Phantom Rock locally called ‘Thalappara’ one of the tourism spot on the hills of Cheengery Hills near Ambalavayal in the district, is facing a threat from the granite quarries functioning nearby.
Phantom Rock, as the name suggests, is blocks of huge rocks in the shape of a human skull. During the season, a lot of visitors, including foreigners, reach here to see this wonder of nature. As many as 50 granite quarries near the rock are posing serious threats to this exquisite formation.
Phantom Rock is formed out of huge metamorphic rocks. The vibrations owing to the incessant explosions from the nearby quarries will adversely affect the rock, George Mathew, an environmental enthusiast at Ambalavayal said.
A beautiful cave under Phantom Rock is also facing the same threat, Mr. Mathew said. This year alone, two new granite quarries have been permitted near the rock, he added. More over, a sand making unit is also functioning near to the rock. This site is situated nearly 2,500 feet above the sea level on the Cheengery Hills and can be developed as a major picnic spot in the tourism map of the district. More over, it is easily accessible by car and the beautiful view from the site will attract more tourists.
The unscientific and uncontrollable mining in this area are posing a threat to the nearby Edakkal caves too, Mr. Mathew said. At present, this area is under the possession of the Revenue department and if it is handed over to the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), we can develop it as a major tourism destination in the district, K.V. Biju, secretary, DTPC Wayanad district said.