Kerala is blessed with natural beauty and some of the best beaches in India (sorry, Goa). Along with ribbons of golden sand and densely forested mountains, the southern Indian state is home to some of the country’s most captivating waterfalls and religious temples. These cascading wonders create a breathtaking spectacle as they tumble down the lush emerald mountains of the Western Ghats. From the majestic Athirappilly, the largest waterfall in Kerala, to the three-tiered 300m-high Meenmutty Falls that gather in a silvery pool near Mananthavady, these are the best waterfalls in Kerala.
Often referred to as “the Niagara of South India”, the falls have been used as a backdrop for several films, including the 2015 epic Baahubali: The Beginning. They are one of the most popular waterfalls in the country and can be easily visited from the nearby town of Athirappilly.
Fed by the Chalakudy River, the falls flow all year round but are at their thunderous best during monsoon season, between June and September.
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These magnificent three-tiered falls tumble from a height of around 300m (980 feet) and are set among Indian mahogany, white cedar and jackfruit trees.
It’s a 2-3 hour trek over thickly forested terrain, rocks and streams to reach the very top of the falls, but on arrival, you’ll be rewarded with a scene that feels like a hidden paradise.
You’ll need to buy a ticket to enter the site, and it’s sometimes closed during monsoon or for repairs so check ahead before visiting.
Rough Guides tip: also check the most beautiful temples in Kerala
The pool at the bottom is a popular swimming spot, and there are changing rooms available for men and women.
Perunthenaruvi is a popular backdrop for picnics, and it’s also possible to swim in the pools downstream.
Southern India is a feast for the senses. The lush greenery of tea plantations, the colourful spice markets and plantations - our tailor-made trip to Kerala is nothing short of highlights. Take a houseboat trip on the Kerala backwaters before finishing your trip with some leisure beach days.
The falls are located within a dense evergreen forest, making them a popular destination for trekking and nature walks, and at times it can be very busy. Be aware that it’s quite a long, steep hike down to the falls and up again, and you should confirm that the site is open before visiting.
Thusharagiri is a popular destination for hiking and mountain climbing. The water flows all year round and can be visited at any time. The falls are particularly spectacular during monsoon, but heavy downpours and slippery rocks can make it a dangerous time to visit.
Once at the falls, visitors can enjoy the refreshing spray of water, take a dip in the natural pools, and explore the surrounding paths.
Meenvallam is located in the Palakkad district of Kerala, and the nearest town is Thuppanad Junction. Check ahead if you're planning to go between June and September because although monsoon season is a popular time to visit the site can sometimes be closed.
The nearest town to Keezharkuthu Waterfall is Thodupuzha, making it easily accessible for visitors, but be prepared for a long hike or hire a jeep to reach the base of the waterfall itself.