July 19, 2023

Exploring Chimmini Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary

A lazy Sunday morning ended up as an exciting day as we drove through lush greenery to Chimmini Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary. The rains had subsided, but overcast conditions prevailed, which made the journey a delightful one. Also spelled as Chimmony, the dam here is built across Chimmini River in the Thrissur district of Kerala, and borders other popular attractions such as Nelliyampathy Hills and Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary.

As the views on either side of the road gave way to tall trees and hillocks carpeted with shades of green, we knew we were in wildlife territory. However, no animals popped by or crossed our paths. A short walk away from the parking zone, and the sprawling waters of the Chimmini Dam opened up in front us. Still waters with hills in the backdrop and gloomy skies made up for some picturesque frames. There was a small crowd with family and kids loitering the place. However, it still seemed so quiet, as the breeze blew hard and the cows grazed in peace. One can rest under the trees and gaze in oblivion at the beautiful frames on offer, while uncluttering your mind.

You may also take a stroll along the banks of the reservoir or opt for a coracle ride, if you need some action. We opted for the second one, and buckled up our life jackets, before hopping on one of the coracles. Slowly we made our way to the other bank, and more silence followed, which was broken by the oarsman, who spoke about how the tourism development here has helped his life. Coming from the local tribal colony, he reminisced how the place has changed over the years after tourism took over. He did mention that they do spot birds and crocodiles (rare), but we had absolutely no luck. However, the pretty reservoir more than made for that with breathtaking vistas all around.

How to reach Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary:

The nearest major town is Thrissur, 38 km away. The closest airport is in Cochin, 57 km away, and nearest railway station is in Chalakkudy, 37 km away. It is recommended to visit Chimmini in a private vehicle as public services are not frequent.

Food and Accommodation:

There is a small refreshment centre here that sells basic energy boosters, and a couple of push carts outside selling coconut water and ice creams.

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