KOCHI: The road that leads to the Arabian Sea passes through this sleepy village with lagoons and fish farms on both sides. Chinese nets fixed on rickety platforms dot the shoreline, indicating the fishing tradition of the locality. Moving forward, Arabian Sea can be heard roaring fiercely. There are resorts and spas offering ayurvedic massages, restaurants serving visitors with traditional and good variety of sea foods, shops selling antiques, ice cream parlours and tea stalls. The place is calm, serene and exciting.
Welcome to Cherai Beach known as ‘Princess of the Arabian Sea’ for its golden sands, blue water and lush green vegetation. Visitors - foreign and domestic alike are lured in by the beautiful waves.
Many tourists take advantage of the clean and shallow water for swimming, while others especially foreigners loll about in the sun and also enjoy a ride on speed boats, go surfing etc. The romantic charms of this place is purely magical!
For those who love beaches, Cherai, 26 kilometres from Kochi, is one of the best tourist destination in the district.
But even as it is readying to welcome another vacation season, the place is still grappling with lack of basic facilities such as good roads, toilets, parking area and security.
According to locals and those doing business here said the vacation season especially the weekends see huge crowds converging on the beach. This leads to chaos on the narrow roads. Although a pay-and-park facility was set up in the area, it doesn’t do anything to alleviate the problem. The beach also lacks hygienic toilets. The toilet run by Pallippuram panchayat is in a dilapidated state and is unusable. This has acted in favour of a private party, which has set up an e-toilet facility in the area. People can use it after paying hefty amount as fees.
Although the main beach area has been beautified, the high-mast lights have been dead for the past several weeks. The authorities also tend to switch-off rest of the lights on the beach, forcing tourists to leave the place much earlier than expected.
The condition of the road from Cherai beach to Munambam is deplorable. “People from all walks of life throng the beach in large numbers on week-ends, during vacations and holidays. But the beach remains ill-equipped in catering to the visitors. Although several projects were proposed to improve the infrastructure at the beach, the panchayat and DTPC remains non-committal,” said, Byju, an auto driver and a local resident.
The place also doesn’t have any tourism promotional infrastructure. The plan to introduce beach buggies and horse riding to have failed to take off.