Courtallam Waterfalls: Tourist Deaths Spark Safety Concerns

Courtallam Waterfalls
Courtallam Waterfalls

Courtallam Falls, Tenkasi, has now turned out to be a dreadful topic following the disaster that occurred yesterday. A 17-year-old boy Ashwin who was bathing in the Courtallam waterfall was swept away by the flood and died, which has caused deep sadness across Tamil Nadu.

Summer Vacation:

The summer vacation has officially started, and families and tourists are heading towards popular vacation destinations such as Ooty, Kodaikanal, Coutrallam, Yercaud, and many others. Excitement is brewing among school students as they eagerly look forward to their well-deserved break.

With the onset of a heatwave, children are urging their parents to take them to cool and refreshing water spots. Consequently, Coutrallam waterfalls were buzzing with families and children seeking respite from the scorching weather.

Tamil Nadu Weather: 

Over the last two weeks, several areas of Tamil Nadu have experienced favourable weather conditions with heavy rainfall. The Western Ghats of Tenkasi district have been particularly affected by the heavy rains, leading to restrictions on tourists bathing in the Coutrallam mail falls (5 aruvi Coutrallam). 

Coutrallam Waterfall Flood:

As a result, tourists have been diverting to other falls in the area. However, an unexpected flash flood occurred at the Old Coutrallam Falls, prompting concern and attention.

Then suddenly the water flow in the waterfall started to increase. The bemused tourists started running away from the waterfall. Then the water came and picked up speed. As a result, the tourists standing there rushed through the stairs.

Due to the high velocity of the water, some people were swept away by the water and pushed into the shallow river near the falls. Tourists and shopkeepers there worked quickly and rescued those trapped in the river with ropes.

Teenage Boy Swept Away by Flood at Courtallam Falls:

Then Ashwin (17) from Ram Nagar, Palayamkottai, went missing, said his uncle, Arun, from Tenkasi. Ashwin, son of Kumar from Nellai Palayangottai, was studying 11th standard. He is currently staying at his grandmother's house in Tenkasi, as it is summer vacation.

As the water fell in the Courtallam waterfalls, he went to bathe in the waterfall with his sister and relatives. When the water level rose, his uncle Arun left while holding Ashwin's hand. However, due to the high water, Arun slipped on the stairs, fell, and injured his nose.

Ashwin was swept away by the strong floodwaters, slipping from his uncle's grip as they struggled to stay afloat. The boy's panicked cries drew attention to the dire situation, causing a tense and frantic atmosphere at the scene. Local residents quickly called the fire department, who responded with urgency, while the police rushed to the location to provide assistance.

Teenager Ashwin Rescue Operation:

Firefighters and police worked together to thoroughly search the surrounding area for the missing student, Ashwin. Upon receiving the information, District Collector Kamal Kishore and SP Suresh Kumar promptly arrived at the scene and took immediate action to expedite the rescue operations.

Ashwin Found Dead:

Ashwin, who was swept away by the wild flood, was rescued about half a km away from there while the rescue team continued to search. Later, the police sent his body to Tenkasi Government Hospital for post-mortem. The incident caused great grief among the tourists.

Tourists Restricted In  Courtallam Waterfall:

Following this, tourists were banned from bathing in all the waterfalls following the sudden flood in the Old Courtallam and the death of a 11th standard student Ashwin from Nellai. Police and firemen were stationed at all the waterfalls for safety reasons.

The video capturing the Courtallam waterfall with its powerful, gushing waters and the sight of tourists scrambling to safety as the water surged rapidly downstream went viral on various social media platforms.

Courtallam Falls: Beauty and Danger Collide

Courtallam Falls, also known as Kutralam or Kuttalam Falls, is a popular tourist destination in Tamil Nadu, India. Located in the Tenkasi district on the Chittar River, it's a series of cascading waterfalls nicknamed "The Spa of South India" due to the believed medicinal properties of its waters.   Courtallam is a popular getaway, especially during the hot summer months. The five major falls - Main Falls, Chitraruvi Falls, Honey Falls, Five Falls, and Tiger Falls -  each offer a unique experience.

In 2022, two tourists died after being swept away in flash floods at the main Courtallam waterfalls following heavy rains in the Western Ghats. There are few notable casualties of the tourists who were washed away in the floods.

When it rains in the Courtallam area or nearby localities, tourists are usually restricted from bathing at the waterfalls. However, there has been a recent debate about why tourists were not restricted during heavy rainfall. If they have been warned then the 17-year-old Ashwin would have been alive.