Paniyeli Poru - an unspoiled eco tourist destination near Kochi

If you are a true nature lover and like to visit places that are not crowded by tourists, here is an eco tourist destination for you in Kerala. Paniyeli Poru is a very clam and quiet river side picnic point located just 30 km from Kochi.

Paniyeli Poru is located in the laps of Periyar river, just after its origin from the hills and before reaching the populated towns and industrial areas. For the same reason, you will see unpolluted crystal clear water, flowing through the rocks.

Tourist destination & Picnic spot

Paniyeli is a small typical village in Kerala. "Poru" is located in the banks of Periyar river in Paniyeli (Panieli) village in Ernakulam district.

More than a famous tourist destination, this place is more like a picnic place for families. The forest department which manages the riverside picnic areas wouldn't tolerate any sort of trashing in the area. You cannot leave any trash or waste in the picnic areas. This is a non-commercialized eco-destination and there are no shops or amenities other than an ice cream shop attached to the forest department office near the car parking area.

Entrance of Paniyeli Poru picnic area

Paniyeli Poru hasn't got a prominent place in the tourist maps of Kerala yet and that actually comes as a blessing in disguise to this unexplored gift of nature. You won't find much crowd during any season of the year and you can enjoy the amazing natural beauty of the rain forests and rocky river in the background of Malayattoor hills.

Video of river Periyar at Paniyeli Poru

Entry fee

There is a nominal entrance fee to access the picnic areas and safe locations in the river. Entrance fee for adults is Rs 10. There is no fee for small children.

Adults: Rs 10
Two wheelers: Rs 5
Cars and jeeps: Rs 10
Bus: Rs 20
Video camera: Rs 100

Paniyeli Poru Entry Fee

After taking the admission passes, you have to walk through the trails and woods for about 20 minutes to reach the picnic areas. Even though you can access the river from all areas in the walking trails, it is recommended to get into the water only at the designated areas where there are security guards and guides to help you.

How to reach Paniyeli Poru

The nearest towns are Kuruppampady, Perumbavoor, Kalady and Kothamangalam.

Distance from nearby towns:

Kuruppampady: 12 km
Perumbavoor: 15 km
Kalady: 19 km
Kothamangalam: 30 km

Malayattoor is on the other side of the river and a new river opened for publish in March 2015 connect Kodanad to Malayattoor, reducing the distance from Poru to Malayattor from 22 km to just 8 km.

By train: The nearest railway stations are Aluva and Angamaly, both are at about equal distances. Angamaly is a bit closer but express trains will not stop there.

By air: The nearest airport is Kochi International Airport.

You can take a taxi from the airport or railway station. It may cost you about Rs 750/- for a taxi from airport or railway station to Paniyeli Poru, one-way journey. Instead of taking a cab to this single destination, you may plan your travel to cover various destinations around Paniyeli Poru.

Food & Stay

Paniyeli Poru is located in the laps of the nature, far from the city. One obvious disadvantage is, you won't find much restaurants or hotels in this area. There is an excellent resort at a walking distance from the picnic area, called "Whispering Waters Resort". You can read my review of Whispering Waters.

Kerala Forest Department

There are couple of snackbars and coffee shops on the way to the picnic area. One of those places serve meals as well. However, if you are looking for a premium restaurant, you will be disappointed. We adjusted with a few packs of cookies and later had our lunch at about 4pm at Kuruppampady. To find good restaurants, you will have to reach the nearby towns like Kuruppampady, Perumbavoor or Kalady. If you are going through Malayattoor, there is a 3 star hotel named "Hotel Malayattoor Residency", which has a pretty good restaurant.

Hidden dangers in Periyar

I have heard many people commenting that this place could be dangerous due to the dangerous currents, whirlpools and rocks in the river. Well, I wouldn't call it dangerous at all. That's how the rivers are supposed to be. If you are not comfortable exploring the deep areas of a wild river, you should stay away from exploring the the river in to the deeps and enjoy the beauty from the banks.

Playing in the water at Paniyeli Poru

Avoid visiting in Monsoon: During monsoon, the water level in the river can raise dangerously high and no one would want to get into the water. I'm born and bought up at Malayattoor, which is a village on the banks of this river. Even though I'm good at swimming, I usually stay away from the river during monsoon. There are people who are extremely good at swimming and they too stay away from deep waters during monsoon due to the dangerous current in the river.

During summer, the river is very shallow, pleasant and the rocks will be exposed. You can walk through the rocks in the water and swim in the shallow water near the banks. If you are not good in swimming, I wouldn't recommend going very far into the river even in summer.

STAY SAFE: Unlike Wikipedia and few other travel websites suggest, Paniyeli Poru is a very safe place to explore and enjoy the natural beauty, as long as you stay in the safe zone.

Nearby attractions

There are many beautiful tourist attractions around Paniyeli Poru. Some of them are listed below:

1. Kaprikad Abhayaranyam animal shelter - 9 km

2. Kodanad Elephant Training Centre - 11 km

3. Bhuthathankettu dam - 22 km

4. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary - 28 km

5. Malayattoor church & Kurisumudi pilgrim centre - 8 km (Bharanikuzhy water falls is located here)

6. Athirappilly water falls - 60 km (a very famous tourist destination)

7. Munnar hill station - 104 km


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