Parappalaru Dam & Talakkuthu Falls (Dindigul - Tamil Nadu)


A friend was continuously telling me about this waterfall, rather a road-less-traveled, secret waterfalls, located near his friend’s place. Finally, one fine day, things fell in place and all three of us were available on the same day to venture to this new place, which turns out to be one of the top places to visit near Madurai and Palani. 2 bikes and 3 of us, our first destination was Parappalaru Dam.

Parappalaru Dam Dindigul biking trip

Parappalaru Dam Dindigul biking trip

Parappalaru Dam Dindigul biking trip

Picnic places near Palani Dindigul Parappalaru Dam

Picnic places near Palani Dindigul

We headed towards Palani and after Vedasandhur & Oddanchatram, 14 hairpin bends led us to the hill top where a gate with a board said we were 3 km from Parappalaru Dam. Through that gate we finally reached the Parappalaru Dam. This is fairly a well-known place locally, one of the picnic places near Madurai and Palani. The area was vast – 266 x 83 x 123 ft in dimension!!! This river, Parappalaru, is essentially a tributary of Cauvery. Cauvery comes here via Aravakkurichi and becomes Parappalaru here. The place had a small government guest house, about which I have no much idea.
The water was pristine. With the constant fall of the water in different pressure, unique interesting formations & shapes have been formed on the rocks here!!! The view was great. More beautiful than the view was the flora here - the various flowering trees here were fabulous. As usual my animal luck was present here too. A doggy got really very friendly with us, to that extent that it became sad when it realized we had to leave!!!
Now, have a look at this pic. Ghostly??? Paranormal??? Psychic??? Yeah! Well, No!!! What happened was I put my camera in the panorama mode. In the first shot, I took the scene and in the 2nd i.e., follow up shot, my friend got into the scene and this is what my camera did!!!!!

After spending some time there, we embarked on our journey to the main location - searching for the secret waterfalls of Dindigul district! Downhill from Parappalaru Dam and we rode further towards Palani. A small lane exactly the 2nd one after Oddanchathiram jn. towards Palani on NH83, to the left. A muddy path easy to miss, with a small tea kiosk at the corner. We got into the lane and went on enquiring about the waterfalls. We were directed to go as the road took us, and we crossed a small stream (which we later found is actually a section of the Aiyaru river that comes from the secret waterfalls). It had a few interesting, broken sculptures of Gods & Goddesses. (Its a normal practice that broken sculptures are not kept in worship in temples, but are respectfully discarded by either burying in the soil or throwing into waterbodies like ponds, rivers or seas!)
We met this old man on the way who wanted a lift and we readily gave. It’s a specialty of people belonging to villages – they are so caring and loving. He said time and again to be very careful and return by sunset mentioning that a few causalities that had already happened in this falls!!!

Rural Tourism in South India Dindigul

Rural Tourism in South India Dindigul

Rural Tourism in South India Dindigul

Pure bred Mango groves South India

Sri Neela Varadharaja Perumal Temple Virupatchi

From there, we went further and we could spot that waterfalls at a long distance. We went on and finally reached a mango grove that we were directed to, by the old man. This mango grove also requires a special mention. It was so unusual. Mango groves generally have trees that are hybrid varieties that yield more. And the heights of these trees are not much and the fruits can easily be pluck by hand or a short stick. But these ones here are not hybrid varieties. These were pure breed saplings. The trees were almost 30 ft. high. Look at their size compared to our bikes. We had to leave our vehicles here. To accept the truth, we were not really very sure of the bikes’ safety. Yet, we took the risk.

We spotted a little temple of Lord Vishnu here - Sri Neela Varadharaja Perumal Temple Virupatchi. I do not suspect it to be ancient. There were a few Iyyappa devotees there who were on their way to their pilgrimage to Sabarimala (a holy place in Kerala). We enquired them about the waterfalls and they directed us to follow the dirt-track behind the temple.

Few dilapidated statues, lot of trees and some branches and and several rocks and that what was called the 'dirt-track'. I was fascinated and spurted out "WOW"!!! A small space between 2 rocks and water was sprinkling out of it. Crystal clear and wild!!! I was almost like I couldn’t ask for more. But little did I know, I had lot more to see and admire, and this was just a trailer.
We walked further and kept following the path along the stream emerging out of the waterfalls. My friend spotted a gorgeous (!) snake skin and reconsidered proceeding in that route. But his friend and I insisted on proceeding and we did. In many a places this stream flowed over rocks and created micro, mini and small waterfalls. Doesn’t this look amazing? Something like the shots we would see in National Geographic or Man vs. Wild. I loved this place.
Well, this place was not absolutely a virgin forest. Shortly, the dirt-track gave way to a proper path. This path, a 1 foot wide brick path, has been built already. I suspect this to be built really long ago, sometime during British era or so!!! It looked atleast a century old. On one side of this was the bellowing stream (a fall into it from the height – which varied from 1m to 10m – would definitely cause fracture and I had no idea of the depth of the stream. Without swimming knowledge, rather risky) and on the other side was the forest which descended to several metres. Walking on this 1ft path itself was an enthralling experience. I loved it.

Virupatchi Talakuthu Falls Dindigul best places to visit

Virupatchi Aiyaru River Dindigul best places to visit

Virupatchi Talakuthu Falls Dindigul best places to visit

Virupatchi Talakuthu Falls Dindigul best places to visit

Virupatchi Aiyaru River Dindigul best places to visit

Guess, what angle this shot is taken? This is the same mini waterfalls in the 2nd last pic above, taken from front & top in the pic above. That 1ft path took a climb of some 15 steps vertically to reach the top of this mini falls and proceeded. I took this shot from atop. It was indeed a bit scary to climb those stairs, no side grip and a fall into the waterfall can cause severe injuries!!! At each and every one of these mini falls, I thought it was the most beautiful one until I reached the next!!! The path further proceeded and the scenic beauty was awesome, indeed!!!

Finally at one point that 1ft path came to an end but we hadn’t yet reached the falls. It wasn’t even in vicinity!!! First, our friend ventured alone as he knew of this place already though not have ventured till this point so far. Also he is a typical villager in a very positive way – just fearless, and so well talented in life skills including swimming, tree climbing etc.
So, being a real man that he is, he first jumped onto the rocks along the stream to check if the route is accessible by us as well. There was a small gang of boys bathing wearing just their underwear (!) and boozing there, to whom we enquired where the waterfalls was. They casually answered to proceed along the stream for some 15 more minutes to reach the falls. Suddenly they realized I was a gal and they shied away (remember, they were in their underwear?!). Lolz!!!
Our friend also said that the route seemed accessible when my friend kept on telling us to return. Still again we proceeded. The stream kept on becoming fiercer and fiercer telling us we were nearing the waterfalls. Regular force of the water’s current had made this places so textured. At some places we had to walk across the streams and at places, it was so damn slippery. Our friend walked with such an ease and me handicapped of being cosmopolitan brought up, I had to hold his hand to walk across such slippery places. Slipping here would be nothing by severely injurious. That’s my friend trying to enact the very same!!! 

Virupatchi Talakuthu Falls Best trekking places near Madurai

Virupatchi Talakuthu Falls Best trekking places near Madurai

Virupatchi Talakuthu Falls Best trekking places near Madurai

Virupatchi Talakuthu Falls Best trekking places near Madurai

Hopping across rocks, walking straight over sloping rocks, crossing slippery streams finally we reached the waterfalls. It was fabulous. Btw, did I tell you this waterfall is fed by the Parappalaru. If at all the dam was opened a bit more, wherever we crossed the stream would be bulging with water and it would be impossible to reach this place. The textures in the rocks were caused such river bulging once in a while.
The Talakkuthu falls was nothing but magnificent. This is also called Thalakuthu Falls / Thalaiyuthu Falls. The height was not higher than Aagaya Gangai, but it was fabulous that that. The landscape was fabulous. It was so damn interesting. Somehow it reminded me of Copper Canyon, but a small and less fierce version. A huge circular space surrounded by high rise rocks. Unlike copper canyon, it was split in just one location which was just opposite to the falls, which was essentially the route in which we came in.
Remember the long shot of the falls in the last post? After finally reaching this place, the long shot made sense as well. The landscape was rather suggestively visible in the long shot itself, which I realized later on. Finally when we reached there, there was a small gang of about 4 people, there as well fishing et all. Freshly caught & cooked fish to accompany booze?!
Unlike the other waterfalls, standing just below the point where the waterfalls here is not possible. There is no rock in here. All that the place has is a medium sized pool of water. You could swim there, if at all you knew to swim in the wild current (knowing to swim in a swimming pool, just doesn’t count here. Knowing to swim in rivers or sea only would save you in such places!!!).
All 3 of us finally just laid down there looking at the sky, the falls, the surrounding rocks – that’s the best feeling I’ve ever felt I guess. The rock plank on which the waterfall was flowing was interesting as well. It had some parallel cuts, looking very much man made though natural. And in that cuts was a wild honeycomb, indeed a creative and super explorative queen bee!!! After just resting there for sometime, another small gang came to booze and we decided we better leave. Did I tell you we just don’t know where we left our footwear??? Enroute somewhere while crossing some stream, I and my friend left our footwear and while returning, we somehow managed to find those!!!
The water was pristine and I gulped in some and we started back. Back at the mango grove where we had left our bikes – Surprise, the bikes were still there!!! Ok, that was sarcastic!!! However, the bottle in toin juice which we left in the bike was missing!!! Atleast petrol was not missing. We started back our journey, in that satisfaction.

Oddanchatram (nearest town to Parappalaru & Talakkuthu) is located almost mid-point between Coimbatore and Madurai, closer to Madurai. Being about 2hrs away by car or bike, this is a perfect daytrip from Madurai or Coimbatore for the adventurous souls. Btw, just to be clear, this is different from Thailaiyar Falls which is Theni district.

Whatever may it be – I first thought Horsley Hills was fab. Then when I visited Vazhachal Forest, it overtook Horsley Hills. Now this Pachalur/Parappalaru Dam & Talakkuthu Falls are incomparable!!! This drone video is the creation of a local videographers team called Real Spatial Labs.

Virupatchi Talakuthu Falls Best trekking places in Palani

Virupatchi Talakuthu Falls Best trekking places in Palani

Virupatchi Talakuthu Falls Best trekking places in Palani

Virupatchi Talakuthu Falls Best trekking places in Palani


Oddanchatram to Parappalaru Dam distance: 16km
Palani to Parappalaru Dam distance: 43km (via Oddanchatram)
Dindigul to Parappalaru Dam distance: 40km (via Oddanchatram)
Madurai to Parappalaru Dam distance: 100km (via Dindigul, Oddanchatram)
Coimbatore to Parappalaru Dam distance: 140km (via Dharapuram, Oddanchatram)

Oddanchatram to Sri Neela Varadharaja Perumal Temple distance: 10km

How to reach Talakkuthu Falls/ Thalakuthu Falls: A small lane exactly the 2nd one after Oddanchatram highway jn. (locally called round-tana) towards Palani to the left. A muddy path easy to miss, with a small tea kiosk at the corner. Take the path as it takes you till you reach a small temple in the mango grove. The vehicle has to be left here and start the uphill trek from behind the temple!!!
However, I suggest leaving the vehicle in any of those houses in the village that comes before you reach the mango grove. A small amount of money to them, as a token of appreciation, I guess the vehicles would be safe for sure.

The nearest town in Dindigul which has low to medium level hotels. High end hotels can be found in Karur.

Dedicated to Arun and Navaneethan. And also Gopi for the extra bike.

Parappalaru Dam Pinterest  Thalakuthu Thalaiyuthu Falls Dindigul Pinterest


An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands


  1. Thats a discovery bhusha...there are plenty of such places which remain untouched..Thanks for this lovely post. And please do not keep others waiting...:)

  2. Very very beautiful and seems adventerous.. Hope you had a fabulous time :) :)

  3. Great adventure :-)
    Thanks for the tour !!!

    Kareltje =^.^= Betsie >^.^<

    ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´Anya

  4. I like the ghost pic the most...I was thinking if you did photoshop until I read how it happened! Certainly worth trying for some paranormal effects :)

  5. neat. this was quite the adventure...i love going to these type places...neat too what the camera did to that pic...

  6. I'm in love with this place, really! I recalled my memories when we used to go for bike rides to such natural places. The longest we drove was 330 kilometers to see the amazingly beautiful Thoseghar waterfall.

    No doubt Tamil Nadu is way more beautiful than Maharashtra. Of course, Maharashtra has beautiful places like Bhimashankar, but at this time of the year, it's all dry and will remain dry until mid-June. It is so nice to see such greenery.

    This post made me so happy that I have shared it on StumbleUpon and Facebook. I am sure you will receive many more visitors :)

  7. Beautiful shots of the place. The place is new to me.

  8. Wow! This is fabulous! Lovely sight of waterfalls, and a great travelogue!

  9. I like the "ghostly" shot.
    The scenery is beautiful and interesting! Thanks for sharing your travels.

  10. nice post...recently i got to work on a Highway project which was from Dindigul to Karnataka border....did get to travel the road but as it was on work, did not get to stop at many places...but yes did experience the 14 hairpin bends!!!
    ur post makes me do a detailed tour!!

  11. @Blue Bottle,
    Thank you.. Guess its your first visit to my blog. Thanks for coming.. Do drop by often.. :)

    @Niranjan Das,
    Indeed a discovery, isn't it?!!! :)

    Oh yeah.. I really had a great time.. :0

    My pleasure.. :)

    @Team G Square,
    The 2nd part is on now..
    Thanks for dropping by and commenting.
    Do visit often.. :)

  12. @Siddharth,
    Do try and publish your experiments. Would love to see your trials... :)
    Guess its your first visit to my blog. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Do visit often.. :)

    Thanks dear.. :)

    Interesting shapes na!!!

    Thoseghar is just just awesome!!! I am so damn impressed!!!
    Thank you so much sweetheart for sharing in fb & stumble!! :)
    I am glad that my blog digged some beautiful memories :)

    @Magic Eye,
    Indeed!!! :)

  13. @Rajesh,
    Glad to have introduced it to you.. :)

    Thanks sweetheart.. :)

    Ha ha.. He was a friendly ghost!! :D
    Thanks love.. :)

    @Shooting Star,
    Do make a detailed tour and post it in your blog and let me know. I'd love to see your perspective of this amazing place.. :)

  14. That's wonderful! I never knew about this place.


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