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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

You can experience Kerala's culture is through its gastronomic delights. 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.

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 in 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.

Interesting Reads: Places to Visit in Thekkady
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author


  1. Anywhere with bird watching and picnic spaces is a winner for me!

  2. Kerala is one of the most stunning places in the world! There certainly is no shortage of breath-taking photo opportunities while travelling the lush greenery of the Indian state.

  3. I would probably be more likely to visit Athirapally since the photography would be better.

  4. Super nice photos. After seeing them, I would now like to visit it soon.

  5. sounds like such a wonderful place to visit! I love the pictures you have of the water there! So beautiful!!

  6. Wow! That place is serene and stunning like a virgin rainforest or conservatory. Perfect place to go picnic and unwind just like what you have cited. Awesome!

  7. These pictures speak volume about peace and satisfaction. I really wish to visit these places soon. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  8. I think both places sound amazing to visit, hopefully, one day we will be able to save enough to venture out and have an amazing adventure.

  9. From your description you make it very hard to chose one location over the other. You almost have to visit both or you would be loosing out on an amazing experience. Your pictures show a fantastic landscape. Both locations have so much to offer, very tempting.

  10. Absolutely stunning! I could spend months exploring the many beautiful places in India.

  11. Looks like a great place to visit. I'll definitely go here one day with my family. Looks like a great place to visit. I'll definitely go here one day with my family.

  12. I live in Pune and it is one of the best places to visit in Western ghats. If it is to water activities I can travel little down to South.

  13. We love visiting places with wildlife! What kind of animals do they have?

  14. This looks like a great place to visit! The pictures are gorgeous! I definitely love to go places with beautiful scenery and wildlife.

  15. Thanks for sharing your insight into what seems like an awesome trip! The pictures look lovely.

  16. Both of these places are amazing and great to visit. Kerala is one of the beautiful places in India. Thanks for sharing.

  17. I like your travel guide about Kerala.


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