The peechi-vazhani wildlife sanctuary is a vast area of around 3000 km stretch of the forest. Peechi dam in the middle of this forest is the main source of water supply to most parts of the district. Peechi dam also has KSEB (Kerala State Electricity Board) hydropower plant functioning there.
Peechi dam is open to the public with a nominal fee for the ticket. It is Rs.10 for adults and Rs. 5 for children (may change for Foreign nationals). Photography is prohibited inside the Peechi dam but it was the Onam celebration conducted by the dam authority with special light show so I guess it was the perfect opportunity to click some pics.
The entrance to the Peechi dam is through these blue gates. This is also a part of the Kerala Forest Research Institute and their housing facilities also can be seen from the road to the dam. Peechi dam has a park and is best for kids and enjoy the scenic surroundings. This trip had more to do with my nephew before he goes back to his school on Monday and very less for us, or so we all thought.
The first thing we noticed were these signboards that said “Photography pohibited” everywhere. For the celebrations, tickets were given from 8 am to 8 pm. Visitors were requested to leave till 9 pm on these days. The usual timing of Peechi dam for visitors is from 8 am to 6.30 pm.
The main view of the dam and the park is from this bridge. On one side there is water that is stopped by the dam and on the other side is the canals through which the water goes for supply in the district. There is a well-maintained park on the same side and a hydroelectric power plant by KSEB (Kerala State Electricity Board).
The shutters of the dam open to this side where the water flows from those highted walls of the dam and runs through the canals with rocks and steps, it imitates a waterfall. The dam was open when we went and that made a huge difference to the visit.
I was more interested in these belts or chains that run along with the shutter. When you see such a huge dam and tall shutters of it and then this chain, it kind of makes you appreciate the engineering skills.
On both sides of this bridge, there are stairs to go down. These are small, steep steps that go through different parts of the park. Some will lead to more stairs, some of them open into the lawns. Coming all the way down to the park is not an easy task for many elderly.
But once we made it to the ground, this view of the water through the lush green garden instantly refreshed the mood.
Needless to say, the whole place was crowded with families and kids. That being said, the parking area had no more lots left nor the road near the dam. It was the holidays and what Peechi dam was definitely a place children enjoyed. We were also taken here as kids by our parents. The park has a well-equipped playground.
In addition to that, there were some more rides that were installed for the celebrations. But, they were on the other side of the park. The park is divided into both sides of the canal through which the water flows once the shutters are open. They both have separate gates to enter too. That being said, never miss your tickets even after entering the park.
In this picture, they spotted some fish in the muddy water that came from the hydroelectric power plant. And that gathered up many other kids there.
The park had many flowers, places to sit in the shade and these fountains which were to be switched on once it gets dark. Like I said, the park is made on both sided of the water path. So, when in the park, we get a clear view of the water.
Some places to sit are decorated with plants, crawlers and some are roofed with a centerpiece like this. There are benches pretty much everywhere. There are small shops too that sold ice creams and other food items on both sides.
It is mandatory to get some of these ice creams when in Thrissur. There used to be these two types of ice creams in our childhood. One “cup” ice cream and one “cone” ice cream. These guys came to sell them during festivals mainly. There is nothing special about them but they are the nostalgic pieces that reminded of the fun times of childhood.
This side had more of theses fountains and statues and arrangements for the lights which were not lit when we arrived.
We went to the other side of the park after a casual stroll on this side. This side had rides that were installed for the celebrations. All of them had long queues to get on them. They were colourfully painted rides which seemed to have their wiring placed a little dangerously.
We finally got on the dragon and it went for around 5 lapses through these short circles for a ticket of Rs. 50. Most of the rides were charged Rs. 40 or Rs. 50.
Once it got dark, the whole place was lit with fairy lights. Fountains were on and the half-naked lady and the fish on the fountains now enjoyed a good bath and swim. The water jets around the fountains went on different heights rhythmically, but there was no music playing.
The water falling from the shutters were now blue with the blue lights places on top. The bridge we entered through is also light. There were songs sung by people on the other side of the bridge and the whole place was in a festive mode.
but there was something wrong about how the opportunity had turned out. you see these bunny bins? They were there in addition to the already existing concrete rings of waste bins. And yet, this is how the place looked.
sure, they would clean the area the next day or as per their routine. but, why is it so hard not to litter when there are proper places to dispose?! The truth is, no matter how beautiful a place is lit, it is always sad to walk through a garbage ground.
We left well before 8 pm only to see more people rushing in to enjoy the night in the park. Well, somebody got his "Peechi dam" out of his list today.