The Vijayapuram panchayat in Kottayam district of Kerala has launched efforts to set up a village tourism corridor as part of the Meenanthayar tourism project being implemented by it. The area identified for the corridor is from Kadathumkadavu at Vadavathoor to the Ponpally Bridge area.
Mini park, village sights
Under the first phase of the project, a mini park for children and a park beach have been built. Seats have been installed at these spots which offer picturesque sights of the Meenanthayar River and the adjacent paddy fields.
Walkways too have been constructed at the park. Moreover, grills have been arranged along the riverbank and CCTVs installed for security. Similarly, streetlights too are now functional.
More seating facilities, fishing arrangements, coming up
According to the panchayat authorities, the Vadavathoor Bund Road would soon be linked to the tourism project area. More seating facilities on the roadsides, a viewpoint to enjoy the sunset and arrangements for fishing also would come up, they added.
Incidentally, thousands of people had arrived at the Bund Road for the New Year celebrations, when the burning of ‘Papanji’ took place at the spot.
When the second phase of the tourism project is completed, a boat trip and coracle ride would also be available for tourists, who can enjoy the scenic rural landscape from Kadathukadavu to Ponpally Bridge.
As part of this initiative, the boat jetty near Ponpally Bridge has been spruced up. There are also plans to build shutters at Ponpally Bridge to regulate the flow of water. In fact, the aim of the local authorities is to convert this section of the Meenanthayar River into a water body similar to a lake.
In the subsequent phases, tourism projects such as village tours, birdwatching, trek through paddy fields and bicycle trips will be implemented.
“Currently, the project is being implemented utilizing panchayat funds. For further construction work, we need government support,” said V T Soman Kutty, president of the Vijayapuram panchayat.
Meanwhile, Rajani Santhosh, president of a local organization, said that the Meenanthayar project would be converted into a model Responsible Tourism project with people’s participation. “It will be one among the best tourism destinations in Kottayam district,” she said.