Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Palaruvi Falls (Milky Falls), Aryankavu, Kollam, Kerala

Palaruvi Falls (Milky Falls), Aryankavu, Kollam, Kerala
Palaruvi Falls is a single drop; horsetail type waterfall with a total height of 300 ft. The Palaruvi Falls is across the Kallada River. It is located at about 4 Kms away from Aryankavu in Kollam district in the Indian state of Kerala.  This waterfall is also called as Aryankavu Falls is located close to Kerala border with Tamilnadu. Palaruvi is around 4 km deep into the forest from the NH 208. It is situated in and around the Thenmala Eco Tourism Project. Palaruvi (Pal (Milk) + Aruvi (Stream)) means “stream of milk” in the local language (Tamil / Malayalam).
Palaruvi waterfalls is classified under Horse Tail shaped single drop falls. Of course the white stream of river falls resembles the shape of a white horse's tail, narrow at the starting point and spreads out by the tail end. Associated with religious belief, the water stream is revered by the natives. Palaruvi waterfalls are seasonal waterfalls which show its mightiness during the monsoons and mostly dry up in the midst of summer. The mountain fresh river stream is having its course through forests rich in medicinal plants and herbal flowers.
Palaruvi waterfalls is thus considered to be much ideal for an Ayurvedic herbal bath from the nature itself. Unlike many of the waterfalls Palaruvi is close approachable, provided the monsoon rains are not in its peak. It's a two-step waterfall with two pools. The upper step falls into the first pool up in the rocks and in turn that pool spills and falls down through the rocks into the lower pool. It’s said that upper pool is much deep and so dangerous and exploring there seems not a nice idea considering the drowning happened before.
Most of them at a primitive stage of this place before being a famous tourist spot. But most of the deaths were due to carelessness and taking alcoholic drinks. Now alcohol is strictly prohibited in here and places around. Palaruvi Waterfalls is an enchanting place where you can savor nature’s beauty at its best. Surrounded by mist-kissed mountains, green valleys and dense woods, the region is serene and beautiful. The milky white of the waterfall stands in stark contrast to the lush greenery, and as it thunders down, the roar of the waterfalls punctuates the silence of the forest.
Getting to the waterfalls is an experience by itself as you have to trek through narrow trails in the dense tropical forests. As you make your way through the mass of foliage, you will be enchanted by the other-worldly beauty that envelops you. You can enjoy a picnic by the thundering waterfall and enjoy the misty spray and the refreshing mountain air. You can bathe in the healing waters. It is safe because there are guards and lifeguards watching over visitors.
Holding up Palaruvi as their summer getaway, Travancore kings built a palace in the 17th century. Later, they somehow felt the creepy notion that this place is unlucky. Superstition or not, they immediately shifted from this Kerala waterfall region to Courtallam falls in Tamil Nadu. Remnants of ancient structures and a stable in the vicinity paint a picture of abandoned past.
It is the 32nd highest waterfall in India and 3rd highest among the list of Kerala's waterfalls. Meenmutty and Soochipara waterfalls are in first and second place among the waterfalls in Kerala state considering the falling heights. Palaruvi the third highest water falls seen in the River Kallada. Palaruvi falls has a height of 300 feet whereas Meenmutty and Soochipara waterfalls of Wayanadu are having heights 300 meters and 200 meters respectively.
For sheltered overlook, tourists can head towards walking path a set of stairs leading up. From this vantage point, travelers can witness a beautiful view of the falls with cascades and rapids. The stream is a part of a cluster of Courtallam falls, falling in the Kerala. Small cafeterias where you can get snacks etc. are available near the vehicle parking area from where we walk into the waterfalls. Littering, Alcohol and plastic materials are strictly prohibited.
Palaruvi is now one of the safest and an amazing forest picnic point in Kerala. Special bathing places for Ladies and Kids are arranged downstream the main falls. Separate changing rooms for the ladies are built. Men and women life guards are posted who are always around in case you need a hand. If you are not under the influence of alcohol and you can watch your steps while walking through those rocks your life is safe here.
Palaruvi is a popular trekking destination. Of the two trekking trails here, the first one - Palaruvi Trek - leads to the top of waterfall. To and fro trek covers 5 kilometers through a landscape of forests, caves, streams and small waterfalls. It is quite popular since many visitors take up this 3 hour challenge, to add a bit of adventure to their Palaruvi tour. The second trek, though not that popular, has a tinge of adventure to it. By crossing streams and taking less trodden forest paths, trekkers reach the State’s border. Named Kurishumala Trek, it explores the wild side of Palaruvi rain forest. 
The nearby Thenmala forest region is well known among adventure tourists for exciting trekking trails. Nice time to visit Palaruvi Waterfalls is from June to November. Point is it has to be rainy season or not much after the rainy season. Summer visits will make you witness only rocks instead of the falls. One problem is the place gets much crowded in times. From 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening you can enter the waterfalls and premises. The revenue from this waterfall is collected by Palaruvi Puzha/Vanam Samrakshana Samithy (Palaruvi river and forest conservation). 
From the main route of Kollam - Thirumangalam, i.e. NH208, about 5 kilometers you have to travel through the forest road to reach the Palaruvi falls after taking the entry passes in the main gate seen besides the highway. Two check posts are on the way till reaching the falls. Exploring the forest will be nice if willing to walk, the forest around is filled with medicinal and trees. Some of them on the way to the waterfalls are labeled in green boards.
Above 13 years have to get a ticket of INR: 10. If you take vehicle pass the driver need not to take any entry pass. Foreigners have to take entry pass of INR 20. Vehicle parking rates are, Bus- INR 40, Mini Bus- INR25, Car/Jeep- INR 15, 3Wheeler-INR 10, 2Wheeler- INR 5. If having any of these vehicles pass, driver's entry pass is free of charge. The entry pass taken is valid for the day from 8am to 5pm.
INR 300 for Six Kms up and down trekking in the forests for a group of minimum 5 persons. Charges for food are extra. The visiting spots in trekking are Kaduvappara, Kochukuttalam, Stepflow, Nadukanipara, Palaruvi Mandapam, Chenkurinji mala. Contact number for Palaruvi Tourism enquiries is +91 475 2211200. Forest Rest House at Achankoil, KTDC hotel at Aryankavu, Private lodges at Kulathupuzha & Achankoil are the only accommodation facilities available near to Palaruvi.
Divisional Forest Officer,
Thenmala, Kollam District, Kerala
Phone: +91 475 2344521
Palaruvi is situated beside the Kollam - Thirumangalam NH208. It is located at about 4 Kms from Aryankavu, 80 Kms from Kollam, 42 Kms from Achankoil, 19 Kms from Shenkottai, 27 Kms from Tenkasi, 26 Kms from Courtallam, 14 Kms from Thenmala, 36 Kms from Punalur, 86 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram and 87 Kms from Thirunelveli. It takes a two hour car drive from Kollam to reach here. There are regular bus services from Kollam to Aryankavu. Nearest Railway Station is located at Aryankavu, Punalur, Shenkottai and Tenkasi. Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram.