Bhoothathankettu Dam and Boating
Bhoothathankettu Dam located near kothamangalam in Eranakulam district of Kerala is a popular tourist spot.This barrage built across Periyar river is part of P.V.I.P (Periyar valley Irrigation Project) which diverts water from Periyar river through a large network of canals for irrigation purpose.Large reservoir created by pristine Periyar river with virgin evergreen forests and mountains in the background makes this place spectacular. Bhoothathankettu is located at a distance of 10 kms from Kothamangalam, which is the nearest town and 55 kms from kochi.
The word Bhoothathankettu literally means “ghost dam” in Malayalam language and is connected to Hindu mythology. The story states that long ago demons or “bhoothathans” set out to block the Periyar river to submerge Thrikkariyoor temple. Lord Shiva, the presiding diety of the temple came up with an idea to deter them. He made the sound of a crowing rooster to make it appear that dawn has arrived. Demons left their work unfinished and ran off fearing daylight. As a proof to this mythological story today we can see huge stones blocking the Periyar river at old Bhoothathankettu area, making the river flow through a narrow space which demons did not manage to dam up.
Bhoothathankettu dam Boating Charges and Timings
Boating on beautiful and pristine Periyar river is a major tourist attraction at Bhoothathankettu. Boats are operated in the reservoir created by Bhoothathankettu Barrage on Periyar river. Evergreen forests on both sides with western Ghats mountain ranges in the backdrop makes this river ride an unforgettable experience.
Most of the motor boats are available in capacities for 10 people. A few bigger house boat sized boats are available with carrying capacity for 40 to 90 people. Boating trips are charged at a per hour rate. one hour is the normal trip duration and can be extended to 2-3 hours on prior request. Boats operate from DTPC boat jetty near the barrage. House boats are big enough to host buffet lunch or small get togethers onboard. Prior reservations will be necessary to book the big boats, especially during weekends and public holidays.
Bhoothathankettu Dam Childrens Park
There is a small children’s park adjacent to the Bhoothathankettu barrage. This well maintained park has various rides and attractions to keep the kids engaged. Located on the banks of Periyar river, close to the dam the park provides spectacular views of the dam. Entry ticket to the children’s park is also valid for entry to the Bhoothathankettu bridge cum barrage.
Old Bhoothathankettu Trail
This small trail, along the right banks of Periyar river leads to the old Bhoothathankettu , where huge boulders are scattered around a large area. The walk along this 800 meter trail through dense forest is very relaxing. Entry tickets for this trail is available at the ticket counter on the other side of the bridge.
11 kms from Kothamangalam
20 kms from Neriyamangalam
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary-8 kms.
Inchathotty Suspension bridge-11 kms.
Formation of this stone structure at old Bhoothathankettu remains a topic of conjecture. It is widely accepted that two major floods and landslides caused the enormous rocks to slide down the surrounding mountains and settle near old Bhoothathankettu. Reservoir and surrounding forest is rich in flora and fauna and aquatic life. Bhoothathankettu ,which is only a few kilometers away from Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is a birding hotspot. Boat ride up the river, pedal boating and walk to old Bhoothathankettu are the major attractions.
Bhoothathankettu Barrage of Periyar Valley Irrigation Project has a length of 210.92 meter and 14 shutters. Construction started in 1956 and partially commissioned in1967. Later canals were expanded to increase the irrigated area to 32800 hectares of agricultural land.