Waterfalls around ThrissurNot only are waterfalls a splendid sight to behold, to the careful observer, they can reveal a lot about life and human nature. As Mehmet Murat Ildan beautifully put it, “There is a hidden message in every waterfall. It says, if you are flexible, falling will not hurt you!”
Thrissur, in that aspect, has been lucky to receive this gift of nature in plentiful. There are more waterfalls in Thrissur district than one would normally think of. Surprisingly, some of the less common ones are largely unexplored by the natives as well.
Thrissur’s most popular waterfalls are the falls in Athirapally and Vazhachal. These couple of waterfalls attract a large number of domestic as well as international tourists.
However, hidden like profound secrets in the forests of Marottichal, are a few more waterfalls in Thrissur, including the lesser-known Ilanjippara falls and Olakkayam falls. Another one of the many beautiful waterfalls of Thrissur, are the Charpa Falls, sandwiched between the more popular Athirapally and Vazhachal falls.
Athirapally FallsThe Athirapally Waterfalls located in the south-eastern part of the Athirapally District are India’s answer to the Niagara Falls of Canada. The falls are located on the west-flowing Chalakkudy River that becomes agitated as it enters Athirapally. The falls are evergreen.
The area around Athirapally falls supports a great variety of flora and fauna, and is a one of its kind riparian ecosystem.
Athirapally waterfall near Thrissur city is one the mightiest falls in India itself. These falls that descend from a height of about 80 feet are not only Thrissur’s most famous falls, but one of the mightiest and most scenic falls of India itself. The backdrop of the falls is so beautiful, that a lot of popular filmmakers have shot very successful movie sequences here. Some of the more famous ones include the likes of Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se and Raavan.
The immensity of the falls is so overwhelming that for the first-time visitor to the falls, the sight looks unreal and impossibly wonderful.
How to ReachTo reach the falls, one has to trek for about 2 kms, which is every bit worth the toil. Athirapally town is at a distance of nearly 60 kms from Thrissur, and one can take the highway to Cochin (NH-47) and turn left from either Petta or Chalakkudy to reach it. The Chalakkudy Railway Station(30kms) is nearest to the falls, and taxis are easily available for hire. The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport at a distance of 55 kilometers.
Unlike the mighty Athirapally falls, the USP of Vazhachal is that they are horizontal falls. There is no water cascading down a height here, but a stream where water gushes down along steeply inclined rocky terrain, in the footsteps of Sholayar hills. The appearance is more like a river-side, with large rocks cutting into the flow of the water. However, one should always be careful while visiting Vazhachal and not make the mistake of stepping into the waters drawn by an illusion of shallowness. One can have a wonderful time of retrospection here. It is also an ideal place to enjoy a meal with your friends and family in nature’s lap.
Since these falls are only 5 kilometres from Athirapally, they can be reached the same way from Chalakkudy in Thrissur.
Ilanjippara and Olakkayam Waterfalls
Only 15 kilometers from the town of Thrissur, the Marottichal Village has secrets to keep. The village lies on the fringe of Peechi (where a prominent Wildlife Sanctuary is located) and can be reached via bus or car. Probably the reason why they aren’t as famous as the other waterfalls in Thrissur, inspite being so scenic, is the fact that they are accessible only after a good amount of hardcore adventurous trekking, which is not everyone’s cup of tea. So far, the people who frequent these falls are young adventure enthusiasts.
Marottichal is a green patch of forest land which in itself is a beautiful panorama of natural temperament and ultimate charisma, which is not an obvious destination of choice for inbound tourists. There is not even a large enough signboard indicating directions inside the forest, and the existing trails are confusing.Therefore, it is a good idea to visit this area along with a local or guide who knows the whereabouts in the forest.
There are two major falls in Marottichal: the Olakkayam and Ilanjippara. However, after walking for about 10-15 minutes from the Bus Stop, two small falls can be seen. One of them is the Cheerankundu Kuthu falls, and the other one in Olakkayam. A lot of trekkers can be found taking a dip in the basin of the falls, and some of them also choose to swim. The whole experience is refreshing, to say the least.
To reach the Ilanjippara falls, which are the largest in the forest, one has to trek for about 4 kilometres more through the forest from Olakkayam. The trek through the forest is an experience in itself. Once you reach the falls, you can see its waters plummeting from a cluster of rocks to a luscious surrounding in a gorge below.
The waterfalls receive some elephants during summer season, so it is suggested to venture to these falls in group especially to the Ilanjippara Waterfalls so as to avoid any danger.
Also, the waterfalls at Marottichal dry in summer (Mar- May). June and July are not the best time because of the heavy rains. The best time to visit is between September and February.
Charpa Waterfalls Thrissur
The Charpa Falls are also located on Athirapally road, lying in between the two larger Athirapally and Vazhachal Falls. However, since they are much smaller, they go dry in the months with no rain and high temperature. Therefore, the best time to visit them is from June to August, which are the monsoon months. Although not equally majestic to the waterfalls between which it is located, it is a good spot to enjoy a fresh mist on your face and halt in your travels.