It is most known for the Athirapally waterfalls which is located 78km from Cochin. This beautiful waterfall is right at the entrance to the Sholayar ranges. It falls from a height of 80ft. It is part of the Bharatapuzha River and flows into the Chalakudy River. The fall is located enroute the road to Valparai, a hill station and wildlife spot. It has an important elephant corridor and connects Parambikulam and Malayattur.
There are a lot endangered species of animals which make the surrounding hills their home. The Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed Macaque, Cochin forest cane Turtle and the great Indian hornbill are some. There are more than 300 flowering plants in the nearby forests and 24 of them are said to be endemic to the Western Ghats. A few of them fall in the rare species.
The Chalakudy River is home to more than 80 species of fresh water fishes out of the 152 species found in Kerala. And some of them are endangered as well.
There are many wildlife-spotting areas, lakes, jungle-trekking spots and waterfalls in and around Athirapally. Five km down is another waterfall-Vazhachal. Thick evergreen forests surround the waterfall. It, too, flows into the Chalakudy River. There’s a herbal garden maintained by the forest department at Vazhachal. The Charpa Falls is located to the east of the Athirapally Falls. Though it is smaller than the earlier two, it is still a sight to behold. Especially during monsoons, when the waterfall swells to its maximum.
Anakkayam is a less explored area comprising a lake and forests, 20km from Chalakudy. It located on the Sholayar-Peringalkuthu route. Anakkayyam means ‘Elephant Pit’. Herds of elephants come down to the lake to drink water and bathe. There are streams and small waterfalls nearby. There are two dams located on this route.
There are a couple of water theme parks in the area. Thumpurmuzhi, further down, has beautiful gardens and a waterfall. The Malakapara Tea Gardens is located within the Western Ghats here. You can go on a wildlife safari or just relax with an evening walk.
- “A waterfall hidden inside the Shola forests and hundreds of birds and butterflies. This is a cool place for a day’s relaxation.”Seeli Han and Beni Tui
- “The gushing river and the cascading waterfall were breathtaking.”Tanya
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