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The Athirapally falls join the Chalakudy river after plummeting down 80 ft.
The Athirappilly Waterfalls is located 78 kms from Kochi (Cochin), located
at the entrance to Sholayar ranges, this waterfalls is a popular picnic
spot. The cool spray that covers a large area near the falls makes Athirapally a scenic location.
The charm of the Athirampally nature cannot be described by words, Starting calmly from the high ranges, and crashing through gorges overhung with trees, these waterfall is one of the best places in India to re-capture a real sense of the classical idea of the ‘Picturesque’ – not just calm and sweet, but something wild and natural.
Perched high above in the the Sholayar forest ranges on the fringes of Kerala’s famed rain forests, the waterfalls provides a restful escape for those wanting to leave the hurried pace of city life behind.
Both this waterfalls are a part of the Chalakudy river and 5 km apart on the road to hill station (valparai) which has excellent tea estate and is one of India’s highest elephant density habitats and is a crucial corridor between Parambikulam and Malayattur
Perched high above in the the Sholayar forest ranges on the fringes of Kerala’s famed rain forests, the Athirapalli waterfalls provides a restful escape for those wanting to leave the hurried pace of city life behind. The water plunges and joins to the Chalakudi River. The scenic attraction of Vazhachal, the other picnic spot is just a drive from Athirampally. These scintillating waterfalls in thick green forest are a part of the Chalakudy river stream.
The riparian forests of the Chalakudy River have revealed the existence of a thick riparian vegetation of more than 10 metres width for a distance of 10.5 km downstream from Peringalkuth, covering an area of 58.5 hectares. Out of this, 26.4 hectares lie within the Vazachal area, including three large islands densely covered by riparian forests.
The riparian forests of the area have been found to be characterised by the presence of typical riparian species of plants, in addition to evergreen and semi-evergreen species. Out of the 319 species of flowering plants identified from the study area, 24 are endemic species of the Western Ghats and 10 are rare and endangered.
Moreover, the Chalakudy River is known for its diversity, as it contains 85 species of fresh water fishes out of the 152 species known from Kerala. Among these, 35 are endemic species of the Western Ghats and nine are considered to be endangered.
Forest wildlife in the area includes the Asiatic elephant, tiger, leopard, bison, sambar, and lion-tailed macaque. The unique 180 metres (590 ft) elevation riparian forest in the Athirappilly-Vazhachal area is the only location where all four South Indian species of hornbills — the Great Hornbill (the State Bird of Kerala), Malabar Pied Hornbill, Malabar Grey Hornbill, and the Indian Grey Hornbill are found living together. If the proposed 163-MW Athirappilly hydroelectric project is built, these unique birds may vanish from these forests because it will submerge the hornbills’ habitat.
Plantations in the area contain teak, bamboo, and eucalyptus. Environmentalists claim that Athirapally is a one-of its-kind riparian ecosystem in Kerala. The International Bird Association has declared it an ‘Important Bird Area’ and the Asian Nature Conservation Foundation has recommended that the area should be declared a sanctuary or a national park, he points out. The river provides habitat for 85 species of fresh water fishes. Among these, 35 are endemic species. This place is the best place to find most animals in the wild.
The scenic beauty of Athirappilly falls has always been attractive to filmmakers. This falls is used as a location for several Malayalam films..
India’s Most Expensive Film ‘Baahubali’ recently shooted (some parts) at Athirapally Waterfall.
Kunchacko Boban-Vedhika Starrer ‘Cousins’ recently shooted (some parts) here.
A major portion of 1986 Tamil movie Punnagai Mannan was shot near the falls, the Falls itself playing a role in it. It made the Falls popular in Tamil Nadu that it got the nickname “Punnagai Mannan Falls”.
The falls were featured in Mani Ratnam’s Bollywood film Dil Se.., starring Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala.
The 2007 Bollywood movie Guru used Athirappilly Falls as one of its locations. Rajiv Menon, the cinematographer of the movie, chose Athirappilly Falls as a background for one of its songs.
The falls are also famous as a site location for Narumugaye Narumugaye, a song from the Tamil film ‘Iruvar’ acted by Malayalam superstar ‘Mohanlal’ and actress ‘Aishwarya Rai’.
This falls is also a major location in the Hindi Film Raavan and Tamil Film Raavanan.
The song “Adada Mazhaida” featuring Karthi & Tamannaah was shot in this location.
“Arjuna Arjuna ” song featuring Sarathkumar and Namitha in Movie “Aei” was shot here.
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