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CHALIYAR RIVER CHALLENGE 2017 ; Kayaking for a Cause in Kerala
  • July 2017

River Chaliyar is the 4th largest river in Kerala, which originates from Elamalari Hills in the Wayanad plateau of Western Ghats and flows through Malappuram District for most of its length ( 152KM) and then for around 17 km it forms the boundary between Malappuram District and Kozhikode District before entering the city of Kozhikode for its final 10 km journey and finally empties into the Arabian Sea at Chaliyam in Kozhikode.

Major towns and villages situated along th banks of River Chaliyar is  Nilambur, Edavanna, Areekode, Edavannappara, Mavoor, Feroke and Beypore. The River Chaliyar have six major streams includes Chaliyarpuzha, Punnapuzha, Kanjirapuzha, Karimpuzha, Iruvahnipuzha and Cherupuzha.  Other important tributaries are Kurumanpuzha, Pandipuzha, Maradipuzha, Kuthirapuzha and Karakkodupuzha. Most of these rivers have their origin in the Nilgiri hills in the east and Wayanad hills in the north, where they form a number of rapids and waterfalls. Near the origin of river are the Meenmutty Falls in Wayanad.

"Chaliyar River Challenge 2017" is the third annual event, which is organized by Clean Rivers Initiatives  to help raise both awareness and funding to clean up the rivers.  Held this year from September 22nd to September 24th the 68 km paddling event promotes the usage of our rivers for recreational usage and create a connection to the river with youngsters and tourists. The starting point of the event is from Nilambur, located on the foothills of Western ghats and close proximity to Nilgiris. The ending point is at Beypore in Kozhikode district, where the river meets with the Arabian Sea.

The three day adventure, a "leave no trace" camping concept offers opportunities at various levels from beginners, non swimmers to well established water sports enthusiasts. Leave No Trace refers to a set of outdoor ethics promoting conservation in the outdoors. It is built on seven principles: Plan ahead and prepare Travel and camp on durable surfaces, Dispose of waste properly, Leave what you find, Minimize campfire impacts, Respect wildlife and be considerate of other visitors.

The event will include camping, bonfire, team activities and healthy tummy authentic Kerala delicacies. On the riverbank at Marina Convention Centre in Kozhikode at the end of 68 Kms the organizers will host an outdoor music concert. For those on the water for the first time, kayak lessons will be offered on the first day to prepare you for the adventure. Stand up paddlers are also invited to join our SUP contingent. Each participant will be given a one person tent at check in. The team leaders will be around to help out new comers to the world of outdoor activities. The tents will have eco-toilet which is ideal combination of comfort and functionality to accommodate full facilities for everyone who refuses to compromise on comfort and hygiene.

Rivers are neglected in our country because we don't really have any connections with them. We respect them as mothers but forget this relation while throwing industrial waste, domestic waste and other wastes in them. We have forgot or never remembered to take a walk along the side of the river or swim in them because they are too dirty for it. Water adventure sports like rafting take place in hill stations only where water is fresh but as we come towards the plain-land, Rivers have reduced to a drain as they are used more for commercial than recreational purposes.

Chaliyar was earlier a polluted river from the effluents of nearby factory that destroyed the marine life and caused cancer in the local villagers.  Chaliyar Action Committee fought for the cause of river with the support of villagers which resulted in the closure of the factory. Since then the river has come a long way to regain its original beauty and now the organisation of program like Kayak for a cause is helping in creating more awareness about the conservation of river.

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