Athirapally – Sholayar – Valparai

Here are some pictures along with small description about the recent visit to Athirappally, Sholayar and Valparai. Some of these pictures are already shared on my facebook page.

We started afternoon on 9th January and reached Athirappally by evening. Home stays and lodges are available and our stay was at ‘Water Gate’, about 4 kilometers behind the waterfalls.

Near Athirappally

This is a view of the river in front of the resort, taken the next day morning. Then we left for seeing those amazing Athirappally and Vazhachal waterfalls. There is a small entry fee at Athirappally to watch the two waterfalls.

Way leading to Athirapally Waterfalls

The walk way leading to Athirappally Waterfalls.

Athirappally Waterfalls

Athirappally Waterfalls – view from top

The view from top itself is so amazing. But even more interesting is to watch it from the bottom – for that there is a small way leading to the bottom of the falls. Its grandness and the roaring sound along with the mist is indeed a wonderful experience. The place is also a frequent shooting location.

Athirappally Waterfalls

Athirappally Waterfalls as viewed from bottom

Athirappally is an example of a segmented waterfalls, where the channel separates into more than one at the falls.

Bonnet Macaque from Athirappally

Bonnet Macaque from Athirappally

Our next point was Vazhachal, which is 8 kilometers ahead of Athirappally. Unlike Athirappally, it is a cascade type of waterfall, where water descents in steps.

Vazhachal Waterfalls

Vazhachal Waterfalls

There is a check post at Vazhachal, and from there the road is through the thick forest till we reach Malakkappara. There is no entry during night time. There are frequent warning boards indicating ‘wildlife crossing zone – go carefully’.

Wild Elephant near Vazhachal

This Elephant was on the other side of the river – near Vazhachal


A view from Sholayar. This was really enchanting. It is around mid-way between Vazhachal and Malakkappara.

A wild flower from Sholayar

Some wild flowers by the road side – Sholayar

White Browed Wagtail near Sholayar

A White Browed Wagtail –  Sholayar

Came out of the forest and reached Malakkappara by afternoon, covering around 41 kilometers from Vazhachal. There is a check post at Malakkappara run by Kerala. And it is advised to exit the forest road and report here well before evening, considering safety. After that there is another check post at Kerala – Tamil Nadu border, and one more on the way to Valparai after entering Tamil Nadu. The Upper Sholayar Dam can also be seen by the side of the road. Valparai is about 28 kilometers from Malakkappara and reached there by evening. ‘Sree Venkateshwara’ is a good option for stay at Valparai; it is at the town itself, just behind the bus stand.

Sun Rising behind the Hills of Valparai

An early morning view from Valparai

A view from Valparai

Landscapes of Valparai

A view from Valparai

The return was via Pollachi. Valparai – Pollachi route has 40 hairpin bends and the views from these places are just spectacular.

Sign Boards near the first hairpin bend

Sign boards at the first hairpin bend. No. 40/40. Take left for Pollachi.

Valparai - Pollachi RouteThird bend from Valparai. This is a mist spreading zone

Valparai - Pollachi Route

Statue - Valparai - Pollachi Route

Statue of C.A Carver Marsh (Third hairpin-bend)

Statue - Valparai - Pollachi Route

Valparai - Pollachi Route

Another view from the same place

Aliyar Dam View

Aliyar Dam as seen from hairpin bend 9/40. Kilometers of landscape can be seen from here. 

Aliyar Dam can be seen by the side after coming down all the hairpin bends. The Anamalai Tiger Reserve is also nearby.

Reached Pollachi by afternoon, and from there back to Kerala. Anyway it was a wonderful place to visit.


  1. wat is dit overweldigend mooi,wat een natuur moet je die watervallen zien dat aapje en dan die geweldige olifant je kijkt echt je ogen uit wat moet het wel niet zijn als je daar echt loopt.

  2. Wow, good blog. I never bothered to check the statue of Craver at the third bend. Valparai is a very fascinating place, visited many times.

    Athirapally route is one of the most liked trip in my memory. I have written about it a lot in my blog.

  3. Found a translation for the first comment which was in dutch to english”what it is stunningly beautiful, what a nature that should see waterfalls that monkey and then that great elephant you really look your eyes off what should it not be when there really is”.Amazing stills and coupled with precise details, makes this travelogue a truly recommended one for a trip to valparai via athirapilly.Congrats dude!


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