Dam and Reservoir
30 - 45 Min
Children's play area
Bhoothathankettu is a dam and tourist spot in Kerala. It is situated outside the village of Pindimana, about 10 km away from the town of Kothamangalam and 50 km away from the main city of Kochi. Bhoothathankettu, near Kothamangalam, which means 'monster fort' is another perfect getaway in Kerala for nature lovers. It is an ideal eco tourism destination, providing the perfect holiday for nature lovers with forests to trek in, birds to watch, a river for boating, rapids to shoot, a lake to fish in and much more. The water body formed by the construction of a barrage across the Periyar river and land embraced by evergreen forests and bamboo are the major attractions.
This land, mired as it is in mythology and folklore, is also known for its connection with demons, traditionally called 'bhoothams'. Long before the man-made dam was built to tame the flow of the Periyar and irrigate the paddy fields of Ernakulam district, Bhoothathankettu had already earned its name from an interesting legend. Legend has it that ages ago, demons set out to submerge the Trikariyoor Temple, whose presiding deity was the Hindu god, Lord Shiva; by damming the Periyar and flooding the area. But Lord Shiva, suspecting trickery, came up with a plan to deter them. He made it appear that dawn was approaching by making a sound like the crowing of the rooster. The demons, fearing the arrival of daylight, fled from their task. But to this day there remains visible proof of their effort the huge stones that the demons were supposed to have rolled on to the riverbed, the old Bhoothathankettu. The Periyar flows on through the narrow space which the demons did not quite manage to dam up.
That is legend and imagination for all. The actual formation of the old Bhothathankettu remains a conjecture. It has been attributed to two great floods one in the 4th century and the other in 1341, which threw open the Kochi Port. The massive landslides during the floods are believed to have caused the gigantic rocks to roll down from the mountain and become entrenched in the old Bhoothathankettu. If it is curiosity about this place that brings tourists here, it will be Bhoothathankettu's mesmerizing beauty that keeps them enthralled forever. Tall mountains, a calm lake, river Periyar and an all-encompassing forest meet at the eco tourism destination to make it a tribute to nature.
Bhoothathankettu is 100 meters above sea level and has a very moderate climate. Here a nature loving tourist can enjoy a cruise through the freshwater lake, trek through the deep evergreen forest, and even go for an adventure expedition down the turbulent Periyar. One could also take a cool dip in the fresh clean medicinal water coming down the mountain where Neelakoduveli, a life-giving herb is said to grow, a trip upriver on a houseboat, a ride on a speed boat, go rock climbing, fishing. the possibilities for relaxation and fun remain endless. A trip on the houseboat is a must. To one side of the river lies a dense forest that grows to the very edge of the water, so much so that it seems that a part of the forest is growing on the Periyar itself. On the other side, you can catch an occasional glimpse of habitation between the coconut and rubber trees, but not enough of it to dampen the serenity of the place. The scenario remains unchanged for some time before that side too is overtaken by forest.
The river dips inland at times, creating tempting green coves that beckon you to swim in. As you go further upstream to the right, the river seems to break away from its almost straight path to flow between Thattekad bird sanctuary and Chelamalai, which might have been the seat of the ancient Chera Empire. According to the locals, the forest on either side of the Periyar was once home to a thriving civilization. Remains of walls, walls, pieces of pottery recovered from there and the ruins of temples of ancient architecture, are ample proof of a vibrant and highly developed culture that once existed on this river bank. Even if one may not be interested in anthropology, the river itself, embraced by the evergreen forests on both sides, the white storks lazily rising into the air, the kingfishers torpedoing into the water, sights of rare migratory birds from Siberia and above all the absolute peace and quietness that one experiences here, will make the trip to Bhoothathan- kettu truly memorable.
A journey up the Periyar, with its beauty and tranquility, to satisfy your parched senses are mere bonuses. The dam is a vantage point from where you can spot the turbulent water rushing from the dam towards the old Bhothathankettu. The river gives one the impression of sprouting here and there into a pool of blood, due to the presence of a red water plant, possibly algae, that grows on the rocks just beneath the rushing water. A view of the surrounding area from up there will make you forget the scorching rays of the sun that beats down on you. You will be just lost in the beauty of the Periyar. The sun rises from Bhoothathankettu is yet another treat to watch.
Boating through Periyar on boats ranging from speed boats, fiber boats to traditional kettuvallom which can carry passengers from 8 to 80, is perhaps the best way to watch the wildlife in the reserve. The area harbors within itself a unique aquatic ecosystem. The boating, watching the riparian ecosystem is witness to the intricate inherent interrelationships among the terrestrial, aquatic and subterranean life forms. You can witness such greenery and wildness of forests elsewhere in Kerala. A herd of elephants or a wandering family of deer are common sights near the lake. You may be able to spot herds of Gaur, Sambar and wild Boars adjacent to the shores. A variety of avian fauna such as Darters, Egrets, and Kingfishers can be seen resting on the dead tree trunks that stick out over the lake. You also can witness Chelamala the remnants of the summer palace of Chola kings during the voyage.
Boat Timing: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- the boating is seasonal, check before you go if you are particular about boating.
- After spending a few minutes on the dam, take the forest route to the ancient 'Bhoothathankettu'. The walk through the forest is a pleasant experience.
- There is a good KTDC restaurant close by.
- The nearest railway station is Aluva, about 44 km and Ernakulam Junction, about 58 km
|January to December|
|Monday||08:00 AM - 06:00 PM|
|Tuesday||08:00 AM - 06:00 PM|
|Wednesday||08:00 AM - 06:00 PM|
|Thursday||08:00 AM - 06:00 PM|
|Friday||08:00 AM - 06:00 PM|
|Saturday||08:00 AM - 06:00 PM|
|Sunday||08:00 AM - 06:00 PM|
|Last Admission||05:30 PM|
Things to carry
Things Not Allowed