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 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.
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