The beautiful and forceful waterfalls at Athirapally – our experience

When we were looking at places to cover in the Trichur surrounds, my cousin’s husband mentioned the Athirapally falls. I have known of the falls – thanks to the internet, also thanks to director Mani Ratnam’s fascination with the spot. And well, it got into our itinerary almost immediately. (We have taken the kids to quite a few waterfalls  – will write about them all here … someday!)

At Trichur, when we mentioned of our plans to my uncle and aunt, with whom we stayed, my uncle said we could cover Kalady and Athirapally together. More about Kalady in another post. While, you can reach the falls from  Chalakudy, we went to the falls from Kalady. The drive through the forests is beautiful and it was also raining that day – so needless to say, everything was pristine and green.

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As we approached the falls, the rains subsided a little. After buying the tickets, we reached a vista point from where you get the first view of the falls. When we caught a glimpse of the falls, we were glad we were visiting in October. The river was swollen and the fall, boisterous. A cloud of beautiful mist rose from the force of all that water hitting the rocks.Seeing the falls from a distance, Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

We reached the entrance gate and started the trek down amidst the mild drizzle. The kids held their own umbrellas and walked. The trek to the top of the falls is pretty gradual and the path is well laid. The spot is also very well maintained. As we neared the falls, the roar greeted us and it was hard to not be impressed by the force and the might of the water.

The security shack, Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

The kids were completely taken in by the amount of water gushing down and with such vengeance. We stood there for a long time, enjoying the beauty, the big sound, and under our umbrellas.

The kids enjoying the splendour, Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Forceful, Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

I typically only load still pics on my blog, but this, I had to upload a couple of videos too…


Tourists, Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Some visitors closer to the river, just before the waterfalls.

From the top of the fall, it was then time to trek down to see the might of the waterfalls from its base. We could only imagine how the view would be considering how wide the fall is. This trek is a little more strenuous than the previous stretch. However, nothing too bad. Our 5 year old could do it for the most part by himself also. This stretch was also mostly done under umbrellas. Just that as we neared the base, we didnt know if it was the rains or if it was the showers from the forceful waterfalls. The sound of the fall by now being quite loud. After all the monsoons, deep in this forest, the vegetation is thick and beautiful.

You can access the base of the falls only to a certain extent. The rest is cordoned off and the security personnel even made sure the college kids who had crossed the safety limits return to where it was safe.

The view from here at this time of the year is really quite something. You can see the top of the falls, and the water just falls down without a care and with such ferocity. Absolutely lovely. Here’s a video through all the vegetation.


This view kind of scared our 5 year old a little. He didnt want to see it too much. :) However, the daughter, the 7 year old, enjoyed the view. And after we had stood there for a while, with the water drenching our clothes, we started on our trek up. The weather was cool and we were wet; we all had tea when we reached the gate – the typical Kerala ‘kuppi glass chaaya’.

Hot tea after the trek in the rain, Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Typically, the kids dont get to drink tea or coffee. This experience, I think, called for a little change to the norm. :)

Oblivious to the immense beauty, Athirapally - Chitra Aiyer Photography

While returning, we took the view in again from the vista. Spotted this little monkey, who seemed so oblivious to the drama right behind him.

As we got comfortable in our warm, dry car, the rains had stopped; but the roads and the surrounds were bathed and beautiful. The kids fell asleep right away, and the husband and I enjoyed the beautiful drive back to Trichur.

Awash roads on the way back, Athirapally, Chitra Aiyer Photography

12 Responses to “The beautiful and forceful waterfalls at Athirapally – our experience”

  1. Beautiful snaps – reminded me of the movie “Raavan”.
    Lovely processing too – nice blog. Keep writing more :)

  2. Hi Chitra,

    Beautiful blog! Mailed you recently (regarding an article in Citizen Matters). Guess you just got back! Do check the mail and get in touch, would love to speak to you regarding the article.

  3. :) Lovely it is.

  4. Biju, thanks – glad you liked the post. :)
    I havent watched Raavan, have seen some scenes tho online and could recognize the location. He has used this location in other movies too apparently.

    Thanks Reshmi – will check my mail. I am still only looking through.

    :) Meenu

  5. I too have visited this place but they look more beautiful and ethereal through your lens.

  6. beautiful clicks.

  7. Chitra,
    Thanks for sharing your travel snaps. We would like to visit the falls during our upcoming vacation, wondering how the drive is/roads are due to recent heavy rains. From Kochi – Athiripally Falls.


  8. What an awesome post Chitra!
    I am Sonali, community admin at We have got an exciting contest for Nature lovers and travelers. If you have had an unusual journey, with interesting, practical ways of how you travelled eco-friendly, we invite you to share your experiences in not more than 1200 words. Perhaps your story could add to efforts in conserving this irreplaceable mountain system.rnTo participate log onto You could win Hiking Gear from WWF-India and get featured in Lonely Planet Magazine India.Thanks!

  9. Lovely!

  10. […] during this last trip to Kerala (see daughter at the beach and Athirapally falls), our last stop was at Palghat, where I have my maternal uncle. So, as we were winding up with our […]

  11. Hi Chitra,

    After reading your excellent blog, and seeing the photos, I am impatient to see the falls. I am going on 8th Sept 2011.

    Thanks and God bless you and your family.


  12. Aren’t we allowed to go near the falls walking on those rocks??? We only get to see it from the place u have taken snaps??

    Awesome post!!! Keep posting!!!

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