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10 Most Scenic Rivers in Kerala That You Must Visit

9 mins. read

Kerala has numerous attractions that lure travellers and nature lovers from across the world. While its sprawling landscape and lush greenery provides a peaceful environment, its collection of rivers adds a sense of thrill to the overall experience. Though the rivers in Kerala are mesmerizing themselves, their resultant waterfalls, beaches and dams make the state one of the popular destinations in India and the world.

Continue reading to learn more about the rivers in Kerala, including their origin, resultant attractions, the best time to visit and much more.

1. Periyar River

 One of the longest rivers in Kerala, Periyar is a perennial river that provides drinking water for several major towns. This, in turn, makes it one of the most important rivers in Kerala, especially to the economy of the state.

Flowing in the southern part of the state, Periyar river is 225 km long. It rises in the Western Ghats range and joins the Periyar Lake in the north. The lake being in the river’s course is called Periyar in the local language, thereby giving the river its name. The lake is inside the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, spread across a 31 square km area and lying at an elevation of about 2,800 feet. Besides, it is surrounded by majestic mountain peaks that make it a perfect place to sit and get lost in tranquility.

The best time to visit the Periyar river is during the monsoon season when it is in its full flow.

2. Bharathapuzha River

The second-longest river in Kerala, Bharathapuzha flows from the west and falls into the Arabian Sea. Its basin in the state covers both Tamil Nadu and Kerala and is spread over 6,186 square km of area.

Bharathapuzha River is also locally known as Nila or Ponnani River and has a significant role in grooming the life and culture of the South Malabar part of Kerala. Further, it is also the main water source for a population residing in the four administrative districts, namely Malappuram, Palakkad, parts of Thrissur, and Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu.

Besides facts, the Bharathapuzha River holds 11 reservoirs, one of which is the Malampuzha dam. The dam is 209 km long and is in full charm during the monsoon season. The river also has religious importance among the locals as there are several famous temples on its bank that result in many religious rituals.

3. Bhavani River

Flowing through the southern Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the Bhavani River is a major tributary of the Kaveri River in India. It originates from the Nilgiri Hill of the Western Ghats, enters the Silent Valley National Park in Kerala and then further flows towards the east crossing Tamil Nadu.

There are many dams that are constructed across the river, namely Siruvenu, Mannarkkad, Kanjirapuzha, Kodiveri and Bhavanisagar dam. Among all, Bhavanisagar dam is one of the largest earthen dams in the world. It is 8 km long and 50 m in height.

Besides facts, the river is surrounded by lush greenery, offering scenic views and a tranquil site to its visitors. That being said, the best time to visit the river is during the monsoon when both the river water and the greenery are in their full bloom.

4. Pamba River

Pamba is yet another longest river in Kerala after Periyar and Bharathapuzha. It is also known as Dakshina Bhageerathi or River Baris. The river enriches the lands of Pathanamthitta District and the Kuttanad area of Alappuzha along with the few areas of Kottayam.

Talking about the origin, the Pamba river starts its journey from the Peerumedu plateau in the Western Ghats and joins the Arabian sea through a number of channels. What attracts tourists to this place is the Perunthenaruvi waterfall that offers breathtaking views as the water gushes into the river from a high altitude. For pilgrims, there is a Sabarimala temple dedicated to Lord Ayappa lying on the banks of the river, which, in turn, increases its religious importance.

The best time to visit the river is throughout the year. However, the monsoon season is the best to experience the magnificent beauty of the waterfall.

5. Chaliyar River

Rising from the Western Ghats, the Chaliyar or the Chulika river is an important river in Kerala not just because it is a source of water but because it is the only river that does not dry up during the drought season in March and April. Chaliyar River also enjoys other local names like Nilambur River or Beypore River.

The river originates from the Western Ghats range at Ilambaleri hills in the Nilgiri mountains. It flows for most of its length through the Malappuram district then enters the city of Kozhikode before falling into the Lakshadweep Sea.

The scenic beauty of the river is such that it makes it one of the must-include attractions in the best Kerala tour packages.

6. Chalakudy River

Home to the famous Athirapally Falls and Vazhachal Falls, the Chalakudy River is the fifth-longest and the biggest river in Kerala. Also, it is known as a rich reservoir to fish diversity in the country that makes it important for both the population and the economy. At present, the Chalakudy river is said to be home to 98 species of freshwater fishes, including endangered ones.

Chalakudy River originates from the Anamalai region of Tamil Nadu and is a collection of major tributaries from Anakayam, Karapara, Sholayar, Parambikulam and Kuriyarkutti. If you are in Kerala, the beauty of Chalakudy and its waterfall is something you should not miss. The best time to visit Chalakudy river is all around the year.

7. Manimala River

Manimala River is an important waterway of Central Travancore. It originates from the Muthavara Hills in the Western Ghats. The river is 91.73 km long and is spread across southern and central Kerala. Besides being an important waterway, the river is blessed with scenic views. Rising in the hills of Kottayam, Manimala offers beautiful views as it swiftly strikes against the rocks while flowing.

Besides, there are other natural wonders, including waterfalls and beaches in Kerala that you can explore nearby. The best time to visit the river begins in August with the famous harvest festival of Onam.

8. Mahe River

Also known as Mayyazhipuzha, Mahe is an important river of South India that flows through the state of Kerala. During the rule of the British, the river was called the English Channel as it separated British ruled Thalassery and the French ruled Mahe.

The river originates from the forest of Wayanad and has a length of 54 kms flowing through different villages of the state, namely Vanimel, Iringanoor, Peringalam, Edachery, Eramala, Kariyad and Mahe. After covering all these places it finally empties into the Arabian Sea.

While the river is majorly known as a scenic spot, plans are to transform it into a fishing harbour with a riverside walkway.

9. Perumba River

Flowing through some of the most scenic spots in the state, the Perumba river is a special attraction for friends and families looking for camping or picnic spots. It is surrounded by Pinkunnu Hills and lush greenery that makes it a perfect place to spend some quality time with loved ones.

Coming onto the facts, Perumba is 51 km long and flows through the Kannur and Kasargod districts of the Malabar region. The river originates from the foothills of the Western Ghats near Thimiry in the hilly eastern part of the state. From there it makes its way through several hill stations in Kerala before entering the Malabar plains and falling into the Kuppam river.

The best time to visit the Perumba river is from October to May.

10. Neyyar River

Neyyar is a river of southwestern India in the Western Ghats. It is 56 km long and flows through the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. The river originates from the Agasthyakoodam hills and falls into the Arabian sea.

The most attractive part of the Neyyar River is the Safari Park located nearby. Additionally, it has a beautiful town of Neyyattinkara located on its banks that makes it a perfect place for picnics and weekend getaways.

The best time to visit the Neyyar river is from September to March as the weather is amiable to immerse oneself in the serene surroundings.

Plan a trip to Kerala and get ready to immerse yourself in its scenic beauty and tranquility that is perfect to rejuvenate your mind and body.


October 02, 2021


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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