Pandarakuthu waterfall at Vannappuram panchayat in Idukki district of Kerala attracts visitors thanks to its gentle nature and picturesque surroundings. Even though the waterfall is not that high, the sight of frothy water cascading down from a rock - which is flanked by thickly-growing bamboo - is pleasing to the eyes.
There is also a pool above the waterfall formed by the protruding rock, which partially blocks the flow of water downstream. Constant shade provided by ‘chola’ trees keeps the area cool even when the Sun is at its peak.
A major attraction of Pandarakuthu waterfall is that it is safe for a dip and a swim. While the area below the waterfall does not pose any danger, there are some smooth and round rocks nearby which could be slippery.
Meanwhile, a trekking path at the waterfall takes travellers to spots from where distant views could be enjoyed.
Local people reveal how Pandarakuthu got its name. Several years ago, during rains, a man carrying a basket of ‘papadams’ on his head slipped and fell into the waters near the fall, they say. Pandaram is caste in Kerala whose vocation was making and selling pappadams. The pit that a man of the Pandaram caste fell into thus became ' Pandarakuthu'.
How to reach
From Thodupuzha, take the Vannappuram route. After Kaliyar, look for Plantation Kavala, from where Pandarakuthu waterfall is a mere 900 m away. You can take your vehicle till the waterfall.
Travellers from Muvattupuzha and the high-range areas can pass Vannappuram town and head towards Thodupuzha. At Plantation Kavala, they can turn to Pandarakuthu.