Athirapally Waterfalls in Kerala, the “Indian Niagara Falls”!

Often referred as the Niagra of India, the Athirapally waterfalls in Kerala is the largest waterfalls in the state. Falling from a height of 80m, this splendid waterfall is a delight to witness. It is situated in Chalakkudy [Thrissur district] on the 145 km long Chalakkudy River which originates from the Western Ghats and flows to the Sholayar Forest. The location is so beautiful that it has served as a setting for many blockbuster Indian movies like Raavan, Guru and Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se to name a few.

Athirapally

Though I have heard a lot about Athirapally Waterfalls, I never made a visit. Finally, last week I decided to travel to Athirapally. From my hometown Cochin, Athirapally is nearly 70 kms, a 2 hour drive. I started early morning 6am. There are 2 ways to reach Athirapally from Cochin, one is taking a right diversion after Angamaly junction which is the Mukkannur- Ezhattumukham road, and other is from Chalakkudy. I must say both ways to Athirapally are two of the most scenic routes you would have ever come across. I took the Mukkannur- Ezhattumukham road which comes shortly after the Cochin International Airport near Angamaly.

From Cochin, it is the shorter route. However, if you are travelling by car, I would suggest you pick the Chalakkudy route as i suffered a bit moving the other route. The Chalakkudy- Athirappally road is in good condition and therefore a better than the former. As I started driving through the Mukkannur- Ezhattumukham road, I came across some blissful sights of the countryside. No wonder people love this route. There were oil palms, rubber estates, gorgeous rivulets, and smiling estate workers all along. The route passes through many beautiful villages as well. I stopped at certain spots for few clicks.

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Take a look below-

I reached a check-post, where we need to buy the ticket to enter the Athirapally Waterfalls area. It is Rs. 30 per person. For still cameras, you got to pay Rs. 20 and Rs. 200 for video cameras. From there, nearly a 100 m away, there is a sweet spot for the visitors. We get a long yet spectacular view of the Athirapally Falls. The below is an image taken from the spot

A short walk from there got me to the Athirapally Waterfalls entrance. There are lots of food joints and other shops adjacent to the entrance. I started walking through the pathway inside. It takes a 10-minute walk to reach the first viewpoint of the Athirapally Waterfalls. From there I had a panoramic view of the waterways and the surrounding hills along with the side view of the majestic Athirapally waterfalls on to my right. You could see the same below-

A guard informed me to go for a short trek downhill where the “Big deal” is. I started the trek. The pathway is well laid out with bamboo handrails and also bamboo made benches for the visitors to relax during this downhill trek. I reached halfway, and unlike the guard said it did not feel like a short trek for me. I was heavily gasping for air. I sat at one of the bamboo benches by the side. Nearly half an hour gone, i still did not move. Maybe because I am so used to sitting at work for long hours that my body doesn’t like to overdo anything that burns my calories.

I resumed my trek. I guess it is more than half a km walk down the rocky hill. It is tiring, however, I could hear the roaring waterfalls near me, which pumped me to get through. At last, I made it. I saw a group of travellers looking up, standing in awe. I rushed towards them, and guess what- the same thing happened. I was awestruck too, I was lost for words.

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Well! Who would not? seeing THIS-

The sight is just brilliant. I just stood there for a while witnessing the river water gushing down the rocky landscape surrounded by lush green mountains. A blissful sight for any human eye. The feeling was great. I was standing right in front of the largest waterfalls in Kerala. This waterfall is not big, it is simply GINORMOUS! I sat on a rock and enjoyed the sight for more than an hour.

For me, this is one of the finest pieces of art by Mother Nature.

I highly recommend all travellers, especially nature lovers to make a visit to Athirapally Waterfalls and experience the love of nature at this part of the world.

Kerala: 5 things to do in Alleppey other than the Houseboat cruise

The Alleppey backwaters and the houseboat at Alleppey, both are not a new thing for the travellers. However, there are also other various exciting things to do at Alleppey which many of us never tried. Being an avid traveller myself and Kerala one of my favourite getaways,

houseboat

I myself have tried out a lot of things at Alleppey and I would say this unique backwater destination has a lot more in its lot than just the houseboats. Let me pick some of the other best things to do in Alleppey other than the houseboat cruise.

  • Cycling along the Alleppey countryside

Alleppey comprises of many serene and beautiful villages. You could pedal your way through its narrow roads sandwiched between lush green paddy fields, sandy pathways leading to some breathtaking sceneries and more. So if you do not mind burning your calories a bit, you will be rewarded with some of the blissful sights of the Alleppey countryside which you do not get to see during your Alleppey houseboat cruise. Ask your tour operator to get you a cycle at Alleppey, get on it and start pedalling.

  • Kayaking along the narrow canals of Alleppey Backwaters

Smell adventure? Yes, it does. Kayaking is a new trend in Alleppey among the young travellers. Of course, it demands a bit of physicality, however, those who feel they can handle it must try it out. It is another great way to explore and experience the heavenly beauty of the Alleppey backwaters. Do not go for the routine houseboat routes, pull harder, take random turns and paddle through the most narrow, yet spectacular waterways at Alleppey, which would take you to a whole different world at Alleppey. Enjoy!

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  • Village Walk

Now, this is another better idea for you to enjoy Alleppey to the fullest. Walk-Walk-Walk and you would come across the most unusual sights which, again, you might not see while you are in your Alleppey houseboat. Walk through the verdant paddies, the canal sideways, the rural villages of Alleppey and exchange few words with the locals. Witness their day to day life and learn how life moves in Alleppey. You would find you have learnt a lot more about this true gem of a place, which you never experienced or even heard of.

  • Canoe Ride

A ride on a country boat or a Canoe we say is yet another exciting way to explore the backwaters of Alleppey. It is not for everyone for sure because for some, it would be scary to row a small wooden boat. However, if you take a chance and try it, I would say it is thoroughly entertaining. It is slow as there is no motor pushing it forwards, but it is the local style of transportation and for a moment it feels like you are one among them.

You would come across many local residents moving on country boats as a part of their daily routine lives. People go for their work on these boats, people go shopping groceries on these boats and even children go to school on canoe boats. So if you are looking for a rather adventurous way to explore the backwaters, you must consider a Canoe ride.

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  • Witness Sunset at Thaickal Beach near Mararikulam

Alleppey boasts of some quiet and serene sea sides such as the Alleppey Beach, the Andhakaranazhi Beach and the latest hit among the travellers, the Marari Beach. However, I have found a new beach, very much secluded and stunningly beautiful, the Thaickal Beach. It is nearly 20 km away from Alleppey Town, but so what? If you want some time for yourself and your family alone by the sandy shoreline watching the waves pass by, this beach is perfect for you.

Sunset from here is so pleasing. There are stone walkways laid on the beach extending to probably 100 meters on the sea from the shore. Make your way to the end of the walkway, and enjoy your moment watching the sunset and disappears below the horizon. The reddish blue sky at dusk, the silvery sea and milky white shoreline of this gorgeous seaside is not to be missed during your visit to Alleppey.