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Maruthappuzha is a tributary of Punnappuzha which merges with Karimpuzha and thus finally reach Chaliyar. Maruthappuzha originates as two separate streams from Devala (eastern baranch) and Pandalur (northern branch) areas of Nilagiri district and join near Marutha to form Maruthappuzha. Muringamunda Puzha (coming from forests north of Thannikkadavu) and Karakkodan puzha (originating from the foothills of Nadukani forests) also joins with Maruthappuzha at Palemad and Munda respectively.

Maruthappuzha is also known as Kalakkanpuzha because of its muddy colour for water.

Maruthappuzha-Punnappuzha belt is famous for its gold deposits, though it has not been exploited in large scale.