Palaruvi Falls

Aryankavu, Kerala, India

About Palaruvi Falls

Hiking Distance: 1km round trip
Suggested Time: 30 minutes

Date first visited: 2009-11-19
Date last visited: 2009-11-19

Waterfall Latitude: 8.94174
Waterfall Longitude: 77.15771

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Palaruvi Falls was one of those waterfalls that apparently had ayurvedic healing properties as we were told the stream meandered through some natural herbal groves further upstream. To make it easier for visitors to get the benefit of these ayurvedic properties by bathing in the waterfall’s waters, Julie and I noticed there were changing rooms as well as designated gender-separated bathing areas in the stream itself.

As for photographing the falls, I found out that it wasn’t easy as the most direct view of the falls was only available in the ladies only section so only the ladies could get it. However, even that view wasn’t that great thanks to large boulders obstructing views of the bottommost sections of the tall waterfall. The difficulty was exacerbated because the male-only side appeared to be off limits due to a rockfall (probably the same one that obstructed views from the ladies side) that apparently washed out a bridge. So I had to rely on Julie to go to the female section to take the more frontal photographs of the waterfall.

Beyond the bathing area, the walking path ascended a set of stairs leading up to a sheltered overlook. From that vantage point, it was difficult to capture the whole falls since it was too close to Palaruvi Falls, especially since the waterfall itself was too tall. It was said that this falls was around 300ft tall (other sources have claimed it to be 91m tall or 299ft). Nonetheless, there were more cascades and rapids further downstream of the main falls perhaps adding to our perception that Palaruvi Falls was indeed tall and impressive.

There was also a sign near the turnoff from the main road proclaiming that this was the most beautiful falls in Kerala. Well, we thought that claim might be a bit boastful since we felt Athirappilly Falls was more scenic than this one. Nonetheless, beauty is ultimately in the eye of the beholder so I’m sure someone else could easily think otherwise.

The Palaruvi Falls were actually considered to be a member of a cluster of other waterfalls apparently with ayurvedic healing properties. This one was the only one in that cluster that I know of in Kerala while the others were across the nearby state border in the state of Tamil Nadu near the town of Courtallam (pronounced “kor-TALL-um”).

I understand that the name Palaruvi meant “stream of milk” in the local dialect. Like Dudhsagar Falls, I’m sure there was a bit of a religious Hindu tie-in with the milk reference.

Palaruvi_Falls_008_jx_11192009 - Pretty boastful sign at the turnoff for Palaruvi Falls saying it was the most beautiful waterfalls in the state of Kerala
Palaruvi_Falls_001_11192009 - Finally made it to the car park for the Palaruvi Falls
Palaruvi_Falls_003_11192009 - Julie on the lush trail leading closer to Palaruvi Falls
Palaruvi_Falls_006_11192009 - Julie approaching Palaruvi Falls
Palaruvi_Falls_008_11192009 - Turn right to get onto the ladies only side
Palaruvi_Falls_001_jx_11192009 - Sign proclaiming Ladies and Kids only
Palaruvi_Falls_010_11192009 - View of Palaruvi Falls from near the closure spot
Palaruvi_Falls_015_11192009 - The upper overlook for Palaruvi Falls
Palaruvi_Falls_022_11192009 - Looking down towards the base of Palaruvi Falls near the closed men's only area
Palaruvi_Falls_027_11192009 - Looking up at Julie checking out Palaruvi Falls from the upper overlook
Palaruvi_Falls_038_11192009 - Looking across at the washed out bridge leading to the closed off men's only section of the Palaruvi Falls


Palaruvi Falls is some 4km from the mountain pass and state border at Aryankavu (sometimes the falls is called Aryankavu Falls because of this geographic proximity). It’s also 35km from Punalur, 75km from Kollam, and 152km from the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram (I just had to get that one in there 🙂 or you can just go by the British name of Trivandrum [pronounced “tree-VAN-drum”] for short).

It took us about two hours by car to get from Kollam to the car park for the falls. We came here immediately after our overnight Kerala Backwaters tour was over.

Kollam was also about 3.5 hours drive (139km) south of Kochi (or Cochin).

Bottom up sweep of the falls as seen from the Ladies Only section

Bottom up sweep of the falls as seen from the upper overlook

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Tagged with: kollam, kerala, ayurvedic, bathing, india, waterfall, tamil nadu, border, palaruvi, milk

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