Despite evoking fear after unleashing their fury during last year's flood, dams in Kerala remain a tourist attraction. Thrissur happens to house many dams in its greenscapes and three of them mark perfect pit stops for a picnic ride.
About 24 km from Thrissur town, Peechi dam is located across the Manali River. It has been an old tourist attraction as well as supplies drinking water to Thrissur. At present, visitors can only enjoy the scenery of the reservoir and nearby places. Fun activities like boating are yet to resume. Work on the dam had started in 1947 and was completed in 1958.
Before reaching the dam, visitors can head to the Kerala Forest Research Institute. With prior permission, the sights inside the institute can be enjoyed.
By reaching the dam in the morning, tourists can walk along the top to the opposite shore. This stroll along the dam, built of solid rock and decorated with lamps, is a thrilling affair. On the other side of the dam is a watch tower built by the British and from its top a panoramic view of the reservoir presents itself before visitors.
Entry time: 8 am to 6 pm
Contact number: 04872690100
Suggested plan: Reach Peechi dam in the morning and spend around 90 minutes there.
There are two dams in the Peechi-Vazhani wildlife sanctuary. One is Peechi and the other Vazhani. An earthen dam, Vazhani does not match Peechi in scenic beauty, but has a garden which is a favourite among couples in love. The area on the near side is more interesting with shady trees and a children’s park.
Visitors can purchase entry tickets and head to the left side, where the dam is situated. The mango trees in the garden have now flowered and visitors can also catch sight of the Indian giant squirrel on the premises. Several swings hang from the trees in the garden and visitors enjoy spending time on them before taking a walk along the top of the dam. Vazhani dam was built for irrigation purposes, but at present the water level is low.
Youngsters can safely engage in fun and frolic in the garden while adults can relax on the steps of the open air theatre or in the shade of the trees. Lunch is served at a canteen on the premises.
To reach Vazhani Dam, start from Thrissur and take the Shoranur route. After Manalarkavu Temple, take a right turn to the dam. The distance from Thrissur to Vazhani is 23 km.
This dam is located in an area blessed with natural beauty, as the name (Poomala – hill of flowers) suggests. Though not a big reservoir, the area is ideal for spending an evening. An attraction of the place is the presence of ancient dolmens.
Compared to Peechi and Vazhani Dams, the water level in Poomala reaches almost up to the height of the dam. With pristine greenery all around, a walk across the dam offers a very interesting experience. Some people venture into the reservoir for a swim, but it should be avoided.
Poomala Dam is also on a deviation along the Thrissur-Shoranur route. From Mulankunnathukavu, turn right and travel 12 km to arrive at the dam.
Carry enough water and food while travelling to Poomala. Do not step into the reservoir and follow the instructions of the local people.
These three dams not only offer the residents of Thrissur an opportunity to go on a one-day picnic but also travellers to the town an option to unwind.