The Athirapally Falls situated near Kochi, are rightly called the Niagra of India…
Situated around 55km northeast of the Kochi Airport, as you embark on the journey to Athirapally Falls, you realise that even the road down to the sight is breathtaking! Snake roads filled with an amazing range of flora and fauna – rubber trees, palm trees, coconut trees and small streams running amidst them, you realise that almost all roads in Kerala are scenic and make the drive even more interesting.
Approximately 80 feet high, being a part of the Chalakudy River, the entrance to the falls is steep and is a 2 km trek to the Athirapally Falls. As you walk higher and higher, the forest area is quiet and you can hear different types of birds singing and recognise each bird from its voice. During monsoon, the trek turns slippery and is filled with little frogs jumping here and there. Walk around 15 minutes and you can hear the gigantic voice of the falls and lo! As you climb up, you can see the river flowing past huge rocks and trees. The falls are so huge that for a minute you can’t believe that they can be so huge. You also thank yourself, that the trek is worth it as you again go down towards the falls. You find little children bathing in the river and a few steps ahead and the water goes down!
No wonder, the sight has been a favourite with film directors for their locations. Mani Ratnam’s Raavan, Dil Se, Guru and Iruvar have been shot here.
If one is on a holiday to Kerala, then a visit to the Athirapally Falls becomes a must-watch experience as it is a favourite destination for all those who love the magnificence of nature and beauty. Hire a taxi that takes you to the falls and there are some good resorts also nearby, where you can halt for lunch or dinner. Ideal time to visit the Falls is during the monsoon when the rain water is falling on the river, and fishermen are busy catching fish sitting by the river. Swimming here is not recommended during this time, however you can still find local villagers swimming in unknown waters.
There are many treks around the hilly area to explore the falls and the guide rightly calls it the Niagra of India! You don’t want to leave the place and want to enjoy the falls and the sound even after the sun sets. But as you embark on the next journey, the falls and its beauty lingers on in the mind forever.