Set in the foothills of south India's Heritage-listed Western Ghats, Chalakudy is the gateway to the magnificent Athirappilly and Vazhachal waterfalls. Aside from authentic South Indian food, Chalakudy is a hub for wildlife and beautiful scenery in the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve.
Things to do
Venture into the upper reaches of the Western Ghats on a jungle safari to the magnificent Athirappilly and Vazhachal waterfalls. Witness the thundering roar of water spilling from the 24-meter-high Athirappilly Falls before hiking through the dense rainforest to a series of smaller waterfalls known as Vazhachal.
Experience local culture at the Chalakudy Market, home to bustling open-air stalls selling organic fruits, fragrant spices, saris and mural paintings. Sample traditional Kerala street food, such as “sundal” chickpea salads, proper South Indian “uttapam” pancakes or juicy chargrilled corn.
Do you love butterflies? Visit the Thumboormuzhi Dam and Butterfly Park, a vast stretch of water surrounded by tropical rainforest. Follow a nature trail through a habitat with over 148 species of butterflies and enjoy a refreshing swim in the pristine waterholes.
Wildlife lovers can visit Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, a protected sanctuary in the South Western Ghats renowned for its rich biodiversity and abundant wildlife, including elephants and tigers. Take a guided jungle trek, see one of the world’s largest living teak trees and visit the modern Nature Interpretation Centre.
Chalakudy is 45 minutes from Cochin International Airport, with rental cars and taxis available at the airport. Once in town, walking is a pleasant way to explore, but a rental car is ideal for venturing further afield.