
Ernakulam: 71 Km
Kumarakom: 132 Km
Alappuzha: 132 Km
Kottayam: 142 Km
Idukki: 143 Km
Kuttanad: 150 Km
Munnar: 151 Km
Kozhikode: 186 Km
Kollam: 219 Km
Thiruvananthapuram: 280 Km
Kovalam: 289 Km
Kasargod: 371 Km

How to get there:

Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (IATA: COK, ICAO: VOCI)
Nearest Railway Station: Thrissur
Road: Athirampally and Vazhachal waterfalls are well connected by the road network. Bus services are available from Chalakudy on Cochin Trichur highway or you can catch a cab from Chalakudy Town or Railway Station.

Location: Thrissur, Kerala
Nearby Attractions: Chapra Falls, Dream World Amusement Park, Silver Storm Amusement Park
Best Time to Visit: June to October

About the author

Sudhir Kumar

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