Story Dated: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 12:14 hrs IST
Rocky terrain, giggling river, rustling leaves and luring woods....nature is more like an enchantress at Bhoothathankettu.
The huge blocks of shapeless boulders placed on either sides of the river Periyar to construct the dam, gives the "monster dam" a queer look.
According to myths, the natural fortification found at Bhoothathankettu is the handiwork of demons.
However, they failed in their mission to submerge the Thrikariyoor temple of Lord Shiva by building a dam on Periyar. It is believed that Lord Shiva suspecting trickery, came in the guise of a cock and crowed. Presuming that the dawn has arrived, the demons ran off without completing their work.
The shrill chatter of unknown birds and black monkeys, from the teak trees bordering the forest pathways, welcome the adventurous travelers. Since the rocks are not slippery, trekking through the forest is relatively safe.
The feel of the chilled water that lie in the turfy rock pits and the wild breeze laden with scent of forest make the journey worthwhile.
Bhoothathankettu lies at a distance of sixty kilometers from the city. This is about five hundred meters away from the barrage that has been constructed as part of the ambitious Periyar valley irrigation project.
The active presence of strong eddies make bathing in the river dangerous. Cigarette smoking and liquor consumption are prohibited in this zone. Plastic is also banned.
Tourists are not allowed to cook food within the forest as the risk of forest fire calamities is high. The beautiful garden near the dam is a well-maintained recreational spot. Travelers can also visit the Thattekkad bird sanctuary situated nearby. The boat ride through the Periyar river too is exciting. Separate tickets have to be bought for park entry and boat ride.
It is recommended to buy foodstuffs and drinking water from Kothamangalam. Travelers can also have a tinge of the local cuisine at Bhoothathankettu.
How to reach there
The bus journey from Ernakulam to Kothamangalam is about fifty kilometers. After alighting at Kothamangalam, one has to wait for buses heading towards Edamalyar.
Thattekkad bird sanctuary is accessible by bus from Bhoothathankettu. The sanctuary, which is about ten kms from the dam-site, is open from 6
a.m. to 6 p.m.