Perched high above in the Sholayar forest ranges on the fringes of Kerala's famed rain forests, Athirapally waterfalls provides a restful escape for those wanting to leave the hurried pace of city life behind.
A popular picnic spot, Athirappally Waterfalls is located 78 kms from Kochi (Cochin), affording one of the most bewitching sights to the onlookers. Combined with the greenery, it infuses freshness into any weary soul. Athirapally falls joins the Chalakkudy River after plummeting a drop of 80 feet.
Wild and beautiful, unspoilt by the passage of time, a tranquil and much needed escape from reality is the beautiful waterfalls of Athirapally and Vazhachal. The charm of the Athirapally and Vazhachal nature can hardly be described in words. Starting calmly from the Sholayar high ranges and crashing through gorges overhung with trees, this waterfall is one of the best places in India to capture a real sense of the 'Picturesque' - something wild in nature.
Both these waterfalls are a part of the Chalakudy river and 5 km apart on the road to Valparai (hill station) which has excellent tea estates is one of India's highest elephant density habitats and is a crucial corridor between Parambikulam and Malayattur.
The forests of the Chalakudy River have revealed the existence of a thick riparian vegetation of more than 10 metres width for a distance of 10.5 km downstream from Peringalkuth, covering an area of 58.5 hectares. Out of this, 26.4 hectares lie within the Vazachal area, including three large islands densely covered by riparian forests.
The forests of the area have been found to be characterised by the presence of typical riparian species of plants. Out of the 319 species of flowering plants identified from the study area, 24 are endemic species of the Western Ghats and 10 are rare and endangered.
Moreover, the Chalakudy River is known for its diversity, as it contains 85 species of fresh water fishes out of the 152 species known from Kerala. Among these, 35 are endemic species of the Western Ghats and nine are considered to be endangered.
Nearby Places of Interest
Vazhachal Waterfalls The Vazhachal waterfall is a scenic and popular waterfall on the edge of the Sholayar forest range in Kerala. The Vazhachal is part of the Chalakkudy River. Its cool, misty waters cascading down with the backdrop of thick green forest and rocky terrain are a scintillating experience for visitors.
Charpa Falls To the east of athirappilly is the enchanting but lesser known Charpa falls which plunges on to the road during monsoon. It is a sight to watch and enjoy.
Anakkayam About 20 km from Chalakudy on the sholayar peringalkuthu route, Anakkayam means the "Elephant pit". It is noted for a lake with cool and placid waters. The place is a forest untouched by human encroachments and is a haven for those who wish to escape from concrete jungles. It attracts the visitor with its bubbling streams, natural rock formations and flora.
Water Theme Parks For those who want a little extra recreation there are two water theme parks nearby with plenty of adventure games and water sports.
Malakapara Tea Gardens For the adventurous a family safari through the deep forest and high ranges (Western Ghats) complemented with lots of hairpin curves takes you to the fascinating sculptured beauty of Malakapara tea Gardens. Along the route if you are lucky you may end up seeing some good wildlife.
Thumpurmuzhi Gardens Thumpurmuzhi is an ideal stopover with its garden, scenic splendor and a classic waterfall.
Peringalkuthu & Sholayar Dams
Deep in the forest on the way to Valpara are the two dams that generate hydroelectric power to the state. Entry to the dam site is with special permission only.
Vazhachal Forest Gardens
With the abundant flora and even herbal plantation maintained by the forest department, Vazhachal is a Botanist's treasure trove.
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