Scenic Rivers Of Kerala: The Ideal Guide To The Best Rivers In Kerala

Counted amongst the ten paradises of the world, Kerala is the most aesthetic region of India. The state offers world-class tourist sporting options, ayurvedic spas and treatments, and eco-tourism initiatives to its visitors. Also referred to as a land of diverse religions, Kerala is well-known for its backwaters, mountains, coconuts, spices and varied art forms such as Kathakali and Mohini Attam. With a tropical climate, the state is recognized as the ‘land of natural healing treasures’.

Why Go There?  Beautiful Backwaters | Varied Demographies | Pristine Rainforests | Jaded Beaches | Exotic Hill Stations | Flora & Fauna | Yoga & Ayurveda

Ideal For: Family Trips | Photographers | Travel Bloggers | Writers | Spiritualists | Healers

Trivia: The state has been fondly named as ‘God’s Own Country’ owing to its pristine beauty and Ayurveda legacy.

Things To Bring Back: Coir Products | Coconut Shell Handicrafts | Elephant Figurines | Kasavu Sarees | Mural Paints | Aranmula Kannadi (Mirror) | Herbs & Spices

Also See: Rivers in India

Rivers In Kerala: 20 Most Scenic Rivers Of Kerala

1. Periyar River in Kerala

Periyar River

The largest river in Kerala, Periyar is of great economic significance for Kerala. The river provides water for irrigation and domestic use and supports the fishery. It is thus also regarded as the ‘Lifeline of Kerala’.

Origin Sivagiri Hills, Sundaramala (Tamil Nadu)
Length 244 Km
Major Cities & States Kochi, Neriamangalam, Kalady, Malayattoor, Kerala, Tamil Nadu
Major Tributaries Cheruthoni, Mullayar, Perinjankutti, Muthirapuzha
Merges into Kalady
No. Of Sub Basins 183
No. Of Micro Watersheds 448
Area In Square Kms 5029.03


2. Bharathappuzha River in Kerala

Bharathappuzha River

Bharathappuza is the second longest river in Kerala. The river has 11 reservoirs along its course, with two others under construction. In the ancient times, the river was also known as ‘Nila’ or ‘Peraar’.

Origin Annamalai Hills (Tamil Nadu)
Length 209 Km
Major Cities & States Kerala, Tamil Nadu
Major Tributaries Thuthapuzha, Gayathripuzha, Kalpathipuzha, Kannadipuzha, Tirur River
Merges into Lakshadweep Sea
No. Of Sub Basins 50
No. Of Micro Watersheds 290
Area In Square Kms 3852.04


3. Pamba River in Kerala

Pamba River

Often referred to as ‘Dakshina Bhageerathi’, Pamba is the longest river in the princely state of Travancore. The river was named after Lord Brahma’s daughter ‘Pampa’ who was the wife of Lord Shiva.

Origin Pulachimalai
Length 176 Km
No. Of Sub Basins 73
No. Of Micro Watersheds 158
Area In Square Kms 2082.8


4. Chaliyar River in Kerala

Chaliyar River

Rising in the Western Ghats, the Chaliyar or the Chulika river is one waterbody that does not dry up during the drought season in March and April. The river had been in the news a few years ago due to the ecological damage caused to it by a pulp factory in Mavoor.

Origin Elambaleri Hills
Length 169 Km
Major Cities Nilambur, Edavanna, Areekode,
Kizhuparamba, cheekode, Vazhakkad, Cheruvadi,
Mavoor, Peruvayal, Aakode, Feroke,
Major Tributaries Iruvazhinjipuzha, Cherupuzha, Engapuzha,
Cherupuzha Nilambur
Merges into Lakshadweep Sea
No. Of Sub Basins 80
No. Of Micro Watersheds 382
Area In Square Kms 2539.82


5. Chalakudy River in Kerala

Chalakudy River

Home to the famous Athirappilly Falls and Vazhachal Falls, Chalakudy is one of the very few rivers of Kerala having substantial remains of the riparian vegetation. It is the richest river pertaining to fish diversity in India and is the fifth longest river in the state of Kerala.

Origin Annamalai Hills
Length 145.5 Km
Major Cities Chalakudy town
Major Tributaries Karappara River, Kuriarkutty Aar, Peruvarippallam Aar, Thunacadavu Aar, Sholayar River
Merges into Periyar River
No. Of Sub Basins 57
No. Of Micro Watersheds 140
Area In Square Kms 1118.32


6. Manimala River in Kerala

Manimala River

An important waterway of Central Travancore, Manimala river originates from the Muthavara Hills in the Western Ghats. The river is 91.73 Km long and stretches across the South and Central Kerala.

Origin Muthavara Hills, Western Ghats
Length 91.73 Km
Major Cities Mundakayam, Manimala, Kanjirappally, Mallappally, Vennikkulam, Kallooppara, Kaviyoor,
Thiruvalla, Thalavadi, Kidangara, Pulinkunnu, Edathua, Champakulam etc.
Merges into Vembanad Lake
No. Of Sub Basins 58
No. Of Micro Watersheds 99
Area In Square Kms 1063.16

7. Perumba River in Kerala

Perumba River

Flowing through some of the best scenic spots of the state, the Perumba river is a special attraction for families who want to explore the area for picnics. The Payyannur town is located on the banks of this freshwater river.

Origin Pinkunnu Hills
Length 51 Km
Major Cities Mathamangalam
Major Tributaries Vannathipuzha, Kallamkulam Totti, Padoli
Merges into Mouth
No. Of Sub Basins 35
No. Of Micro Watersheds 82
Area In Square Kms 298.148


8. Mahe River in Kerala

Mahe River

Originating in the Western Ghats and discharging into the Arabian Sea, the Mahe river is the most polluted river in ‘God’s Own Country’. Initially, the river was also used for inland navigation and transportation of articles from interior villages to Mahe and back.

Origin Wayanad, Western Ghats
Length 54 Km
Major Cities Naripetta, Vanimel, Peruvankara, Iyyancode, Iringanoor
Merges into Arabian Sea
No. Of Sub Basins 35
No. Of Micro Watersheds 81
Area In Square Kms 421.045


9. Neyyar River in Kerala

Neyyar River

Flowing from the Agastya Mala Hills, the Neyyar River is a river of south-western India in the Western Ghats. The most attractive part is the Safari Park located near this river. Additionally, the town of Neyyattinkara located on the banks of this river has been named after the Neyyar waterway.

Origin Agastya Mala Hills
Length 56 Km
Major Tributaries Kallar River, Mullayar River, Karavaliyar River
No. Of Sub Basins 25
No. Of Micro Watersheds 41
Area In Square Kms 499.996


10. Korapuzha River in Kerala

Korapuzha River

A popular water sports and boating destination in Kerala, the Korapuzha river is formed by the confluence of two streams, Agalapuzha and Punnoorpuzha. The river flows through the Kozhikode district of Kerala and merges into the Arabian Sea at Elathur.

Origin Arikkankunni
Length 40 Km
Merges into Arabian Sea
No. Of Sub Basins 29
No. Of Micro Watersheds 63
Area In Square Kms 657.596


11. Itthikkara River in Kerala

Itthikkara River

Itthikkara River is one of the major rivers in Kerala flowing through the districts of Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam. The river has a length of about 56 Kms with the village of Ithikkara situated on its banks.

Origin Kulathupuzha Hills, Western Ghats
Length 56 Km
Merges into Paravur Lake
No. Of Sub Basins 25
No. Of Micro Watersheds 53
Area In Square Kms 659.716


12. Valapattanam River in Kerala

Valapattanam River

The largest river in the Kannur district, the Valapattanam river is also known as Baliapattom. The famous temple ‘Parashinikadavvu’ is located on the banks of this river. Moreover, towns such as Iritty, Sreekandapuram, Irikkur, Parashini, Vallapattanam, and Papinasheri are also located in the vicinity of this river.

Origin Brahmagiri Hills (Karnataka)
Length 110 Km
Major Tributaries Sreekantapuram River, Bavali River, Veni River, Aralam River
No. Of Sub Basins 92
No. Of Micro Watersheds 262
Area In Square Kms 1341.27


13. Kallada River in Kerala

Kallada River

Flowing in parallel with the Kollam – Shenkottai commercial highway, the Kallada River is formed from a convergence of five small streams starting from the Western Ghats. A popular hanging bridge is built across this river. Moreover, a famous tourist destination named ‘Palaruvi Waterfall’ is also located in the vicinity of this river.

Origin Ponmudi Hill Ranges (Kollam District)
Length 121 Km
Major Tributaries Kulathupuzha, Chenthurnipuzha and Kalthuruthipuzha
Merges into Ashtamudi Lake
No. Of Sub Basins 51
No. Of Micro Watersheds 114
Area In Square Kms 1615.56


14. Karuvannur River in Kerala

Karuvannur River

The fourth largest river in the Thrissur district of Kerala, the Karuvannur river is formed from a merger of two rivers, namely Manali and Kurumali. The river has a length of 48 Km and provides drinking water to many Panchayats in the district.

Origin Pumalai Hills
Length 48 Km
Merges into Enamakkal Lake, Periyar River
No. Of Sub Basins 39
No. Of Micro Watersheds 89
Area In Square Kms 956.945


15. Kuttiadi River in Kerala

Kuttiadi River

Kuttiadi river flows through Vadakara, Koyilandy and Kozhikode taluks and has a length of 74 Kms. Built across the Kuttiadi river is a storage dam, which is a special attraction for the tourists.

Origin Narikotta Ranges, Western Ghats
Length 74 Km
No. Of Sub Basins 47
No. Of Micro Watersheds 104
Area In Square Kms 665.83
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Striking a perfect balance between work and fun, Archita is a voracious soul, always on a lookout for new opportunities. She couples her innate creativity with coherence to unfurl magic through her words. Adhering to her pursuit of happiness, she believes in living life on her own terms.


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