A friend of mine from MDI had come over for a small tour of Kerala recently. As I had not been to Athirappilly lately, I thought it would be a nice idea to take him to the place.
Now, for those who do not know of this place, here is a small writeup on it :
"The Athirappilly Falls are situated on the Chalakudy river, which originates in the upper reaches of the Western Ghats. Many endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna are found in the forests of the Athirapilly-Vazhachal area. This area is the only place in the Western Ghats where four endangered Hornbill species are seen."
Of course, I have plagarised this from Wikipedia. Sue me.
OK. So, we reach the place after a good 2 hour drive from Kochi. After parking the car, we find out that we had to take tickets for parking, the camera and to enter the premises of the falls at a place exactly 100 m behind us. Why wouldn't these people have ticket counters near the entrance, only God knows. Probably that's why Kerala is called "God's own Country". A lot of stuff can be explained only by God Himself.
A good walk later, we come back, tickets in hand, and enter the premises, only to find out that there's another small trek before we actually get to the falls. The peaceful and blissful surroundings (by surroundings I mean only the flora and fauna, and not the other hoards of loud singing talking tourists that had also come to see the place) made the small trek much more bearable. It's a wonderful walk through a pathway, and takes about 5 minutes from the entrance to reach the falls.
The view of the falls from the top is breathtaking! You would have to actually be there to appreciate the beauty of the place. Not even an SLR (or whatever those high quality cameras are called) will be able to capture the beauty.
While we were appreciating this new found beauty, we suddenly find a small group of people crowd around near where we were standing, and they were looking down below.
Was it a ship? No.
Was it a huge school of fish desperately trying to climb up this huge waterfall?? No.
Was it a film that was being shot at the foot of the Athirappilly Waterfalls?? You Betcha!!
And like supermen, we were at the bottom of the waterfalls within a matter of milliseconds. Even Usain Bolt would have struggled to beat us to the bottom. Or even an actual bolt, for that matter.
We barge into another group of onlookers down below, and try to find out what movie it was, or atleast what language it was.
"It's a Malayalam movie!"
"No da. It's Telugu"
"Arey! It's Kannada"
Seeing that we were not going to get anything out of this crowd, we set out to see if we could catch someone from the set, to get the movie's name.
I try and find out if any of the locals are at the set. I see a guy under an umbrella, and figure out that he would not understand Malayalam. So I snoop around a bit more.....
Me : Cheta!! Ithu ethu padam annennu parayaam pattumo? (Brother! Will you be able to tell me what movie this is?)
Chetan (Big Brother) : Enikki ariyilla. Ithu etho Teluguo Kannadiga padam aanenu thonunnu. (I don't know. I think it's some Telugu or Kannada film)
As you can see, I wasn't getting anywhere.
My friend, on the other hand, did much better. He goes to that guy under the umbrella.
Friend : What movie shooting is going on?
Guy under umbrella : It's a Tamil movie. 'Kavasam'.
Me : :|
So much for local advantage!!
All you Tamilians out there. (Not you fraud ones.. like me.) Do let me know when a movie by such a name releases. I really want to see that song for which they were shooting at Athirappilly!
Oh, and yes. We did see the waterfall from below, in between the constant need to find out what the movie name and the who the actress was. And her dance instructor. And all the other women who were in the water on set. It's an even more breathtaking view from below.
This is one place I will definitely visit more than once.
So, this was our little adventure to Athirappilly. There is lots more that did happen, but that was on our way to Cherai. And for another blog post. Which will come soon enough.