Chalakkudy River|5th Longest Kerala River|Kerala River Photos,Infos

 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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