Road to Palaruvi Waterfalls, Palaruvi, Kollam, Kerala 691309, India
A 90 meters tall waterfall, surrounded by large boulders and plunging from a hill side creating pools below.
Location of Palaruvi Waterfalls
More about Palaruvi Waterfalls
Palaruvi Waterfalls, one of the most picturesque falls in Kerala cascade down a height of over 90 meters from a hillside. The falls are situated in the middle of a forest in Achankovil River. The surrounding mist cladded green valleys and hills form a stunning backdrop to the white burst of foam whose roar resounds through the otherwise silent forest.
Meaning behind the name and the local belief
Palaruvi means ‘stream of milk’ in Malayalam due to its appearance. The waterfall is also known as white horse’s tail as the falls are narrow at the top and widen at the bottom- just like a horse’s tail.
A local belief is that the water from the pools has healing properties. The water flows through areas of medicinal herbs before reaching the falls and many come here to take a dip in the medicinal waters.
Exploring the area
The journey to the falls is through narrow trails of dense tropical forests. Although visitors can reach the falls by bringing own transportation, the last four kilometres need to be either hiked or travelled using the buses provided by Kerala tourism department. Even though the intention of the buses is to have minimum disturbances to the forest, this also results in lengthy waiting time during public holidays and weekends.
The two natural pools formed by the falls
The waterfall is actually two stepped, but only the bottom portion is accessible for visitors. The first step of the walls creates a pretty pool in the layer of a rock but it is unsafe to venture out to explore it. The water falls from the top to the first pool in the rocks and that pool in turn spills and falls through the rocky face to the lower pool. The upper pool is deep and dangerous, there is a history of deaths occurring from this unsafe portion of the fall.
From a sheltered overlook reachable through a walking path - a set of stairs leading up, visitors could witness the beautiful view of the falls with its cascades and streams. The surroundings of the lower pool is filled with many large boulders but it is alright to take a dip in it. There are separate sections for women and children a little beneath the larger pool, probably due to the intense force experienced at the lower pool at the bottoms of the falls.
The remains of a royal palace
The area nearing Palaruvi Waterfalls was selected by the Travancore Kings to have a palace as their summer getaway couple of centuries ago. But soon after the construction of some of the structures, the astrologers of the king predicted the place as unlucky for the royal family and they shifted the location to the areas nearby Courtallam falls in Tamil Nadu. The ruins of some of the structures and a stable can still be seen near the waterfall.
More trekking options
There are a number of trekking options from the falls area. There is an option to trek to the top of the falls and another longer one - a five kilometre trek through forests, caves, stream and small waterfalls. The second one takes the visitors to the state border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu through less trodden forest paths. For more information about the trek and the booking, do reach out to the information centre at +91 475 2211200.
Best time to visit the falls
Palaruvi Waterfalls is a seasonal fall. Murky waters thunder down through it during the rainy monsoon months from June to September. By the end of the monsoon from October to February, the water level will decrease and the falls will be a great place to explore. During the warmest months from March to May, most of the water will disappear and only a trickle will flow through its rocky face.
Getting to Palaruvi Waterfalls
Palaruvi Waterfalls are located in Aryankavu village in Kollam District of Kerala State in Southern India. Although there is a railway station at Aryankavu (4 km), the number of trains passing through there are limited. Nearest major railway station is at Kollam (77 km), connecting the city well to rest of the parts of the country. From Kollam, there are buses to Punalur (35 km from falls) and then from Punalur there are buses to Aryankavu.