//Valapattanam attracting tourists

Valapattanam attracting tourists

DTPC launches `Nadi Darshan’ programme

KANNUR: `Nadi Darshan’ (river viewing) programme launched by the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) in association with a private resort at Kattampalli here is as much an initiative to popularise `kettuvallam’ (houseboat) for tourism promotion as it is an effort to make people know more about Valapattanam River, one of the largest rivers in the region and the life stream of the district.

Houseboats have been introduced as a tourist attraction in Valapattanam River over the last few years. The tourism potential of the region rich in pristine water bodies including rivers and backwaters has been already identified. But the `Nadi Darshan’ cruise is aimed at exploring that potential and at creating awareness about the river that has historical, socio-economical and cultural significance.

The river figured prominently in the history of North Malabar because it is a major link between the mainland and the Arabian Sea. An ancient commercial port, Baliapattam (Valapttanam) emerged on it southern bank. It was a major trade route used by traders from different parts of the world. A houseboat cruise upstream east from Kattampalli to Parassini and then back and further west to Valapattanam, Azhikkal, Mattul and Pazhayangadi and then to Kottappuram near Neeleswaram through Sultanthodu canal is an experience worth having.

From the point where the river is joined by a tributary at Kattampalli, it acquires the character of a backwater. Along its way, the river is strewn with half a dozen `thuruthus’ (small islands).

"Our objective behind introducing this programme is to draw more tourists, including domestic tourists, to the beauty of the rivers and backwaters of the region," says E.C. Raveendran, secretary of the DTPC, which has launched it in collaboration with the Kairali Heritage Resorts at Kattampalli.

Conference hall

A `kettuvallam’ with a small conference hall equipped to accommodate 40 people is arranged for the cruise under the programme, he says.

The organisers are offering the `Nadi Darshan’ cruise in two packages – a short sail from Parassini to Valapattanam and a day cruise up to Neeleswaram. A special economy package for school students to suit the budget of school PTAs is also part of the programme.

"This region can be made another Kuttanad in five years," says V.N. Sasikumar, executive director of the Kairali Heritage Resorts.