Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Athirappilly Falls,The Niagara of India

If I ask you to name one waterfalls in South India that has been shown in innumerable Bollywood movies for its majesty and grandeur, I am sure you will say "Athirapilly" without even batting your eyelid.

Athirapilly Waterfall

We started from Valparai, took the Valparai Athirapilly Road which leads all the way to the waterfall. The road took us past the Upper Sholayar Dam before entering the Vazhachal forest. The forest road is a long way and in many places the road is not in a very good shape. Believe me or not, driving through the forest will give you shivers. The trees are so old and huge and their trunks are all covered with moss. There is very less sunlight that can permeate the canopy and reach the road. Sometimes you might be greeted by elephants,monkeys, lion tailed macaw or malabar grey hornbills. The forest though dense and dark is constantly live with chirping of  various birds.

Because of such poor light conditions and bad roads all along the road there are visible signboards cautioning the driver about accident prone areas. In all true sense the Vazhachal forest is like a miniature version of the Amazonian rain forest. Had it been after 4:30pm, I would have not dared to venture through this road.

Vazhachal Waterfall

Driving through the forests for almost 2 hours we reached the Vazhachal Waterfalls. The falls is near the Vazhachal Forest Division and at the edge of the Sholayar ranges, it is just 5 km from entrance of Athirappilly Falls. We stopped walked some 10 metres, took some photos and came back.

Next we reached the famous Athirapilly waterfalls. The entrance that leads inside, is nicely decorated with bamboo and wood.Now there were ticket checkers at the gate but no ticket booking counters! On asking they told that the booking counter is some 1 km from the gate. So nevertheless my husband had to walk an extra 2 kms to get the tickets. If the ticket booking counter had been adjacent to the entry gate, it would have been good.

From the gate, we had to walk some 400 metres to see the falls from top. The place has been nicely barricaded so that people do not accidentally fall. There was also a path that will go to the base of the falls, but from my prior experience at Jog Falls I decided not to be so adventurous. The only reason is my never-exercised body may not allow.

Athirapilly Waterfall

Athirapilly Waterfall

On seeing the falls with our own eyes, we realised how majestic it is and the reason why so many film makers try to capture the falls in their movies.A truly beautiful falls in India. 

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