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Kerala is blessed with several forms of water sources- lakes, rivers, ponds, backwaters. This has made Kerala a tourist destination. Out of 44 rivers in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, forty one rivers move westwards. Pamba River is one of them. These rivers originate as a small stream and become larger when others join in.
The Pamba River is the third largest river in Kerala after Periyar and Bharathapuzha rivers. It is also the longest in the state that was earlier known as Travancore. This river arises from the Western Ghats. It begins at Pulachimalai at a height of1650 metres. It moves into Ranni, Kozhenchery, Tiruvalla, Chengannur, Kuttanad, Karthikapally and Ambalappuzha. It finally reaches and empties itself into a lake-Vembanad. The Western Ghats serves as a boundary on the eastern side for the Pamba basin. In its north lies the Manimala River basin while in the south it has the Achnkovil River basin.
This river water is used for irrigation, drinking water, fishing, and hydro electricity and so is important for the region. This river is fed by rain and becomes dry during the summer season.
The river is a considered holy and is referred as the Dakshin Ganges. Pilgrims dip in the river before they proceed to the Sabrimala temple which was built in honour of Lord Ayyappa, a temple that is Kerala’s largest pilgrim destination. Another temple- Anjana is also associated with the river. It is also believed that it was on the banks of this river that Lord Ayyappa made himself visible to the child Pandalam Raja. There are other pilgrim destinations -Neelimala, Appachimedu, Sabareepeedam, and Saramkuthi.
The Pamba River is a destination for international tourists who would not like to miss the snake boat race at Aranumula, held at the annual Onam celebrations. This is a traditional game of the Keralities which involves 35 snake boats. The race involves other places along the river- Ayroor, Malakara, Chengannur, Mannar, Neerutupuram, Payipadu, Pulinkunnu, and Allapuzha. This commemorates the installing of the statue of Lord Krishna in the Arnamula Parthasarthy temple many centuries back. This festival has several pilgrims and tourists thronging to the River Pamba.
The river holds special meaning for Christians who arrive here to hear evangelical speakers. This is a yearly event held in February since 1896 held under the auspice of the Marthoma Evangelistic Association. This is held in Maramon district.
The river contributes to the well being of the people living in the region. It not only supplies water for drinking but is a source of water for the paddy fields in Kuttanad district.
The Kakki reservoir is a lake which was formed when two dams- Kakki and Anathode were built. This artificial reservoir is a part of the Pathanamthitta forest which is famous for its wildlife- tigers, elephants, deer, and monkeys. It is at a height of 981.45 metres.
The condition of the river is a cause of concern as it is highly contaminated by waste and sewage. Various schemes are underway to take care of the pollution.
The Western Ghats are the origin for some rivers- one of them is the Pamba River. It starts at the Paulachimalai hill at an altitude 1650m on a plateau-Peerumudu. The river is 176 Kms long and travels through Ranni, Kozenchery, Tiruvilla, chennannur, Kuttanud, Karthikapally, and Ambalappuzha. It finally reaches and empties itself into a lake-Vembanad. The Western Ghats serves as a boundary on the eastern side for the Pamba basin. In its north lies the Manimala River basin while in the south it has the Achnkovil River basin.
The prominent tributaries of the Pamba river are-
This tributary joins the Pamba River at Thriveni, a place of significance to pilgrims who throng at the confluence.
This tributary joins the Pamba River at Perunad. The river becomes dry during summer leading to discomfort to people living in the area.
A famous waterfall is a tourist attraction about 10 Kms from Erumeli. This is a picnic spot. It has a deep ravine and a stunning view of the waterfall.
This tributary joins up the Pamba River at Ranni. The tributary originates as a stream in the forest. It consists of waterfalls and rapids. The tributary moves through forests. The water contains fresh water fish.