Who would have thought that I would be able to see the Niagara in Kerala? In all my years of living in Kerala I had never seen it. Now all of a sudden, sandwiched between ecstatic visits to various temples I got an opportunity to go to these spectacular falls. There are two falls known as Athirapalli and Vazhachal and ---and both are pretty fabulous sights. From Trichur you have to take the Chalakudi route and branch off before reaching the town. All along you can find the usual guest houses and of course at the base camp there were many little shops selling hats and umbrellas and the inevitable tea and coffee and banana chips.
A very pretty walk through rain forest jungle takes you to another platform from which you can have a view of the falls from the top but another picturesque little path winds its way in a steep descent to the river from where you can have a magnificent view of the falls. They are actually twin falls and is known as the Athirapalli falls. There is a deafening roar so you can hardly hear yourself speak. There are two guards who decide to follow us and explain whatever there is to explain. Later I saw that one guard had no hand and the other was deaf! Apparently the deaf one had a hunch that we were special and followed us to get blessings! Obviously he heard things which we couldn’t. We heard only the roar of the waters.
Of course I tried to clamber up to one of the rocks much to the consternation of the guards but it was so delightful to feel the spray on my face and to watch the mist wafting away in the wind. It was a magic place and we were grateful that we were the only ones around. I stood for a while, savouring the spray on my face and then decided to return since the tourist crowd was slowly coming down and soon the whole place would be flooded with people with the usual accompaniments of plastic bags containing chips and other spicy bites, all chattering at the top of their voices. At the top of the platform we went to the edge and watch the waterfalls from above. This was not half as exciting.
For those of you who are interested in visiting this idyllic spot it should be borne in mind that they are at their most spectacular only during the monsoon months of May, June and July.
Hari Aum Tat Sat