It’s been some time since we went for our last trip. We were searching for some waterfalls because most of the waterfall will get dried up as summer is approaching. That’s when we heard about Marottichal from our Navigator. She suggested it and when we saw the photos we were damn excited. In our primary investigation about the place, we heard that there are two waterfalls there, and the actual marottichal waterfall is inside a forest and we might need permission from forest office to go there. After doing our homework, we decided to explore Marottichal waterfall.
Marottichal consists of mainly two waterfalls. We concentrated on Ilanjippara Waterfalls. Which is situated inside the forest. When we heard about forest the first thing we checked was whether there are leaches on the way. But thankfully this is a forest where you don’t have to fear leaches.
We a group of 4 started our journey from Kakanad. If you are planning to visit Marottichal from Ernakulam side then you will have to take Ernakulam Thrissur bypass. Soon before you reach Palliyekara toll, there is a place called Amballur Junction. From Amballur junction take the right. From here onwards you can seek the assistance of either GPS or locals. It’s almost 15km from this junction to Marottichal waterfalls (Where you can park your vehicles). At the time we went the roads were in good condition and we didn’t take much time to reach Marottichal , where we have to keep our vehicles. There were no dedicated parking areas. So we had to take our bikes to a place where we found it safe and if you are going by car then you will have to park it beside the road.
From here onwards we will have to walk. We reached this place around 11 pm. For all those who are planning to visit this place please make sure you take enough water with you to keep you hydrated as the trek is almost 4km long. Soon after starting our walk within almost 150 meters we found a waterfall. Many used to think that this is the Marottichal waterfall. But it isn’t. We saw many families there in the waterfall. Those who are planning to visit a waterfall near Thrissur district with their elder ones and kids then this waterfall will be a good option. There is no risk at all in this place. We saw many elder couples along with small kinds enjoying this little waterfall. For a moment even we got confused, thinking whether this is so called the “Marottichal Waterfalls”
We knew we have a 4km trek, so we asked some people there about the actual waterfall which we were searching. That time a local guy told us that the waterfall we are looking at is called “Ilanjippara waterfalls”. The waterfall which we saw here is called “Olakkayam Waterfalls”. He showed us a small trail which leads to the forest and told us that this path will lead us to the waterfalls. From here onwards you won’t get the assistance of GPS. So you should follow your instincts. The trail he showed was beside a stream and on our way, we found some small waterfalls which too were beautiful and we spent some time sitting and chatting there. On our way, we could see huge trees and roots falling from the skies. Except for Shijo the rest of us climbed those roots. Two among us climbed as fast that not even a monkey could beat them (I am not naming who they are). It was so humid and we were sweating like hell, and it was almost close to noon (which is a terrible time for the climb).
In the forest, we can see the trails through which we have to walk and after some time we reached near a huge rock, from here the trail started to go in two directions. That moment we really got confused. One trail was going upwards starting the climb and the other one was going parallel to the stream. Bimal even tried the old way of using a leaf with prayers which we do in our school days to find the path. There was no one to help either. We knew that we are going to a waterfall and it should be close to the stream which we are walking. So we decided to take the path which is parallel to the stream. Once decided we continued our trek and while trekking we were not even sure whether we are on the right path. If we are wrong then we will have to walk all the way backward and the water which we carried was almost over by this time (We underestimated the distance). With full optimism, we continued our journey and even though we were worried no one showed it on their face. After walking for almost 20 minutes we saw some people which showed us the path we took was correct. We can’t express the relief we had that time.
At some places, we had to face steep climbs. We could see trees uprooted which blocked our path. As this is a forest path we can’t expect officials to clear the way, we have to climb through all that and walk ahead. In monsoons it better to avoid this place because on our way we have to cross some small streams, during monsoons there will be full of water in there and it’s very risky to cross this. So we advise not to go there during peak monsoon. After almost one hour we reached the top. Till now you can’t see the waterfall. From here you can take three paths either we can take the left or right or go down straight to the base of the waterfall. We first took the left. The left will lead to a hill from where you can see ilanjippara waterfalls head on. That’s the beauty of Ilanjipara. There are very few waterfalls in which you can see the waterfall on your eye level. Even though it was noon and very hot, the sight of ilanjippara waterfalls made our day. All the hardships we had while traveling were fully justified for that view which we had at the top. We spent almost one hour in that scorching heat taking photos.
Then we decided to go to the right which will lead to the top of ilanjipara waterfalls. At monsoon it’s very risky to climb as the rocks will be slippery and it’s not advisable to climb on top of the falls. You can have a good view of the waterfall from the other side which itself will make your day. Our photographer Shijo took his tripod along and he was finding it very easy to make the climb with those slippery rocks. Shijo, Bimal and the Navigator was jumping from rocks to rocks and I was finding it very difficult to walk as I had feared for heights. Still, I too managed to climb and we almost reached the tip of the waterfall. After taking several photos from here we decide to go to the base of the waterfall, which is in between these two hills. Bimal Shijo and Navigator quickly climbed from the edge of the waterfall and I was stuck with my fears there. I was not able to climb. After some time Bimal had to come down to pull me from that edge.
After covering both the hills we decided to have a dip in the waterfall. I and Bimal changed our dresses and went to the base of the waterfall. As we were having a dip in the waterfall both Navigator and Shijo were on the banks taking some photos of us and the waterfall. I and Bimal were finding it hard to keep our head straight under the waterfall because it was falling with that intensity from such great heights. After spending almost half an hour there we all decided to return. After all these, we all were feeling damn hungry. The thought that we have to trek 4 more KM to reach the base made us even more hungry. That’s when the Navigator opened her bag and we found a packet or Lays and Peanuts inside it. Within a blink of an eye, it was over and we started our descent. In 5 minutes we saw a group of people who asked us whether the waterfall in anywhere near. We said it’s just 5 minutes more and they told us that they lost their way in the forest (I think they took the other route which confused even us). We took almost one hour to reach the base and from there we returned to Amballur junction and had our lunch at around 4 pm and returned to Cochin.
If you are planning to visit this beautiful place then please do keep some of the mentioned things in mind. It’s a forest area and you have to be very careful inside it. Don’t make noise or litter there. Even now many say that you need permission to go there, we are not sure. So if you go there as a responsible traveler without harming the nature we can always enjoy the place else the forest people will keep restrictions which are happening with many such areas these days. Do carry enough water (don’t throw the empty bottles on the way, do carry them back and dispose it at the bins). Go at the earliest and start your ascent by 9 am at least. Don’t stay back after 4 pm at the top and once the light fades it’s very risky. Last day saw a news in the paper that two guys lost their way and was found after two days of searching. So be a responsible traveler. Happy traveling..