ATHIRAPPILLY WATERFALLS



ATHIRAPPILLY WATERFALLS The soothing sounds take you to the nature's most relaxing, rejuvenating place, East of Chalakkudy, The Athirapally Waterfalls in Trichur District, Kerala, India. Athirappally is an 80ft high waterfall which literally takes your breath away. Starting calmly from the high ranges, and crashing through gorges overhung with trees, this waterfall is one of the best places in India to re-capture a real sense of the classical idea of the "Picturesque" ...not just calmandsweet,butsomethingwildandnatural. Athirappilly Falls is situated in Athirappilly panchayath, Chalakudy Taluk in of Thrissur district, Kerala on the southwest coast of India. Located on the west-flowing Chalakudy River near the Vazhachal Forest Division and the Sholayar ranges, this 24-metre (80 ft) waterfall and the nearby Vazhachal Falls are popular tourist destinations. There is another waterfall on the way from Athirappilly to Vazhachal Falls, in close proximity to the road and is locally called “Charpa Falls”. Athirappilly Falls is the largest waterfall in Kerala and is nicknamed "The Niagara of India".[1] Controversy about a state-proposed hydroelectric dam on the Chalakudy River above the waterfalls began in the 1990s and has continued through 2011. Perched high above in the Sholayar forest ranges on the fringes of Kerala's framed rain forests, the waterfalls provides a restful escape for those warning 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 Athirapally. These scintillating waterfalls in the thick green forest are part of the Chalakudy river stream. Athirappally Waterfalls is located 78 kms from Kochi (Cochin), located at the entrance to Sholayar ranges, this waterfall is a popular picnic spot. Affording to the onlookers, one of the most bewitching sights, Athirappally Falls is about 80 feet high and located in the forest area. Combined with the greenery, it infuses freshness into any tired soul. The Athirapally Falls join the Chalakkudy River after plummeting a drop of 80 feet. A tranquil and much needed escape from the troubles and stress of life. Let the soothing sounds take you to some of natures most relaxing places - the beautiful waterfalls of Athirampally. The charm of the Athirapally nature cannot be described by words. The thick lush green forest around the beautiful waterfall, will lure you definitely. If you are a person, who love to have an adventurous trip or trekking, the Athirapally waterfalls will be a perfect place for you to indulge with. You will have to collect an entry pass in order to be at AthirapallyandVazhachalwaterfalls.


WILDLIFE


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 Athirappilly is a one-of its-kind riparian ecosystem in Kerala. V.S. Vijayan, Chairman of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board and former Director of the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Coimbatore, has been quoted in Down to Earth magazine as affirming that the Vazhachal forest division is the second most biodiverse area in the State. 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 Wildlife Trust of India says it represents one of India's best elephant conservation efforts. “Any disruption to this fragile ecosystem will spell disaster,” says Vijayan.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.


TOURIST PLACES NEAR TO ATHIRAPPILY


Vazhachal Waterfalls Charpa Waterfalls Thumboormozhi Dam,Watefalls And Butterfly Park Silver Storm , Dream World Water Theme Parks Adventures Activities Daily Jungle Safari trips are organized by Thrissur District Tourism Promotion Council with Athirappilly Destination Management Council from Chalakudy to Malakkappara. It is the most attractive wildlife watch and Ecotourism Jungle safari through the evergreen forest of Sholayar ranges of Western Ghats - Kerala. It is also the most beautiful Jungle Saffari watching Wildlife in the entire Kerala and is about 90 km across the rain forests of Sholayar ranges. A unique opportunity to experience the rich flora & fauna of Athirappilly - Vazhachal Ecotourim , covering Kauthukapark, Thumboormuzhy Dam & Butterflygarden, Athirappilly water falls, Vazhachal falls, 40 km of amidst thick forests, valleys, lofty peaks, tea garden and wildlife watch. This Jungle safari is a memorable experience ,which one can have on his Kerala visit.


HYDROELECTRIC PROJECT


In 1994, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) proposed a 163 megawatt Athirappilly Hydro Electric Project. It was to include a dam 23 metres (75 ft) high and 311 metres (1,020 ft) wide on the Chalakudy River in the Vazhachal Forest Division about 5 kilometres (3 mi) upstream of Athirappilly Falls and 400 metres (1,312 ft) upstream of Vazhachal Rapids (Vazhachal Falls). However, environmental groups and people's collectives opposed the project on grounds that it would damage the environment, infringe on human rights, and threaten tourism. Though it was not their main concern, critics also noted that if the entire course of the river were diverted to make electricity, the Athirappilly-Vazhachal waterfalls could dry up. To avoid damaging the falls, the KSEB proposed adjusting the water releases to maintain the falls. The debate continued in 2007. Environmentalists also expressed concern over whether the proposed hydroelectric project at Athirappilly waterfalls would lead to displacement and eventual extinction of the primitive tribal group, `Kadars,' in the area.


Movies


The scenic beauty of Athirappilly falls has always been attractive to filmmakers. This falls is used as a location for several Malayalam films. Some of the other known major films with scene(s) around the falls are : • 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 so 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, Manisha Koirala, Preity Zinta ; song : "Jiya jale". • 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 Barso Re. • The falls are also famous as a site location for "Narumugaye Narumugaye", a song from the Tamil film Iruvar acted by Mohanlal and actress Aishwarya Rai. • This falls is also a major location for songs like "Behne de"and most scenes in the Hindi film Raavan and Tamil Film Raavanan. • The song "Adada Mazhaida" from Paiyaa featuring Karthi and Tamannaah was shot in this location. • Song from Kannathil Muthamittal of the same name shot here • Song "Kurukku Siruthavale" from Mudhalvan starring Arjun,Manisha Koirala and "chalo chalain mitwa" for its remake Nayak (2001 film) starring Anil kapoor,Rani Mukerji • Scenes from tamil movie Alex Pandian • Scenes/Song from "Baahubali", India's biggest motion picture, 2015 Telugu movie. • English 2007 movie Before the Rains • English 2008 movie Pirate's blood • Scenes from malayalam movie Cousins