KOTTAYAM HEADLINESMunnar: A delightful experience of lifetime
IF YOU are looking for a beautiful place to celebrate this Vacation, if you’re looking for the enveloping calm of pristine beauty, then your search ends at hill station- Munnar. Munnar can be said as the splendid pearl of ‘God’s own country’- Kerala. Situated at the altitude of 1600 mts to 1800 mts above sea level, this pristine valley is covered with the green carpet of huge tea plantations along with coffee and cardamom plantations and abundant exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries.
This wonderful hill station of Idukki istrict, Kerala was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British government in South India. It is believed that the name of the place Munnar has derived from the two Malayalam words Muunu (three) and Aaru (river). Those three rivers are Muthirappuzha, Chanduvarai and Kundali. This place is famous for its peak Anamudi, which is the highest peak of peninsular India at 2695 m. Besides it’s tea and cardamom plantations, the old-world charm of Colonial establishments is another point of attraction for the tourists.
Main tourist attractions of Munnar are:
Mattupetty, situated at a distance of 13 kms. from Munnar main town, this Mattupetty Lake and dam is famous for its highly specialised dairy farm, where more then 100 varieties of high yielding cattle can be seen. The main attraction of the vicinity is its Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala Lake. Boating facilities is also available in the Mattupetty dam.
Pothamedu View Point is one of the magnificent view points, which gives an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in the valley. It is a small village inhabited by the local people. It is also an ideal place for trekking and hiking.
Then the next spot is Devikulam Lake, also called as Sita Devi Lake, situated at about 7 km from Munnar, is famous for its crystal clean water. This famous picnic spot will give you an out-of-the-world experience with its velvet lawns of greenish tea gardens and the cool mountain air. Regarding its name, it is believed that Devi Sita, the wife of Lord Rama bathed in this lake and so it is called as Sita Devi Lake.
If you want to see the combination of beautiful meadow and gorgeous exotic valleys, then you should visit Rajamala Park, situated just about 12 km from Munnar main town. This park is very famous for Nilgiri Tahrs (’Varai aadu’-local name), a rare species of mountain goat. It is one of the three species of Tahr and almost half of the world’s population of this rare mountain goat is found here. Here one can enjoy the natural movements of Nilgiri Tahrs in this precious but little-known place. Another reason to visit this virgin beauty is for its Neelakurinji flower; this is also one of the rarest flowers in the world, which is famous for its beauty and medicinal value. This flower blooms once in 12 years and at that time it cover the entire region with a touch of violet carpet.
Rich in scenic beauty, Pallivasal is situated at a distance of 8 km from Munnar main town; this is the place of first hydropower project in Kerala. It is full of dazzlingly beautiful scenic beauty.
Munnar will not discourage the spirit of trekking lovers. Attukal is located just at a distance of about 9 km from Munnar, a vista of glittering waterfalls and rolling hills. It is one of the ideal places for long trekking.
When you proceed towards Rajamala, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the land of breathtaking waterfalls at Nyayamakad. Situated at a height of 1600 metres; this spot is ideal for picnic and trekking.
Eravikulam National Park, the home of world famous Nilgiri Tahr, was made to protect the rare and almost extinct species of Nilgiri Tahr. It covers an area of 97 sq kms of high level evergreen forests. In 1975, it was declared as a sanctuary and declared as a National Park in 1978. It can be counted among one of the best mountain ranges found anywhere in India. Though this park is divided in to three parts, like the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area, tourists are allowed only to the tourism area where they can observe the free movements of Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Langur and Sambar etc.
Another destination famous for its tea gardens as well as sleepy little cottages and old playgrounds is Chithirapuram, which lures the travelers with its irresistible grace and beauty. This is also the home of a hydel project called as Pallivasal Hydel Power Project.
Just at a distance of 15 km, another view point known as Eco point, is situated in the thick forest. Here nature responds to the human calls. As the name suggests, this place is popular for its natural eco phenomenon. This place attracts the young tourists a lot for its lake view and specially to hear the echoes of their friendship calls.
Just at a short distance from the Munnar town, one can find this sandalwood forests in Marayoor. It is a thick forest with full of sweet religious fragrance of sandalwood. It is on the way to the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary-a tiny reserve forest which is a perfect place to spend a little time with your near and dear ones with its calmness and comfort.
Muniyara Cave is located just at a kilometer’s distance from Marayoor. The most interesting part of this cave is its structure. Made of huge rocky slabs, one can get to enter by seeing its arrangement of slabs. It is believed that this was the ideal place for the ancient sages for meditation.
Rock cave is another cave situated at the distance of 13 kms. from the main town. It is the cave of ancient tribal people of Stone Age.
Now where to unpack your luggage,well… for that lot of tiny cottages and resorts are there to stay comfortably in Munnar. You can find the hotels and lodges from budget to the luxury ones. But if you are planning to stay in budget hotel or lodge then first check up the availability of hot water system in the bathrooms, otherwise you may have to suffer. To enjoy the aesthetic beauty of Munnar, it is better roam in the town by foot or you can even hire a bicycle to explore the place. For shopping purpose, there are two markets, Old Bazaar and another is New Bazaar. In Old Bazaar you will get all the local handicraft items and to buy all other thing New Bazaar will be a better option.
How to get in:
By Rail: The nearest railway station is at Cochin/Kochi.
Lots of trains are there to connect Kochi with important cities and tourist destinations in the country like Trivandrum Express, Kerala Express, Trivandrum Rajdhani Express etc.
By Road: Munnar is just a 4 hours journey from Kochi/Cochin by National Highway - 49. The road is very smooth and scenic view is very charming. So, to enjoy the ride to a great extent it is better to take the journey by road. You can hire taxi or can take buses of KSRTC to reach Munnar from Kochi. This place is also well connected by a well developed network of road transport to all major town of south India. It takes 5 hours journey from Kottayam, 6 hours from Madurai and 6 hours to from Coimbatore to reach Munnar.
The best time to visit this beautiful destination is between October to March. Though monsoon brings invigorating beauty to the hill stations, it is better to avoid monsoon season to visit Munnar. And don’t forget to carry woolen cloths and umbrella with you as the weather is unpredictable always.
By Air: The International Airport at Cochin/Kochi (130 km.) is the nearest Airport of Munnar, just 4 hours journey, next nearest is Madurai (142km).
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday informed Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate P.D. Soman that it was the third accused, Sister Sephy, who thrice hit Sister Abhaya, who was staying at the Pius X Convent Hostel, Kottayam, on the head.
The CBI told the court that the third accused had hit Sister Abhaya with an axe (‘Kaikodali’) on the back of the head, near the right ear and on the top of the head.
In a report seeking to extend the judicial custody of the accused filed before the court, the CBI said that investigations revealed that Sister Abhaya woke up on March 27, 1992, the day she was killed, early in the morning, descended the staircase and went to the hostel kitchen for taking drinking water from the fridge. “The accused were found in objectionable circumstances” by Sister Abhaya, the agency said in the report.
After the murder, the first accused, Fr. Thomas Kottur, and the second accused, Fr. Jose Poothrikkayil, assisted by the third accused, lifted Sister Abhaya.
The body was taken out of the kitchen and dumped in a well behind the building to ensure that Sister Abhaya was dead and make it appear that it was a case of suicide. The accused closed the kitchen door from outside.
The report said that the “false and forged nature of the inquest report” prepared by the former Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police V.V. Augustine “stand established”.
The CBI said that Sister Abhaya died due to homicidal drowning and not because of suicidal drowning as falsely concluded by the Crime Branch, which earlier investigated the case. The CBI also submitted that there was evidence to establish from the scene of crime a tussle had taken place there.
The CBI said that more persons were involved in the crime. If the accused were released on bail, it would affect the investigation. So, the CBI sought extension of the judicial custody of the accused.
The court, considering the report, remanded the accused in judicial custody till January 12. The accused were produced before the court as the period of their custody expired on Monday.
KOTTAYAM : The Rs 10 crore Kottayam port and container terminal will be inaugurated before the current financial year ends, Wilson Jacob, Managing Director, Kottayam port and Container terminal services , said on Wednesday.
The constrution of the first barge in the state has beencompleted.The Rs. 75 lakh barge having '38 metre length and seven metre width could accommodate commodities of ten containers, Jacob told PTI here.
The Union government has already sanctioned customs approval. The construction of the port was nearing completion at Vembanad Lake of Nattakom here, he said.
The barge will be utilised for transporting commodities from Kottayam to Kochi and vice versa, through a distance of 85 kms.Compared with road transport,the barge will cost 50 per cent less.
The export of spices, rubber, tea and coffee and import of items from other countries will get a boost after the completion of the port. Currently, about 18500 containers were travelling from Kochi to Kottayam, Pattanamthitta and other districts in Central Kerala in a year.
NRI donates 20 million dollars to his Kerala village
New York, Aug 1: A Dalit based in Buffalo, New York, for the last 34 years, has given 20 million dollars to his village in Kerala.Eighty-one-year-old Kumar Bahuleyan, a neurosurgeon, who once led a lavish lifestyle that included moving around in a Rolls Royce and five Mercedes, besides an aeroplane, has used the money to build a hospital specialising in neurosurgery, a health clinic and a spa in Chemmanakary in Kerala's Kottayam District.
Bahuleyan said that the desire to do something for his native place germinated between 1982 and 1987, when he visited the area, and found that nothing had changed.
He said that he felt like returning something to the village, which had taught him and made him something in life.
Bahuleyan says he lost two younger brothers and a sister to water-borne disease in 1930s, and even today he says he is haunted by their dying screams.
As a 'untouchable', Bahuleyan had to take a circutious route to school because he wasn't allowed to pass a Hindu temple.
A brilliant student, he succeeded in joining a medical college in Madras. From their, he proceeded to Edinburgh for six years of neurosurgical training before returning home.
Unfortunately, there was no vacancy for a neurosurgeon in those days, and Bahuleyan left for Kingston and then Albany Medical College, before coming to Buffalo in 1973 to work with noted American neurosurgeon Dr John Zoll.
During his 26-year career, Bahuleyan served as a clinical associate professor in neurosurgery at the University at Buffalo before retiring in 1999 as a multi-millionaire.
In 1989, he set up the Bahuleyan Charitable Foundation, which built a small clinic in India for young children and pregnant women in 1993 in south India. Bahuleyan's foundation also built the Indo-American Hospital Brain and Spine Centre in 1996, starting with 80 beds.
The foundation opened the Kalathil Health Resorts, offering luxury rooms, health spas and exercise rooms in 2004.
Bahuleyan's latest venture -- East India Seven Seas Sailing Company, plans to invite applications from Americans willing to spend a few weeks in India, to volunteer in Bahuleyan's hospital and to teach sailing.
Bahuleyan lives with his wife, pathologist Indira Kartha. He spends six months of the year in America, and rest in India, looking after the work of his foundation.
Thiruvananthapuram: A lightning strike by the staff union of railway locomotive drivers in Kerala on Saturday hit tens of thousands of passengers across the state, and brought train movement to a total standstill for hours.
In Thiruvananthapuram, irate passengers shouted at the railway station master and staged a sit-in.
Even as passengers protested, the railway authorities resorted to refunding ticket money in an effort to calm tempers. Police had a tough time restraining angry passengers from barging into the offices of railway authorities at various stations, including Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode.
The misery of passengers was compounded by the fact that thousands were travelling with their families for the weekend.
The sick and those who were travelling with children and lots of luggage had to undergo a harrowing time and some of them vented their ire when given an opportunity by live television channels.
The Kerala Express and the Island Express were among the first trains to be hit by the lightning strike. They were detained at Kollam station. Other trains from Thiruvananthapuram, including the Chennai Mail and Kottayam Passenger train, were hit soon after, leading to a crippling of train services across the state.
Railway authorities could not immediately be contacted. It was, however, learnt that the loco pilots who went on strike were protesting the railways' move to downsize the number of loco pilots and increase their work timings.
100 floor Trade Center in Kochi !!
100 floor trade center coming up on a 40 acres site at Kinfra Hi-Tech park at Kalamassery, developed by Zoom Developers. It is part of a Exhibition-cum-Trade center project. Architects : CPG Singapore.
*100 floored Trade center
*30 floored 5 star hotel with 400 rooms
*2 car parkings of 10 and 12 floor each(Total 22000 cars)
*Convention and Exhibition centre in another 5 floors
*Artificial lake,food village, Childrens' park, etc
*Total 4.5 million sq ft
Project given in-principle go ahead by state govt and
is in front of Union Ministry for Environment for
clearance. It will further need airport authority clearance
and a final nod from govt.