Kerala has never had to work too hard to take the lead as a tourist attraction; the natural landscape of God’s own country speaks for itself, driving explorers to its den eternally. One such beauty is the Athirapilly Waterfalls.
Only 70 km from Kochi, Athirapilly Falls is born from the Chalakudy river near Thrissur, another small and beautiful city in Kerala. As one enters the vicinity of the thick forest hiding many species of animals, you can expect the first and the most mesmerizing glimpse of the waterfalls. Spare a minute there and watch the beauty of white mist falling down an 80 feet long cliff.
Following the riverside path, you can begin to understand the huge density of water falling down the cliff with the thick voice of pouring water reaching your ears. With the forest surrounds, you might capture short glimpses of the river as you walk towards the destination.
As the noise of the water gets clearer, you know you have reached the place; from this place you are assured goosebumps and nervous butterflies in your stomach.
It is amazing to see a calm river flowing, only to pave its path into a gigantic waterfall. You can sit by the calm riverside and spend time listening to the chirps of the birds decorating the skies above the river. It will be a feast for your camera to capture the silhouette of the mountain range; the mountains, in between which the river finds itself, seem to be guarding it from the mortal world.
For the sustainability of this beautiful spot, measures have been put in place to ensure the area is a plastic free zone. Efforts on the part of the administration to ensure this plastic-free area are noticeable; indeed guards are on-hand to check visitors are abiding by the rules.
The zone is also tobacco and alcohol free. With tourism police surveying the area, penalties cannot be avoided if guests are found drinking or smoking.
“It is important for the area to be plastic-free as there are various elephant crossing points which are near the human habitation. For their survival, health and maintaining the beauty of the falls, it is important to bring cleanliness to this auspicious place” said Joy Mathew, a local.
If you are an explorer, don’t miss the forest which comes under the Sholyapur ahead of both the waterfalls. Here, sightings of wild animals (such as leopards) are common. According to the locals, the forest contains in itself a rich wildlife of elephants, tigers, bison and more. The dense forest has it all: beauty, secrets and risk. You only need a wild heart and a traveler’s vision to experience it. The area is the only location blessed with all four South Indian species of hornbills.