Arippara waterfalls, nestled in the lap of Western Ghats near Thiruvambadi here, has been attracting a steady flow of visitors every year, despite minimal facilities. Now, the site is set to become more visitor-friendly with the sanction of Rs.50-lakh infrastructure projects here.
Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar will inaugurate the work, including of a facilitation centre, toilet block and rain-hut, at Arippara on Sunday, District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) secretary P.G. Rajeev told The Hindu.Work for SIDCO
“The work has been given to the Small Industries Development Corporation (SIDCO), which has promised to complete the work in a few months,” said Mr. Rajeev, who was recently appointed district secretary of the council.
Arippara waterfalls is situated a few kilometres from Thusharagiri, another important destination for nature tourists and picnickers. “Arippara holds a huge tourism potential if better facilities are offered,” says V.D. Joseph, member of the Kozhikode district panchayat.
The district tourism authorities, in collaboration with a few private agencies, had recently organised an international kayaking event ‘Malabar River Festival.’ “There was participation from different countries including the U.S., Italy and Hungary,” said Mr. Joseph, who was also chairman of the organising committee of the festival.
Located 15 kilometres away from Thiruvambadi, Arippara waterfalls is part of upstream Iruvanjipuzha, a major tributary of the Chaliyar river.
The river in this region is steep and has many falls. With rocky surface in most parts, it flows from the Western Ghats and reaches the Chaliyar river, crisscrossing a stunning landscape.
The development project for Arippara, included in the Malappuram-Kozhikode eastern tourism corridor development plan of the Tourism Department, comprises around 15 different small-scale constructions in the area.
The work includes construction of fence, parking area, landscaping, and renovation of roads. “Half the total fund has been already given to SIDCO and the rest will be sanctioned as per requirement,” said Mr. Rajeev.
Meanwhile, the recent agitations by people from the Ghat regions in the district against the K. Kasturirangan panel report have resulted in a substantial loss to the Tourism Department.
The tourism facilitation centre near the forest office at Thamarassery, which was gutted by miscreants during the agitation, was vandalised by agitators. Damage was caused to the office, conference hall, and the cafeteria there.
“The loss has been estimated at Rs.5 lakh and we have sent a report to the government, “said Mr. Rajeev adding that DTPC has also sent a renovation proposal to the Tourism Department. “The season has begun already and we cannot wait any longer,” he said.