Athirappilly falls is located on the border of Athirappilly panchayath, Chalakudy Taluk of Thrissur district and Ayyampuzhapanchayath, Aluva Taluk of Ernakulam district, Kerala on the southwest seashore of India. Located on the west flowing Chalakudy River alongside the Vazhachal forest division and the Sholayar ranges, this 24-metre (80 ft.) waterfall and the nearby Vazhachal Falls are popular tourist destinations to visit. 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 monumental waterfall in Kerala and is also named “The Niagara of India”.
The 145-kilometer long Chalakudy River, originates in the Anamudi hills of the Western Ghats and slides through the Vazhachal Forest toward the Arabian Sea. The river initially runs smoothly but becomes more turbulent as it nears Athirappilly. At Athirappilly Falls, the water sweeps around big rocks and cascades down in three separate plumes. Below the falls, the river remains turbulent for about 1 kilometer until it reaches Kannamkuzhi. Then it calms and flows smoothly until reaching the dam at Thumburmuzhi.
The nearest railway station to Athirappilly Falls is 30 kilometers to the west in Chalakudi Railway Station, and the nearby airport is Kochi International Airport, about 55 kilometers southwest of the waterfall and 58 kilometers south of the City of Thrissur. Athirappilly is easily reachable from Chalakudy by taxi or by bus from the Chalakudy individual bus terminal. Athirappilly is situated on the expressway connecting Tamil Nadu and Kerala, among thick forest, so night riding is not advised.
The trip from Chalakudy to the Athirappilly Falls passes through a scenery of winding roads, small villages and abundant green trees. Travellers can reach the top of the waterfall using a paved path that leads through wide bamboo bunches. A sharp narrow path also leads to the bottom of the falls. The falls attract visitors from across India, especially during the monsoon months (June–September). About 7 million travelers visit the falls and the Vazhachal picnic spot each year.
Daily Jungle Safari trips are organized by Thrissur District Tourism Promotion Council accompanied by Athirappilly Destination Management Council from Chalakudy to Malakkappara. It is the most attractive wildlife watch and Ecotourism Jungle trip through the evergreen forest of Sholayar grasslands of Western Ghats – Kerala. It is also the most beautiful Jungle Safari watching Wildlife in the complete Kerala and is about 90 km from the rain forests of Sholayar grasslands. A unique opportunity to experience the rich flora & fauna of Athirappilly – Vazhachal Ecotourism, traversing Kauthukapark, Thumburmuzhi Dam & Butterfly garden, Athirappilly waterfalls, Vazhachal falls, 40 km of among thick forests, valleys, lofty peaks, tea garden and wildlife watch. This Jungle trip is a memorable experience, which one can have on his Kerala visit.
Some of the known major films with the beauty scenes of Athirappilly falls are:
- The fall was characteristic in Mani Ratnam’s Bollywood film “Dil Se”.., starring Shahrukh Khan, Manisha Koirala, Preity Zinta; song: “Jiya Jale”.
- In 2007 Bollywood movie “Guru” used Athirappilly Falls as one of its sites. Rajiv Menon, the cinematographer of the movie, chose Athirappilly Falls as a backstage for one of its songs “Barso Re”.
- The fall is also well known as a site for “Narumugaye”, a song from the Tamil film “Iruvar” worked by Mohanlal and actress Aishwarya Rai.
- This fall is also a prime location for songs like “Behne de “and most scenes in the Hindi movie “Raavan” and Tamil movie “Raavanan”.
- Song “Kurukku Siruthavale” from Mudhalvan starring Arjun, Manisha Koirala and “chalo chalain mitwa” for its remake “Nayak” (2001 film) starring Anil Kapoor, Rani Mukherjee.
- Song “Sunta hai tera khuda” from “Pukar” starring Anil Kapoor.
- Song “Achi lagti ho” from “Kuch Naa Kaho”.
- “Sirf Tum” movie starring Sanjay Kapoor, Sushmita Sen.
- Songs from movie Saaya starring John Abraham.
- Scene from movie Madras Cafe starring John Abraham.
- Few scenes in Hindi movie Agyaat.
- Song “Rosappoo chinna rosappoo” from “Suryavamsam”.
- Song “Baarish” and climax scenes of movie “Yaariyan”.
- Also, Hollywood movie like “Before the Rains” 2007 uses the picturesque destination.
- Hollywood movie “Pirate’s blood” 2008.
- Also the picturesque Location/Songs in movie “Baahubali”, India’s biggest motion picture, 2015 Telugu movie.
In every way a nature tour of Athirappilly Falls will always go to be delightful trip