Sunday, November 04, 2007

Neyyar Dam, Trivandrum, Kerala

Neyyar Dam is the biggest of its kind in Thiruvananthapuram District of Kerala. A tall artificial waterfall, lion safari park, crocodile breeding & rehabilitation centers, deer park, a vast reservoir with Western Ghats hills and forests as background and a decently maintained park are the attractions at Neyyar Dam.

Sivananda Ashram is another place of interest at Neyyar Dam, where people from India and abroad reach for practicing yoga in a pacifying environment.

Neyyar Dam is 30 km from Thiruvananthapuram and is reachable by road only. Neyyar Dam has a small bus stop and a small township.

The forest beyond Neyyar Dam reservoir is known for its rich biodiversity. The main interest is medicinal plants dispersed in isolation over endless forests. There too are quite a few exotic animals like Giant Malabar Squirrel.

A casual visit to this place is fun experience for the whole family. You may take a walk over the reservoir. On one side, you see a vast stretch of water. On the other, you see water falling to a depth of more than a hundred feet. The panoramic view of the garden in front of the dam is also a sight worth the seeing.

The main activity, apart from enjoying the beauty of the garden specially designed for picnic is boating in the reservoir. There are quite a few motorboats operated by KTDC (Kerala Tourism Development Corporation), which take you on a ride through the vast lake and by the side of lion safari park. If you are lucky, you can see lions wandering in the forest.

Steve Irvin Crocodile Rehabilitation and Research Center and a Deer Rehabilitation center are new additions. It is Rs.5 per person for entering the crocodile rehabilitation center. A few crocs and nothing more, I feel dejected for buying the ticket.

Apart from a KTDC restaurant, there are no other refreshment facilities. It will be better if you bring your food packed. There is also a gate pass (for vehicles only) of Rs.5 a motorcycle, to the picnic area.

Route: Trivandrum – Kattakada – Neyyar Dam: Total distance about 30 km. KSRTC has frequent bus services connecting Trivandrum-Kattakada and Kattakada-Neyyar Dam.