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Kanthanpara Waterfalls

On our return from a hidden waterfall deep in the forests near Muppainad in Kerala, our local guide told us that there is another waterfall nearby. He also told us that it was a better and more beautiful waterfall than the one we had just seen. After listening to him explain the beauty of this waterfall, we thought we would be the biggest fools if we returned without visiting it. His explanation certainly heightened our expectations. So we took a detour and followed our guide.

When we reached this place, to our horror, all we saw was a small waterfall with a few buckets of water trickling down. We were utterly disappointed with this sight. But our guide had some surprises in store, and he took us further down, and when we asked where we were heading, he said something that we could not decipher, so we just followed him. After a short trek, we started hearing a roaring sound of gushing waters, and soon we were atop the waterfall called Kanthanpara Waterfalls. None of us could have even imagined that there was a huge waterfall here.

Our guide was extremely pleased to show us his discovery, and we were pleased too. Being very enthusiastic and eager to show us many more places, our guide was in a big hurry to move on. After a light lunch where we had a local delicacy called Puttu, we started towards a place called Edakallu Caves, a prehistoric cave network discovered by a British explorer.

Though this place is way up the mountain, where no one would have dared to venture, it’s wonderfully maintained by Kerala tourism. Here, three caves are located at a height of 1000 meters on Ambukuthi Mala near Ambalavayal. We can either walk up to the caves or go by local transport, where the daring devilry of jeep drivers would fear and thrill anyone. Due to the constraints of time and exhaustion caused by the day-long trek, we hired a jeep, which took us to the entrance.

We then climbed the steep rocks and entered the caves, going back to the Stone Age. We tried to understand the language of the prehistoric era, though everything was depicted with pictures that were alien to us. After looking around for some time, we headed back, and we had many things to assimilate from our adventure packed day.

On our way back, we saw a rock formation resembling a human and an elephant. Nature was at its creative best, and even though it was monsoon season, the weather was very considerate to us. We were fortunate to see many wonderful things that nature has created. Finally, we headed back to camp and relaxed for the day, discussing all the places we had seen. That day we slept early as we were all totally exhausted.

The next day we got up early, but our plans to climb the Chembra peak didn’t materialize as it needed a two day timeline and we had only a day to spare. We planned to come back to ascend Chembra peak and headed back to our hometown.

Muppainad is about 29 kilometers from Wayanad. Kanthanpara waterfall is about 3 kilometers from Muppainad, and Edakkal caves are located 21 kilometers from Muppainad.

Article and photos by Rakesh Holla

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