Athirappilly is a first grade Grama Panchayath with 489.00 km2 area in Chalakudy Taluk, Thrissur district in Kerala, India. It is located 60 km from Thrissur city, 70 km northeast of Kochi city, 55 km northeast of Cochin International Airport, and 30 km from Chalakudy town.
The Athirappilly Falls is situated 1000 ft above sea level on the Chalakudy river, at the entrance to the Sholayar ranges of the Western Ghats, Athirappalli is a scenic combination of forests and little streams. Falling from a height of 80 feet, this is one of the largest waterfalls in the state. Many endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna are found in the forests of the Athirapilly-Vazhachal area. This area is the only place in the Western Ghats where four endangered hornbill species are seen. The Western Ghats is one of the most important biodiversity hot spot in the world. This valuable natural world is already degraded by mining and hydro electric projects. Environmentalists claim that Athirapally 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.
Athirappilly is popular among tourists. Athirappilly Falls is one of the best places to visit in Kerala. Another popular waterfall to visit is the Vazhachal Falls. Athirappilly Falls is a part of Chalakudy river and it is approximately 80 feet in height. Athirappilly is easily reachable from Chalakudy by taking a vehicle for rent or by bus from the Chalakudy private bus terminal.
Proper precautions are taken on site to prevent mishaps while swimming and a police camp is always positioned there. Athirappilly is situated on SH-21 highway connecting Tamil Nadu and Kerala, night driving is not advised. But you can enjoy the adventurous drive in the middle of jungle.
Jungle Safari: 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 Safari 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 Athirapally-Vazhachal Ecotourism, covering Kauthukapark, Thumboormuzhy Dam & Butterfly garden, Athirapally water falls, Vazhachal falls, 40 km of amidst thick forests, valleys, lofty peaks, tea garden and wildlife watch. This jungle safari is the most memorable experience, one can have in a Kerala visit.