THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Enamoured by the beauty of the monsoon? Then it’s time to savour the state’s lavish ‘monsoon tourism’ spread. Half-a-month into the rainy season, monsoon tourist destinations in the state are witnessing a steady inflow, courtesy attractive packages.
“We have adopted a decentralised approach towards monsoon tourism encouraging District Tourism Promotion Councils (DTPCs) to come up with their own projects. Not only does this ensure variety for the tourists, it also promotes healthy competition among the DTPCs in attracting the visitors,” said P Bala Kiran, Director, Kerala Tourism.
The Waynad ‘Splash’
Another important pit stop for rain lovers is Wayanad and a monsoon carnival - ‘Splash’ - is the key attraction. Organised annually by the Tourism Department in association with the Wayanad Tourism Organisation, the event this year will be held from July 7 to 9.
“During the carnival, tourists and the local people participate in a number of outdoor activities such as mud football and volleyball, river-crossing, trekking and mud tug-of-war, etc,” said Ravindran K, executive member, WTO.
The Malabar River Festival, which is scheduled to be held on July 20 at Thusharagiri in Kozhikode, is another key event in the monsoon tourism calendar. An international river-rafting and kayaking event will be held as part of the festival. The Kozhikode DTPC will provide training to college students and youth to ensure their participation in the event. “Efforts are also on to revive the ‘Mazhayatra’ project which takes visitors on a beautiful trek through the forests of Thusharagiri. We are in discussions with the Forest Department,” said Benoy Venugopal, secretary, DTPC, Kozhikode.
The most popular haunt this season is the Athirappilly-Sholayar forests in Thrissur. The ‘Mazhayatra’ (rain trip) launched by Thrissur DTPC has become a raging hit. From June to August, around 85 visitors are taken on an 11-hour daily trip, including food, deep into the forest. The journey is the perfect way to enjoy the monsoon besides learning vital lessons on environment conservation. “Last year, we had over 5,500 visitors and the number of inquires has been rising this year. We have added one more bus to the service and have also added more features. The locations we offer are not accessible to private players and hence the experience is unrivaled,” said Maneesh Sebastian, executive officer of ‘Mazhayatra’.