Vintage Vanchikulam set to be tourism hub of Thrissur city

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Thrissur: The Kerala Tourism Department is all set to revive Vanchikulam, a major trading centre during the reign of Sakthan Thampuran, in Thrissur district. The department plans to complete the project to make Vanchikulam a tourism hub of the city by March.

The state tourism department has joined hands with the Thrissur corporation to set up the Vanchikulam Nature Park, which would include boat ride, walkway and a cycle track.

Currently, official nod has been given for works worth Rs 3 crore.

The state tourism department has joined hands with the Thrissur corporation to set up the Vanchikulam Nature Park, which would include boat ride, walkway and a cycle track.

Currently, official nod has been given for activities worth Rs 3 crore.

Tourism Deputy Director G Sreekumar said that the authorities planned to complete the construction within three months and throw open the hub for the public. With the renovation completed, Vanchikulam would be the focal point of the tourism centres in Thrissur district.

Vanchikulam Nature Club

In the first phase, the pond that has been swamped with algae and silt would be revived. As part of this, the pavilion building is being renovated with more facilities.

A boat dock would also be constructed nearby with ticket counter, and a snacks bar. Bathing ghats would also be renovated. Works are under way to construct a safety wall where the canal ends.

Areas with no walls would be secured. The walkway, park and seating arrangements would be built around the pond. A steel bridge would be constructed across the canal, and a walkway would be set up along the canal. Cycle track, small kiosks and seats would be constructed along the canal.

Boat safari

A boat safari would be started along the 2.5km distance till the Vadukara bridge in the first phase. The canal renovation would be extended to the KLDC in the second phase.

The Vanchikulam canal would also be linked to the Cannoli canal, and Puzhakkal canal. Along with these, solar power project and electrification works would also be completed.

In the second phase, irrigation for the plants, required number of sign boards and garbage processing units would also be set up.

The beautification works of Vanchikulam are being held as per the design prepared by the DD Architect company. The corporation is directly involved in the dredging works. The refurbishment of the bathroom and other supplementary works would be included in the AMRUT project.

Lost glory of Vanchikulam

During the reign of King Shakthan, Kokkala Vanchikulam was the buzzling hub of trade and travel in the town. Vegetables, rice and coir products were bought to Thrissur from Kochi via Vanchikulam. More than a century ago, it was referred to as the harbour town during the reign of Cochin king. People from Thrissur depended solely on the boats of Vanchikulam to reach regions including Ollur, Pazhuvil, Arannattukara, and Kodungallur

Even when rail transportation was introduced in Thrissur, Vanchikulam was the sole mode of transporting cargo. Till the completion of National Highway 47 about half-a-century ago, people from Thrissur depended on Vanchikulam to go to Kochi. As road transportation improved, the relevance and glory of Vanchikulam diminished.

As a reminder to the good, old days, several godowns and small markets can be seen here even to this day. All these would be included in the tourism renovation project at Vanchikulam.

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