Welcome, Idukki Taluk Tourism Development Co-operative Society

Dr. Bala Falls

Dr. Bala Falls

This place may not feature in the "Places to visit in Munnar", but I would definitely say it is worth a visit. We were staying at Sterling Munnar and unfortunately the roads leading to Munnar town were blocked during daytime for repair works. So we planned to explore the locations to the east. While there were many waterfalls, this particular one "Dr. Bala Falls" caught our attention. Not sure why it got the name, but we decided to check it out. As the monsoon had started and the temperatures had plummeted.

We relied on Google maps for navigation and drove off from the hotel. You need to travel along the Chinnakanal-Surynelli Road for some distance and take an unnamed road. The road is very narrow and not in a good state. The road is very deserted and lonely so it is better to go as a group. We reached a small culvert bridge and Google was insisting we reached the location. We could hear the water gushing somewhere closeby, but nothing in line of sight. This is jungle area and has thick vegetation on both sides of the road.

We decided to park our vehicles and started looking out for any pathways. You can find one on the side of the bridge and we were certain we could reach the falls. In less than 100m we reached the stream. It is actually a small stream fed by rainwater and the whole thing drains down to the Anaiyirankal lake below. The whole place was rocky with a steady flow of water. It drops off to about 15 ft down as a waterfall. As we were on the elevated section, we could not get down to the fall.

We spent some time on the rocks where the stream breaks into mini-waterfalls. There was not a single person or tourist there and we had the location all for ourselves. But as we were enjoying the stream, we heard shouts. When we reached back to the bridge, a man in a jeep was waiting. He seemed to be one of the forest officials. He asked us what we were doing in this place. He said it is dangerous as this is a forest and as the lake's name suggest, this is a place where elephants come down for a drink. The pathway was also made by elephants.

My advice would be to take some local person along as they would know when elephants are likely to visit and how to avoid them. Or you could get some help from forest officials. It is definitely a risky place if you are travelling with kids as you do not want to confront wild elephants.