On Mohanlal's birthday, Kerala minister says works to transform 'Kireedam' bridge into tourist spot nearing completion

The works related to transforming Vellayani and adjoining areas into a tourist spot is in the final stages and the project is a birthday gift to the actor, Tourism Minister PA Mohammed Riyaz said.
A view of the 'Kireedam' bridge at Vellayani in Thiruvananthapuram.
A view of the 'Kireedam' bridge at Vellayani in Thiruvananthapuram.(Photo | Vincent Pulickal, EPS)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Vellayani is a suburb of Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram. It is on the banks of Vellayani lake. Vellayani also has an ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Kali.

But the point of this story is not all about that. It has to do with iconic actor of Kerala, Mohanlal and his 1989 action drama, "Kireedam," in which he portrayed the role of Sethumadhavan aka Sethu, who aspires to become a police officer to fulfill his father's dream, but fails. Penned by AK Lohithadas and directed by Sibi Malayil, the film was not only a commercial success but also won Mohanlal a national award.

Now, on his 64th birthday on Tuesday, Kerala Tourism Minister PA Mohammed Riyaz announced that works to convert the Vellayani bridge or 'Kireedam' bridge, which played a key role in the movie, and its adjoining areas, into a tourist spot is in the final stages.

The minister declared this as a birthday gift to the actor.

The evergreen song from the movie, 'Kanneerpoovinte Kavilil Thalodi', which is still etched in the hearts of Malayalis, was shot on this bridge earning it the name 'Kireedam' bridge.

Mohanlal won the National Film Award – Special Mention for "portraying young man's agony and pain marvellously and in unique style" in 'Kireedam'.

The heart-rending scenes of Mohanlal and Thilakan, who played the role of Achuthan Nair, a sincere police constable and Sethu's father, are still vividly remembered by film buffs.

According to Riyaz, the public will soon be able to enjoy the spectacular beauty of the countryside where these scenes were filmed. "The bridge that is part of the Vellayani Lake in Thiruvananthapuram where the significant scenes from the movie ‘Kireedam’ was shot will now be a tourist centre,” he said.

Bekal Fort in Kasaragod. (Photo | Express)
Bekal Fort in Kasaragod. (Photo | Express)

The bridge is shown in many important scenes in the film as it acts as a mute spectator to the emotional scenes involving Mohanlal.

Last year, the state government had given administrative sanction of Rs 1.22 crore to under the head ‘Cine Tourism Project— Kireedam Palam at Vellayani' to develop the spot. 'Kireedam’ bridge is the first initiative under the cinema tourism project of Kerala Tourism.

Bekal Fort in Kasaragod, where Mani Ratnam shot the popular song 'Uyire... for his movie Bombay is another spot that would be developed in a similar manner. The filmmaker had pledged his support for the project and agreed to take part in the Cinema Tourism programme at Bekal.

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The New Indian Express