Thondernad: Protected by the Banasura Hills, Thondernad is a pristine place of land tucked away in the Wayanad district of Kerala. Demands are being raised to implement a tourism project at the Thondernad panchayat by fully utilising the tourism potential of the land.
More number of tourists will flock to Thondernad if a tourism project is launched by including the hill range and private places. The forest holds the key to the immense tourism potential of the land. The tea plantations too add to the beauty of the land.
If the forest department makes the necessary arrangements at areas with possibilities for tourism, and the local departments try to set up the basic facilities, it would be a great asset for the tourism sector. From the Meenmutty waterfalls to the heritage museum, Thondernad has a lot to offer.
The lone tourism centre operating here is the Meenmutty waterfalls. As people can enjoy the waterfall at a very close range, this is a favourite destination for tourists. But the road leading to the waterfalls should be made fit for transportation and sign boards should be set up wherever required. Authorities have said that action has been initiated to implement these.
Kunkichira Heritage Museum
The historically-significant Kunkichira, the maidan in the forest and the museum would be a big asset for the tourism sector and those interested in history. But all the preparatory works for this appear to have halted mid-way. Though the first-phase inauguration was held five years ago, no significant progress was made in further proceedings. The museum, built at a cost of lakhs of rupees, and the nearby areas of Kunkichira have a lot of possibilities.
Churuli is a tribal village inside the forest. If the forest path leading to the village is opened, the tourists would be able to enjoy a leisurely journey amid the wilderness. The forest path begins at Arimala along the Alattil-Periya road.
Ottupara, which is closely linked to the legend of Pazhassi Raja, is also situated on a hill top at Thondernad. If trekking can be allowed to Ottupara, it would offer a new experience to the adventure travel enthusiasts.
A trek from near the Meenmutty waterfall tourism centre to Makkiyad Kurisumudi would be exhilarating. The trek around the picturesque Poorinjimala will be a one-of-a-kind experience for the tourists. The forest department has initiated action for this. It would be a reality once the project submitted in this regard gets the nod.
If the forest department takes the initiative for the tourism projects and the other departments too pitch in, it would give an opportunity for this land of commonfolk to aim high.
Panchayat president Ambika Shaji has welcomed the various tourism projects in the panchayat. Will do everything possible to set up basic facilities needed for the projects, she added.
Panchayat member P A Babu pointed out that if various projects are implemented in the Thondernad panchayat, it would help in the development of the land. And also give employment opportunities for people from poor backgrounds.
Meanwhile, Mananthavady deputy range officer C Vijith has said that efforts would be made to implement tourism initiatives.