A marvelous cascade of frothy waters that makes its way from the Anamudi mountains of the Western Ghats, Athirapally waterfall is located 60 km from the Thrissur district of Kerala. The largest waterfall in Kerala, this 80 ft high and 330 ft wide marvel is also referred to as the “Niagara Falls of India”. Creating a spectacular vista of scintillating water, emerald jungles, and azure sky, the Athirapally falls flows through the verdant greenery of Vazhachal Forest toward the Arabian Sea from here.
Peering over the rushing gush of the falls, the sight of charming green Sholayar Peaks will greet you when you will land in Athirapally. The stunning backdrop of a rustling jungle has been shot in many music videos and Bollywood movies. It is the only place in the Western Ghats where four endangered Hornbill species are seen and hence, birdwatchers should not miss this place. A pool above the waterfall is perfect for relaxing and unwinding. Before reaching its final destination into the sea, the waterfall joins forces with the Chalakudy river.
During the monsoon season, the waterfall looks marvelous but at the same time, it becomes very difficult for trekking. To enjoy the beauty and the thrill of the Athirapally waterfall at its fullest, the best time to visit is between September and January.
Filmmakers get attracted to the scenic beauty of Arithapally waterfall. Aishwarya Rai’s “Barso Re Megha” from the movie Guru and “Jiya Jale” from Dil Se songs were shot here featuring the majestic views of the waterfall. Some of the sequences for the popular movie “Bahubali” were also shot here. Other notable songs like “Chalo Chalain Mitwa” from the movie Nayak, “Behne de” in the movie Raavan, “Aayi re aayi khushi” from Khushi, “Sunta hai tera khuda” from Pukar, and movies like “Madras Cafe” and “Sirf Tum” were shot around this waterfall. Not just regional, but Hollywood filmmakers have also shot some scenes here such as a few scenes for the movie Pirate’s Blood and Before the Rains.
Jungle Safari - In collaboration with the administrative body of Athirapally, the Tourism Promotion Council of the district organizes daily jungle safaris from Chalakudy to Malakkappara. Through the rainforests of Kerala, this jungle safari takes you on a 90 kilometers tour across the Sholayar range. Thumboormuzhy Dam, Vazhachal Waterfall, Butterfly Garden, Kauthuka Park, Athirapally Waterfall, valleys, hills, and rainforest full of resident wildlife and tea gardens are some of the most prominent attractions covered in this safari.
Trekking - For those mountaineers who are looking for a quick adventure, the precarious yet thrilling pathways up to the fall are a treat. The trekking trail is well-maintained and it will offer you to witness the stupendous view of the waterfall throughout. To keep you company throughout the day, colorful birds and monkeys are there, and if you are lucky enough you might get to see a Samba deer. For the convenience of travelers, washrooms are available throughout the trail. The view of the waterfall is best seen from the base, and a path is there that will lead you to it. Be careful when you access this part of the trail as there are security personnel deployed in that part.
Sightseeing - The virgin natural beauty of this place is the source of its charm. The huge amount of water that gushes down the hills is both tranquilizing and overwhelming at the same time. With the gentle chirping of birds from the forest nearby, the cool breeze is a welcome change from the din of city life, and you will definitely enjoy a short trip to this beautiful destination amongst nature. You can couple this attraction with the Vazhachal waterfall as it is also situated nearby.
1. Athirapally Falls - A haven for flora and fauna alike, Athirapally waterfall is located 60 kilometers away from Thrissur city. The scenic beauty of the waterfall offers spectacular visuals for visitors and it is a famous picnic spot.
2. Charpa Falls - Displaying the blessings of Mother Nature, Charpa Falls is another one of nature's delight. A part of River Chalakudy, this fall cascades down from a short height and offers a breathtaking experience. From Charpa Falls, Lake Vachumaram, and Athirapally Falls are a stone’s throw away.
3. Vadakkumnathan Temple - Famous for the Nataraja Mural near the main gate, this gigantic temple is 1000 years old. It is also home to a wide collection of mural paintings, some of those paintings are more than 400 years old.
4. Shakthan Thampuran Temple - Reconstructed in Kerala-Dutch style in the year 1795 by Sri. Ramavarma Thampuran of the erstwhile Princely State of Cochin, the Vadakkekara Palace is preserved by the Archeological Department now.
5. Vazhachal Falls - With a sitting arrangement built around the waterfall and tree shades, this is a good place for a picnic with friends and family.
Athirapally is located in the Thrissur district of Kerala. It is well-connected with the rest of the major cities of India and there are so many modes of transportation. Here’s how you can reach Athirapally
The nearest airbase to Athirapally is Kochi International Airport. This airbase is well-connected with major airports in India and other countries. Several taxis are available just outside the airport to reach the desired destination.
The nearest railhead to Athirapally is Chalakudy Railway Station. There are private taxis and state-run buses available from Chalakudy that will drop you at your destination.
With a wide network of roads, Athirapally is well-connected with the rest of the major towns and cities in Kerala. Both state-run and private buses run to and fro on its routes.