If you are from the speck called Kerala,I am sure that you have heard of Athirapally but for those of you who aren't aware, I am here to get you to pack your bags IMEDIATELY! and plan your next adventure.
I was back in my hometown, Kerala, this September with nothing but the motive to relax but things changed when I decided to meet a bunch of my favourite relatives and in no time we decided to go to Athirapally. Although I call myself a proud malayalee, this was my first time visiting his flowing piece of wonder, just an hour and a half away from my hometown .For the people staying in and around Thrissur and Chalakudy this is a favourite one day trip destination and for people travelling from across the country, it must be a sure thing on your itinererary.
Let's get started, shall we?
We started our journey after a late breakfast and we'd decided to drive don and the route is lined with beautiful palm trees,rubber plantation and the river flowing right next to you,guiding you to your destination.Apart from the scenic routes and great roads, you can also spot a lot of eateries along the way offering both snacks and full course meals,so don't worry about the needs of your tummy. I would also suggest a tea from one of those local tea shops or "chaaya kadas" as we malayalees lovingly call it, and I'd suggest you to do this on your way back, you will know why by the end of this read.
We reached Athirapally at around 2;45 p.m. after we stopped for lunch on the way. The ticket cost for Indian citizens(adult) is Rs.50 per head with added vehicle charges based on the size of your vehicle. Another thing to keep in mind is the crowd, you will be greeted with a fair amount on your visit, as it is popular among locals and tourists likewise and its proximity from the airport and railway stations adds to this cause.
Lets get into the actual experience now...
So after showing the ticket at the entrance they let you in and after walking through the cool trail covered with trees and a few monkeys XD you finally get a view of the massive water body called Athirapally flowing towards the fall with the backdrop of mountains and clouds covering the mountain tops. You can get two different views of the the falls one from the top,which is a small, careful walk down a steep hillock, from here, you get to see the length of the falls and the water majestically falling down,but the thing about this view is that you cannot see the point where the water falls and meets the ground and the force and the impact of the falls cannot be gauged from this view and this is the option preferred by the older generations who find it difficult to explore the alternative, and this brings me to the second option,lets call it " The view you can look up to", so the trail to this second view is a little more tricky as it is filled with stones(placed unevenly), gravel, uneven steps and it's a little steep,but there are railings you can hold onto for support,it sounds a little challenging, but again that's a personal thing and it was my first time, but the view at the end makes it worth it. So after balancing and walking down this path we reached the foot of the waterfalls and MAN! What A view! A stunning, spectacular view!
At this point we saw the water hitting the ground and tiny droplets of water spraying its way towards us,So we decided to get a closer view,but the closer we we got, we understood these droplets may seem small but the water and wind pressure was high, it was so high that we found it hard to keep our eyes open and hard to keep our umbrellas from turning upside down. It gives you the feeling of actually standing under the waterfall, but mind you, we were at least 500 - 800 meters away from it,but the force of the water was said to have increased as a result of continuous rains in the past few days. We got drenched completely within the first 5 minutes and then there was no turning back but to just stand there and with an open mouth ( an attempt to breathe and a sign of wonder) and feel the water moving past you and pushing its way through you.
Our lack of preparation and research left us drenched on our way back home,but if you come prepared, they have fairly clean changing rooms to get you into dry clothes or you can buy ponchos from the shops near the ticket counter as well. But, by chance you get there and get drenched without prior knowledge,like we did, don't worry, I have got you covered, and the solution being a hot, steaming glass of tea from one of those chaaya kadas I mentioned earlier.Now you know why I said you to give it a try on your way back.
So if you are ever in Kerala,do not miss out on this slice of heaven. You carry dry clothes or decide to get drenched, either way its going to give you an experience and a view to remember.
You can come here for a day trip or book yourself a nice staycation as there are a lot of homestays and resorts in the vicinity which offer the view of the falls. So come hear and literally soak and relax in this cradle of nature.