Nileswaram Tourism

Nileswaram is not quite a tourist hub, but its delightful backwaters, meandering rivers and tranquil beaches draw visitors. A quiet, peaceful little town, it is also known for some unique attractions, such as the forest that has been created out of nothing, and the family that holds sway over an entire village.

Situated 40 km south of Kasaragod town in Hosdurg taluk, this town is very close to the Nileswar River. The bridge across the river roughly marks its northern boundary, and is followed by the town centre with a bus depot, auto stand and a cluster of shops and hotels.

Delightful Backwaters

Roads lead western into a delightful stretch of backwaters. Just 2 km west is Kottapuram on the banks of the River.The Rivers, Tejaswini and Nileswar, meet a short distance away before spilling jointly into the sea at Taikadappuram

Ferryboats run at regular intervals from Kottapuram providing basic transport to the numerous jetties on either side of the banks as bridges are few and far between. One of them, a long slender wooden structure, bareley a couple of feet wide, connects Kottapuram to Achan Thuruthu, an islet across the river that houses 35 families amid dense green groves of palm and tropical foliage.

Alluring Beaches

The nearest beach is at Thaikandapuram, 5 km away. A small fishing harbor is located here, close to the estuary. Another beach at the mouth of the estuary at Azhithala is also worth a visit.Waves lashing the shore at high tide carves out large sections of the beach, literally altering its topography overnight.

SIGHTS

Ummichipoyil and Varikulam

At Ummichipoyil, near Karinthalam village on the banks of the Nilwswaram River, blocks of laterite are said to have been hewn from a hill and used by the people of the Megalithic Age. There are a few tribal hamlets nearby, but today, the area is mostly covered with rubber plantations. The rock cut caves, or Muniyaras, found here, predate any other architectural structure found in Kerala. These sepulchral monuments are at least 2,000 years old. The caves hold benches and beds, with intricately carved door frames and unique funerary offerings.

Ten Kilometers from Kolathur village is Varikulam, where there are more such architectural structures overlooking the Chandragiri River. The attractions here include caves cut into the bedrock with benches inside,carved door frames with funerary offerings and the majestic ‘Umbrella Stones’ or kudakallu.

Mahakingeshwara Temple

Located on the edge of green paddy field, this 13th century temple houses an idol of Shiva. A corniced laterite wall encircles the complex, and the roofs are covered in tiles. Exquisite carvings on wooden rafters depict scenes from the holy scripts; Colourful paintings of Ganapati and Saastha adorn the walls. During the annual pooja, Kathakali and theatrical performances are stages.

Valiyaparamba Backwaters

Counted among the most delightful backwaters in Kerala, this large water body is fed by no less than five rivers and surrounded by lush green tongues of land. The place derives its name from Valiyaparamba Island, the longest in this region, stretching 24 km from Azhithala to Ezhimala.

Ferry boats ply from a jetty at Kottapuram up to Kowal Kadapuram in Valiyaparamba. Verdant islets lie scattered in the waters and charming little villages line the leafy banks.Bekal Houseboats, leased from BRDC, caters to business and corporate clients on larger houseboats, as well as to smaller groups and families for short or overnight cruises. They also arrange bonfire dinners on nearby islands, canoeing, visits to temples, forts and tribal villages, ayurvedic massages and home stays.

Cheruvathur Kota Palli

Although ‘Kota Palli’ refers to a mosque within a fort, there is actually no fort here.Nevertheless, large laterite outcroppings on the top give this little shrine, located 5.5 km from Nileswaram,a fort like appearance. A long fight of steps meanders up the hill.

Getting There

By Air : The nearest is Bajpe Airport in Mangalore,110 km away.Calicut (Kozhikide) International Airport,Karipur,is about 155 km.

By Rail: Kasaragod station is well connected to most railway stations in Kerala and outside,40 km.

By Road : Well connected to major towns in Kerala and neighbouring Karnataka. The coastal highway NH 17, conncecing Cape Comorin and Mumbai, runs through Kasragod.

Where to stay

For details of hotels and resorts in Nileswaram,see accommodation listing on http://halokerala.com/hotels/kasaragod/

 

 

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