Mickey Mouse Flowers, Red Flower with Black seeds, Kerala Flower Photos

Some more garden flowers from Kerala. Bright red flowers with twin black seeds, named as Mickey mouse flowers. The mickey Mouse plant is native of Vietnam and this is one of the most adored flower in Vietnam. Truly speaking the actual flower is a yellow flower, and these red sepals with the seed is what remains after the flower is gone. 

Mickey Mouse flowers are used for the traditional new year celebrations of Vietnam. These flowers are from a tree species named Ochna integerrima. When looked on face to face these flowers may seem similar to the mickey mouse face with two big black eyes, that have given it the name mickey mouse flower.

mickey-mouse-flowers,black-seeded-bright-red-flowers-named-mickey-mouse,kerala-flower-photos,closeup-photo-red-flower,Ochna integerrima,vietnamese-flowers 
Mickey Mouse Flower from Kerala, The bright red flower with black seeds soaked in rain droplets

Flower photos taken with cannon powershot A530 in manual focus mode. Was just wandering with the camera through my home garden after a rain. Wanted to get the flowers as close as i could.

These mickey mouse plants, na not plants, mickey mouse trees!, are grown from those black seeds and i found some smaller ones around the main tree. These ones needs literally no care at all from the experience here, they just keeps growing there unnoticed in abandoned place.

cu around, in  just a matter of time, more Kerala Flowers is going to bloom here.

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Rain Drop Macro Photo, Rain Drop tied in Plantain Leaf String, a Cannon Powershot A530 picture

A raindrop Macro shot. Wandering around on a rainy day for something edible for the camera lens i encountered this water droplet. Was intending to check the ability of the camera to focus closer. This is the maximum least focal length i got for a Canon PowerShot A530 Digi Cam. The closest focusing distance in manual settings. Was just trying to get a closer snap.

The tied up Rain Drop.
The string is just a fiber stretching from the tip of a plantain leaf. Rain just poured off and the drop still remains unable to defy the force of adhesion from the string. The droplet may haven't thought of a trap like this when rolling down through the leaf.

The problem with manual focusing is, our hands have to be rock steady along with the subject in focus there. I think the camera done a better job. Wish i could have get the reflection of me from the droplet if i had an SLR with macro lens. Anyway have to keep experimenting to get the best out of a Digital camera.
cu soon

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Lonely Tree beside the Sea, Photo fom Subhash park, Cochin-kerala

A tree photographed from the Subhash Park near Marine drive Cochin. Just an amateur snap in an evening walk. Photographed using Cannon powershot A530
Lonely tree, Beside the sun and the Sea. Subash park is a major relaxing point for people in the Cochin town of Kerala during the evenings. It opens by 3pm and closes around 9pm. The view from here is to the shipyard of Cochin in Wellington island, the artificially created island from dredging..This is the point where the Vembanad lake meets the Arabian Sea.

Boat services to nearby tourist attractions like Mattancherry, Fort Cochin along with long journeys and houseboat tourtrips to the backwater tourist spots of kerala, like Kumarakom and Alappuzha are available from the nearby Boat-Jetty. If you are to visit this park get into the private buses and alight near St Theresas College and if you Want to take the boat Journey or visit Marine drive, alight by the bustop Menaka.

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Sand Mining in Kerala Rivers,Photos from Banks of Bharathapuzha

Sand mined from the river bed awaiting the trucks. Sand mining photos from the banks of Bharathapuzha, the famous Nila of Malayalees. The scarcity of this construction commodity have shot up the sand price around Kerala. Alternatives made from rock powder like rock sand are trying to be introduced.
Looted from the Rivers!. Mined sand filled in sacks for selling. Recently considering the scarcity of sand, Kerala Government has decided to dredge the dam reservoirs of kerala for the accumulated sand. The pilot project is going on and reports comes like effectively usable sand is not yet mined out from any Dams. Hope they may get the desired result soon.It may help satisfying the demand a little, along with increasing the capacity of Dams in Kerala.
Photo by Amit Druvan, CWRDM Calicut, Regards to Sreerag AS, CWRDM Calicut
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Sand Mining in Bharathapuzha,Photos from Thrissur

Sand Mining in Kerala rivers, a major factor leading to the gradual death of majority of kerala rivers. The photo is taken during the ongoing sand mining process in the bank of Bharathapuzha, the second longest river of Kerala. Infact the river sand has become a rare commodity mainly used in construction  works. The demand is much high and it's leading to uncontrolled illegal and legal sand mining in the rivers here in kerala. Traditionally the sand is filled in canoes or kettuvalloms like this by the divers and loaded into trucks from the river banks.

sand-mining in kerala-rivers,bharathapuzha,nila,second longest river of kerala,kerala-rivers,mining-sand-in-bharathapuzha-river
Trucks getting loaded with sand mined from the Bharathapuzha river. Uncontrolled mining of sand has lead to lowering of watertable in the geographical area and its seen that saline water from the sea is entering into the river in some seasons. Drinking water has to be provided from other sources for the people living around bcoz of early drying of wells as the summer nears. 

Numerous construction of Check dams, Irrigation dams and hydro electric dam projects in the river tributaries have lead to depletion of the river. More than water we may see dry sand banks and grass spreaded on them through the course of this river. uneven pits formed due to the mining works is causing many deaths throughout the year. The unevenness of this river course makes the river stream much violent during monsoons.
Photos by Amit Druvan,CWRDM, Calicut

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Charpa Waterfall, Kerala Waterfalls Photos, Thrissur District

Charpa Waterfalls from Thrissur district of south indian state Kerala. This is only a small waterfalls you may encounter on your way to the famous Athirapally and vazhachaal Waterfalls. The forest area around this river is having rich plant and animal species, mostly the rarest ones seen in the southern part of western Ghats mountain ranges.

The dense rain and riparian forest around has the rare species of Horn bills-around four types of them, elephants, leopards, langoors etc.The chalakkudy river has the highest fish diversity among Indian rivers. This river which make the waterfalls is joining onto the Chalakkudy River's main stream soon below the falls.

The best season to visit all these places is monsoons if you want to see all the waterfalls in their full strength. And if you are here in monsoon this waterfalls ie the charpa will be falling onto the Road and may give you a bath inside the vehicle itself if you don't care to close the windows. Anyway death alarms are hearing to the wildlife, the rivers and the waterfalls here for exploiting all the nature for Hydro Electric dam projects, plantations, poaching, hunting etc by humans is onto its peak. 

You can move along the way to the scenic places of Sholayar where there is a hydro electric dam project known as Chalakkudy dam or sholayar dam. If you move to valparai tn Tamilnadu their is another dam built in the same river by tamilnadu known as the upper Sholayar.

photos by Amit Dhruvan

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Charpa Waterfalls-Famous River Waterfalls in Kerala Photos,Thrissur District

Charpa waterfalls, Thrissur district, Kerala. One of the famous waterfalls of  the south Indian state. This waterfalls is beside the highway connecting Chalakkudy town with Tamilnadu. The waterfalls can be seen on your way from chalakkudy town to Vazhachal and Athirapally waterfalls. The season to visit these places is by monsoons and this photo is not taken during the monsoon. So the man in the photo is able to stand there that close and stare on the falling stream.

Charpa waterfalls is formed by one of the tributary rivers of the famous Chalakkudy river of Kerala.The waterfalls is just before the point where this tributary meets the chalakudy river's main stream. 
Photos taken by Amit Druvan, CWRDM Calicut. Regards to Sreerag AS, CWRDM, Calicut.
Cu Soon

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ORCHIDS, Ground Orchid Violet Flowers from Kerala

Violet orchid flowers from some home gardens in Kerala. Spathoglottis Plicata, its this orchid plant's scientific name and is of the flowering plants family Orchidaceae. These are usually termed as Ground orchids and also has flowers in colors of White, lavender,pink, yellow-orange etc. The violet and white ground orchids are most common here in Kerala.

These ground orchids flowers throughout the year than a particular season. The plants need ordinary care when compared to other orchid species. Ground orchids needs moderate or half shade and can be in full sun if its not the hottest sun. They requires to be watered especially in the growing and budding up time but not that careful as the other garden orchids. The garden plant can be grown in a soil mixed up with cow dung charcoal plant manures etc which will loosen the soil for better drainage and easy rooting. The dead leaf strands and the dried out flower stems should be removed regularly for a healthy growth of this flowering plant.

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Water Hyacinth in Kerala Rivers-Worst & Highly Productive Aquatic Weeds

 Water Hyacinths in a river of Kerala, the worst aquatic weed ever known, the aqua life killers. These water plants are notorious for their fast growth. Hyacinths are considered as one of the most productive aquatic plant. A plant which can spread over the whole river in a small amount of time.Water hyacinths collected from a small area of river like this can weight upto tonnes.

Once there was a River!.
Water hyacinth cover on river. Photographed from a river in Ernakulam district of Kerala state.
Hyacinths are known for clogging the river thus making difficult for boats and canoes to move on, Killing the aquatic life by preventing oxygen from dissolving in water, reduced water quality, increasing mosquitoes for they are better place for mosquitoes to lay eggs.

Water hyacinths are known to make allergies from their plant saps to humans. Also some diseases are seen in people living around the water bodies filled with hyacinth weeds.Recently they clogged the spillway of a dam in Kerala while trying to open the shutters and made serious damage to the Dam sidewalls.Anyway its really a nice sight when the aquatic weed blooms, the whole river surface turns violet with the bloomed violet flowers.These weeds can be used as a raw material for the cottage industry making handicrafts and households with fibers.

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Domestic White Goose,Pet Bird Photos,Kerala;Geese Facts

What about Goose!. Yea this time some pictures and a little info about a pet bird, but not a pet bird everywhere you may encounter it. Often they are wild birds who prefers living with their folks in a disciplined manner. But this goose which is snapped here is a pet bird somewhere in the house nearby, but she was given the freedom of  humans to go anywhere and we often used to meet this one always in the streets. But was a lonely goose, no pair indeed. Seemed like she rather preferred to be lonely than having a chicken company. No dogs of other animals found to be threatening her any time, hope they know the goose has got a long neck and a sharp beak .

 white domestic goose photographed from cochin kerala,geese facts and photos,white goose kerala,kerala-pet-birds
Tea time! What about some Snacks. The goose looking for some food. Hey ant, start running, a fork coming down to get you!. Domestic white goose photographed from kerala. Geese family are meant to be vegetarians who feeds on cereals, algae, water plants, pond weeds, etc no wonder if the habitat has changed its nature. Sometimes elephants are given chicken meat; ants and worms may be be ideal for goose then. You know what geese birds may spend upto 12 hours eating in a day. They usually takes food in early mornings and afternoons.

Entirely meant for water ways, not to run on land. The ideal streamlined body and the special swimming legs makes them much adaptive to water than land.  But goose in captivity may don't know what it is gifted with. We haven't seen this one flying or swimming yet. Geese can be migratory also but its a thing studied from others when they are in the geese folks.

Looks like time to be back Home!.
The white pet goose found in the walkway.

Goose Facts
  • Geese are naturally very calm birds but may bite if threatened. They are seen more aggressive when guarding the youngones or eggs for hatching
  • Both male and female goose looks after the younger ones from predators.This nature helped to maintain a better survival rate of young ones among geese.
  • Geese are one mate for a lifetime birds.If the pair dies off they will find another one
  • Goose folks are found to be flying higher and faster when they are in the group and maintains a pattern while flying.If one goose falls down due to illness or ant accident two geese from the folk goes down and accompanies it till it dies off or rejoins with the folk after the sick one gets well.
  • They looses their feather fully by the months around june and in wild by this time they stays close to water bodies to escape through water in case of predator attacks.Loosing of feathers is called molting.About 6 weeks takes to get the feathers back and fly again.
  • Life span of a Goose ranges around 20 years.
  • Migratory Geese covers upto 3000 miles 
  • Mating season is February to march
  • Migratory geese returns to their birth place each year to mate and hatch the eggs in nest.
  • Usually they nest in ground,islands are favourite locations to nest and they may also nest in unflooded swamps.
  • Goose eggs are called clutch, and the mother goose waits until all eggs are laid to sit on them to hatch and it usually takes nearly 30 days to incubate.In a clutchall geese eggs hatches same day.
  • Undeveloped eggs may sink in water or floats vertically with wider portion downward.Developed ones floats nearly horizontal showing some portion above water.
  • Goslings- that what a baby geese called after.
  • Average eggs per nest is 5.
  • Baby geese thats goslings takes 6 weeks to fly.
  • The migrating geese have strong tendency to return back to the birth place.
  • The folks will have a guard geese to warn in case of any danger while grazing in fields.
  • Usually they chases away the enemy.
  • About 11 species of Canada geese.
  •  Largest goose the Giant Canada goose may weight upto 7 Kgs.
  • In urban areas they often becomes nuisance by grazing in golf courses and parks and leaving droppings all over.Going near to goslings may result in an attack from the parent geese.                                           
 Returning back soon,  Pixelshots

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Kerala Dam Names,Hydro electric & Irrigation Projects,Sholayar Dam Photos & info

Photos from the Sholayar Hydro Electric power project premises. Some technical details on the dam along with the name list of dams in Kerala state.Sholayar is one of the Dams which is very near to Kerala-Tamilnadu borders. Sholayar dam projects are built along the river Chalakkudy which orginates from the Western Ghats. Two Sholayar named dams are there, one in Tamilnadu and the other in Kerala. Kerala's Sholayar is commonly known locally as Chalakkudy Dam.

The dam is in the dense forest and the scenic view of the calm reservoir along with the dense rain forests of the western Ghats attracts  anybody who passes through the highway connecting Chalakkudy town with Tamilnadu. Sholayar is 65 Kms from Chalakkudy. Along the course, Chalakkudy river forms many waterfalls and rapids and famous waterfalls Athirapally and Vazhachal along with some small waterfalls like Charpa can be viewed on the way from chalakkudy town to sholayar.

sholayar-dam-penstock-photos,kerala-dams,chalakkudy dam penstock,thrissur-hydro-electric projects
The Pen stock pipes of Sholayar or Chalakkudy Dam.The water is taken to the Generator room through these pipes from the reservoir. The green dense rain forest and riparian vegetation covers the whole place and the river banks.


Reservoir of the Chalakkudy dam. The entry to the dam and spillway is needs permission and is not a common visiting place. The river Chalakkudy has many dams built like this along its rocky river course and dispute is going on currently in kerala about building one more dam in Athirapally, the Athirapally Hydro Electric Project.


The calmness of this place with the lush green nature around with misty surroundings adds all the ingredients needed for a tourist spot.The place is under Sholayar forest range.Elephants, Hornbills, langurs etc like wildlife along with many endangered species exists in these forests. River Chalakkudy has the largest fish diversity among Indian rivers.

Sholayar Dam Technical Details
Sholayar Dam is built in 1965 in river Chalakkudi. Its a Concreate-Masonry type dam with a max height of 66 metres from deepest foundation. Length of the Chalakkudy dam is 430.60 metres and the reservoir has an area of 8.705 square Kms. Reservoir effective Capacity is 150.20 million cubic metres and the spillway capacity is 1825.00 metre cube per second.

Dams in Kerala
  • Banasura Sagar Dam -Wayanadu District
  • Malampuzha Dam - Palaghat District- Biggest dam of Kerala
  • Chalakkudy Dam or Sholayar- Thrissur District
  • Peechi Dam - Thrissur District
  • Vazhani dam - Thrissur District
  • Mangalam dam - Thrissur District
  • Mattupetty Dam - Idukki District
  • Kundala dam in Munnar - Idukki District
  • Parambikulam Dam - Palakkad District
  • Pothundi Dam - Palakkad District
  • Walayar Dam - Palakkad District
  • Idukki arch dam - Idukki District
  • Mullaperiyar Dam - Idukki District
  • Malankara Dam - Idukki District
  • Neyyar Dam - Thiruvananthapuram District
  • Siruvani Dam - Palakkad District
  • Meenkara Dam - Palaghad District
  • Kanjhirapuzha - Palakkad District
  • Chulliyar Dam - Palakkad District
  • Jeevana dam -
  • Asurankundu Dam - Thrissur District
  • Chimmini Dam -  Thrissur District
Hydro Electric Projects of Kerala under KSEB
  1. Pallivasal Hydro Electtic ProjectDams-Kandla,Madupetty  River-Palar/Periyar
  2. Sengulam HEP- Shengulam Dam  River-Mudriapuzha/Periyar
  3.  Neriyamangalam HEP- Kallarkutty Dam River-Mudriapuzha/Periyar
  4. Panniyar HEP- Dams-Ponmudi,Anayirangal Rivers- Panniar/Periyar
  5. Idukki HEP- Dams- Idukki,Cheruthoni,Kulamavu Rivers- Periyar, Cheruthoni/Periyar, Kilivillithode
  6. Idukki Augmentation- Dams- Kallar, Erattayar, Azhutha, Vadakkepuzha, Vazhikkadavu  Rivers- Perinjankutty/Periyar,Perinjankutty, Periyar..
  7. ldamalayar HEP- Idamalayar Dam- Rivers-ldamalayar/Periyar
  8. Lower Periyar HEP- Dam- Lower Periyar- River-Periyar
  9. Poringalkuttu HEP- Dam-Poringalkuttu- River- Chalakudy
  10. Sholayar HEP- Dams- Sholayar-Main Dam,Sholayar-Flanking,Sholayar- Saddle Dam River-Chalakudy  
  11. Sabarigiri HEP- Dams-Kakki,Anathodu,Pampa Rivers- Kakki/Pamba, Anathodu/Pamba,Pampa
  12. Sabarigiri Augmentation- Dams-  Upper Moozhiyar, Gavi, Kallar, Meenar I,Meenar II Rivers-Moozhiyar/Pamba,Gavi Ar/Pamba, Kallar/Pamba, Minar/Pamba, Minar/Pamba
  13. Kakkad HEP- Dams-Veluthodu, Moozhiyar Rivers- Veluthodu/Pamba, Moozhiyar/Pamba
  14. Kuttiyadi HEP- Dams-Kuttiyadi River-Kuttiyadi 
  15. Kuttiyadi Augmentation- Dams- Kuttiyadi Augn, Kosani Saddle,Near Kottagiri Saddle, Kottagiri Saddle,Kuttiyadi Saddle River- Karamanthodu/Kabani
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Malampuzha Dam Reservoir Photo & tourist info, Scenic tourist spots in Palakkad,Kerala

Malampuzha Dam, an irrigation dam project started in the year of 1949 and got commissioned in 1955 is a major river dam in the Palaghat district of kerala state. The Dam built in Malampuzha river which inturn is a tributary of the river Bharathapuzha (the second longest Kerala's river),  provides water for both drinking needs and Irrigation of hectares of lands in one of the most paddy cultivated districts of Kerala- the Palakkad.

Information on Malampuzha Dam and reservoir:-

The dam is about 6066 feet tall and have two canal systems, the left bank canal system and right bank canal system. Catchment area f the dam reservoir is about 145 Sq Kms. Malampuzha dam has a capacity to hold 8000 square meters of water. Its a combination of earthen dam and masonry dam.The two canal systems which serves the dam water are of 32 Kms each. The left bank Canal system serves water to cultivations on taluks of Palaghat, chittur and Alathur, whereas the right bank irrigtes the cultivations in palakkad taluk.In total the dam has an ayacut of 42,090 hectares. Drinking water needs of the township of Palakkad is met from this dam.

Malampuzha Dam's Reservoir and the distant view of Western Ghats Mountain ranges

Tourist Attractions in Malampuzha Dam- Palakkad 

Malampuzha dam and surroundings is one of the most visited tourist spot in Palaghat district off Kerala. The scenic surroundings of the dam reservoir with the distant view of Western Ghat mountain ranges is enhanced with gardens in Mughal and Japanese styles.

Famous award winning sculpture named Yakshy is placed in the garden sculptured in concrete by 'Kanai Kunjiraman'. A fresh water fish aquarium in the shape of a fish is also awaiting you.

There is a Hanging bridge across the garden parallel t the dam's spillway, the hanging bridge is for pedestriants and is having a capacity around 50 people i think.

A rope way above the dam which is the very first of its type in south india is above the dam and garden, and the ride on it can be breathtaking, the ride lasts about 20 minutes.

A garden house which gives you options for watersports. Motorboats,Pedal Boats, Row Boats, Water scooters etc can be hired in the place. A swimming pool is there, but Tuesday a holiday for it. Boating and fishing can be done in the reservoir.

A children's park with toy trains etc and a Snake park is there. A road train which will take you for a ride through the gardens.

A Telescopic tower which has a range of upto 40 miles.

A Thread Garden which is very unique of its type. Plants and flowers made of embroidery colour threads which is enclosed in a large glass chamber. Years of hard work of many people resulted in the lively flowers and plants in this thread garden.

A Rock Garden which of the first of its type in South india built of unwanted materials of tiles,cans,tins,bangles,glasses etc is in Malampuzha.

If not satisfied, an amusement park with many rides, the first amusement park of Kerala the Fantasy Park is just a walk away from the Dam.

Reaching Malampuzha?

The place is about 13 Kms from Palaghat town and about 8 Kms from Olavancode Railway station.Palakkad junction railway satation is from 5 Kms from palakkad town.

Nearest airport is Coimbatore about 55 Kms and towards south Cochin airport at a distance of about 160 Kms.
Photo by Amit Druvan, Cwrdm
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Meenkara River Dam,Gayathri River dam Irrigation Projects in Palakkad district , Kerala State

Dams of Kerala photos and some Information. This time Meenkara dam in Palakkad district of Kerala, which is built in the river Meenkara a tributary of Bharathapuzha river. Meenkara dam is termed under Gayathri river projects which has a group of tributaries and irrigation Dams. River Gayathri is a group of 5 tributary rivers to Bharathapuzha like Vandazhipuzha, Mangalam puzha, Meenkara Puzha, Ayalur Puzha and Chulliyar.

There are more river dams in these tributaries like Mangalam Dam, Chulliyar dam etc which are mainly dams built up for Irrigation of crops in Palakkad district, a place having heavy Paddy cultivation relative to other districts. The whole group of rivers is termed as Gayathri Puzha which flows through places of Nanmara, Alathur, Wadakkancherry, Kollengode, Pazhayannur and joints into Bharatha Puzha or Nila at Mayannur. Rivers of Gayathri orginates from Anamudy hills the highest point of Western Ghats mountain ranges.

Meenkara Dam- Palakkad District- Kerala
meenkara-dam-scenic-photos,irrigation-dam-projects-of-kerala-state-palakkad-district,dams and rivers in palaghad kerala,palakkad-rivers-and-dams,kerala-dams
The calm lake of the dam on a cloudy day.Thickly filled with rain forest which is a peculiarity of Western Ghats along with those mountains standing like Guards for the river, the place is one of the most scenic Dam site Kerala State presently has.

Clear& pure mountain River lake formed in the catchment area of Meenkara Dam
Meenkara Dam Lake, a scenic lake surrounded by rain forests and mountains in the catchment area of the Meenkara irrigation dam project. Peoples around does fishing in this lake for living needs. The water from this dam is mainly used for Irrigation purpose through a large network of canal system spreading out through the whole palakkad district. The canals are also fed with water from other hydro irrigation dams.

Mountains of the western Ghats surrounded in Clouds- A snap from Meenkara Dam
A small country canoe or vallom cutting through the calm waters of the Dam. Meenkara dam is built in the year 1960 and is one of the dams in Gayathri River dam Projects.  The other dam in Gayathri project is Chulliyar dam across river Chulliyar.The project was sanctioned by 1956 and opened for irrigation by 1960 with a network of canal system for an area of 10930 hectors in the Chittur taluk of Palaghat. 

Canals and Dams  for irrigation and Hydro Electricity is built across all the major rivers in the district and still some of them is in progress like the ones in kanjirapuzha and chitturpuzha.  Their are other dams across the sub tributaries of the gayathri rivers like Pothundi dam in  tributaries of Ayalur river and Mangalam dam in tributary of Mangalam river Cherukunnapuzha.  

You should visit this place for the scenic natural beauty in and around this dam with gardens and fish ponds. Once being in the district of palakkad of Kerala, you can't miss these dams and the high ranges like Nelliyampathy high ranges which are all major attractive tourist spots in Kerala state.

Photos by Amit Druvan, CWRDM Calicut.
Thanks to Sreerag AS, CWRDM Calicut.  

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Kerala Rivers & Dams:Sholayar Dam area,Lake & Penstock photos

Lower Sholayar dam or Chalakkudy Dam, one of Kerala's Hydro Electric Dams built in the Chalakkudy river. This dam has another version, the Sholayar Dam of Tamilnadu. Surrounded by the scenic dense rainforest the place is one of the coolest scenic tour spot.

Sholayar Dam which is built in Chalakkudy river which originates from the Anamudi Mountain ranges by the southern part of western Ghats is only one among the many dams built in a series along the river course.The place is not a dedicated tourist spot for the entry to dam site is strictly regulated for outsiders. But the scenic beauty of the place with those extreme greenery of dense forest and the calm lake in the dam catchment area is adorable.

The Calm Lake and the dense forests around Sholayar dam of Kerala
An aerial view of the dam site of Sholayar in Kerala. This place is relatively untouched by tourist and constructive intervention compared to Athirapally region of the river. The forest and river here is rich in rare species of animals plants and fishes.The richness of southern part of Western ghats is somewhat preserved in these forests.This dam site is on the way to Tamilnadu from Chalakkudy town.

Sholayar Lake formed by the dam
The calm waters of Sholayar dam premises. Lakes mountains and forests in a misty tropical climate, the perfect natures blend.

Penstock Pipes of the Sholayar Hydro Electric Dam project-Kerala
On the way to hit turbines!.The three pen stock pipes from the Sholayar hydro Electric Project.At the end of these pipes the generator turbines are fixed which uses the pressure of water coming out for the production of electricity.The pressure of water inside these pipes are huge and if they burst off it can ripoff a vast area of land and life around. A pen stock accident has happened already in Kerala a little time before.

Sholayar dam is situated at a distance of about 65 Kms from Chalakkudy town of Kerala state. The way to this dam ie the Chalakkudy-Tamilnadu route and has much tourist attractions like the waterfalls of Athirapally, Vazhachal, Charpa, Water theme parks,thumpurmuzhy gardens, and the sholayar. The road is cutting through dense rain forests and seeing Wildlife is not a wonder.Night journeys are not that recommended for Elephant herds and leopards are abundant.

Photos taken bu Amit Druvan CWRDM Calicut,
Courtsey-  Sreerag As

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Riparian Forest & Athirapilly Waterfalls in Chalakkudy River of Kerala:Photos & Facts

More photos with some information on the biodiversity and the riparian forests of Athirapally which is a part of the sholayar forest ranges. Photographs taken mainly from below the Athirapally Waterfalls of chalakkudy River. The vegetations found around the course of rivers,ponds and lakes are termed as riparian. 

The river of Chalakkudy is blessed with these type of dense forest throughout the rivers path. This peculiarity have given the river the much abundant collection of diverse plants and organisms in and around. The Chalakkudy  river is found out to be the river which has the largest variety of fresh water fishes.

Photo of the Athirapally waterfalls from the forest below the river falls.
The misty air around the waterfalls of Athirapally.
Coming to athirapally from the peringalkuthu region the human intervention into the forest and river keeps increasing and no wonder the richness of the vegetation in this area counts the least number of plant and tree species as per some floristic surveys done here.

The river is kept polluting both by tourists and also for plantation needs.Much of the forest near the region is taken for plantation of rubber and palm like spice crops by the Plantation corporation of Kerala.Athirapally is one of the most disturbed region of interventions in names of tourism and agriculture.

The hydrology of the river is already changed and changing by these human attacks.Glad that the place here in Athirapally has got prohibition of bringing plastics by tourists atleast. The tribal people here in the forest got shifted more to the outer world from their natural habitat before and also the destruction of forests have made their survival hard as the people depends entirely on the river and forest for their living.

Riparian Forest vegetation,Photographed from under Athirapally Waterfalls
 If you start saying about the benefits of these riparian vegetation, its a long list. 

Benefits of riparian forests:
Increases water quality by biofiltration, reduces soil erosion,reduces the streams power thereby reducing damages during floods etc, replenishes soil, reduces the turbidity of water, provides food and shelter for much wide varities of aquatic and nonaquatic animals like birds, acts as connecting forests between cluttered forests and can be elephant corridors etc,toxicity of water through fertilizers like nitrates which are harmful to living beings are reduced by riparians.
So it will be our own benefit with so many other organisms around if we preserve these forests.

The Waterfalls of Athirapally- A distant view.
 The three streams of Athirapally falls, but the number of streams depends on the water level in the river. This photograph is not during the monsoons when you can see only a single huge milky wide waterfalls there. 
The guards there in Atirapally were saying there is a huge pit just under that falls in the middle and its depth is still undetermined even though they tried to measure it with strings immersed into the falls from a helicopter. and also says even in extreme summer the middle stream will be there filling the pit under with water.

Athirapally River Dam Dispute

The place is now much in news regarding the dispute of a new Hydro Electric project proposed by KSEB to be built in about 5 Kms above this waterfalls. Perceptions of environmentalists regarding this project is its gonna drown acres of the Riparian forest land around and also drying out the river course from the dam thereby killing the vegetation and most probably the end of one of the beautiful Waterfalls in entire Kerala- the Athirapally river Falls.

The kerala Government and KSEB says their won't be any damage done to the life or vegetation around. Environmental activists and the tribal people of these atirapilly forests keeps protesting against this project and presently the government of Kerala got denied the approval to proceed with the hydro electric project from the central ministry.

What Kerala Goverment and KSEB says about the denial is, no tribal or local people have opposed the construction of dam and its some conspiracy going on behind the protest. The fact is three times the approval was given by the central Government before and now its denied, pointing out the fact that not much environmental studies was done before and present studies showed up the project is hazardous to the  wildlife around.

Also a Niagra model is suggested for this Athirapally Hydro project. ie Stopping the river in nights for producing electricity and releasing it on daytime for Tourism. Anyway the final outcome is yet to happen, and hope it will be in a nature friendly way.

will be back soon

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Kerala River Photos and Info:Chalakkudy River,5th Longest river of Kerala

 Photos and facts on the fifth longest river of the south Indian state Kerala, the Chalakkudy River-one of the major water resource in the central part of Kerala.

Chalakkudy River facts & Information

The river orginates from the western Ghats, specifically the Anamudi and Nelliampathy mountain ranges. The river flows through the Kerala's District of Palakkad Thrissur and Ernakulam with a major portion in Thrissur district. The drainage area of the river is about 1703 sq Km and of which 300 sq Km is in Coimbatore district of Tamilnadu state. The river has a length of about 145 Kms.
Flowing towards western direction through Kerala Chalakkudy river join with a tributary of  river Periyar at a place Elanthikkara  and falls into the Lakshadweep sea at Kodungallur.The river has mainly four tributaries and some small streams or thodu joining in some points.The tributaries of Chalakkudy river are small rivers like Kuriyarkutty, Karappara, Sholayar and Parambikulam.
The Water Cascade from a Small Water Bund made in the Charpa region of Chalakkudy River.

chalakkudy river photographed from thrissur district of kerala,small water falls in major water resource of kerala,water cascading through bunds built in keralas rivers
Milky white strings of water cascading through the small man made bund. May have made as a precaution for the summer water needs. More than 5 lakh people in 18 panchayaths and one muncipality is living in the river basin of Chalakkudy River and they depends on this river for their daily water needs.

Rivers Sholayar and Parambikulam orginates in Tamilnadu Koinmature district, and to be precise from the namala mountain ranges of Tamilnadu.Kuriarkutty river orginates from the Anamala ranges of Kerala and joins parambikulam river at Kuriarkutty. Karappara  river orginates from the kerala's own part of the western Ghats ,the Nelliampathy mountain ranges.

Other than the four main tributaries Chalakkudy river also getting the water source form small streams or thodu named Charppa, Arurmuzhy, Pillapara and Kannankuzhy. All these tributaries join and the main steam of  chalakkudy river is formed and it joins with one of the branches Periyar before meeting the Arabian Sea.

The red tinted evening sky reflecting over the calm river water. 

 arattu kadavu in chalakkudy river,evening red tinted sky reflecting in the calm river water,photographed from the bank of chalakudy river in kerala
An evening photo snap after sunset from bank of the River- Chalakkudy. This river is much important in the daily life of people here living around the basins. Apart from the ordinary people there are some wild tribal people like the Kadars, Muduvas and Malayas. These people's life entirely depends on this river and forest land around. Their livelyhood is from fishing, hunting etc and the death of river can be a major threat to these tribes.

A part of the Chalakkudy river. Small cascades of water from a human built barrier

 rocky river course of the chalakkudy river of kerala state,fifth longest river of kerala,chalakkudy river,small water cascade in river course
The rocky river course. Chalakkudy river is unique of its type by many steep rapids and falls and the famous Athirapally and Vazhachal waterfalls are in the course of this river.A major part of the river flows through natural rain and Riparian forest of the southern part of Western Ghats.

Four forest division exists through the river course,

  • Parambikulam wildlife division
  • Vazhachal wild life division
  • Chalakkudy wild life division
  • Nemmara wild life division
The vegetation here is so diverse with evergreen and semi evergreen forests, deciduous forests, riparian forests, and also some plantations. This huge healthy cover of diverse vegetation gave the river a large amount of fish species. Chalakudy river is considered having the largest amount of fish diversity in India.The course of the river is disturbed by the construction of dams and diversion channels throughout.There are about 7 dams in the course of the river both for irrigation and hydro electric power.

Dams in Chalakkudy River:-
The first dam is constructed in 1957, the peringalkuthu dam project and a series of dams like , Parambikulam group of Dams,upper Sholayar in Tamilnadu, Kerala's Sholayar, and Chalakudy River diversion scheam for irrigation purpose are constructed . There are treaties like Parambikulam-Aliyar , which diverts water to our neibouring state Tamilnadu from the dams of Parambikulam group, Sholayar and Neerar dam in the Periyar. Apart from all these attack on the river, water is diverted to Idamalayar dam to check the intrusion of industrial wastes in water qualities in periyar.

People Traveling through the river in small country boats, called Valloms

boats in chalakkudy river,canoe rowed through rivers of kerala,photograph of the main stream of keralas river-chalakkudy from thrissur district,vallom
A photo snapped from one of the banks of Chalakkudy river in Thrissur

Its observed that our state's policy towards forests had already spoiled about 70 percent of natural forest. Now a proposal of one more dam in this Chalakkudy river above the famous water Rapids of Athirapally and Vazhachal is put up into heat by the Government. The dam site is proposed to be about 400 metres above the Vazhachall falls and about 5 Km above Athirapally. Environmental activists and the local people here are on protest towards this and the Central ministry recently denied approval for the project.

Eventhough Government of Kerala seems to be firm on the decision to build the 160 Mwatt Hydro electric dam project.Government says the ecosystem around won't be disturbed , and it sounds to be non-sense to all. Will give you more details on the project on another posting.

Environmentalists  says this is the only river which atleast symbolises of our rivers of the past times with much diverse species of life. The river has one third of its course through dense untouched natural forests and is considered the less polluted river now we have in Kerala with the widest bio-diversity. Don't know how long it will be so. Photos taken by Amit Druvan,  CWRDM,Calicut.

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