Rivers In Kerala: A Pocket Guide To Add More Calming Vibes On Your 2022 Trip!


Just like any other part of the world, rivers hold a special place in Indian culture too. From the tales of mythology about worshipping rivers to their exclusive purpose of irrigation that gives immense joy to all the farmers, such water bodies have an incredible design to facilitate those in need. Similarly, rivers in Kerala too play an important role. Not only do they irrigate the fields of this rice-dominating region, but they also provide a platform for leisure activities such as boating and adds value to the scenic charm of Kerala.

These rivers are a source of livelihood for various fishermen in Kerala and are therefore nothing less than a blessing. With as many as 44 rivers in this state, there is no doubt why this place is called God’s own country. Scroll down to find out what’s in store for you here!

Best Time To Visit Kerala


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An ideal time to visit Kerala depends on the purpose of travelling to this charming land. If you wish to get the best of Ayurvedic treatments here, then the months of June to August are recommended. However, if you wish to explore various activities under pleasant weather that adds more thrill to your holiday, the perfect time would be during the months of September to March.

12 Best Rivers In Kerala

A long list of rivers in this state surely makes for a perfect vacation whether you want to try boating or simply relax and unwind amidst the soothing vibes of nature. Here’s a list of the most beautiful rivers in Kerala that you ought to visit.

  • Periyar River
  • River Nila
  • Chaliyar River
  • Chalakudy River
  • Pamba River
  • Manimala River
  • Bharathapuzha River
  • Kabini River
  • Neyyar River
  • Meenachil River
  • Valapattanam River
  • Kallada River

1. Periyar River

Periyar River

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Taking a further step in shaping the culture, traditions and livelihood of many, Periyar is one of the most important rivers that flow through Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Pleasant weather can help you witness some of the most serene views with palm and coconut trees dotted alongside. What makes the Periyar river, Kerala as one of the best rivers of Kerala is the fact that it is yet far away from the crowd and bustling city life. If you’re a nature-lover, this river is a must-visit for you.

Speciality: Witness serene views of palm and coconut trees!

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2. River Nila

River Nila

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Originating from Annamalai Hills in the Western Ghats, this stunning river is amongst the second-largest rivers of Kerala after Periyar. Flowing through the serene districts of Thrissur, Palakkad and Malappuram, this river covers a vast area and yet is not navigable. The greenery that surrounds this magnificent beauty presents a view that is nothing less than a dream come true.

Speciality: Mesmerising Annamalai Hills in the Western Ghats

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3. Chaliyar River

Chaliyar River

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Also known by the names of Chulika river and Beypore river, the charming Chaliyar river is on the fourth when we consider the length of all the rivers in Kerala. Touching the boundaries of Lakshadweep and the southern line of the same river is called Chaliyamand. On the other hand, the northern part is known as Beypore. What amuses people the most about this river is the fact that it doesn’t dry up even during times of drought.

Speciality: Charming Chaliyar river

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4. Chalakudy River

Chalakudy River

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Passing the gorgeous districts of Palakkad, Ernakulam and Thrissur is yet another river known as Chalakuddy and is second to Chaliyar when it comes to the length of this river. Starting from the famous Anamalair in Tamil Nadu, this river has many major tributaries such as Kuriyarkutti, Karapara, Parambikulam, Anakayam, and Sholayar. What makes this river unique are the major waterfalls located on its routes like Vazhirachal and Athirappilly falls.

Speciality: Major waterfalls located on its route.

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5. Pamba River

Pamba River

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Yet another major stunning river that you cannot miss out on while in Kerala is the Pamba river which is also the third-largest in the state. The main starting point of this river is the Pulachimalai Hills in the Western Ghats after which it passes through several districts such as Kozhenchery, Kuttanad, and Karthikapally before finally leading to the grand Vembanad Lake. While you’re here, do stop by at Sabarimala temple located on its banks.

Speciality: The Pamba river

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6. Manimala River

Manimala River

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Following a similar route, after it meets the Pamba river, this serene river also leads to Vembanad Lake. Although this river has been an integral waterway for Central Travancore, sand-mining activities have led to a negative impact on the river bed over the years. Flowing from the Muthavara Hills and nearby ranges, this river has its unique charm when it comes to rivers.

Speciality: The Muthavara Hills and nearby ranges

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7. Bharathapuzha River

Bharathapuzha River

Image Credit: Raghu.kuttan for Wikimedia Commons

Bharathapuzha river is the longest river in Kerala and has a length of 209 km. Being one of the most beautiful rivers of Kerala, the Bharathapuzha river attracts a lot of nature lovers. This serene river is also called Nila or the river of Bhārata. Bharathapuzha river is of great cultural importance as many great poets were born in the towns located on the banks of this river. Another reason for its importance is the temples situated on its banks that you must explore on your vacation.

Speciality: The river has its cultural importance as many poets were born in the towns located on the banks of this river.

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8. Kabini River

Kabini River

Image Credit: Vinodnellackal for Wikimedia Commons

Famed as the Kasbani river, the Kabini river is a tributary of the Cauvery river. Kabini river originates from Wayanad, Kerala and it forms a reservoir near Sargur. Kabini reservoir lures a lot of wildlife enthusiasts and people who want to witness the scenic backwaters of Kabini. You can spot animals like leopard, elephants, tigers, and deers around the Kabini river. You can hire a houseboat and explore the backwaters of Kabini and savour picturesque views.

Speciality: The backwaters of Kabini.

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9. Neyyar River

Neyyar River

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One of the shortest rivers of Kerala, the Neyyar River is 56 km in length. Neyyar river flows through the Neyyar Dam and this dam is a great picnic spot. If you are up for a jungle safari then you should visit the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary located on the banks of the Neyyar River. Get ready for an adventurous weekend while you witness this gorgeous river and explore all the nearby places like the crocodile breeding centre, Agasthya peak, and Lion Safari park.

Speciality: The jungle safari.

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10. Meenachil River

Meenachil River

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Located in the heart of Kottayam, the Meenachil River is called by names like Gauna Nadi, Kavanar, and Valanjar. Meenachil river is 78 km in length and is a popular name as it is mentioned in the famous novel ‘ The God of Small Things’ written by Arundhati Roy. This river originates from the Western Ghats and crosses the main towns of Kerala like Kottayam, Poonjar, Erattupetta, Teekay, and Ettumanoor. You can relax amidst nature and marvel at the mesmerizing views by indulging in a boat ride.

Speciality: Experience mesmerising views and water activities like a boat ride.

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11. Valapattanam River

Valapattanam River

Image Credit: Ronambiar for Wikimedia Commons

Valapattanam River is one of the most visited rivers in Kerala and it is the largest river in Kannur district. Parassinikkadavu temple is located on the bank of the Valapattanam river. Other eminent Hindu temples are located near the river and it flows through popular towns like Iritty, Parassinikkadavu, and Irikkur. There are boating facilities available in these towns and you can leave for an entrancing boating trip to witness the beauty of this river.

Speciality: Witness the beauty of this river.

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12. Kallada River

Kallada River

Image Credit: Kiran Gopi for Wikimedia Commons

Formed by Chendurni, Kulathupuzha, and Kalthuruthy, the Kalada River is called the Punalur river. Flowing through the Kollam District in Kerala, the Kalada River is 121 km long and is visited by a lot of travellers. The Kallada Boat Race is held at this river and locals as well as tourists are all present at this event. The best time to visit the Kallada River is when it is filled with water and the boat race is being organized. You can plan your visit from September to March to enjoy the pleasant weather and more.

Speciality: Wonderful water activities.

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How To Reach Kerala

With so many modes of commute to choose from, one should always be prepared to get the best of Kerala within a given budget. Scroll down to know which will suit you the best on your journey here.

By Road

By Road

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Since it takes longer than other places to reach Kerala by road, this mode of commute is not recommended. It also entirely depends on where you’re coming from. If it is Delhi that you’re starting your journey from, then surely travelling by road will take you 40 hours approximately.

By Train


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Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station is amongst the major railhead that will let you access the state. Kerala is quite far from most of the states and cities lying in the northern region of India. Even though it will take 2 days to reach this place, the beautiful views on your way are surely worth it!

By Air


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You can easily reach Kerala by boarding a flight as this place has both national and international connectivity, courtesy of airports like Kozhikode, Cochin and Thiruvananthapuram. If you wish to use this mode, make sure you book well in advance in order to avoid a last-minute price hike. Not only will it save your money, but it might also add to your flight points too.

Further Read: 15 Amazing Things To Do In Kerala [Infographic]

The longer your list of places to cover on your holiday, the better! With a state as vast as Kerala, we wouldn’t blame you if even a month feels short while you’re vacationing in the stunning hills and soothing beaches of this land. God’s own land has something in store for everyone. So, what is it that you’re waiting for? Plan a holiday to Kerala for an ultimate escapade with your loved ones like never before!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Rivers In Kerala

How many rivers are there in Kerala?

There are a total of 44 rivers that flow in Kerala. Out of these 44 rivers, 3 originate in the Eastern Ghats while the rest 41 are originating in the Western Ghats.

Which rivers flow in Kerala?

Home to 44 rivers, Kerala is a destination like no other. Periyar River, Bharathapuzha River, Pamba River, Chaliyar River, Chalakudy River, Meenachil River, Shiriya River, Neyyar River, and Kechery River being a few of those.

Which is the smallest river in Kerala?

The smallest river in Kerala is the Manjeswaram Puzha. The length of this Kerala river is only 16 kilometers and originates from Balappooni hills.

Which district has more <strong>rivers in Kerala</strong>?

The Idukki district of Kerala blankets most of the rivers in this destination followed closely by Palakkad. There are around 12 rivers in Idukki and 11 rivers in Palakkad.

Which is the deepest river in Kerala?

Flowing in Idukki is the Periyar River that is not only the deepest but also the longest river in Kerala. Periyar river is around 244 kilometers long with a basin size of 5,398 kilometer square.

Which river in Kerala was known as Baris?

River Pamba is also known as River Baris or ‘Dakshina Bhageerathi’. This river is known to enrich the lands of Pathanamthitta District and the surrounding Kuttanad area of Alappuzha District.

What is the best time to visit Kerala?

As Kerala is located near the tropics, the summer season of this destination is hot and lies between March to May. The monsoon and winter season is considered to be the best time to visit Kerala, especially if one’s purpose is rejuvenation. Months from September to March are the best to witness God’s Own Country at best.

Which is the northernmost river in Kerala?

The northernmost river is the Bharathapuzha River which is also known as Nila River. This river has religious significance latched to it and is very important for the people of Kerala.

What is the length of Kabini river in Kerala?

The Kabini river in Kerala is 240 km in length.

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