It's an amazing sight of Periyar river flowing through rocks and between dense rain forests. The vast view of distant green hillocks and the tranquility around the place is really great.
Mid November to end of May is the best time to visit as the current and the water level will be relatively lower during this time thus exposing the rocks and whirlpools. For adventurous travellers, a little known picnic spot, on the outskirts of Kochi, awaits you. ‘Paniyeli Poru’, near Vengoor, Perumbavoor, has natural water falls, small rivulets, offshore surrounded by rich flora and fauna, where the visitors can rest etc. There are no restrictions, but the visitors must be cautious.
The strong water currents and deep vortex formed between the strata of rocks and mangroves can be dangerous. Youths in inebriated condition had fallen here fatally. Beware of the strong under currentsbefore stepping into the water. The slippery rocks and pebbles may lead to danger. Many people have died here during the last one decade.
Relaxing in the banks of the river surrounded by dense trees is a unique experience. The sweet, melodious sound of birds, the bustling sound of water waves makes your heart, mind and body cheerful. The river ‘Periyar’ flowing in between two main lands ‘Malayattoor’ in the north and ‘Paniyeli’ in the south provides a Panoramic view to the visitors. The hilly terrain of St. Thomas mount at Malayattoor, the famous elephant kraal at Kodanad, Abhayaranyam animal shelter and zoo at Kaprikkad are popular destinations near ‘Paniyeli Poru’.
The name ‘Poru’ (means fight in Malayalam) was derived from the old custom of raftsmen fighting with the unruly waves, deep vortex, to sail out from the area. The raft forms after bamboo cut from the ‘Edamalayar’ forest, tied as logs. It was the old practice of bamboo cutters, to carry logs to destination like ‘Kalady’ & ‘Malayattoor’, through river ‘Periyar’. Only an experienced raftsman could sail the log through the unruly water here. The area, where the rafts man fights fiercely against these adversities, was later called by ‘Poru’. Now a days logs of bamboo cut from the forest are carried away through the road in Vehicles.
‘Poru’ came in to the limelight of tourist map lately. The crowds began in 2000-01. Heavy rush of tourists appear on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. During summer season in March -April, people in large numbers throng here to escape from the hot, sweat condition. A bath in fresh, crystal clear water of ‘Periyar’ makes your body and mind cool and fresh. Beware of the death trap between the strata of rocks connecting mangroves, existing in the the river belt. Do not immerse in deep and farther water. Don’t step in to water after consuming liquor. The rocks in between the mangroves is slippery due to the in flow of gushy dam water and rain. Normally, the concerned department announce in advance, the opening of shutters of ‘Edamalayar’ and ‘Idukki’ dams.
Paniyeli Poru is 55 kilometres from Kochi. The nearest railway stations are Aluva and Angamaly, which are at about 35 km distance from this place. The nearest airport is Kochi International Airport, which is about 30km from here. The nearest towns are Perumbavoor and Kalady. The newly opened Malayattoor - Kodanad bridge connects Paniyeli Poru to Malayattoor and Kalady. There are bus services from Perumbavoor to Paniyeli at about half-hour interval. One has to walk at least a kilometre to Poru after alighting the bus at Paniyeli. If you are coming in your own vehicle, you can reach up to the parking area and then walk the rest of the way to reach the bank of the river and the picnic areas.
As this property is under the Reserved forests and under the control of Kerala State Forest Department, a pass of a nominal fee is needed at the entrance to this area. There are forest department volunteer guards available there and they are of great help. No liquor is allowed in this area.
Although the dense forest on the shore of ‘Periyar’ is devoid of wild animals, deer, pig, and python can be seldom seen. Leeches are also rampant along the pathway leading to ‘Poru’. The milky waterfall at ‘Poru’ can be seen from the distant shore. It is risky to reach there by crossing over the strata of rocks and mangroves. Even during hot summer, when water level falls, it is dangerous to cross over the strata of rocks, unless vigilant. It is advisable to enjoy the beauty of water bursting, by sitting on the shore. Even if the water level is below buttock level, the gap between the rocks may be slippery and fathom. Even a good swimmer cannot with stand and tide out of the strong water currents here.
There is no organised rescue system in ‘Poru’ now. It is the locals who come into the rescue of those who fell into trap. A little distance away from the bank of the river is advisable for swim and bath. Even though the water level may be buttock bottom, the fathom can be dangerous. Many have fallen here fatally after hitting on rocks and slipped away.
The nearest fire and rescue service is at Perumbavoor, 20km away from ‘Poru’. More over, the fire force is not equipped with the rescue operation of this type. Those who slip away in the water currents, cannot be saved by the traditional away of rescue operation carried out by the Fire force. Dwellings, a little in number are situated 1-2 km away from the water falls.
Tickets should be bought from the forest department counter at the entrance. Rate is Rs-10/person and Rs-10/ for parking. You need to park the vehicle 500mts before the river and walk from the parking area to the picnic spot. It is best to visit in summer as the river is shallow and relatively safe. Nature walk along the river is rejuvenating and there is a tree house from where you can enjoy the scenic beauty and transqulity. Place is closed after 5pm for visitors.
Just spend the time in the banks of Periyar river enjoying the tranquility. During summer, the area around Poru is a very cool and refreshing.
Walk around the banks and can cross the river to the half by walking on the tops of rocks. This is a good scenic photography location.
A canopy of trees, sweet warbling birds, crystal-clear water of a lovely river. This is Paniyeli Poru, a serene, scenic picnic spot. It forms part of the Periyar River and is located at Paniyeli, Vengoor near Perumbavoor. This little-known destination is fast attracting tourist attention. This place is now a favourite location for filmmakers, with many Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu film shot in its backdrop.
Of course, they must be extra careful while trying to step between the strata of rocks. From here there is a panoramic view of the hills on top of which is situated the famous shrine of St. Thomas and the imposing Western Ghats.
The Periyar flows from east to west through Malayattoor and Kalady in the north and Edamalayar and Perumbavoor in the south. The reserve forest area here comes under the jurisdiction of the Divisional Forest Office, Malayatoor. The forest headquarters is at Kodanad, nearly 10 kilometres from Poru.
The water here is a veritable death trap. Though the water may not be very deep at most places there are strong undercurrents that can sweep you away. Many have lost their lives after being swept away and crashing against the rocks. Efforts are on, with the initiative of the Vana Samrakshana Samithy, to form rescue teams and guides. On holidays, two policemen from the Kuruppampady police station, nearly 15 kilometres away, are posted at this place to curb anti-social activities.
There are no houses around except for a small shop that also doubles up as Poochakkara Rajan's residence. It is therefore advisable that tourists carry food packets and drinking water. Rajan also provides this service if he is contacted well in advance. Despite all these limitations tourists flock to this place, especially during Sundays and holidays.
Wild honey is available at the forest office.
Carry your own food and water as there is only ice cream shop available near the entrance.
Packed mineral water bottle is available at the ticket counter.
The Whispering Waters Resort in Paniyeli Poru is a Five Star Resort which opened in January 2015. Lodging facilities are available in nearby towns including Kuruppampady, Perumbavoor, Malayattoor and Kalady.
Though the place is of stunning scenic beauty, it is a dangerous water body during monsoon. Quite a lot of people have lost their lives here. The deep shafts between the rocks are tricky and if you get lost into this, it's difficult to be saved.
No amenities here - please bring your water and eatables.
Kerala Forest department urges you to follow a no trace left behind policy. Whatever you bring, please keep every waste in your own carry bag and throw to a garbage box in the next human inhabited area.