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‘Paniyeli Poru’
For adventurous travellers, a little known picnic spot, on the outskirts of kochi, awaits you. ‘Paniyeli Poru’, near Vengoor, Perumbavoor, has natural water falls, small rivulets, offshore surrounded by rich flora and fauna, where the visitors can rest etc. There are no restrictions, entry fee, but the visitors must be cautious.
The strong water currents and deep vortex formed between the strata of rocks and mangroves can be dangerous. Youths in inebriated condition had fallen here fatally. Beware about the strong under currents, before stepping into the water.The slippery rocks and pebbles may lead to danger. Nearly 150 youths have died here during the last one decade. The latest casualty being the death of a girl student on November 5,2005. It is the first, incident, in which a female tourist lost her life here.
Resting, by sitting on the offshore surrounded by dense trees, is a unique experience. The sweet, melodious sound of birds, the bustling sound of water waves makes your heart, mind and body cheerful. The river ‘Periyar’ flowing in between two main lands ‘Malayattoor’ in the north and ‘Paniyeli’ in the south, provides a Panoramic view to the visitors. The hilly terrain of St: Thomas mount, western Ghats, the famous kraal at Kodanad etc. forms part of ‘Paniyeli Poru’.
In the name

The name ‘Poru’ ( means fight in Malayalam) was derived from the old custom of raftsmen fighting with the unruly waves, deep vortex, to sail out from the area. The raft forms after bamboo cut from the ‘Edamalayar’ forest, tied as logs. It was the old practice of bamboo cutters, to carry logs to destination like ‘Kalady’ & ‘Malayattoor’, through river ‘Periyar’. Only an experienced raftsman could sail the log through the unruly water here. The area, where the rafts man fights fiercely against these adversities, was later called by ‘Poru’. Now a days logs of bamboo cut from the forest are carried away through the road in Vehicles.

‘Poru’ came in to the limelight of tourist map lately. The crowds began in 2000-01. Heavy rush of tourist appear on saturdays, sundays and Public holidays.During Summer season in March -April, people in large number throng here to escape from the hot, sweat condition. A bathe in fresh, crystal clear water of ‘periyar’ makes your body and mind warm and fresh. Beware about the death trap between the strata of rocks connecting mangroves, existing in the the river belt. Do not immerse in deep and farther water. Don’t step in to water after consuming liquor. The rocks in between the mangroves is slippery due to the in flow of gushy dam water and rain. Normally, the concerned department announce in advance, the opening of shutters of ‘Edamalayar’ and ‘Idukki’ dams.
Be vigilant

Although the dense forest on the shore of ‘Periyar’ is devoid of wild animals, deer, pig, and python can be seldom seen. Leeches are also rampant along the pathway leading to ‘Poru’. The milky waterfall at ‘poru’can be seen from the distant shore. It is risky to reach there by crossing over the strata of rocks and mangroves. Even during hot summer, when water level falls, it is dangerous to cross over the strata of rocks, unless vigilant. It is advisable to enjoy the beauty of water bursting, by sitting on the shore. Even if the water level is below buttock level, the gap between the rocks may be slippery and fathom. Even a good swimmer cannot with stand and tide out of the strong water currents here.

There is no organised rescue system in ‘poru’ now. It is the locals who come into the rescue of those who fell into trap. The visitor some times, under estimate the tranquil of water in the surface. A little distance away from the off shore is advisable for swim and bathe. Even though, the water level may be buttock bottom, the fathom can be dangerous. Many have fallen here fatally after hitting on rocks, while slipping away.

The nearest fire and rescue service is at Perumbavoor, 20km away from ‘Poru’. More over, the fire force is not equipped with the rescue operation of this type. Those who slip away in the water currents, cannot be saved by the traditional away of rescue operation carried out by the Fire force. Dwellings, a little in number are situated 1-2 km away from the water falls.
The future

A hanging temporary bridge across the river ‘Periyar’, which is flowing east to west is an idea put forward by locals. During festival season of Malayattoor St:Thomas Shrine, large number of devotees reaching here can cross over to ‘Poru’. An artificial lake, if built, can pave way for boating in natural water. An amusement park is a distant dream for the tourists. There was also a proposal to construct mini hydel project in the private sector here. The existing forest and environment laws prohibit tree felling, even if it is for a development purpose. A coordinated move from the forest , civil, administration departments can change the spot in to a eco-friendly tourist destination. Building cottages inside the forest is also put forward by locals.
The panoramic view of forest land consisting of rare species of birds and animals , the murmur like water flowing here etc. have attracted the tinsel world myriad times. ‘Eetta’, ‘Oliyambukal’ in malayalam and ‘captian Prabhakar’, Uzhavuthurai’, in Tamil are prominent films shot here. Besides ‘Poru’ Played host to a number of telefilms and serials.

The favourable season to visit ‘ Paniyeli Poru’ is from December- May. Sundays and holidays witness heavy rush of tourists here. Be prepared with food, bathing clothes etc, as there are no hotels or lodges here. Don’t prowl in the area after 6 pm as there are no light here. Advisable time to spend here is from 10am -5pm. ‘Poru’ lacks communication facilities as there are no public telephone booths near the vicinity. Many cell phones have no range here.

‘Paniyeli Poru’ has access by road. Take deviation to left from kurupppampady MGM school Jn. to reach ‘Paniyeli’. It is 15 km away from Kuruppampady on the A.m ( Alua- Munnar) road. The place is 20km away from near by town Perumbavoor and 35 km from Kochi. The nearest railway station Aluva is 35 km from ‘Poru’. Cochin International Airport Ltd, Nedumbassery is also 35 km away from ‘Poru’. Moderate lodging is available at Perumbavoor and Aluva.

Suresh Kumar

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