A Day Trip from Kochi to Athirapally Waterfalls, Vazhachal falls and Ezhattumugam
It had been a hectic two weeks of work and traveling and we headed to Cherai which is just off the city of Kochi, Kerala, India and very near to Cochin International Airport for a few days of rest and digital detox. A work conference in the beautiful environs of the Radisson Blu in Karjat near Mumbai had just ended and we decided to head directly for our much needed annual vacation to God’s own country, Kerala. A Vistara flight deposited us at Cochin International Airport and we headed to a boutique hotel that nestled between the sea and the backwaters of our rendezvous with nature and tranquility. While in Cherai though we spent the major part of our time just lazing around and enjoying the vibes of the sea and the backwaters, we did not pass the opportunity of exploring the gems in the vicinity. We experienced a magical boat cruise on the backwaters, walked along the charming and quaint streets of Fort Kochi, and feasted our eyes on a stunning sunset on the beach. Of course, a day trip to Athirapally Waterfalls also known as Athirapally falls and Ezhattumugam from Kochi is always a must when you are in those parts.
The Drive to Athirapally Waterfalls from Cherai
After fortifying ourselves with a typical Kerala vegetarian breakfast of Idiyappam and vegetable stew we left Cherai to head to Athirapally falls at a distance of about 65 kilometers. We had seen the falls in a Bollywood movie where the heroine is shown frolicking in the waters and looked forward to seeing the place for real.
The drive through the scenic countryside of Kerala left us awed. The road meandered through thick vegetation of palm, coconut, and areca nut trees, and every once in a while an enchanting water body framed by the green of surrounding vegetation flashed past in enchanting splendor.
We passed through villages with neat houses, churches and temples stood side by side as a tribute to the harmony of nature and man. In one village outside the local church stood a stunning replica of Michael Angelo’s Pieta. It seemed like the villages that we passed through had been intertwined with the environment around them and seemed in perfect harmony with nature.
Stop at Thumboormuzhy River Garden
We love road trips because they are so prone to serendipity and the discovery of unexpected gems. The Road trip to Athirapally falls proved a real bonanza in this context as we came across many treasures. One such pristine gem was the Thumboormuzhy River Garden we visited on our way to the Athirapally Falls.
We spent a quiet 30 minutes in the garden wandering through some lovely and scenic terrain.
The highlights of the place were the views of the river from a hanging bridge.
The park is also a natural home for butterflies and there are more than 146 species of these pretty and fragile being flitting from flower to flower in the garden. We were delighted to find this butterfly couple who looked so romantic.
The place also abounded in cute and friendly little monkeys, one of them had the makings of a supermodel and posed nonchalantly for us.
With a last glance at the Thumboormuzhy River Garden which had all the makings of a veritable Eden, we made our way back to our car to resume our interrupted journey to Athirapally Falls.
At Athirapally Waterfalls
We reached the entrance to the Athirapally Waterfalls in quick time and left the car to trek to the base of the waterfalls. The entrance to the falls itself looked quite nice, a structure made of bamboo with a thatched roof, it looked so much in harmony with the environment. As we started walking towards the falls, we were again greeted by the ubiquitous monkeys who were asking the visitors for food. We followed a rocky pathway into the woods. The pathway was one of gradual descent.
It is a pleasant walk in the shade of tall trees, however, the descent gets steeper as you move further.
You have to take the same route while returning as well and hence would involve some amount of climbing, so the trek to Athirapally Waterfalls is not advisable for elderly people or for people who are not physically fit or have medical issues. You can book day trips to Athirapally falls from Kochi. Private tours to Athirapally falls from Kochi are also available.
We always find waterfalls to be objects of sublime beauty. Be it anywhere they are precious gifts of nature to be experienced and admired. Even before you see them, you usually hear their sonorous sound. The same was the case with Athirapally Waterfalls, the sound of the roaring of the falls fell like music to our years, the falls were still hidden from view by the dense forest cover. However, one last stretch of steep descent brought us near the base of the falls.
The sight of the waters of the Chalakudy river cascading down from about 80 feet in two distinct streams was spectacular and sent a thrill of excitement through our spines. As the waters crashed down, they created a misty halo which looked fascinating.
One can maneuver oneself onto some rocks to get a closer look at the falls and also feel the spray of the water. Bathing in the waters of the fall here is risky and prohibited.
Watch our video of Athirapally Waterfalls here:
Time stood still as we stood in awe in front of the cascading flood of milky white water, we lost all sense of time and place as we lost ourselves in this exhilarating moment.
But all good things, the wonderful moments passed and crystallized in our memory as we retraced our steps back.
A little distance further from the Athirapally Falls is another waterfall known as Vazhachal falls. These falls are not as spectacular as the Athirapally falls but have an enticing charm of their own as the waters cascade through rocks which look like steps. Athirapally and Vazhachal waterfalls, Thrissur, Kerala are indeed a visual treat and along with the Charpa falls form a trinity that entices visitors on a one day trip from Kochi.
Onwards to Ezhattumugam
We drove across some bad roads but beautiful landscapes, as we weaved in between Palm farms, the roads that took us straight into the very heart of the interior of the countryside and we reveled in the sheer calm and tranquility that prevailed in the vicinity. Not even signboards marred the beauty of the pristine nature of the surroundings.
Ezhattumugam itself turned out to be a picture postcard village, lush green and with a blissful serenity of undisturbed calm.
The river Chalakudy meandered lazily between rocks and small islets.
We took a walk on a stone embankment that took us to the center of the meandering river and afforded some great views of birds basking in the sun.
A hanging bridge stretched lazily across the river connecting the two banks. The calm and serenity of Ezhattumugam was a contrast to the spectacular nature of the Athirapally falls. If Athirapally Falls excited the senses, Ezhattumugam soothed the soul. Our Ezhattumugam trip was bound to stay entrenched in our minds for a long, long time.
We were back in our car and heading towards Cherai, our physical beings were tired but spiritually we felt uplifted as we once again experienced the magic of God’s own country, a place that we firmly believe has been handcrafted by God. The Athirapally day tour turned out to be one of best one-day trips from Kochi for us.
Fact File – Athirapally Waterfalls Kerala
How to reach Athirapally waterfalls?
Athirapally falls route map
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Distance from Cochin to Athirapally Falls is about 116 kilometers and the nearest airport to Athirapally falls is Cochin International Airport which is situated about 40 kilometers away.
Places to visit near Athirapally Waterfalls
Vazhachal Falls, Ezhattumugham dam, Ezhattumugham bridge, Charpa Falls, Thumboormuzhy River Garden.
Best Time to Visit Athirapally Falls
September to January would be the best months for visiting Athirapally Falls though the waterfall is a perennial one.
Athirapalli Falls Timings
The Athrapally Falls can be visited on any day of the week and are open from 8 AM to 6 PM.
Can one go from Athirapally Waterfalls to Munnar?
Munnar is about a 4 hours drive from Athirapally falls at a distance of about 133 kilometers.
How to get to Kochi
Where to stay in Kochi
Tours/Activities available from Kochi
Choose either of the two to book tours and activities in and around Kochi.
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Have you been to Kerala, one of India’s most beautiful states? Have you done the Athirapally Falls tour? Which has been your favorite road trip from Kochi? Do let us know your thoughts through our comments section.
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