Athirapally, Vazhachal and Charpa falls
It was in August 2013 right after the heavy monsoon in Kerala me and Sayed planned for a 1 day trip to Athirapally water falls. June and July was raining cat and dogs in Kerala. A monsoon so prominent was recorded almost 20 years back only. I don’t remember a monsoon season in my memories which lasted for almost 2 months. Even the Idukki Dam was under the threat of over flowing and was a real time blast for Medias for some days. Almost all the rivers of Kerala were running out of their trajectories.
So on a Sunday we planned to do the outing. Saturday after the office I went to Syed’s room and stayed there for the next day’s trip. We started early in the morning after the day break in my bike and took the route through Ezhattumugham. From Angamaly we need to take right to deviate to Ezhattumugham. The road was good and we could drive comfortably. We reached Ezhattumugham and stopped for some pics. The river was flowing vigorously. After Ezhattumugham we entered some private roads inside a huge plantation. There was no one else going by that road. At some point of time we even though we lost the way. But Sayed was using his mobile GPS and the route was showing correct on it.
The plantation was Palm and some other shrubs and herbs which I didn’t understand. The stretch inside the plantation was literally a horrible road. The tarred road was almost on the verge of extinction. We kissed gutters very often and after some more time we again reached some plain roads. The road to Athirapally was good from here onwards. Newly tarred and broad one. Riding was very comfortable.
In almost two hours we were closing the falls and I could get a long glimpse of the falls through the forest cover. The scene was amazing. I have never seen the falls so momentous. She was at her best after the heavy downpour and the entire stretch of the falls was completely covered with water. Normally what we could see is a free fall through the middle of the falls but this was something different and I could even hear the distant roar of the falls from that distance even.
We couldn’t wait to see her close and started moving again. In another 15 minutes we reached Athirapally. Taking the tickets from the counter we rush to see the great fall. I couldn’t explain what we saw reaching the top of the falls down the way. The river was almost flooded and the falls gave a wonderful view from the top. The dew was flying all over the place from the down fall. The view of the falls was literally a feast to the eyes.
Though I have been there earlier also I have never seen her dancing like this. We spent a lot of time there. It was a very busy day at Athirapally and lot of tourists were there. We saw people throwing food stuffs and soft drinks bottles to monkeys which are often seen there though they are not supposed to do so.
The entry to the river was strictly restricted with fence all over the place. Entering the river in this time is nothing but suicide. After a considerably long photo session we headed down the trails for reaching the base of the falls. Walking through the laid trails for 15 minutes we reached the base of the falls. The view of the falls was different from the base. We couldn’t go to the river bank as it was flooded but the down fall of water was so heavy with a huge roar. I would rather say it scary than beautiful. Water droplets scattered all over the place and moving close to the falls was not possible. Using the camera was also very difficult due to the moisture in the air. Every Now and then I had to wipe my camera to avoid moisture making trouble.
After half an hour we started back to the entrance and were planning to move further to Vazhachal. Seeing the beauty of Athirapally we didn’t wanted to Miss Vazhachal and Charpa a small falls on the way to Vazhachal from Athirapally. Charpa water falls is almost 4 km from Athirapally. Charpa falls was also having a heavy flow. I have not visited Charpa earlier but from acquaintances who often visit Athirapally and Vazhachal I could know that Charpa is a very small falls. But the stupendous monsoon has given her a new face which no one would have seen in 20 years.
After a little stop at Charpa we carried out to Vazhachal. The road between Athirapally and Vazhachal is so beautiful. We had to drive through thick forest covers. The road also is remarkably good so that we can enjoy the ride without any hustles. Almost 4 km after Charpa falls we reach the Vazhachal check post. We can see an inspection banglow there. From this point we need to obtain tickets to visit the falls.
Needless to say beauty repeated again in Vazhachal. From the check post we can go to the Valparai Pollachi route which is one of the most beautiful roads in Kerala. The road leads through dense forest covers via Sholayar, Valparai and there is 41 hairpin curves on the way to Pollachi. Sooner or later I am also planning for covering the road in bike.
Vazhachal falls was also mighty and the entire stretch was covered in water. We walked through the path adjacent to the river flow. For almost 1.5 km we could walk through the banks of the river which is a good experience. The climate was also good and fresh air and greenery is catalyst to the vivid attractions of Vazhachal.
By 3 pm we headed back from Vazhachal through the same road. It has become cloudy by then and we feared it would rain. There is nothing on the way from Vazhachal to Athirapally to take a hide from rain except the thick forest cover. It was almost dark throughout the road as forest cover and the clouds were not allowing the intruding sunlight. We were very hungry and badly wanted to give a consolation to the hunger. We had food from a hotel nearby and by 4pm we were heading back to the business of the city crowd. It rained a little on the way but we were already on the civilian area so that we could take a hide. It took almost 2 hours to reach back to Cochin as we rode slow to enjoy the ride and besides that we had no scheduled programs to reach back in hurry.
Reaching Sayed’s room by six we had a quick review on the photos taken. After an hour or some more I went to my room with sweet memories of one more day on the go.
You can reach my face book profile