Athirappilly, VazhachalValparai The Rider’s Paradise

Estimated read time 4 min read

Twenty Five Kms away from Chalakudy, the Athirappilly- Vazhachal-Malakkappara-Valparai route is one of the longest forest routes in Kerala. The rich wildlife, lush tea plantations, and twirling forest paths offer the riders an unforgettable experience that they will treasure for their lifetime. The primary attractions along this route are the waterfalls at Athirappilly and Vazhachal. Valparai forests are sheer pleasure for those who love the adrenaline pump. The huge rocks, twisting turns, plunging valleys, and roaring sounds of rushing waters are a treat for adventure seekers.

Athirappilly Water Falls

Known as the Niagra of India, Athirappilly is the largest waterfall in Kerala with a height of 80 feet. The fresh waters from the western ghats will refresh your senses. This scenic beauty is a location for many movies.


To ascend the Vazhachal Waterfalls, visitors can utilise a well-constructed bamboo-clustered pathway alongside the falls. This pathway, a significant tourist attraction, tends to be crowded, especially during the monsoon season. The journey continues on winding roads leading to another nearby attraction, the Vazhachal/Charpa waterfalls, where roadside shops offer delectable fresh fish from the river.
Moving on to the next destination involves taking the Valparai – Athirapilly Road, requiring clearance from the forest check post at Vazhachal. After obtaining clearance, the trail meanders through the Sholayar rain forests, with intermittent appearances of green meadows, dense forest trees, and casually strolling elephants, among other sights.
The journey’s excitement is heightened by the curves and bends along the route. The next stop on the itinerary is Malakkappara, a village situated on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, offering a restful break and refreshing meals. Beyond the Tamil Nadu check post, a surreal silence envelops travelers, with dense tropical trees and the sounds of wildlife creating a captivating environment.
While on the route, attractions like the Sholayar Dam and Urulikkal estate beckon with their impressive views. The journey progresses to Valparai, a hill town 3500 ft above sea level along the Western Ghats. Lush green forests seamlessly merge with manicured tea gardens, and the region boasts rich wildlife. Dark grey skies, drizzling thunderstorms, and dense tropical forests enhance the overall aura.


Encapsulating the essence of a plantation town, hill station, biodiversity hotspot, and tropical rainforest, is situated in the Anaimalai Range of the Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu. Tata Tea manages the tea plantations, where tea estate workers reside in small houses painted in Bright Green and Blue Colors from the British Raj era.
The rich biodiversity in Valparai includes unique and endemic species such as the Nilgiri tahr, Great Indian Hornbill, and lion-tailed macaques. Efforts by locals, NGOs, and wildlife conservationists aim to protect these species in their pristine environment. Wildlife can be spotted in and around Puduthottam Annexe or occasionally on the roads, showcasing the harmonious coexistence between locals and these creatures.
The region’s attractions, including waterfalls, dams (such as Aliyar and Sholayar), and dense wild and wet forests, make Valparai not just a tourist destination but a journey into the cultural life of forests, highlighting the breathtaking power of Mother Nature.
An intriguing narrative revolves around a man named Velu, who claims to have seen God in a park now named “Seen God.” The man continues to visit Nallamudi Poonjolai at 11 am, hoping to see God again. Post-Valparai, the route via NH 83 toward Pollachi presents challenges, with over 40 hairpin bends on the path.
Important considerations for the journey include obtaining clearance at the Vazhachal forest check post, being prepared for narrow and bumpy roads, staying alert for wildlife encounters on the roads, avoiding travel during the night, and checking for limited public transportation options along the route through a travel agent.

-Editorial Team

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