I was riding through Wayanad when Thusharagiri beckoned (Thusharam- white snow, giri- hill). I have heard the name many times before but never been to it. Kerala tourism has made it an eco tourism project with a lot of trekking options besides the falls. Visitors inflow has also been on the higher side ever since. The falls which were earlier visited only by the locals and people from Kozhikode now attracts visitors from other places too.
After an enjoyable misty ride through the curvaceous Thamarassery ghats, I took a deviation from Adivaram to Thusharagiri. The next 10 kms was through narrow roads lined with rubber, arecanut and spice plantations . It was green and misty everywhere. Large hills loomed up at every corner and the ride was blissful through the lap of nature.
I was surprised to find myself as the first visitor of the day. Even the information centre was not open when I reached Thusharagiri eco tourism project at 9 am. It was a small walk past a couple of tiny water trickles to reach first of the many falls, Erattumukku waterfalls. Two rivulets join here to form River Chalippuzha and hence the name Erattumukku. If not keen on trekking, this is the only falls one can enjoy. There is a hanging bridge in front of the waterfalls from where one can get a good vista of the falls and if you turn around, it is a carpet of greenery everywhere. Cascading from a good height, the waterfalls look gorgeous even from a distance. It very much seemed like white snow sliding along the black rock background. One can walk across to the falls and have a thunderous bath under it. With no soul in the vicinity I was not sure about going under the falls. Time constraint also pushed me to avoid the bath and return back.
To do justice to Thusharagiri, one must keep aside a full day for the falls and the trek through the forest cover. From Erattumukku one can trek up 400 meters further to reach the next waterfalls called Mazhavilchattam (Rainbow falls). Bathing under this falls is dangerous and visitors need to be extra cautious before taking the plunge. A kilometer of further trekking takes you to Thumbithullum para (Thumbi- dragon fly, para- rock), the third waterfalls. In addition to the falls, there is also a natural pool where one can enjoy a refreshing dip. Another kilometer through the greenery and you reach Thonikkayam (Thoni- boat). Here water is stagnant in the shape of a boat and hence the name. The best time to visit the place would be immediately after the monsoons when the water is ferocious and at its best. Make sure to pack delicious lunch from the famous Johnettan's shop near the information centre before you begin the trek.
When I reached back the information centre, the office was open and I had second thoughts about taking a package tour and hiring a guide to trek into the forest. However, I put the thoughts aside and rode back through the winding roads to Wayanad.
Signing Note- Thusharagiri is a trekkers delight with the waterfalls adding charm and freshness to the verdant forest.
Sulthan Bathery- Kalpetta- Vythiri- Adivaram- Thusharagiri (60 kms)
Kozhikode- Kunnamangalam- Thamarassery- Adivaram- Thusharagiri (54 Kms)