A Day Trip from Kochi to Athirapally Falls, Vazhachal falls and Ezhattumugam

A Day Trip from Kochi to Athirapally Falls, Kerala, India

Athirapally Waterfalls

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.

Thumboormuzhy River Garden

We spent a quiet 30 minutes in the garden wandering through some lovely and scenic terrain.

Thumboormuzhy River Garden

The highlights of the place were the views of the river from a hanging bridge.

Thumboormuzhy River Garden

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.

Thumboormuzhy River Garden

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

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.

Athirapally Waterfalls

It is a pleasant walk in the shade of tall trees, however, the descent gets steeper as you move further.

Athirapally Waterfalls

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.

Athirapally Waterfalls

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.

Athirapally Waterfalls

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.

Athirapally Waterfalls

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.

Athirapally Waterfalls

But all good things, the wonderful moments passed and crystallized in our memory as we retraced our steps back.

Bollywood films including BaahubaliRaavan, Guru, Dil Se and may Tamil and Malayalam films have been shot in the spectacular locales of the Athirapally Waterfalls.

Vazhachal Falls

Charpa Waterfalls, Kerala

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, Kerala

Ezhattumugam itself turned out to be a picture postcard village, lush green and with a blissful serenity of undisturbed calm.

 Ezhattumugam, Kerala

The river Chalakudy meandered lazily between rocks and small islets.

 Ezhattumugam, Kerala

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.

 Ezhattumugam, Kerala

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

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Where to stay in 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.


A Day Trip from Kochi to Athirapally Falls, Kerala, India


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51 thoughts on “A Day Trip from Kochi to Athirapally Falls, Vazhachal falls and Ezhattumugam

  1. Reebex | Recovering Hippie Reply

    I think Kerala is one of my favourite places in the world! Such a great read and amazing photography. I never made it to the Athirapally Falls though, they look magnificent! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Renata Green Reply

    These waterfalls look so powerful – I can practically hear the waters roar! But I also like the pictures of the trail leading there – all serene and nice. I’ve never been to India, but it’s definitely on top of my bucket list – and this day trip should be absolutely included.

  3. Danik Reply

    OMG! This place looks amazing! I would love to do a hike around here and check out the natural wonders! Love this post and the photos.

  4. Ada Reply

    wow I had no idea there are such a wonderful waterfalls in India!! I just love visiting waterfalls every time I travel so I definitely have to put this on my bucket list! The nature is so wonderful I cant wait to explore more!

  5. robin rue Reply

    What an incredible daytrip! I have always been fascinated by waterfalls, so I would LOVE to visit there someday!

  6. candy Reply

    You visit some of the most beautiful outdoors sites. We love waterfalls and could watch them for hours.

  7. Wendy Reply

    The waterfalls of Athiraplly and the scenery along the way are gorgeous. Kerali looks like a wonderful place to relax and take in nature!

  8. Janet Reply

    I doubt if I’ll ever be able to make it to India, but I sure do love reading about it and seeing the beauty!

  9. Anne Reply

    Wow the falls look absolutely stunning. This is definitely a part of India I would like to visit. The photos are incredible also

  10. Pam Reply

    I love the picture of the monkey! It definitely could be a supermodel. And such beautiful scenery.

  11. Our Family World Reply

    Waterfalls are so enchanting! The falls you visited may not be as grand as the Niagara, but it is still very pretty nonetheless. The hanging bridge offers the perfect view of the river. Hope to be able to visit India one day and marvel at these natural beauties.

  12. Thu Ho Reply

    It seems like you have had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed yourself to the fullest. And honestly, I find your trip so amazing and fantastic when involving waterfalls – masterpieces of nature. WIsh that I could have such experience myself in the near future.

  13. Anosa Malanga Reply

    The place looks very serene and its very clean. I am a nature lover and seeing this kind of places makes me so happy. Looking forward to visit this personally as well. Happy travels!

  14. Tomi C Reply

    Your pictures are so beautiful. That butterfly closeup is just amazing. Looks like a great place to visit. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Suma Reply

    Your post is such a visual treat, every place looks so serene. The waterfalls are gorgeous, I haven’t heard about any of the them but they definitely are in my must visit list now. Lovely captures, thanks for sharing.

  16. Mimi Green Reply

    Such incredible beauty, as I look at these pictures there is snow on the ground outside of my window. There is something about waterfalls that just clears my mind. It is like hitting the reset button on life.

  17. nixki Reply

    I have never even heard of Kochi, but now you have peeked my interest. The photos are stunning of the area – I can’t wit to do some research and plan a trip!

  18. Abhinav Singh Reply

    You are making me crave for my annual South India fix badly. I love Idiyappam and infact most South Indian dishes. I have been to Kerala so many times and still never heard of Ezhattumugam, Athirapally and Vazhachal falls.Quite an offbeat find I must say. It would be fun to walk on that hanging bridge.

  19. Nathan Reply

    Most definitely the Taj Mahal isn’t all that India has to offer. Thank you for introducing another flavour of this Asian country to us! The picturesque natural scenery has really attracted my attention – would definitely love to visit Kochi one of these days! 🙂

  20. Kellyn Reply

    Thanks for sharing. As I’m obsessed with waterfalls, this definitely hits home with me. This place is like a little piece of paradise. Your photographs are really appealing.

  21. Claudia Reply

    The Thumboormuzhy River Garden looks so beautiful. So much lushness, plus those monkeys. The Athirapally waterfalls are quite impressive – your photos show off the height quite well! Kerala is a certainly a gorgeous part of India.

  22. Christina Reply

    The river garden was definitely a nice find. The hanging bridge would be nice to walk across and get a great view of everything. Waterfalls are always a favorite of ours to see on any trip. The small step water fall was very nice. You were able to capture some incredible photos not his journey. Thank you for sharing.

  23. Ghia Lorenzo Reply

    What a beautiful place. Watching the waterfalls will really take your breath away, so stunning. I really love all of the photos, realized how blessed this place was with a beautiful and preserved gift of nature. I love the butterfly garden and walking under the peaceful shade will really make you feel relaxed. Indeed an incredible experience! Thanks for sharing this outstanding post!

  24. neha Reply

    The video is beautiful. Athirapally waterfalls seem to be one of the most majestic in India. They are quiet reachable from Kochi but a little further to the backwaters where we are headed in Feb. Yet inspired by your post, I will try to make it to the falls.

  25. Danik Reply

    Now this is my kind of area. Away from the urban sprawl, hiking routes, fantastic scenery, when can I go? I love reading about this place and have bookmarked this page for future reference because this is an area I really want to explore.

  26. Divyakshi Gupta Reply

    The one thing I love about Kerala is that the forest areas, such tourist places are very well maintained despite crowds. The falls look majestic! Truly mesmerising. I had seen your video before and I felt why I missed this when they were so close to Valparai! The hanging bridge looks so good! Great pics!

  27. Ajay Chander R. Reply

    This is what you call a scene from god’s own country. I have been to Kochi and i never been to Athirapalli falls , the view is very superb and thanks for bringing this up.. Loved it..

  28. Siddhartha Joshi Reply

    Athirapally Falls have been my dream falls ever since I saw the stunning scenery in the movie, Raavan. The movie didn’t work but I fell in love with the place 🙂

    I am certainly keeping it on top of my list for explorations this year 🙂

  29. Suruchi Reply

    If the Athirapally falls looks so beautiful and majestic in pictures, what it will be in real. I am sure I will be taken away by their beauty. We would love hiking in those greens, The hanging bridge is so cool. We are surely gonna visit them, during our Kerala trip.

  30. Sreeram Reply

    Kerala is truly a gem of India. It has a lot to offer and is often unnoticed because of Goa or the new upcoming destination – Hampi. Thumboormuzhy River Garden and Athirapally Waterfalls look attractive.

  31. Dorene Reply

    Beautiful! I am a big fan of Kochi and I had no idea there was such beautiful falls nearby. They look so lush, tranquil and serene! I have to go back!

  32. Paige Wunder Reply

    What a stunning spot to visit. I love that there’s just so much natural beauty in India that doesn’t always get the recognition it should. Athirapally Falls looks unbelievable. I would be all about taking that swinging bridge. It looks stunning!

  33. Medha Reply

    Haha I love that little posing monkey 😀 Kerala has so much nature and lovely waterfalls, rivers, walking paths, I always say I want to visit Kerala for at least two weeks and experience the nature there. Maybe stay in some tree house, or riverside homes and walk around just exploring the hidden gems. I love all your pictures, I can see you guys had a great time!

  34. Ami Reply

    The natural allure of Kerala is evident here. Athirapally falls are just stunning as is the hanging bridge. I love the natural flora and fauna around there and would definitely want to see Vazhachal Falls enroute. Cheers

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