Sumptuous biriyani, piping hot sulaimani (black tea), and Mananchira Square are ever-present to entice one to Kozhikode. But if the people of Kozhikode need to get out from the hustle of this lively city and spend some tranquil time with nature, their best bet is Kakkayam Dam.
Situated at a distance of 45 km from this northern city of Kerala, Kakkayam offers you some peaceful moments in nature's lap.
Kakkayam shares borders with Wayanad and is also often referred to as the 'Ooty of Malabar.'
Pristine forests and mist-laden paths helped Kakkayam win this coveted status. If you reach in the early hours of the day, you can enjoy the forest sights as cold breeze from the Western Ghats ruffle your hair.
You can take the Balussery-Estate Mukku-Koorachundu route to reach Kakkayam and the 15-km stretch from here is the dam region. Earlier, only four-wheelers could traverse the steep path. However, the road has been tarred now, enabling other vehicles to undertake the journey. As you climb up, the forest turns more dense.
On the route are several view-points.
The first one is the Kakkayam valley view-point and then you have the panorama view-point nearby. Looking down at the beautiful paths you cross would make you appreciate the journey even better. You can also catch a glimpse of the faraway Peruvannamuzhi Dam.
Further ahead, you will reach the Kakkayam dam, which is not very big. Water for two power houses at Kakkayam Angadi is supplied from here. You can park the vehicle near the dam and take a tour of the region. However, tourists are barred from using the camera to take any photos.
The Kerala Hydel Tourism Centre has set up boat trips at the dam reservoir for the tourists. Those opting for the boat trips can also see the serene Ambalapara Waterfall. One boat can accommodate five tourists and one driver. The two speed boats would jointly conduct 22 trips in a day. If you walk down the woods after the dam, you would also reach Urakuzhi Waterfall. As the water cascades from a height of 2,450 feet, the rocks in the area have attained the shape of 'ural' (traditional mortars) and hence the name.
If you climb further up, you would reach the Kakkayam forest. Part of the Western Ghats, this forest has 680 varieties of flowering plants, 39 types of grass, 22 types of orchids and hundreds of bird species. Apart from the diverse flora and fauna, the forest is also home to wild creatures such as tiger, leopard, bison, langur, deer and bear.