Forest trekking is a travel activity that gives travelers satisfaction both mentally and physically at the same time. The fresh air of the rainforest, the moist soil, the snow-covered greenery, the chirping of birds, and the sounds of other animals gives us tremendous energy. Each trek is a journey into the lap of pure nature. We will be delighted as we reach the end of that adventure trek that lasts for hours and reaches a huge waterfall that cascades down from the heights.
This trek is to one of the best unknown waterfalls in Kerala, the Keezharkuth Falls, also known as the Rainbow Waterfall in Idukki. This adventurous trip starts from a small town in Idukki called Udumpannoor. It seems to be a reminder that this is an area full of different species of venomous snakes. At the very beginning of the trek, an enormous snake came to greet us.
At first to the forest village, Kaithappara.
The distance to Kaithappara is about 14 km from Udumbannoor town, where the trekking route to Keezharkuth Falls begins.
This is a vast off-road route that is almost 3 km inhabited, and the rest of the kilometers are forested. We started the off-road ride to Kaithapara on three bikes. The adventure trip began with the sight of a snake from the visor of one of our bikes. When we ride a few kilometers, we see a bridge in front, which is the only one that allows you to reach the outside world to the forest village of Kaithappara. The bridge is not a big one but a small path. It is a concrete bridge over a river coming from the forest. The bridge, which is flooded for weeks during most monsoons, isolates Kaithapara from the outside world. This path is a little dangerous as the mountain water comes at any moment. Once you cross the path, then it is a good original forest road.
The only sound was of the occasional passing jeeps and of our bikes on the quiet forest path that was crowded on both sides. Most of the time, the bike goes from one stone to the next. Occasionally some streams flow from small waterfalls across the road. Many of these small streams across the road become rough during monsoons, making it impassable for vehicles.
After passing a check post of the Kerala Forest Department and the arch of welcome to Kaithappara, we reach the beautiful agricultural village of Kaithappara.
The only village where locals travel by school bus.
The luxury of the forest village of Kaithappara turned into a small grocery store, a church, then a small office of the Forest Department. For those in the Muvattupuzha and Thodupuzha area of the quickest way to reach Idukki is via Kaithappara. But a dilapidated road will double the travel time. Kaithappara residents have repeatedly asked the government for a better route, but it has not been possible so far. Any construction work in this densely forested area is possible only with the permission of the Forest Department. But the forest department has not yet given the green light for road construction in Kaithappara.
Kaithappara residents are entirely dependent on agriculture. As soon as we reach here, we are greeted by pepper, cocoa, rubber, and a herd of cows and sheep grazing in the meadows. Kaithappara has about fifty houses, but now many houses are uninhabited. For nearly four months of the year, many people leave Kaitappara due to inclement weather and traffic problems for their children’s education. Only a few of the descendants of the migrant farmer who converted Kaithappara from a dense forest into fertile farmland still remain here without leaving the land. The primary mode of transport is by jeeps, and a minibus is operated twice a day by the church. This is the school bus for the children of Kaithappara who study in the nearby towns of Udumbannur and Karimannur. As there are no other public transport facilities, the locals also use this bus with special permission from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
From Kaithappara to Keezharkuth Falls …
Keezharkuth Falls is just a 6 kilometer away from Kaithappara. However, it is a densely forested area with many wildlife, and it is not possible to reach here without the help of experienced people. Our guide was Chacko Chettan, an early migrant farmer from Kaithapara. We left the bike at Chacko Chettan’s house and started trekking. Shortly after the walk began, the environment changed from habitat to a forest. The road is through dark areas surrounded by gigantic trees. Shrubs and other plants on either side of the one-lane road, which does not seem to be the way to go, are cut down by Chacko Chettan, and he walks forward. The sound of a waterfall can be heard in the distance as you trek up the steep descent and then uphill.
It is a forest area that seems to be the same wherever the sidewalk suddenly disappears. There is a lot of bloodthirsty leeches found in almost all the forests of Idukki. The relief was that those leeches left the area as soon as the drug-induced pack in Chacko’s hand approached. Trekking has returned to its true nature—the slippery climb all over the trees and bushes. Leaving the grip of a tree or a forest plant that has been caught will cause it to fall to the required depth. But that is not the real danger. A few inmates have already taken up residence in the parts of the tree that we climb up without falling, and there are some poisonous snakes. Many dangerous snakes were found in the trees and on the way. After about an hour of climbing in the forest and reaching an area covered with bushes, mighty wind and a terrifying noise were right next to us. Yes, here is the Keezharkuthu waterfall known as the Rainbow Falls in Idukki.
Rainbow falls in Idukki.
Keezharkuttu is a waterfall that cascades down to the ground from a height of about 1500 meters and a width of about 50 meters. Such a strong wind blows on us with the force of the water. Depending on the rainfall in the forest, the water level may rise at any moment, and it will be challenging to reach the lower waterfall. So don’t even think about bathing in the pure cold water that comes from the forest. Shortly after we arrived, I realized the reason for the nickname Rainbow Falls. In the occasional sunshine, the freshwater coming from the heights kept on showing the views of the beautiful rainbow from time to time.
It is a bit of a challenge for ordinary tourists to enjoy the beauty of this beautiful waterfall in the forest. The view of the Rainbow Falls in Idukki is only available to those who can do a little adventure trekking through the woods. The place is now waste-free as not many tourists come here. Falling often and being in front of dangerous venomous snakes, and being bitten by a bloodthirsty tortoise did everything, but this adventurous downhill trekking was a magical experience.
Trekking through a real rainforest, wild and beautiful waterfalls, and views of the rainforest were all in full swing with the touch of the forest calling back with every movement and sound. This trip also gave me a lot of feedback that it was our return to every forest trek.
Things to remember.
- The trek to Keezharkuth Falls is a risky forest trek. So travel here only with experienced people.
- There is currently no need to take a special pass from the Forest Department to visit the Falls. However, this may be necessary in some cases, so it is advisable to contact the Forest Department office when traveling here.
- This is dangerous trekking so use the best trekking shoes when traveling here.
- When you go trekking, make sure you have enough drinking water and food on hand and a first aid kit.
The easiest way to reach Kaithappara from Udumbannur town in Idukki district is to trek to Keezharkuth Falls. Apart from this, those who want an off road ride can reach Kaithappara from Maniyankudi in Idukki.
The best time to visit.
No doubt about that its September – December.
Mob : 9539602037
Where to stay
Tenting is not possible in any part of the forest where the Rainbow Falls sits. No other accommodation is available in the small village of Kaithappara. Udumbannur, the nearest town, is also the place to stay for accommodation. Reach Thodupuzha City for Star Facility Hotels.
Best nearby places.