Meenvallam in Palakkad offers relief from heat

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The summer is intense in Palakkad but a trip to Meenvallam waterfalls and Kallupalam children's park and swimming pool in the district offers a relief from the heat. A bonus will be the sight of wild elephants. This destination is located near the agrarian village of Karimba which is on the fringes of the Silent Valley National Park area. The high temperatures of Palakkad are kept in check by the cool air that blows from the forest.

To reach Meenvallam, travellers take the Thrissur-Palakkad road and head to Mannarkkad. On the way is the Kalladikode market, from where a road deviates to Meenvallam waterfalls. The place got its name from 'meen' (fish) and 'vallam' (a vessel made of bamboo used by farmers to store seed). Some hunters are believed to have used the vallam to catch fish here.

There is a check-post at the place from where tickets have to be purchased to enter the premises of the waterfalls. All along the road are rubber and other trees. The waterfall comes under the Meenvallam minor hydroelectric project area. On the right side flows the stream. Visitors can venture into it to escape from the heat. There are plenty of huge trees offering a pleasant shade, huge rocks and several small ponds with cool water which are home to a number of fish. The greenery is soothing and no wonder the place is a favourite spot of young couples in love.

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There is a tarred road which takes travellers to the hydroelectric project. On the way, the road passes over a culvert under which the stream flows. There are wild palm trees and stately trees in the area. The Meenvallam river may at first glance give the impression of being gentle, but a board warns visitors that the water level could rise suddenly any time. A little further is another bridge made of arecanut palms. Adventurous travellers can venture over the bridge.

Meenvallam is not a very high waterfall. Its top can be seen from near the culvert and bottom can be reached by walking along a path near the hydroelectric project office. Entry to the river is restricted as several persons have lost their lives in drowning incidents. Everywhere dragonflies, colourful butterflies and beautiful birds that create sweet sounds present an attractive sight.

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During the summer there is very little water in the waterfall. However, the waterfall will have copious water on Sundays. This is because electricity generation is stopped at the dam and the water let out for the benefit of tourists on Sundays. So a trip to enjoy the beautiful waterfall can be planned on a Sunday. But to be close to nature, a journey can be undertaken any day.

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While returning from the waterfall, visitors can take a dip in the Kallupalam swimming pool. Here, too, tickets have to be purchased. The biggest attraction of the pool is that it is situated adjacent to the forest. The pool is a big relief during the summer and facilities are arranged to teach kids swimming. A highlight of the pool is that wild elephants may stray into its premises, especially after dark. Interestingly, the local people are familiar with each wild elephant that makes a trip outside the forest.

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Kallupalam swimming pool is below the Alappan hill. There is a waterfall which makes a big sound on the hill. Local lore has it that there are railway tracks and a horse path on top of the hill and some people also claim to have seen them. Legend has it that these facilities were built by Tipu Sultan and the British.

Route to Meenvallam

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Ernakulam-Thrissur-Vadakkancherry-Alathur-Mundur-Meenvallam 155 km.

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