About Kumbakkarai Falls
The Kumbakkarai Falls is a scenic, peaceful and pleasant waterfall that can be found in the state of Tamil Nadu, in Dindigul district. The district of Dindigul is about 9 kilometres away from the town of Periyakulam, which is a municipality in Theni district in the region of Madurai.
Located in the foothills of the Kodaikanal Hills, the Kumbakkarai Falls is one amongst the many well-known Falls in the same region. The water of this waterfall originates in the Kodaikanal Hills and flows down the rocks in two natural stages.
In the first stage, the water collects in the deep cradles of a wide rock, then flows down a stretch of 0.5 km in the form of the Pambar River, before it drops down into a breathtaking waterfall over a steep rock face. The pools formed by the river in the first stages of the waterfall are named after various wild animals such as elephants, lions, tigers, snakes, etc.
Kumbakkarai is the spot where the water of the river drops at the foothills of the Kodaikanal Hills. This area in the foothills has become a popular tourist spot now, as people visit this place from all over the country to take in its natural, scenic beauty. The peace and tranquillity of this place, along with a soothing expanse of undisturbed nature makes it the perfect getaway for city-dwellers.
Tourists are also allowed to bathe in the waters of the Kumbakkarai Falls. The crystal-clear water of the Falls is enriched with natural minerals and herbs which has incredibly therapeutic benefits as well.
How to Reach Kumbakkarai Falls
Reaching the Kumbakkarai Falls from the Kodaikanal Bus Stand is easy and convenient if you are planning to take a bus. The distance from Kodaikanal Bus Stand and Kumbakkarai Falls is 76.8 km by road. It takes approximately 2 hours to reach the foothills of the waterfall while travelling by bus via Laws Ghat Road.
However, if you are visiting Kodaikanal, you can also hire a taxi or a car from Kodaikanal Bus Stand, which will take you directly to the waterfall, even though it might cost you more than a bus ride.
Best Time to Visit Kumbakkarai Falls
The weather remains cool and pleasant all year round and therefore it is feasible to visit the waterfall at any time of the year. However, that being said, the best time to visit the waterfall is during summer and late winter months.
Summer: The summer months in Kodaikanal lasts from March to June, where the weather remains pleasant, and you can see the green mountains in full bloom. Temperatures vary between 20 degrees Celsius at its lowest and 35 degrees Celsius during the peak summer season. This is a great time to visit the Kumbakkarai Falls.
Monsoon: During June to September are the monsoon months in this region. While the temperature remains pleasant, the rock faces and surfaces near the waterfall can get quite slippery. The chances of flooding can also hamper you travel plans since the force of the Pambar river becomes much stronger during the monsoon season.
Winter: Planning a vacation to Kumbakkarai Falls between December and February is ideal because of the pleasant weather conditions that prevail in the area. Temperatures vary between 8 degrees Celcius to 20 degrees Celsius.
What Not to Miss at Kumbakkarai Falls
Things to do in Kumbakkarai Falls:
Since the Kumbakkarai waterfall is set in the midst of nature, there are quite a few interesting activities a visitor can engage himself in. Here are some of the most exciting things you can do when you are at Kumbakkarai Falls:
1. Power Biking - Power biking is not only an exciting adventure activity that you can sign up for, but also a great way to tour the other local attractions. The power bikes are supplied by Danish, and their fleet mostly consists of Royal Enfields and Himalayan Rally Bikes. The bikes are very well maintained and fitted with all safety measures. Power biking is one of the best ways to explore the area around the waterfall, and the rest of Kodaikanal.
2. Ice Skating Café - There is an Ice Skating Cafe on the Seven Roads Junction, in the Satya Complex in Kodaikanal, which is quite unique as an attraction. The synthetic ice is very safe for skating, but before you can get on the ice, a trainer ensures a free and safe training session before anyone is allowed to skate. The place is also equipped with a food parlour serving fast food and beverages to make your visit truly wholesome.
3. Danish Display - While visiting Kodaikanal, one must visit this gifts and speciality shop that can be found in Anna Salai, CLS Complex, near Kodaikanal Bus stand. It is the perfect place to go shopping and collect souvenirs. This shopping complex is a hub of exclusive and ethnic handicrafts items collected from all over the country. All the artefacts available here are of unique quality and variety. From wooden handicrafts and terracotta idols to metal and fabric items, every kind of authentic Indian handicrafts is available under one roof. This place is a collector’s paradise.
4. The Kodai Solar Observatory - Located at a distance of 8.2 km from the Kumbakkarai Falls, this well- equipped observatory can be found in Dindigul, Kodaikanal. Visiting the observatory is a surreal experience, especially after exploring the natural setting of the town. The observatory holds regular exhibitions and informative programmes on astrophysics. The workshops are conducted in simple English and Tamil for all visitors to enjoy the experience.
Attractions near Kumbakkarai Falls:
After enjoying your time at the waterfall, there are quite a few places nearby that are worth exploring. Here are some places you must definitely check out when you are in the area.
1. Dolphin’s Nose - The Dolphin’s Nose is a nature park situated 8 km from the Kodaikanal Road, on Upper Shola Road. It takes very little climbing and walking to reach this point, and it is a great place to go sightseeing and picnicking with family and friends. A few metres away from this place lies the Echo Point, which is also a stunning viewpoint near the striking Pillar Rocks.
2. Kodaikanal Lake - Kodaikanal Lake is situated right on Kodaikanal Road. It remains open from 12:00 noon to 11:00 pm. It is the perfect place for relaxation, birdwatching, animal spotting and enjoying a picnic. One can jog around the lake or can also participate in activities like cycling, horse rides and boat rides, etc.
3. Kurinji Andavar Temple - The Kurinji Andavar Temple is located on the Kurinji Andavar Temple Road, in Kodaikanal. It is a relatively new temple dedicated to Lord Murugan. This temple also offers a scenic view of the town of Kodaikanal on its right and Palani on its left, when viewed from the elevated position of the temple. It has become a very important local religious and spiritual centre.
4. The Pine Forest - The pine forest is the perfect place to seek out peace after the excitement of a visit to the waterfall. This forest is located on Kodaikanal Road. This forest provides an idyllic setting for photography and family picnics. It is also common for visitors to spot singing birds and swinging monkeys.
5. Christ the King Church - Christ the King Church is located at a distance of 7.1 km from the Kumbakkarai Falls on the Coakers Walk. It is an old, but well-maintained church whose architecture is worthy of attention. The prayer services are held regularly from 9:00 in the morning to 5:00 in the evening. Special masses are held on Sunday mornings from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.
Other Essential Information About Kumbakkarai Falls
Location: Kumbakarai Road, Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu 624101.
Timings: Monday to Sunday (8:00 am – 4:00 pm)
Entry fee: INR 10 for children and INR 15 for adults.
History of Kumbakkarai Falls :
Kumbakkarai Falls has a very interesting history. Initially, this area was an open wilderness with only shrubs and rocks, almost barren and completely unnoticed by locals and tourists. The first initiative to turn this place into a tourist spot was taken by Thiru K. Chellum Iyer, a well-known influential business tycoon from Periyakulam.
He was the owner of the Bhavani Krishna Vilas Hotel. In 1942, he single handedly approached the British Government with his proposal. The British Government approved of his plan and granted him permission to rebuild the area into a thriving tourist spot. He started with the construction of a natural “staircase” to access the place, bathing spots and dressing rooms, at his own expense.
Today, the area has flourished into one of the most visited Falls in the area. The statue of Murugan that can be found in the vicinity was sponsored by Thiru K. Chellum Iyer as well. There is a stone with an inscription detailing his contributing and expressing the gratitude of the locals to Mr Iyer, and the people of Kumbakkarai glorify his name even today.
There are restrooms and washrooms for the visitors who come to Kumbakarai Waterfalls. There is an adjoining section dedicated to food stalls that sell refreshments for guests to enjoy during their visit. Guides, cars for hire and locals are also available for help.
Features of Kumbakkarai Falls:
The Kumbakkarai Falls is a breathtaking cascading waterfall which has its source in the Kodaikanal Hills, in the Western Ghats. This waterfall flows down in two stages before it hits the foothills. In the first stage, the water collects in deep recesses of the rockface.
The water then flows in straight streams in the form of the River Pambar. The length of the river is approximately 0.5 km. After crossing this stretch the water drops off the edge of the hill as the waterfall and forms a pool full of cool water at the foothills. The water while flowing gathers a large number of minerals and herbs, which enrich the water and make it soothing with therapeutic qualities.
This is an additional benefit and unique feature for the visitors who come to bathe in this waterfall. The water is said to be beneficial for skin problems like allergies and ageing. Food is prohibited in the area due to environmental cleanliness, but you can find several food stalls nearby for refreshments away from the main waterfall. Parking is also available outside the waterfall area.
Places to Stay Near Kumbakkarai Falls:
1. Kodai Resort - The Kodai Resort is 7.1 Km away from the Kumbakkarai Falls, located on the Coaker’s Walk on Kodaikanal. This is a four-star hotel whose interiors are aesthetically decorated and set up with modern facilities like LCD TVs, free Wi-Fi network and twenty-four hours room service. The room charges start at INR 3,554 per day.
2. Villa Retreat - This is a four-star hotel with plush interiors and spacious rooms and lounges with balconies overlooking the breathtaking view offered by Kodaikanal. The hotel provides excellent housekeeping and room service with amenities such as hot showers and free internet available round the clock. The charges per day start at INR 5,376.
3. Hotel Apple Valley - This sophisticated hotel is located on the Anna Salai Road on Kodaikanal, 7.4 km away from Kumbakkarai Falls. This hotel provides comfortable interiors along with amenities such as free internet, dry cleaning, concierge and also babysitting.
4. Hilltop Towers - The Hilltop Tower is a comfortable hotel located on Hilltop Towers, Poet Tyagaraja Road, in Kodaikanal, 7.6 Kms from the Kumbakkarai Falls. With spacious and comfortable rooms, this hotel provides free parking, high-speed internet, a children’s activity centre and 24-hour front desk service.
Places to Eat Near Kumbakkarai Falls:
1. Tava - Tava is a popular restaurant, known for its delicious North Indian, South Indian and Asian dishes. The food is fresh and the prices are reasonable. It is a vegetarian restaurant with vegan options also available. It is located on the Kodaikanal Road, opposite New Hotel Punjab.
2. Muncheez - Muncheez is a favourite local food joint that is popular for its Indian and fusion food along with their cheesy pizzas. This joint serves vegetarian and non-vegetarian food and snacks and also have an impressive range of beverages that guests can choose from. Located on the Pt. Road, Kodaikanal, this restaurant is the perfect place to unwind with some great food after a hectic day.
3. Ten Degrees - Ten Degrees serves fresh Indian and Continental cuisines and also a range of fresh seafood dishes. The food here is unique and well-prepared and guests are greeted with warm hospitality. It is located on Pt. Road in Kodaikanal and is the perfect place to enjoy some fine dining food in a relaxed setting.
4. Royal Tibet - The Royal Tibet is a popular restaurant serving incredible Tibetan food. From fresh momos to spring rolls, noodles to Tibetan bread and thukpas, this place is a favourite for Tibetan and Chinese cuisine. All the food in this homely restaurant is authentic and pocket-friendly. Situated on the Poet Thyagaraja Road, Kodaikanal, this is a warm place to relax and unwind with friends and family.
Tips Before Visiting Kumbakkarai Falls:
The Kumbakkarai Falls is a place to chill and unwind, relax and have fun. But to ensure that your trip doesn’t have any unpleasant surprises, here are a few tips that could come handy:
1. Since the main attraction of this place is the waterfall, you should pack your swimming essentials like sunscreen, swimsuits, towels, flip flops, etc.
2. Towels and spiked slippers are a must so that you can manoeuvre over the slippery stones with ease and confidence.
3. It is advisable to avoid the monsoon season in Kodaikanal, as the waters become rough and the stones are more slippery during this time of the year.
4. If you are travelling with children to the waterfall, it is advisable to keep them close, and not let them go swimming in the pool unless they are trained in swimming.
5. A small first aid box with essential medicines for fever, cold and cough are a must to carry along.