Kerala Travel Guide - Athirapally

Kerala is filled with numerous interesting attractions and millions of people visit the tourist places in Kerala every year to enjoy an exotic tropical vacation. Kerala is blessed with much of beautiful nature, rivers, beautiful beaches, backwaters, hill stations, rich culture, and heritage which give a very pleasant atmosphere to everyone and relieve or calm down all senses as well as body and mind.

This article will act as a complete guide to visit Athirapally and will give you a glance of the beautiful tourist attractions there. Athirapally and Thekkady are two interesting tourism spots, which are just 100 km from each other. It takes a little more than 5 hours to reach one destination from the other. It is recommended to choose both the destinations for your vacation or your honeymoon place in India.

If you happen to be in a situation where it is practically possible to visit just one out of the two destinations, it would take a long discussion to choose one. Thekkady has many attractions including Periyar National Park, plantations, rafting and others. On the other hand, Athirapally is famous for waterfalls and picnics. Athirapally has waterfalls, dams and a butterfly garden.

Kerala Travel Guide - Athirapally

Here are some reasons why you should visit Athirapally.

1. Wildlife Attractions in Athirapally


With over 25+ wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in all the parts of Kerala is a perfect destination to spot wild animals, migratory birds, and raw nature while on a wildlife safari. If you love wildlife attractions, you ought to choose Thekkady over Athirapally.

There is safari in Athirapally, which is just a ride to the rainforest. You can find many animals here but spotting elephant is common. Night drive through the forest is an important tourist activity in Athirapally. Top animals to spot here are tigers, Asian elephants, white tigers, wild pig, flying squirrel, macaque, Nilgiri langur, fruit bat, marten, sloth bear, jungle cat and others.

Animal habitat doesn't hinder, so it's worth mentioning that Athirapally Waterfalls is home to many species such as the great hornbill, Malabar pied hornbill, leopard, bison, sambar lion-tailed macaque Malabar grey hornbill, Indian grey hornbill, Asiatic elephant, tiger, etc.

2. Waterfalls in Athirapally


Just 70 km away from Kochi, Athirapally Waterfalls is one of the best places to see in Cochin, filled with many extravaganzas. Athirapally or Athirappilly is famous for the largest waterfall in the state. It is also called as the Niagara of India. It is located 1000 ft above sea level. The waterfalls are surrounded by forests.

Apart from Athirapally falls, other attractions include Charpa falls, Thumpurmuzhi garden, forest garden, Sholayar dam, Peringalkuthu dam, Anakkayam and others.

It is the favorite place of some prominent film directors and many sequences of films such as Dil Se and Baahubali were filmed here. The best time to visit Athirapally is between June and December. Many tourists visit here often between September and January. This is the biggest waterfall in Kerala, where multiple streams of running water join together. 31 km further, lies Sholayar Dam which the second biggest dam in the whole of Asia.

This destination should evidently be on your list! Athirapally might be aesthetically pleasing with waterfalls and other scenic spots. It is hard to spot any animals or birds other than the occasional local species. The park lies in the middle of Cardamom hills. This hilly region has thick forests, dams, rivers, reservoirs and many others.

Another attraction of the region is Agasthyarkoodam, one of the highest peaks of the Western Ghats, with a peak of 1,868 meters of altitude.

3. Birdwatching in Athirapally


As mentioned before, the wildlife element of Thekkady has no boundaries. You can find more than 266 birds here when opposed to some very rare bird spotting in Athirapally.

4. Picnic Spots in Athirapally


Although Thekkady is filled with many interesting scenic spots and natural paradises, it is easier to find a good picnic spot in Athirapally than in Thekkady. A good picnic spot near the waterfalls will make the day more refreshing.

5. Food in Athirapally


Kerala is known as God’s own country for a reason. The lush green trees, the local delicacies, the cool sea breeze and coming to food, Kerala has quite an interesting palette and if there’s one dominant flavour its of coconut. Every dish of this state is made from spices and herbs fresh out of their gardens, making it one of the tastiest cuisines to ever have from South India.

You can experience Kerala's culture is through its gastronomic delights. Either for vegetarians or non-vegetarians, the food options are many and the taste will be really good. Here is a list of things that you must try when in Kerala. Even on the roadside, Appams, idiyappam, bajjis, and other snacks are worth tasting! You will lose count of the number of appams you are eating.

They just melt in your mouth. You should also not miss Indian coffee house coffee and the tiffins they offer. Sadya is a not to miss specialty and so are the pal payasams and other sweets. The state is known to serve the freshest seafood in the country. Savor a meal served on a green banana leaf, along with refreshing palm wine. Other must-try items are appam with stew, ghee roast dosa with sambhar and Karimeen Pollicahthu.

Idiyappam is made from rice flour and goes well with stew, egg curry or sambar. It’s like one fluffy disk of thin threads bound together and almost tastes like idly. Banana chips, made from raw banana, fried in coconut oil is available in almost every corner of the street.Pack a few packets to get home so that your trip memory can linger on for longer.

Fish pollichathu is made from cooking a fish in local spices all wrapped together inside a banana leaf. The fish is steamed with all the local spices and the banana leaf lets the bonus flavours and nutrients infuse into the fish. Do not miss this dish if you love seafood. Puttu is a cylindrical steamed rice cake topped with grated coconut. It is the most popular breakfast dish and is usually served with kadala curry.

Soft and fluffy in the centre and paper thin around the edges, appam is hands down the most addictive dish from Kerala. Appam is often had with creamy coconuty stew. Pop into the nearby toddy shop, and order yourself the Kappa and meen curry. It's a well spiced fish curry served with some boiled Cassava/tapioca roots (the kappa). Dip the soft boiled Kappa into this spicy red fish curry and sluurpp, enjoy the dish like a local!

Sadhya is a traditional meal served on a banana leaf with around 20 dishes. Though this is a speciality made during the local festival of Onam, most restaurants offer this meal round the year. It usually has chor, avial, pappadam, a sweet tamarind-ginger pickle and many other interesting vegetarian dishes.

6. Photography in Athirapally


If you love scenic photographs, you ought to visit Athirapally. If you want to click some interesting pictures with wildlife, Thekkady is the best. In short, if you are a photo enthusiast, both the places are very interesting.

7. Shopping in Athirapally


Athirapally is the best place to buy natural forest honey. There are a few resorts and hotels near Athirapally waterfalls to enjoy the traditional cuisine of the land. There is no shop or restaurant in the national reserve. You can find a few away from the park.

8. Water Theme Parks in Athirapally


Thekkady might be famous for rafting but you cannot swim or bath in the water. On the other hand, you can bath, and allow the fast flowing water to massage you in Athirapally. You can float down the slope or perform any water-based activity here.

If you love theme parks, you ought to visit Athirapally. There are two theme parks little away from Athirapally. Thekkady does not have any theme park in it.

All differences apart, these two places are very important tourist spots. No matter which spot you choose, you are in for an exotic vacation. It is better to choose the right season for visiting each destination.

How Many Days Required to Visit in Athirapally


It is easier to enjoy Athirapally in just one day. Thekkady can keep you busy for a couple of days. You would need more time to span all attractions in Thekkady.

Budget to Visit in Athirapally


Travelling to Athirapally will not cost much. The travel cost, food and visit to butterfly garden are the major expenses to spare in Athirapally. On the other hand, you will be spending considerable amount of money for wildlife safari, rafting, entry ticket to the reserve and others.

Best Time to Visit Athirapally


If you happen to visit Kerala during rainy season, it is recommended to visit Athirapally over Thekkady. It is hard to spot animals in the park during rainy season and heavy rains can lead to cancellation of safari, rafting and others. On the other hand, Athirapally will be aesthetically pleasing during heavy rains.

October to March is the best time to visit Kerala and the best season to visit the southern part of India with the onset of winters as the temperature hovers in between 18 degrees and 29 degree celsius. You can visit Kovalam, Thekkady, Alleppey, Munnar, and Kumarakom to enjoy house boating and a lot more for a wonderful experience in Kerala.

This period is the peak season for tourism in Kerala so don't miss a chance to visit God's Own Country. Book your Kerala vacation package as soon as possible and see the magic of incredible India and you will find enough of reasons to visit this amazing place again.

From April to June, you will experience hot weather but evening showers add humidity to the environment. The temperature ranges between 32 degrees and 36 degree Celsius, which makes it one of the hottest period of the region and therefore the summer season cannot be recommended for a visit to Kerala.

Summer is the right time to find numerous colorful birds and flowers in the national parks. On the other hand, Athirapally will not be at its prime beauty during summer. With lack of water, the Athirapally waterfalls might not be a good picnic spot or sightseeing spot.

From July to September, the arrival of monsoon and rampant showers let tourists enjoy the view of cascading waters and lush green environment. The temperature ranges from 19 degrees to 30 degree Celsius. So, this can be a great time to waking up to enchanting views and having a rejuvenating time while some of the best Ayurveda centers based here.

Now that we have had an overview of one of the tourist hotspots of Kerala, let us find out 2 or 3 itineraries for a Kerala trip plan.

Kerala Itinerary 1:

Day 1:

Arrive at Kerala and leave for Wayanad. Explore the local places and enjoy a night stay here.

Day 2:

Leave early for Palakkad and explore the local attractions. Enjoy a Safari and plan a night stay in some jungle resort.

Kerala Itinerary 2:

Day 1:

Arrive at Thekkady and enjoy the local exploration. Explore the Periyar Tiger Reserve and don’t miss the traditional bamboo raft tour of the reserve. Spend the night at some resort.

Day 2: Leave for Alleppey and enjoy a houseboat tour and stay.

Kerala Itinerary 3:

Day 1:

Reach Munnar and explore the attractions during the day. Take a night stay here.

Day 2:

Leave for Thekkady and explore the attractions followed by a night stay in some resort or reserve camp.

If you don’t want to spend the 2 days travelling and hopping from one place to another, you can also choose to explore one district at a time and enjoy a laid-back vacation.

Interesting Reads: Places to Visit in Thekkady
Kalyan Panja

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