Perunthenaruvi is a beautiful stream flow, often known as Perunthenaruvi Waterfalls, located in Paruva of Vechoochira panchayath of Pathanamthitta district,Kerala. The stream known as ‘Kakkattaar’, is a tributary of the famous Pamba river (Dakshina Ganga). It originates in the Western Ghats and joins the Kakki River’, ‘Azhutha River’ and later the ‘Kakkattaar’ which flows through Perunthenaruvi and merges with the Pamba river flowing through the boarder of Vechoochira and Naranammoozhi panchayaths. The name Perunthenaruvi is derived from the old name Perumthenaruvi which means ‘the Great Honey stream’.
With its scenic beauty, Perunthenaruvi Waterfalls is a developing tourist destination of South Kerala, characterised by its width rather than its height. The stream flows through the Sabarimala forest area and reaches the slanted rocks of Perunthenaruvi and gush to a ravine, offering an exciting view to the visitors.
An important feature of Perunthenaruvi Waterfalls is that, it is not a natural waterfall. About 70 years ago, Perunthenaruvi was a wide plain layer of rocks, with a fair height. The stream flows over this rock evenly. There was a big bee-hive on the upper side of these rocks. The adivasis (tribes), who were the early inhabitants of this place named the stream Perum – then – aruvi or ‘the Great Honey Stream’, as it flows by the side of the big bee – hive.
During that period, a license to cut the woods of the Sabarimala forest area was allowed to a person named ‘Thamrapally Muthalali’. The only means to transport the logs from the forest was through this stream. When it reached Perunthenaruvi, the rocks stood as a hindrance to move further. So Thamarapally Muthalali made arrangements to blast the rocks with explosives to create a passage through the centre of the stream. This increased the volume of water flow, making it easy to carry the woods. This passage lateron transformed to a waterfall. As a result of the explosion, the big bee – hive was destroyed.
Perunthenaruvi is also known in the name ‘Naaveena Aruvi’. In the early days, the tribals go for hunting with a dog. One day, a dog fell into the stream and died. Hence the name – Naa or Naaya means dog – ‘Dog Fallen Stream’ or Naa Veena Aruvi’.
A legend about Perunthenaruvi is that Lord Rama and Sitadevi, during the period of their forest life, passed through Perunthenaruvi in a chariot. The marks on the rocks, suppose to be that of the wheel track of the chariot are still clearly visible.
Perunthenaruvi is beautiful picnic spot, at the same time a dangerous one too. The rocky areas spreaded over the upper and lower portions of the waterfalls have safe bathing spots.But the rocks near to the waterfall are slippery and chances of accidents are more, especially in the monsoon season.
Once fall into the depths of the waterfall, the body will be moved by the under-current through a gorge, and get stuck in the bottom hole of a rock in the centre of the stream. This rock is known as ‘Kinnampothi Kallu’ – as it looks like a vessel placed upside down. Once stuck into the hole, the human body cannot be moved back by its own, and death occurs. Usually, after three days, as the body began to swell, it comes out from the hole. There are indications about the dangerous spots in the stream.
A belief among the people around Perunthenaruvi is that, at certain times, they hear a humming sound from the stream, especially at nights. Within two days after hearing the humming sound, a death happens in this stream.
The Department of Tourism has taken steps to develop Perunthernaruvi Waterfalls as a popular tourist destination of Kerala. Presently there is approach road, parking area and a view point. Accommodation facilities are under construction. One can reach Perunthenaruvi from Thiruvalla through Ranni – Vechoochira route (42 Kms). From Chengannoor through Pathanamthitta – Ranni – Vechoochira route (50kms). From Kottayam through Kodungoor – Manimala - Ranni – Vechoochira route (65kms) and through Kanjirapally – Erumely – Mukkoottuthara – Chathanthara – Vechoochira route (80kms).
In Vechoochira there is a Navodaya School. From this School junction, just 5 minutes walking distance to Perunthenaruvi Waterfalls.
District Headquarters – Pathanamthitta (27kms), Nearest Railway Stations are Thiruvalla (42kms) and Chengannoor (50kms). Nearest Airport – Thiruvananthapuram International Air port-135kms (Thiruvananthapuram – Adoor – Pathanamthitta – Ranni – Vechoochira route).