My first ever road trip with my brothers. Due to change of plans in the last moment, made this unexpected turn and had fun. I had huge plans on how to spend the last week of the year. The original plan was to hit the road without any plans and roam around for the whole week. But since it didn’t work out, had to come up with new plans. Was searching for new places near my home town and found Neyyar Dam. Neyyar literally translates to ‘River of ghee’. I was quickly able to convince my brothers and made them jump into the wagon with me. All the plans were worked out on the night before the trip with a slow network connection in an android smartphone.
Neyyar dam is built across the Neyyar River in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala, located on the foot of the Western Ghats. It was established in 1958 and is a popular picnic spot. The river enters the sea near Poovar which is also a well known tourist attraction in Kerala.
We hit the roads early in the morning. The initial part of the journey in Tamil Nadu roads had good roads and windmills around us. After we entered the Kerala border the Gods own country the roads were surrounded by rubber plantations and green trees, a pleasure for the eyes. There was only a single lane of road and sometimes even that was missing. At places we had to move slower than a snail. Had breakfast in a small shop and started the trip again. Google had informed us we had lion safari and boat rides in Neyyar Dam. Other than that we didn’t have the slightest clue what to expect there.
So these are the list of things to do in Neyyar.
- Lion safari
- Elephant safari
- Crocodile Park
- Deer Park
- Park adjacent to the dam
- Stay at Log house
- Food at the Restaurant
The safari is within in a small island within the dam. You will have to board a boat to reach there. Once in the island, you will fetched on a gated safari van. We had spotted three old lions. They looked as if they are not fed at all and the park was not a natural habitat for them. The safari area was so small and it felt like we are entering the lions cage and eating up its real estate.
I really liked the idea of a safari inside a water body with huge Hollywood style name board. Might be the vision was not implemented properly. From the lion safari island, you are then transported to another island again via the boat. This island has a crocodile and a deer park. The reservoir was couple of islands within it and each one has an amazing view.
Once the safari was done, we visited the park accompanying the reservoir. It is well maintained and since the dam was almost full the surplus water was flowing out and it was a beautiful scene to watch.
The tourist information centre had brochures for trekking, which needs pre booking at least two days earlier.