Varantharapilly: The Chimmini dam is beckoning visitors to enjoy its mesmerizing charm during the monsoon showers. The scintillating sight of mist over the dam brimming with water, the nearby woods, occasional drizzle, and the beautiful nature makes it the perfect place to enjoy a one-day trip. A stroll through the earth dam unravels the majestic beauty of the Western Ghats. The view from the site point near the dam, too, is breathtaking. The elegant estate buildings built by the British and the hanging bridge across the Kurumali River are some of the attractive features which draw hundreds of tourists to Chimmini.
The field research centre of Kerala Forest Research Institute at Velupadam is also frequented by tourists. The bamboo museum is the main attraction here and one can see beautiful handicrafts made with bamboo which are exhibited at the museum. Thousands of devotees throng the church at Velupadam to celebrate the annual festival in honour of St Joseph. The feast at the church, which is conducted as part of the offering, is nothing short of a grand celebration.
The wildlife sanctuary at Chimmini is a storehouse of rare species of flora and fauna. The visitors can closely watch and enjoy the wild life in its natural habitat here. A ride in the dam on the bamboo raft offers an exotic experience. The adventurous trekking through the woods, the night stay at Aanaporu, bird watching, study classes on environmental conservation, ayurvedic garden, and eco shop are some of the other attractions at the sanctuary.
The Chimmini eco tourism project which was stalled last season has not been restarted in full swing yet. The visitors can only visit the ayurvedic garden, eco shop, and the interpretative centre here. Though the bamboo raft has been brought, it is still awaiting the permission to run services. Trekking trips are arranged to Poomala, Choorathala, and Kidakkapara by the authorities. It offers an incredible chance to enjoy the beautiful nature and the small rivulets and waterfalls inside the forest.
Entry to the top of dam
The entry to the top of the dam has been temporarily banned owing to renovation work. The Varantharapilly panchayat has demanded that visitors should be allowed to enter the dam considering the upcoming holiday season. The panoramic view from the top of the dam offers a unique experience. It is hoped that the number of tourists would go up if this facility is made available.