Meppadi, Kerala 673577, India
The 30 meters high, two tiered waterfall sandwiched between tea plantations.
Location of Kanthanpara Waterfalls
More about Kanthanpara Waterfalls
Kanthanpara Waterfalls (also Kanthenpara, locally translated to 'Magnetic Rock Waterfall') is located in Meppadi town of Wayanad District in Kerala State of Southern India. The fall is surrounded by tea plantations and forest, and it is 30 meters high cascading down through two different tiers.
The two tiers of the fall
The upper tier is a tiny cascade, creating a large pool that is safe to access in summer (March to June) when the water flow is predictable and stable. Visitors including children can safely play in the waters here.
The lower tier is the larger fall. The water thunders down a rugged rock creating a treat for the eyes. There is a small pool on the bottom as well but it is rather unsafe to jump in there as rocks falls off from the top of the falls sometimes. Don’t even think of getting in the pools during heavy monsoon seasons!
While its cousins - the ever roaring Meenmutti Waterfall and Soochipara Waterfall lie in the same region and are more popular, Kanthenpara Waterfall is smaller and less known than the other two, probably owing to its shorter size.
The drive to Kanthanpara Waterfalls
To reach Kanthapara Waterfalls, a twenty minute drive from Meppadi through tea and coffee plantations and bamboo forest is required. The uphill drive towards the falls, in addition to the coffee and tea plantations are filled with banana trees and betel plants.
While the other leading falls in the area, like Meenmutti and Sentinel requires a hike of moderate difficulty to reach them. The road to Kanthanpara reaches right next to the upper tier of the fall although the last 1.5 km stretch of the road is very dangerous. The District Tourism Promotion Council, which administers the fall, has plans in the near future to develop it as the first drive-in waterfall of Kerala state due to this connectivity to the road.
The challenging road
While the road will get you right to the top of the falls, it is a dangerous drive to undertake. The last 1.5 km of it is horrible. The road has steep slopes with huge potholes in it. The sides are covered in mud and gravel and it is very narrow, barely enough for a large vehicle. Any vehicle from opposite side must wait at a wider point on the road for the other vehicle to pass as there are no alternate roads available. The drive will become extra difficult in the rainy season. If you are not an expert driver, it is advised to park the car and walk the last 1.5 km, many does this instead of the unsafe drive up.
The wild river right at the end of the road
One thing to keep in mind is that the road ends right in the river, near to the top portion of the falls. If careless, the driver will have to face a sudden confrontation with the wild river. Once you are here, you can alight and explore the larger fall but note that the path towards it is partly sandy and partly rocky. While wet, both becomes extremely slippery. It is recommended to wear shoes or footwear with good grips.
Dangers during heavy rains
Be extra careful while exploring the falls during heavy rains. The usually gentle river will turn to a torrential flow of water making the entire area unpredictable. The rock surfaces become too slippery to move around so the only thing visitor will be able to do is to watch the falls from a distance and then return back.
The surrounding area of Kanthanpara Waterfalls are ideal for trekking. You may have to check with the authorities and locals to get more information on this.
Getting to Kanthanpara Waterfalls
The waterfall is located 8 km from Meppadi town on Vaduvanchal road. The only means to reach here is by bringing your own vehicle or by renting a taxi from Meppadi town. District capital Kalpetta lies 18 km away from where there are direct buses to Meppadi. The nearest railway station is in Kozhikode, 85 km away and from there one can reach Kalpetta by bus.