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Athirappilly Falls is situated on the border of Athirappilly panchayath, Chalakudy Taluk of Thrissur district and Ayyampuzha panchayath, Aluva Taluk of Ernakulam district, Kerala on the southwest coast of India. Located on the west-flowing Chalakudy River near the Vazhachal Forest Division and the Sholayar ranges, this 24-metre (80 ft) waterfall and the nearby Vazhachal Falls are #popular #tourist #destinations. There is another waterfall on the way from #Athirappilly to #Vazhachal Falls, in close proximity to the road and is locally called “#Charpa_Falls”. Athirappilly Falls is the #largest_waterfall in Kerala and is nicknamed “The Niagara of India”.
About the River:
The 145 kilometres (90 mi) long Chalakudy River, originates in the Anamudi mountains of the Western Ghats and flows through the Vazhachal Forest toward the #Arabian Sea. The river initially runs smoothly but becomes more turbulent as it nears Athirappilly. At Athirappilly Falls, the water surges around big rocks and cascades down in three separate plumes. Below the falls, the river remains turbulent for about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) until it reaches Kannamkuzhi. Then it calms and flows smoothly until reaching the dam at #Thumburmuzhi.
Forest wildlife in the area includes the #Asiatic_elephant, #tiger, #leopard, #bison, #sambar, and #lion_tailed_macaque. The unique 180 metres (590 ft) elevation riparian forest in the Athirappilly-Vazhachal area is the only location where all four South Indian species of #hornbills — the great hornbill (the state bird of Kerala), #Malabar_pied_hornbill, Malabar grey hornbill, and the Indian grey hornbill are found living together. If the proposed 163-MW Athirappilly hydroelectric project is built, these unique birds may vanish from these forests because it will submerge the hornbills’ habitat.
Plantations in the area contain #teak, 3bamboo, and 3eucalyptus. Environmentalists claim that Athirappilly is a one-of its-kind riparian ecosystem in Kerala. 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. The Wildlife Trust of India says it represents one of India’s best elephant conservation efforts. The river provides habitat for 85 species of fresh water fishes. Among these, 35 are endemic species. This place is the best place to find most animals in the wild.