Water and rocks together make for a picturesque scene at Panieli Poru, a little-known spot on the eastern tracts of Ernakulam district. Situated along the Malayattoor forest tracts, 20 km from Perumbavoor, the place casts an enchanting spell that mesmerizes the visitor. The Periyar gushes along the rocky terrain here. The rivulets of the Periyar, having separated upstream, join hands at the spot and continue the onward journey. The flowing water makes a symphony along with the chirping of the birds in the nearby forest. It is indeed an alluring locale for those who have a love for nature's splendor.
The crystal clear water looks shallow and tempting, but there are many dangerous spots within the rocky bed. About 80 people have lost their lives in the areas within the last eight years, according to local people. Warning signals and boards have been put up at a few of such spots. The Vana Samrakshana Samiti, an initiative of the Forest department and the district administration, in association with other departments and the local people, has drawn up a plan to streamline the tourism activity here. The Samithy has been entrusted with the task of curbing the menace of drinking among the holiday-makers.
The flowing water here has medicinal properties derived out of the rich herbal presence in the area, says K.K. Linzy, president of the Samiti. Many visitors swim in the water for hours together. Lifebuoys are being deployed to ensure the safety of the adventurous lot.
A wooden watchtower, which could be double up as a tourism project, is under construction. The ideal time to visit the place is between November and May, says Sasi, a guide and member of the Samiti. Even during the monsoon season, there are many visitors, he says. During peak season, about 400 people visit the place daily. With a little more guidance and support from the Forest department and other agencies, the flow of tourists is bound to grow. And, what does the name Poru stand for? The Malayalam word `Poru' means to fight. It is the place of a fight between rocks and water, hence the name.