Teenagers trapped near Alingal Falls safe: Rescue official explains why visiting waterfall can be risky

The boys headed to Alingal Falls around 5.30 pm and were rescued around 8.30 pm. Representational image/JordanStock

When six teenagers from Vadakkancheri began their journey on Sunday evening to Palakkad's Alingal waterfall, they probably hoped for a fun weekend. However, like in the film 'Manjummel Boys', a team of rescue officials had to bring them safety at night after a 1.5-hour-long operation. The boys, who had to cross the Kadappara stream (Kadappara thodu) to make it to the falls, got stuck on the other side after it was flooded in the evening rain.

Alingal Waterall aka Kadappara Falls is a popular spot among travel buffs on social media; the videos and photos attract a large number of likes and shares. The property where the water falls is nestled between Kadappara and the Thalikakkallu tribal colony and it's also located around 11 km from the Mangalam Dam. 

According to officials, the waterfall attract around 30 visitors daily, mostly from Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The boys headed to the falls around 5.30 pm and were rescued around 8.30 pm. While its stunning beauty can lure travellers, a visit to the spot can be risky if you do not take precautions, explains ASI Haries Babu of the Mangalam Dam Police Station, who was part of the rescue team. Here's what you should know before heading to the Alingal Falls. 

Frequent animal sightings
Babu explains that the route till Mangalam Dam Junction is quite clear. "The topography changes from the Mangalam Dam Jn and frequent sightings of wild boars and elephants are often reported. While metal fences have been erected to prevent these animals from threatening the safety of tourists, visitors have to always keep an eye out for any wild animal."

Getting to the waterfall is also a tortuous affair as it involves crossing the Kadappara stream, which can get flooded any time during the monsoon season, he says. "While the waterfall becomes increasingly active and appealing during monsoon, we often advise tourists not to visit the place during torrential downpours. Incidents of people getting trapped on the other side of the stream have also happened in the past," said the official. 

Do not go after 5.30 pm
After it gets dark, the stream and the forest surrounding it can be risky to people unfamiliar with the place. "Since there are no guides, people can get lost in the area after dark. We had asked the property owner earlier this year to set up barricades to deter people from visiting the spot in the rainy season, but apparently it was washed away in the flood waters," he said.

The number of visitors is going up in this area, every year. "If at all you wish to visit the place, it's better to go in August as the risks of flashfloods and animal sightings are minimal," the officer adds.

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