THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Realising the tourism potential of Chittipara, a rock located in Vithura village, the Tholicode panchayat has decided to submit a proposal to the tourism department to consider making it a tourism destination. "We had submitted a request to the tourism department three years ago. Since there was no response so far, we have decided to put forward a detailed request to the department next month," said Shamna Navas, Tholicode panchayat president. Chittipara's beauty had gone viral on social media platforms early this month. Many tourists have been visiting the rock perched on a hill close to the Iruthalamoola Junction, since then.
However, weathering of the rocks in Chittipara is a threat to the safety of tourists visiting 'Chittipara'. "Two years ago, a side of the rock had fallen off. Residents were asked to move out ci safety reasons," said Vijayan, a villager. The place is, however, blessed with a rocky terrain as it is the preferred choice for trekking and rock climbing. "We want to make this place an adventure tourism spot. There are several possibilities for rock climbing, roping and trekking," said Jayakumar, ward member, Tholicode.
Kanikkar tribal community oppose move
A group of people from the 'Kanikkar' tribal community at Tholicode panchayat are fighting against the panchayat's decision to turn the spot into a tourist destination. "We have a temple situated right next to 'Chittipara'. It is 75 years old. As more tourists arrive, the sanctity of the place will be lost as people will dump plastic and other waste. We consider ourselves the guardians of 'Chittipara'," said Mohan Thriveni, president of Adivasi Mahasabha. "We will protest if needed. The natural balance of the place will be harmed. The rock does not have the capacity to hold more people at a time. How is it possible to make it an adventure tourism spot?" asked Mohan Thriveni. However, the panchayat plans to stick to its plan to develop adventure tourism in 'Chittipara'. The panchayat officials informed the social and economic impacts of tourism on the livelihood of the people, improved living standards, more job opportunities and visible space in the tourism sector are the reasons why they considered to resend the proposal.