A trough of water bubbling up from the bowels of the Earth is what forms Nature’s swimming pool from where it cascades down as the Kanthanpara waterfalls in Meppadi, Wayanad.
The pool itself lies secluded amid lush greenery, thick bamboo vegetation, rocks and boulders, exuding a hidden charm away from the mad rush of tourist flow. A dip in the cool, crystal clear waters of Nature’s pool is the best balm for weary souls, especially when the summer heat peaks. The road to Kanthanpara is one arduous trek over rocks, across the winding, treacherous paths and jutting hills. The path that runs through coffee plantations winds up a hill and then plunges into a depth unfolding the pool. Kanthanpara comes under the control of the District Tourism Promotion Council.
Entry tickets are provided to the pool. Adults are charged Rs 40 and kids Rs 20. The place opens at 9 am and shuts down by 4.30 pm. Though tourists can enjoy a shower below a small waterfall, they are prohibited from going further. But the pool is open to all including kids as the shallow waters pose little danger.
The post lockdown phase is right now witnessing tourist inflows to Kanthanpara with visitors from other states also flocking in. However, the place wears a relative calm and is an ideal getaway for city dwellers. There are steps down to the waterfall from the pool. But the place beyond is barricaded by bamboo to keep visitors from straying out to points of danger close to the waterfall.
It was quite recently that DTPC took over the place bringing in tourists from outside. Before the takeover, the place was only frequented by locals and others from across the district who used to go right down to the falls.
The tricky part of the deal is the slippery rocks which hide deep crevices within. A fall will ensure that one’s legs get trapped within the crevices and at times, it can turn fatal too as the gorges between the rocks are deep.
Though the place is picture-postcard perfect, it becomes one wild, unbridled piece of nature’s creation during monsoon when the waterfalls become a thunderous roar and sweep away all that stands in its way including bamboo barricades and all. The tourism council had provided seats made of bamboo where folks could sit down and enjoy the cool of the stream, but they were all washed away by the onrush of monsoon waters upstream.