Peechi: Crystal clear water, abundant green forests, and gardens filled with blooming flowers – Peechi in Kerala's Thrissur district has been offering these beautiful sights to visitors for many decades. The Peechi dam and its surrounding areas have been a favourite ground for tourists, looking for moments of tranquillity wrapped in greenery. Though the swimming pool and fountains refuse to work on some days, visitors still make a beeline to this dam.
The recent rains prompted the authorities to open the two shutters of Peechi dam on August 15, and the flow of visitors, too, increased. Though the rains have subsided, the inflow in the catchment area is high and four shutters were opened on Saturday.
People flock to the dam in large numbers to catch a glimpse of the cascading water. Whether it is blistering hot or raining heavily, it is a sheer pleasure to watch the sheets of water falling from a height of 50 metres.
Authorities, too, have done their bit to make Peechi more alluring to visitors. The dam and its nearby structures were recently renovated for Rs 4 crore.
Tiles on the walls
Earlier, walking up to the watchtower of the dam, you would needlessly see names of love-struck couples on the walls. Now, all that is gone.
New tiles have been laid on the pavilion, hiding the lovers' carvings. The pavilion offers the best view of dam. Wall cladding method was used to lay stone on the walls. Even the paths leading to the pavilion have been beautified with tiles. Works are underway to use marble on the steps leading to the pavilion.
A botanical garden is also being set up to attract more visitors. The tourism department is leaving no stone unturned to make the garden appealing. A walk through the garden of rare plants and trees would be a unique experience for the visitors. The paths would be laid used stones.
The path that starts from the top portion of dam would lead to this garden.
Rain cottages and a room for security guard, too, is being set up. Due to poor maintenance, wilderness has taken over the current botanical garden in Peechi.
Play area for kids
The Peechi dam also has space for children to play. Play area has been set up on the top portion of the dam and even at the garden. These parks have modern rides too. As you walk down the dam and head towards the garden, you would see the play area.
A decade of no boating
Most of the visitors heading to Peechi would want to go for boating in the waters. However, the boating has been stopped for the past 11 years.
The boating in Peechi was stopped after the boat accident at Thattekad bird sanctuary. The boats are currently kept on the land.
Though boating was started during Onam in 2015, it was stopped as no technical nod was given.
If the boating was to be started with adequate security measures, then dam would also increase its revenue share. Most of the lifeguards working at various beaches across Kerala are Peechi natives. The expertise of the local people can be used for the dam. Also, the safety of the swimming pool can also be ensured with their help.
Even the water fountains have not been functioning for several months.
Adults: Rs 20, Children Rs 10
Dam and garden visiting time is from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm on all days of the week.