About an hour-and- a-half-hour drive from Kochi, Athirapally, located in the Thrissur district in Kerala, is gorgeous beyond words. The highlight of the city are its lush green forests, and the cascading Athirapally Falls (also known as the ‘Niagra Falls of Kerala’) situated amidst it.
The gushing waters and rolling streams of Athirapally Waterfall are an iconic must see attraction of Kerala, not just because of the tremendous beauty, but also because the forest around the waterfall is home to exotic wildlife and bird species such as the hornbill. A trip to Athirapally Waterfall can be coupled with other sightseeing attractions such as Vazhachal Falls (about 5km from Athirapally), Sholayar Dam, Charpa Waterfalls and Chalakudy river, which is home to many species of freshwater fish.
Athirapally is a scenic paradise, peppered with beautiful waterfalls and forests, that comes alive especially during monsoons. Therefore, the best time to visit here is between July to September.
The ecosystem of Athirapally is really unique, it is considered to be one of its kind in all of Western Ghats. So much so, that the Asian Nature Conservation Foundation recommends that the area is declared a national park or a sanctuary. Instead of visiting a wildlife park in Kerala, one can always take the leap of faith and traverse the forests of Athirapally to spot different varieties of flora and fauna.
Athirapally is simply a place to relax, rejuvenate and revive. It is one of the best places for nature lovers as well as wildlife photographers, thanks to its strategic location between Nila river and Kochi. This place has also been declared an ‘Important Bird Area,’ thus one can easily plan a bird-watching tour as well.
The nearest airport from here is in Kochi, called the Cochin International Airport, about 55km away, and it is about 60km away from Thrissur city.