Gone are the days when the thought of river Chaliyar brought a dirty, dead river to your mind. Nowadays, walking on its banks is an awesome experience. The river that originates in grand Western Ghats and gushes through the inner & backward villages situated between the regions of Malappuram and Kozhikode in northern Kerala is brimming with life today.
Needless to say, the clean waters of Chaliyar serve as a great source of life for scores of panchayats & the entire city of Kozhikode. You can easily view dozens of fisherman seeking good catch on small canoes drifting across the river.
With tourism gaining popularity in Kerala, the banks of Chaliyar are transforming into a hot tourist spot in Malabar with multiple resorts and enjoyable boating yards springing up, contributing a new life and source of income to local people.
Earlier: A foul-smelling pool of murky & blackish water
In fact, it’s a miraculous transformation as few years back this river was no less than a foul-smelling pool of murky & blackish water polluted with chemical discharge and poisonous material such as mercury that resulted in hundreds of deaths of people living around.
At times, a large group of small fishes could be spotted floating bottom up, as the polluted effluents discharged in the river were practically wiping out the population of fish in river.
The river turned hazardous as a highly poisonous industrial unit called the Gwalior Rayon or Grasim Industries was established on the river’s banks at Mavoor in early 1960s. When factory began its production in year 1963, people didn’t know anything regarding harmful effects of the industrial pollution.
Perhaps, the business owners freely contaminated the environment leaving poor villagers with no options since there was neither any legislation nor any practical mechanism to avoid such industrial pollution.
Present: The sparking blue waters with plenty of life
From a chemical-laden cesspool few years back to the virgin waters it embraces today, the river has restored its natural glory within few years of closure of Grasim Industries at Mavoor situated 21 km from Kozhikode city centre.
Today, its waters are brimming with loads of fishes. While children and women residing on its banks utilize its virgin waters for household chores, fishermen are gifted with a plenty of catch.
It’s really interesting to see this remarkable contrast between a decade back when local people were afraid to even touch its dirty, stinking waters and present times with nature back to its prime.
Kayaking for a cause: Contribution of Kayaking in The Clean River Initiative
Well, you might have done Kayaking before but you’ll be excited to engage in ‘Kayaking for a cause’. Organized by Clean Rivers Initiative, Chaliyar River Challenge upholds the cause of river conservation. A brainchild of Jellyfish Watersports, this year #ChaliyarRiverChallenge is a full 3 days event with 70 kms of paddling in the river.
Organized by a crew of expert kayakers, this Kayaking for a cause targets at promoting multiple types of adventurous and recreational ways, Chaliyar can be utilized.
Besides, it also focuses on building a strong connection between river & youngsters, school-going kids and families. The event is all set to start off from the region of Nilambur on 23rd September and will wrap up at Beypore on 25th of September.
This activity will help all of us spread a message that we should keep our rivers clean and restore them. These kinds of sports activities can bring in more and more tourists to the places making these cities famous tourist destinations.
So, what are you waiting for? Enroll yourself today for Kayaking and participate in a good cause.