Thusharagiri Road, Thusaragiri, Kerala 673580, India
A set of five falls forming the Waterfalls of Thusharagiri.
Location of Thusharagiri Waterfall
More about Thusharagiri Waterfall
Thusharagiri Waterfalls, located 50 km from Kozhikode City of Kerala State in Southern India is a set a of five waterfalls cascading down from the mountains of the Western Ghats. The falls are located on the river Chalipuzha and they together are called Thusharagiri Waterfalls. Out of the five waterfalls, only three - Erattumukku, Mazhavil Chattom, and Thumbithullum Para - are accessible to visitors. Of these three waterfalls, two are within 500 meters of each other and they are easy to reach. To reach Thumbithullan Waterfalls, a short hike of around one kilometre is required. The two other waterfalls are located upstream 5 km away and generally closed to the visitors.
History of Thusharagiri and its location adjacent to Western Ghat Mountains
The name Thusharagiri means ‘mist capped peaks’ as the area is covered in mist most part of the year. Thusharagiri is a plantation destination filled with rubber, Areca nut, pepper, ginger and other spices which joins seamlessly with Wayanad Forest. The area was covered in dense forest decades ago. In the early 1900’s settlers reached here from Southern Kerala in search for a better life. Battling with the wild and converting the forest areas to plantations, they found their home in the fertile soils of Thusharagiri.
Today, there are trekking routes from Thusharagiri to Wayanad. They take one through dense forests and gives you a peak on how the region looked long time ago when no humans called the area their home.
Exploring Thusharagiri Waterfalls
Thusharagiri Waterfalls is not just one waterfall, but five that are named together as they are located right next to each other. Out of the five, two are permanently closed for visitors and four will be closed in every monsoon season (from June to October).
Erattumukku Falls- the first waterfall of Thusharagiri Waterfalls
The first of the waterfalls is Erattumukku falls, situated right near to the entrance. It gets its name from the two rivulets that join here to form the Chalipuzha river. Erattumukku in Malayalam means ‘place where two rivers join’. These are the only falls that can be accessed without any hike and opened throughout the year even in peak monsoon season.
There is a hanging bridge in front of the falls from where one can get a good look of the falls and the carpet of greenery around. Cascading from a good height, it looks as if white snow is sliding along a black backdrop. You can walk to the bottom of the falls and take a thunderous bath underneath it when the water is not so fierce.
Mazhavil Chattam or Rainbow waterfalls
From Erattumukku, one has to hike 400 meters up through large tree roots and rocks to reach the next fall called Mazhavil Chattam (Rainbow waterfalls). In sunny days the waterfalls and the sun's rays create rainbows here, hence the name. Bathing under these falls is very dangerous.
Thumbithullum Para Waterfalls - the last of the accessible falls of Thusharagiri
A kilometre of further hiking takes the visitor to Thumbithullum Para Waterfalls, the third one of the Thusharagiri Waterfall cluster. The hike is through the river itself climbing on to rocks and at times getting oneself very wet. There are small rocks in the river bed that can get very slippery. Judging the force of the water coming down through the river is tricky.
All sides are covered by the rocks and there is a natural pool where you can enjoy a refreshing dip. The pool is not too deep so even non-swimmers can jump in without much worries.
The name of the waterfall ‘Thumbithullum Para’ means ‘dragonfly dancing rocks’, due to the amount of dragonflies seen on the rocks near the area.
More adventure activities from Thusharagiri
In addition to the visits to the waterfalls, there are multiple other trekking options available here which will get you to the deep forests. It is possible to trek to the remaining waterfalls some 5 kilometres away and to a large swimming hole called ‘Thonikayam’ due to it being shaped naturally like a boat (thoni means boat and kayam means swimming hole in Malayalam). You may have to check with the waterfall authorities to get more details on them.
Thanni Muthassi- the tree grandmother
On the premises of the waterfalls is a 120 year old Thanni tree (Terminalia bellirica) which is called ‘Thanni Muthassi’ (Thanni Grandma) by the locals. The unique feature of this tree is its hollow bark that could accommodate three people at a time in its lower reaches. The tree is so hollow that while looking up from inside, you can see the sky at the top end of the tree.
Best time to visit Thusharagiri Waterfalls
The waterfall flows throughout the year and visitors could explore it in most seasons. Monsoon rains starting from June to September bring plenty of water through the river, but the heavy downpour and the slippery conditions will limit the adventures to a minimum especially since the authorities secure the area around the waterfalls in chains for safety reasons. Access to second and third waterfalls will also be closed during this time.
After the monsoons from October to May, the chains and much of the restrictions will be removed, making it easier for visitors to explore all three waterfalls and taking baths in the naturally formed pools.
How to reach Thusharagiri Waterfalls?
Thusharagiri is about 50 kilometres from Kozhikode City from where direct buses are available to the nearest town Kodenchery. From Kodenchery, the 11 km to the falls can be covered by hiring a taxi/ rickshaw. Alternatively there are some buses available to the fall area but once should check with the locals about the timing of these buses. The other major towns are Thiruvambady (18 km), Thamarassery (17 km) and Kalpetta in Wayanad (32 km). The nearest railway station is in Kozhikode.