Who says that you have to travel to a far-off land to gain a sense of adventure?
Believe it or not, the God's Own Country has the apt blend of peace and excitement. For those with a love for 'living on the edge', a trip to northern part of Kerala could be quite refreshing in many ways.
Rafting on the river Tejaswini is one such venture that could almost take your breath away; with the crystal clear water allowing you to admire the beautiful green fern growing on golden brown rocks. Not to mention the awesome view of the lush green surroundings of Cherupuzha in Kannur.
The whitewater rafting, organized by Xtreme Adventures in association with Alpha Team Adventures, could be termed more than satisfactory. Rafting on Tejaswini could be the pit stop before your planned rafting trip to Rishikesh and other similar locations that offer tougher versions of the sport.
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Charged at a Rs. 1200 per head for a duration of two hours, this activity is not popular to the local residents of the area.
Shyju Sebastian, CEO of the Xtreme adventures, grew up along the mangroves. “We would make rafts out of bamboo sticks. These were large rafts that were sold once we had finished transporting goods from one part of the bank to another,” Shyju explained. These were expensive to make.
The inflatable rafts are less expensive and were easier to maintain. “We generally permit a group of five people or more for each rafting session,” he explained. The first rule; the participants should be over 14-years-old.
A shot at the bigger picture
Cherupuzha, according to Shyju, has a lot of scope for adventure tourism. Surrounded by green terrains and mesmerizing hills, this little township could become a prominent zone for water sports. “We did have a tough time in the initial years of the establishment. But now, we are doing extremely well. Our clientele hail from Kannur and nearby areas. We are also considering kayaking as an additional recreational activity in the area.
Things to remember
Here are few facts to keep in mind before you venture out on a raft:
a) Ensure that you are wearing a life jacket at all times.
b) Always wear a helmet as there are several chances of head injuries.
c) Follow the instructions to the 'T.'
d) Don't be afraid. For only fear can ruin the fun!
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A light swim to wake the body up
While the rafting turned out to be an ideal substitute for a workout in a gym, swimming in the crystal clear water was something one could call 'out-of-the-world.' It is truly blissful to let the river current take you to a land you have never explored!
A fine stepping stone
The rafting experience at Cherupuzha is an ideal stepping stone to those who aspire to try the more challenging high-altitude rapids. But all-in-all, this adventure is bound to bring you closer to nature.
Where: Cherupuzha, approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes from Kannur city.
How do you get there: Bus or train up to Payannur or Kannur. You could then consider hiring a cab or any other means of the transport to get to the destination.
Food outlets: The little food joints/shacks are perhaps the ideal spots for a sumptuous meal. Try some authentic pathiri with egg curry , bonda (south Indian snack) and of course some tea for breakfast.
A piece of advice:
There aren't too many options for accommodation at Cherupuzha unless you are eligible for government guest houses (there is a CRPF guesthouse 20mins from the rafting spot). It is ideal if you stay at Kannur or Payannur. Also, it is added advantage if you are able to make arrangements for a private vehicle at your disposal at all times.